It was six months ago this week when Nicola Sturgeon heroically admitted she’d be ‘happy’ to have a refugee move into her detached Glasgow home. That same rousing week last September, we were treated to the vision of Yvette Cooper ‘bravely’ holding up a piece of A4 paper with #refugeeswelcome scrawled on it.
As he’s wont to do, Bob Geldof went one further, offering to put up three families in his pile in Kent and another in his London flat. Yet, to date, it seems that not a single refugee has been welcomed through the Chunnel and made it to Nicola’s nest, Casa Cooper or either of Geldoff’s gaffs.
One wonders, why not? There’s always the chance that not knowing if their new lodger was a dashing Syrian astrophysicist after all, but a murderous henchman for the Islamic State, may have quashed their vertiginous virtue signalling. Perhaps the sex attacks in Cologne on New Year’s Eve made them think twice.
Still, it would be a shame if all that good intention came to naught. So why don’t we cut through the red tape – and send the celebrities to live with the refugees instead?
It’d be good for net migration, and we could even make a new reality TV show out of it to raise funds for Amnesty UK. Think Bear Grylls’ Celebrity Survival Academy meets the Calais Jungle and you’re on the right track.
We could set it somewhere warm and welcoming: Lesbos, for example, which had 450,000 refugees pass through it in 2015. I propose we call it Luvvie Island. The cast list would be box office gold.
Along with Sturgeon, Cooper and Geldof, I’d like to nominate Jude Law, recently back from a carefully-scripted photocall in the Calais Jungle, where his security guards were mugged for their cameras and had rocks lobbed at them by migrants moments after Law’s luxury coach rolled back towards his £15 million Highgate mansion.
Next ashore would be Benedict Cumberbatch, who has more than earned his berth on Luvvie Island, having bored Barbican audiences rigid for months with bleats that a mere 20,000 refugees in the UK over five years simply isn’t cricket.
After a week on Luvvie Island, Emma Thompson might discover what a genuine ‘misery-laden’ island is – and change her tune vis-a-vis ‘we should be taking down borders, not putting them up.’ Our next prominent luvvie, Unicef ambassador Eddie Izzard, might learn a thing or two about transgender politics while sharing a tent with six burly lads from Raqqa.
Singer-cum-refugee activist Charlotte Church would be warmly welcomed too, though security would have to keep close tabs in case she attempts to escape in her luxury £800,000 yacht.
Finally, George Clooney and his missus would bring some Hollywood glamour. Daily photos of a bare-chested Mr C emerging from the brine carrying startled refugees would be a smash hit with the ladies, as would pictures of Mrs C filing their asylum claims.
It won’t ever happen of course – it’s just as unlikely as any of the luvvies actually welcoming a refugee into one of their granny flats. But what a sweet dream Luvvie Island would be. And how we’d snigger, then reach for our mute buttons and a large glass of chianti, as the luvvies sobbed to camera, ‘I’m a celebrity – get me out of here!’