This is a pan-European emergency, which requires a pan-European response. We need to reinstate the search and rescue operations immediately and this time it must be properly funded, including by the UK. It is completely unacceptable to refuse help when we know men, women and children are drowning in their hundreds.
n the Joel Schumacher classic, Falling Down, William Foster, played by Michael Douglas, passes a man protesting the fact he has been categorised as "not economically viable". Swathes of British society have been categorised in this way by the Conservatives and they are slowly being ground into the dirt. And now they might end up in court faced with the prospect of a crippling bill for simply exercising their ancient right to plead innocent.
After changes to the law allowing same-sex marriage in England, Scotland and Wales, Northern Ireland is now the only place in the UK where gay couples are barred by law from getting wed... The latest court challenge may be the first in a series of cases necessary to ensure that gay people in every part of the UK have an equal right to marry the person they love.
The Al Jazeera case is of course just the most visible part of the iceberg. Since the 2013 coup and the merciless crushing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egypt government's suppression of all opposition - and indeed suppression also of "outsider" lifestyles like people perceived to be gay - appears to be boundless.
The easier option for any journalist or editor is to run the predictable, safe, less offensive story. It's then, though, that the dictators, tyrants, war criminals and dodgy business people get their way. If it were not for journalists investigating and exposing what these toerags are up to, how would the public know what's going on?
As a strategy, it's not only heartless, but ineffective. Building barriers will not stop people attempting to scale them, not when they are fleeing for their lives. The UK should be pressing for a Europe-wide system which allows people to access protection safely; and in the meantime, contributing to a rescue operation that saves lives, instead of justifying leaving people to drown.
Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK where abortion is still illegal in the most extreme circumstances of rape, fatal foetal abnormality and incest. While women in England, Scotland and Wales who need an abortion can have the procedure carried out on the NHS, for free, with all the support they need at an extremely difficult time in their lives, women in Northern Ireland are faced with an unenviable choice.