Fringe Box



Letter: We Must Help Afghan Refugees, Here in Guildford Too

Published on: 18 Aug, 2021
Updated on: 18 Aug, 2021

From: James Walsh

Labour borough councillor for Stoke

In response to: Three Surrey Boroughs Pledge to Help Afghan Refugee Families

As a Guildford borough councillor, I will be calling on the council leadership to do all it can do to help support Afghan refugees.

Politicians in Washington and London have completely failed the Afghan people, not least those whose lives are now at risk after working with the British Army and rebuilding their own country.

I am seriously concerned about what the future holds for women and girls in Afghanistan and President Biden’s decision will be one the world will rue in years to come.

As for our woeful leadership in the UK, when Kabul fell the Foreign Secretary was sunning himself on a beach and the PM was mugging for cameras.

We have to be better than this, even if it’s on the local level.

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Responses to Letter: We Must Help Afghan Refugees, Here in Guildford Too

  1. Stuart Barnes Reply

    August 18, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    You appear to be blaming our government for the Afghan disaster. I suggest that the blame should be put squarely on to the pathetically inept and utterly useless President Biden, who, we are informed, did not even consult our government on the withdrawal.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    August 18, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    In these troubled times, refugees from the Middle East, Africa, Hong Kong and now from Afghanistan need our help in any way we can – personally as well as a nation. Yes, it is an enormous task but as Nelson Mandela had said ” It always seems impossible until it is done.”

    I would like to quote a Baha’i prayer that embodies the ageless divine guidance as to how we should try to live our lives in the present time.

    “Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbour, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.” (

  3. Roy Fiander Reply

    August 18, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    I believe and so will many people, that our fellow citizens should be looked after better by our government.

    The borough councillors, on all sides, need to remember that all our forefathers fought in two world wars and other campaigns so we could make sure we were together and looked after by our governments. You have all let the public in this country down.

    Maybe you and all your colleagues need to know and feel what poverty is, to have no homes through no fault of your own. No, you are all so short-sighted and are only happy while we the public pay taxes.

  4. Brian Creese Reply

    August 18, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    So pleased to read that James Walsh is leading the call for Guildford to be in the forefront of supporting Afghan refugees in any way possible. It has been a shambolic week which has left many Afghans who have worked to support the British forces for many years abandoned to face a very precarious future. We are only one small borough and there are tens of thousands of victims to whom we owe a debt of support, but we must do everything we can to help in this dire situation.

    Brian Creese is the chair of Guildford Labour

  5. Jane Spiro Reply

    August 18, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Yes. I am really hoping GBC steps up to offer homes to Afghan refugees. We have two spare rooms available and I’m sure others would like to help.

    Woking and Elmbridge are helping… why not Guildford too?

    We have some wonderful Afghan refugees in Guildford already. They are trainee doctors, hospital professionals and business people. All their children without exception are high achievers.

    They will be an asset to our community. They just need a helping hand to get on the first rung of the ladder and there will be no stopping them.

    Please let’s step up to this.

    Editor’s comment: GBC has announced it is intending to help too.

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