Check out today’s YEP letters.
Unite to help refugees and asylum seekers Michael McGowan, Trustee, Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds
Your correspondent Terry Maunder (YEP Letters, September 3) rightly deplores those who demonise migrants who “risk death in order to escape from oppression, violence, rape, and poverty” and the government is failing to read the concerns that British people feel towards the thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean and the need for positive action for refugees and asylum seekers in response to the biggest refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War.
In the UK recent governments, both Conservative and Labour, have behaved badly towards refugees and asylum seekers and now this most serious refugee crisis seen in Europe since 1945 demands that the UK supports a common EU policy and a fair and proportionate sharing of refugees by each country.
Governments have long pandered to negative and little England prejudices ignoring the humane and compassionate concerns of the many in the UK who do care about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers.
A local example of such concern has been demonstrated in Leeds where PAFRAS (Positive Action and for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) launched by the pioneering Christine Majid has run drop centres in the city for more than 10 years providing advice, hot meals, food parcels, and toiletries and campaigned for a better deal for refugees and asylum seekers.
The UK should no longer depend on Germany, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Malta and poor countries in east Europe to try and cope with this massive humanitarian crisis and it is now time for the government, all parties, all faiths, and the whole community to unite in solidarity and contribute to a positive, fair, and coordinated EU programme of action as a matter of the utmost urgency.
Country is ‘appalling’
T Maunder, Kirkstall
I have been ashamed today by both English people and politicians talking about “those migrants” (their terminology) as if they were scum.
Cameron – who likes to use the death of his son as a political tool when it suits him – acting as if this country and its warmongering have played no part in this crisis and crying crocodile tears over that boy.
Likewise Osborne saying it’s the gangs to blame when the whole inflammatory situation can be traced right back to the Iraq war/illegal invasion, from whence IS has sprung.
I have seen racism right there on my TV screen as “ordinary” people are interviewed on the street or in TV studios stating the mantra “charity begins at home” and that helping overseas countries has a negative effect on vulnerable people here.
The only things that negatively affect vulnerable people here are the policies and attitudes of hypocrites like Iain Duncan Smith. Appalling the way this country has become in some quarters.
Time to take action
Steven French, Leeds 8
The picture of the drowned Syrian toddler has surely touched the hearts of everyone in this country. It exemplifies the fast evolving refugee tragedy that demands coordinated national action.
Yet David Cameron and the government as a whole remain unmoved. Their heartless stance leaves me ashamed to be British.
I would ask all readers of this paper to call on their local politicians to put pressure on the British Government to act now and accept more Syrian refugees into this country, so that we will see no more tragic pictures of children drowned because of politician’s immoral inaction.
Flawed EU laws on migrants
Ernest Lundy, by email
It should have been obvious from the start that the EU Laws relating to migrants and asylum seekers applying to stay in their first country of access after leaving their own was flawed.
We are now seeing the results of this in Italy, Greece, Hungary and elsewhere as they seek to travel on and find acceptance in other countries of Europe, including our own.
The problem becomes more serious by the day. However, why should this be just a problem for Europe to solve, when the same thing seem to be happening world wide?
If a concerted effort was made to ‘nip in the bud’ the money being made by those unscrupulous people offering transport, mainly from Africa, there could be a possibility of the flow ending.
With a special effort being made to stop any but those fleeing from such as Syria and other countries torn by war and unrest.
The idea of open borders is good in principal, but totally senseless in practice. We have to feel sorry for those in genuine fear for their lives!
Those and only those should be even considered for acceptance.
On the other hand it seems that the majority of those seeking a better life for social and economic reasons, have enough money to fill the pockets of the criminals who help them.
Being mainly young men, they would be better staying at home and helping to solve their own problems, rather than deserting what could be called their sinking ships.
Memories of times past
Anne Naylor, Leeds
I READ with interest the letter in the YEP (August 29) regarding Leeds Theatre Royal.
My mother took me to see the pantomime each year. My treat each Tuesday was going to see the Court Players.
I worked at Heatona House, North Street, and my friend and I called to the Craven Dairies for tea and cakes, brought on a lovely cake stand, before going to see the Court Players.
Happy days, happy memories. Thank you Lena Ackroyd for the memories of times past.
Robert Holman, Leeds 6
I AM wondering how long it will be before the ‘weasel’ (ermine) will be added to the endangered species list with this ever-increasing demand for their fur for the extra Lordships’ gown collars.