On Syrian refugees and why we must take more

I cannot claim to enjoy seeing images of dead people; every death is a tragedy. That tragedy seems to increase if the dead person is a child. Some are revolted by images of dead children, in fact most people are. Sometimes, though, we have to revolted. Sometimes we need to be shocked and appalled, because sometimes that is what is needed to right wrongs, to make change happen.

Whatever reason lies behind a person’s desperate need to get to Europe, to travel stormy waters in flimsy boats, their reward should not be death. If they are fleeing war and persecution then we are obliged to help.

Too often refugees and asylum seekers are conflated with immigrants. Each is a distinct category. Whilst it is appropriate to set limits and entry criteria for immigration, no such limits should exist for either those who seek asylum, or those fleeing terror and war. The United Kingdom has a proud record in welcoming those forced to flee their homelands (q.v. the Second World War), a proud record that I hope we can see continued. In this regard I am pleased that the Prime Minister has done a U-turn on his original intentions for the Syrians refugees. I hope that he will do more, and ensure that the UK is seen to embrace as many of those fleeing for their lives as possible. There should be no cap on compassion.

I would hope that Southend-on-Sea would see a number of Syrian refugees made welcome. It is my belief that Southenders would extend a warm welcome to these people.

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5 Responses to On Syrian refugees and why we must take more

  1. dave batter says:

    Providing strict checks are made to ensure they are NOT ISIS infiltrators, ISIS have said they will get their people in with asylum seekers, we must believe them or pay the price

  2. Concerned says:

    Hang on – The Echo are saying you have called for empty properties in the borough to be given to refugees, despite the fact you know we have countless homeless people here already. Have you been misrepresented again? if so, can I ask when you will be asking for the Echo to print a retraction?

  3. Concerned Resident says:

    Just read the Echo report – can you confirm you actually said this – ““The first thing to do is put roofs over their heads and I don’t deny that’s a challenge, but we have a lot of empty properties in Southend.” ” . Can you confirm that you advocating that refugees are housed ahead of those already in the borough & registered as homeless, & also ahead of those sleeping rough that those of us who live in Wards such as Milton see daily? I am confused, as I am sure will be many of your constituents in Milton Ward…….

  4. dave batter says:

    I was thinking the same
    We have many ex service personnel homeless, many of them suffered injuries helping these people, they should be housed first if we want new members of the armed forces to fight for these people
    Any refugees let into this country should be vigorously vetted and all bio/dna/fingerprints taken first, this should apply to all ages and sexes

  5. Rob Brown says:

    Julian has done plenty on homelessness in Milton. 0% homelessness will never be achieved in practice in the same way that 0% unemployment would not be achieved (nor would it be a good thing). We cannot wait until internal homelessness id eradicated before helping those in need from other countries.

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