I’m so glad a blogger started the #SaveSyriasChildren campaign over the weekend to raise money and awareness for the plight of the Syrian refugees…..
As did countless other people… I cried watching the footage of the little boy washed up on the beach. There’s no nice way of saying this but the impact of his death, and the image, was probably up there with that of world leaders. One poor little boy got the world interested in the situation, he humanised statistics and numbers and finally people started saying ‘it could have been me’ or ‘it could have been my child’ which turned into that blogger campaign I mentioned.
The reason I’m writing this though is because despite this overwhelming public support for the refugees, I’m so, so angry about the (hopefully small) minority who not only don’t want to help, but would actually wish tens of thousands of people dead.
What is wrong with these people?! How did you ever grow up to be so selfish and cruel?
Here’s what I think to the online comments I see daily on this topic…
‘Our services are too stretched’
Our NHS, schools, police etc might all be stretched but that’s not because of immigrants… The Tories made savage cuts over the last few years in the name of austerity and were voted back in for more of the same. Fact. So did you vote for them? Or were you one of the many millions who didn’t vote? If so, the stretched services are your fault, not theirs!
‘‘We need to look after our own first… What about our elderly and veterans?!’
See above… The nation voted in a party that cut budgets for society’s vulnerable. Fact. You don’t have to financially support one person over another…. Choose to support everyone who needs help! You could have voted in a party who wanted to tax the rich to help the poor, not a party who are favoured by the rich bankers who nearly brought the country to its knees.
Don’t fall for the UKIP or even Tory propaganda… It’s much easier for them to blame immigrants for the poor state of our services than it is to actually invest in them eg by building affordable homes to first time buyers maybe by taxing the millionaire Chinese and Russians that have pushed up London house prices beyond the reach of most Brits. (actually that reminds me, why don’t Ireland offer to take in some refugees? They literally have tens of thousands of empty houses that could be filled!)
‘They might be terrorists’
They might be, but if you were a Syrian terrorist who wanted to attack the UK, you’d probably find a smarter way than spending weeks trekking across Europe risking your life in dinghies!? Or maybe you’d stay in Syria for some of the fighting fun?!
These people are like you and me, mothers, fathers, children…. Workers, business people, teachers…. What makes them any more likely to be terrorists than us?! Having lived in such an unsafe environment for so long they are probably less likely actually, after seeing the damage it causes!
‘They should go back to where they came from’
Ummmm they would probably love to if their homes and towns hadn’t been bombed. Would you like to live in a bombsite?! If you were worried for your life, would you stay at home and wait to be killed… Or escape for a better life?!
‘Why do they all want to come to Britain?! They just want our benefits‘
You can easily check your facts on this one. They would actually prefer to head to places like Germany where they will receive greater care. There are plenty of sources that confirm that Britain takes a very low proportion of migrants compared to other countries.
‘They’ll change the British culture’
This one’s my fave as I’d love to know what their British culture looks like…. Do they eat a McDonalds (American) for breakfast, a pizza (Italian) for lunch, a Chinese takeaway for dinner and then do some late night shopping (brought to the UK by Indian/Pakistani shopkeepers!) Do they watch American films on their American-designed, made in China iPads?!!
We live in a globalised society, get over it…. Countries change as technology and culture change. Twenty years ago, who would have that picking up a coffee on your way to work would be part of your daily routine… Or posting ‘selfies’ at a bunch of people you have never met.
We are one planet, one people… You are only better than someone else if you show more love and compassion to other people. One love.