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Letter: Refugee Crisis – ‘Have We Gone Mad?’

Published on: 6 Sep, 2015
Updated on: 6 Sep, 2015

syrian refugeesFrom Stuart Barnes

In response to a previous letter: Guildford Should Be Decent Enough To Take 90 Syrian Refugees.

The current hysteria led by the usual suspects (BBC/Guardianistas, etc.) brings the comments of our greatest never PM [Enoch Powell] to mind: “Have we gone mad, literally mad?”

How many more people can our poor little country take? England is already one of the most crowded countries in Europe and the continual flow of illegal entrants and other immigrants plus the birthrates of those here now is beyond our capacity to cope.

I note that it is reported that the richest Muslim countries will not take them because of concerns about terrorists.

The sooner we get out of the corrupt EU, (the accounts of which have not been certified by its auditors for 19 years in a row because of concerns of fraud), so that we can run our own affairs again the better. The latest poll in the Mail gives some hope of winning the coming referendum.

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Responses to Letter: Refugee Crisis – ‘Have We Gone Mad?’

  1. Sally Parrott Reply

    September 6, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I don’t often see eye-to-eye with, Mr Barnes, but I agree that many parts of the UK are already full, in that schools, medical services, housing and transport are fully stretched; therefore I think refugees should be encouraged to stay in safe UN camps in or near their countries of origin.

    If international resources were urgently channelled into providing good accommodation, food, education and medical services in these camps, refugees would be in a good position to return to their countries of origin when safe – though in the case of Syria this could be many years away.

    The current generous reaction of people to the current influx is commendable, and Britain has usually been welcoming and generous towards immigrants, but if the proportion of incomers is too high and results in strains on infrastructure, tensions could result in the rise of unpleasant right-wing political parties, and antipathy towards recent immigrants.

  2. Nick Platt Reply

    September 7, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    It disappoints me that I have to share a town with people who clearly can’t put other’s human rights before a very slight impact to their very comfortable lives. I assume Mr Barnes and Ms Parrot are both part of the Burpham “not in my back yard” brigade.

    When the photo of the young boy who tragically drowned appeared I’m sure they felt bad for 30 seconds, before realising that having a few extra people in the country might slightly raise their taxes (or whatever it is The Daily Mail is claiming today).

    In fact, the UK has only slightly more population density that Germany, and less than Belgium and Netherlands. We also have a smaller immigrant percentage than several EU countries, including both Germany and France. So is it not fair that we take our quota of immigrants?

    I could not imagine these people having to send their kids out every day wondering if they will make it home, or if they will they will make it home themselves – if they still have a home to go back to. We should also not forget the fact that they cannot work due to the war, so have lost their life savings and cannot even afford to eat.

    Or maybe Ms Parrot is right, we should just put them in big asylum camps as a temporary measure, it’s not as if the Syrian war has gone on for six years.

    • Stuart Barnes Reply

      September 7, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      Perhaps Mr Platt should address his concerns to countries such as Saudi Arabia etc., which apparently refuse to do anything for their fellow Muslims. Try arguing for so called human rights there.

      We do not need to share in the ridiculous idea of quotas as we have done more than enough already and we should be out of the hated EU soon.

      If we take any more it should be Christians only before we are swamped in our own country.

      If Mr Platt does not like people in Guildford to have different views from his own he is free to move to a town where his views are more in tune with those of the majority.

      • Nick Platt Reply

        September 8, 2015 at 7:58 am

        In response to Mr Barnes, I merely said I was disappointed.

    • Lisa Wright Reply

      September 8, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Well done Nick Platt.

      I wanted to say something similar but couldn’t find the right words.

      I have no idea why people are so scared of Syrian refugees. You’d think Guildford had enough money to look after some of them. Mr Barnes worries about the lack of infrastructure but I’m not sure many will be bringing their cars. GBC intends to build thousands of houses in Guildford that current residents don’t actually need so the refugees will have plenty of room.

      I welcome people of all nationalities. Perhaps we could swap immigrants who want to work and do well with the lazy bunch of Brits who refuse to work and prefer to live on endless benefits?

      Unfortunately, Cameron has been too late in welcoming them and now we will lose all the doctors, lawyers and skilled labour to Germany.

      I am also rather amused by Mr Barnes comment that we should take Christians before anyone else.

      Surely a true Christian would welcome anyone regardless of colour, creed or religion?

      • Stuart Barnes Reply

        September 8, 2015 at 12:15 pm

        Regarding Lisa Wright’s strange remarks about Christians, please see the comments of George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, as to why Christians should have priority; quite apart from the terrorist threat.

        • Lisa Wright Reply

          September 8, 2015 at 10:50 pm

          Mr Barnes incorrectly assumes that I care what the Archbishop said or did.

          As an atheist I welcome anyone regardless of their religious beliefs, perhaps naively I assumed the Christian faith had the same compassion, generosity and concern as me.

