The ugliest part of the refugee crisis that is overwhelming Europe is the human tragedy of it all. The second ugliest part of it is the heartless reaction of so many people. One photograph of “healthy looking men” trying to board a train in Budapest proves, apparently, that all these wretched migrants want to come over here and claim benefits. That’s all these foreign people ever do. Worse still, we accept all these scroungers whilst allowing ex service personnel to live on the streets, without anywhere to live, without any benefits. It is presented as a choice that society has made. It is also complete and utter tosh.
There are still many people who come out with comments like “we should help our own first”. These are usually the same people who themselves do nothing to help “our own” and in many cases voted for a government which has slashed benefits to “our own”. The terrible sight of the lifeless corpse of Aylan Kurdi lying on a beach has had only a limited effect on the consciousness of the British people. The feeling remains that this is really all about economic migration and the failed states and islamic fascism are part of our wild imaginings.
But so what if people want to move to another country in order to better themselves? A significant number of Syrians who are escaping terror are university graduates. Many countries could use their skills and talents. Moreover, with a rapidly ageing population like the UK, we are going to need a larger number of migrants in order to provide, through their taxes, the funds to care for them and pay for their pensions.
The “healthy young men” argument is particularly obnoxious. Of course a lot of people who have escaped tyranny are healthy, at least on the face of it. Would we feel happier in ourselves if they arrived heavily bruised and battered, wearing rags and limping uncomfortably? “Oh, they can come in: they’ve got limbs missing. But we can’t let that bloke with the fake Nike T shirt in. He’s fit and healthy!”
The homeless soldier argument is utterly pitiful. Despite the economic situation in which we find ourselves, we are still a rich country. There is no reason why a single person, never mind a serviceman or woman, should be banished to the streets. It is not a decision of the state to dump on those who fought for our country. It is more likely to be the incompetence of the state and the indifference of the public. Make no mistake, if the public kicked off about homelessness in large numbers, you can bet your bottom dollar our old favourite “something” would be done.
I’m afraid part of what is happening is that many feel that the refugees and migrants are regarded as the wrong type of foreigner. They don’t look quite like us, they talk with strange accents, many of them wear different clothes. Some of them are of colour. Pure and simple casual racism.
And the argument that “Britain is full” and “we’ve done our bit”. Over 97% of the country has not been developed so I am not quite sure how that plays out and have we really done our bit? I don’t think so. Not if you are a human being with a little compassion we haven’t.
If the fear is about our British culture, then say so. When the argument turns into culture, it means muslims. Now I am, above everything, a secularist and I do not want any religion to have any kind of privileges ahead of anyone else. Everyone lives under one law, no one gets any special treatment but also everyone has the right to practice their own superstitious faith within the law. No “faith” schools, no opt outs from society for those of “faith”. Everyone is treated the same. Now that is where it all falls down. When it comes to matters of “faith” governments and oppositions are weak.
Cameron opposes extremism but supports more “faith” schools where children are separated from other children in order to worship the god of their parents. That represents religious privilege and separation. Show some balls, prime minister, and scrap all faith schools now.
Integration is the key. Few of us are “pure” Brits in terms of heritage. As someone of Dutch and Norwegian heritage, I have no problems integrating with those of a different heritage, so why should anyone else?
There are enough red herrings surrounding the refugee/migration crisis to start a fishmongers. The central point is surely that there are a lot of desperate people fleeing failed states, war, famine and islamic fascism. Hardly any of them want to leave their countries to claim benefits, all of them want better lives.
This country is far from full, we are not putting the needs of homeless soldiers below the needs of desperate refugees and we are doing a hell of a lot less than many countries in Europe. If people can show such little compassion for people who are leaving everything behind for a better life, I feel very sorry for them. Just imagine if it was someone from their family. As human beings, we are their family really and that’s what matters most.