Walls, it seems, are back in style. At least in Europe.
Dubbed the “Great Wall of Calais” by some media, the 4m (13ft) wall will run for 1km (0.6 miles) along both sides of the main road to Calais port.
[United Kingdom] Home Office minister Robert Goodwill said security was being “stepped up” as migrants continue to try to board vehicles heading to Britain.
Calais, a port city in France, houses some 10,000 migrants at a camp known as “Jungle.” The camp is located near the main road to the city’s port, and people-smugglers have been employing increasingly clever methods to smuggle migrants onto transports and across the English Channel.
Government officials determined that a 13-foot concrete barrier was more prudent than the fences and barbed-wire protecting other portions of the road. Some called the $2.5 million wall a waste of taxpayer dollars.
My hunch is that critics are less concerned with the price tag – $2.5 million is hardly noteworthy in modern budgets – and more concerned with the symbolism a wall represents.
Walls, as we’ve already noted, strike “at the heart of our modern, cultural orthodoxies.” Polite people don’t advocate walls, at least not in polite or mixed company.
In most cases, however, it is difficult to argue with the effectiveness of walls policed by a law enforcement body. They are employed at the most secured points on the planet–from the Vatican to the White House–to great effect.
Still, one skeptic predicted the government’s wall would not be enough in this case.
Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, said the 2,000 police on hand are not sufficient to deal with the migrant gangs.
“The French army needs to be deployed because the situation is getting worse. We had twenty-two thousand breaches in June compared to just three thousand in January,” he told the BBC.
Jon Miltimore is senior editor of Intellectual Takeout. Follow him on Facebook.