The global refugee system has broken down, says Angelina Jolie Pitt. Discuss

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Never thought I would find myself commenting on Angelina Jolie Pitt… well, never say never. BBC World Have Your Say (from 31’25”) asked for my views on her passionate plea to help refugees and her call to do something to rescue the global refugee system that has broken down. David Miliband expressed a similar concern a few days ago, but his analysis didn’t convince me (BBC Radio 5 Up all night, from 3h17’15”) .

She made many sensible points, pretty much UNHCR’s official line.


The journalist’s line instead was that Angelina’s position was utopian and idealistic. I resisted this characterisation and also tried to bust two myths she used to ground her position: firstly, according to her British citizens like Germans have a ‘legitimate concern’ that the refugees will take over their welfare – to which I pointed out one could hardly compare 1 million asylum seekers in Germany with…

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