THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis
So, the news has been constant this week about the migrant/refugee crisis and I have many conflicting thoughts about the subject.
The importance of saving lives overrides these fears in my mind at this time of crisis
Nobody (possibly with the exception of Katie Hopkins) can have felt anything but utter horror and sadness after seeing the picture of Aylan Kurdi, the three year old Syrian boy lying face down in the surf, having been washed up on the shore in Turkey. People took to Twitter to vent their frustration that the governments in a number of countries are not doing enough to help the refugees, so desperate to get out of their country that they risk the lives of their precious children.
I was thinking about how awful his death was and hoping that some good would come out of it...David Cameron announcing that the UK would take more refugees than originally promised is a good start…but it does raise more issues that need addressing.
For example, we live in a country where houses are standing empty either because people cannot afford to buy or rent them...we have a benefit system that is having to be reviewed because it clearly isn’t working and our society is full of a lot of young people who aren’t working either, through lack of jobs.
Also, the British struggle with their identity. Years ago, England was a Christian country, with many families going to church on a Sunday and extended families living close to each other...men were, rightly or wrongly, head of the home...people queued patiently...shaking hands was common...showing respect...there was even a healthy fear of policeman.
I believe that this identity crisis is the basis of a lot of English people’s issue with refugees and migrants coming to live here. Not because they are racist, but because Englishness, which has been eroded over the years through government policies, political correctness, European laws and the pervading fear of offending anybody, has been watered down to such an extent that if you ask somebody what it means to be English, they would be hard pressed to think of anything. I am not saying that the old way of life was perfect...far from it…but we seem to have thrown out so many things that gave us stability.
This refugee crisis has come on the back of ongoing immigration issues, which is why it is causing concern as well as a desire to help...I feel that Syrian refugees should be offered a chance to come and make a life here...but it needs to be on our terms, though I am at a loss as to what those terms are.
Personally, as a Christian, I have mixed feelings...would I offer a room in my house to a Syrian family? Yes, I believe I would, as I feel it is my duty as a human being to help those less fortunate. Am I worried about the number of Muslims that are being welcomed as refugees? Yes, because of the extreme views some of them hold and how that will impact on a society already having an identity crisis.
The importance of saving lives overrides these fears in my mind at this time of crisis.