          • Stuart Barnes

            September 11, 2015 at 8:49 am

            From Ms Wright’s reply I take it that she has no sympathy for the Christians being routinely beheaded, their churches destroyed, the women being taken into slavery, etc. by the thugs of the stone age cult that is the so-called Isis? I would hope and expect that her fellow atheists will feel ashamed of her comments.

      • Sally Parrott Reply

        September 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm

        I would like to assure Lisa Wright that I for one am not scared of Syrian refugees, or Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Iraqis etc either.

        I am sure Surrey can happily absorb some refugee families, as it often has. Infrastructure does need consideration, however, if large numbers arrive. Surrey County Council cannot guarantee school places even for existing students next September. Some health services are already stretched, with insufficient GP numbers and an unacceptable wait for appointments. Even sewage is at capacity, with Cranleigh and parts of Guildford sometimes fountaining raw effluent.

        There is an acute housing shortage, with people even in Guildford in desperate housing need, and homeless. I’m not sure the many houses GBC and Waverley are anxious to build will be offered rent-free to immigrants by developers.

        People’s natural warm reaction to those in desperate immediate need has to be accompanied by calculation of the long-term social and practical implications of sudden large-scale population increase, and infrastructure improvements made where necessary.

        I can’t guess which newspaper has given Ms Wright such a negative view of her compatriots as ‘the lazy bunch of Brits who refuse to work and prefer to live on endless benefits’. Iain Duncan Smith’s punitive benefit sanctions hit the most vulnerable, including traumatised former members of the armed forces who are too unwell to work or even to apply for benefits without help, and others who are in fear of losing their homes and thus their families.

        I think we need to feel compassion for these people, and have a heart for local people in destitution, as well as those from further afield.

        • Lisa Wright Reply

          September 8, 2015 at 10:52 pm

          Yes, of course we can absorb a few.

          For your information, I don’t read papers, I prefer to make up my own mind based on experience.

          But we are glad that you are one of the many readers of Guildford’s online newspaper. Ed

    • Jim Allen Reply

      September 8, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      What does Mr Platt mean about being part of the Burpham “not in my back yard” brigade? Why single out Burpham? Has he not seen notices in Send, Ripley, Ockley, Effingham, Jacobs Well and Fairlands etc. saying they don’t want it?

      Does he not understand why people are saying: “Whoa there! Hang on a minute! Let’s get things right, not blunder into things without consideration for the unforeseen side effects.” How many of these refugees are in fact Isis terrorists or fifth columnists? No one knows.

      Just because Burpham has successfully written its own Neighbourhood Plan, which your parish or ward could have done, or may be doing, there is no need to be insulting.

      Let’s take Aldi Burpham as an example. Local people complained that there would be too much traffic; Aldi claimed they only needed one truck a day to service their store; now they want up to six. Were we wrong to point this out at the planning application stage? That’s moving from 20 tonnes per day to 120 tonnes of food stuffs a day with the resultant increase over and above their claimed customer level and traffic movement. Were we wrong to point this out at the start, or should we have just let it happen?

      Unintended Consequences Identification (UCI) is carried out by people who actually think through the problems using rational “what if?” scenarios. They don’t simply reply on emotions or morals and one single event to cloud their judgements and actions. Burpham has many such people.

  3. Brian Miller Reply

    September 7, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Very few people, especially politicians, mention the size and population of our country. These problems have been known for years including demographic projections.

  4. Sally Parrott Reply

    September 7, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Mr Platt makes sweeping assumptions about my disregard for the human rights of desperate refugees.

    In general, this country has successfully absorbed, and benefitted from, waves of immigrants, and will be able to welcome many Middle Eastern refugees. However, I would ask Mr Platt what he thinks should be done when we in the UK have ‘taken our quota of immigrants’, and increasing numbers of desperate people are still approaching Europe.

    So far this year 300,000 people have come to Europe from Syria, of the four million people who have had to flee that country. According to Patrick Cockburn in the Independent, if Isis advance, several million more will flee Syria.

    Add in millions more refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Eritrea and other countries – I wonder what Mr Platt’s solution will be then? At present, public opinion is naturally very generous towards refugees, but if the influx is unlimited, this could change, and antipathy to immigrants may develop.

    The situation is terrible for refugees, but I do not feel that well-equipped camps would be impossibly harsh. At present Turkey, the Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan are coping with huge numbers.

    Currently the World Food Programme and UN are struggling just to feed the millions of displaced people. I suggest a huge international investment in proper housing, food, health and education in camps where family groups will at least be able to live together, and hopefully gradually find ways of generating income.

    We should not forget that the USA and UK are in part responsible for the terrible situation in Iraq and Libya. Two years ago, David Cameron asked Parliament’s permission to attack the Assad government – this would have led to us being on the same side as the so called Isis or Isil. Thankfully Ed Miliband resisted.

    Drought due to climate change may also have contributed to the collapse of Middle Eastern states, so those of us who marched against the Iraq War, and campaign for peace and renewable energy, are perhaps being proved right.

    It should also be remembered, despite our laudable concern for refugees, that there are already many people in housing need or homeless, and even some who do not have enough to eat, in seemingly affluent Guildford.

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