I’m struggling to blog at the moment – not because I am drowning in work but because I’m not. I am actually not working silly hours and I am taking time away from the computers and tablets and email… There are several blog posts I want to write and one of them is a response to our MPs making decisions about immigration, human rights and the situations refugees are finding themselves in which I simply can’t comprehend. But I want to spend time thinking it through, evidencing it and researching the details. Right now I am caught up in other things… However, it is clear that the vote to block the UK taking in child refugees who have lost or been separated from their parents has provoked a reaction in many who find it as incomprehensible as I do. I will get writing on this at some point but here’s a copy of an email my friend Joe has sent to our very own MP Kris Hopkins. As I have said on more than one occasion, Mr Hopkins does not represent me or my views on anything. I don’t understand him, I don’t understand how he can hold the views he holds, I don’t understand… that however is not the basis for a sensible debate so I will work on articulating that more fully and clearly. Over to Joe (shared with permission obviously)
I never like to start any form of correspondence with a negative tone. However, in this instance, I cannot bring myself to allow for the normal pleasantries; that is to say, I am disgusted and let down by your vote against the acceptance of 3,000 child refugees. As a former paying member of the Conservative Party, and someone with an interest in politics (albeit currently disillusioned given current events), I felt compelled to voice my anger over your stance.
You are an MP for Keighley and Ilkley. You were born, raised, and live in Keighley. Okay, I’m not writing your biography here. My point is, you represent a fantastic constituency, one that is built on the strength of community, a community that prides itself on being multicultural and inclusive. This community has a heritage built on the successes of immigration; Irish, Italian, Chinese, African, Asian, European, amongst many other nationalities. We are a community that is proud of the different cultures that are the lifeblood of the constituency you represent.
With that said, I am not ignorant to the problems our community faces, whether that be problems with crime, racial tensions, inequality, I could go on. However, what I find abhorrent about your stance on the Immigration Bill and the rejection of help for 3,000 parentless child refugees is it goes against the very fundamental of the spirit of the constituency you represent. Further to that, I feel this stance only further compounds the issues we do face as a community and gives power to a hateful few that want to incite their racial and xenophobic views, that further divide us.
The children that you have turned away, are like any other child on the planet, including those from our community: young, innocent, and have dreams of a better life. They are from a war torn country, and I’m sure if your home was under attack and your life as well as the lives of those you love were under threat, you too would run and try to escape for a better life. Our community and our country allow refugees like these the chance for a better life, and as a country we should stand together united and be proud of the opportunities we offer! Child refugees in this country have gone on to become some of the hardest working citizens we have, who contribute heavily to society; successful business leaders, medical professionals who work tirelessly to save lives, scientists who work on ground breaking and important research, and let us not forget political leaders – Labour’s very own Lord Dubs who himself arrived in Britain as a child refugee when he fled the Holocaust in the 1930’s.
So, why are you choosing to abandon 3,000 helpless children, when over 10,000 are already missing, likely to have been sold to traffickers? Why have you failed to show a very basic level of compassion and generosity, one that reflects the very constituency you represent? Why do you contribute to an extreme polarisation of society, creating a culture where people are scared of immigrants, rather than welcoming those who want a better life? I challenge your stance on all the above, and if in fact you are the right man to represent our constituency when your views are evidently so far removed from the majority of the very people you represent.
I look forward to hearing your response.