Friday, 4 December 2015

Will The Pro-Refugee Protesters Practice What They Preach?

Will The Pro-Refugee Protestors Practice What They Preach?

N.B. I personally am not anti-refugee/immigration, but I believe what the government is doing to help is enough. 

Belfast Anti-Fascists, a “ broad collective of left-wing activists dedicated to pro-actively confronting fascism/racism, both physically & political” are organizing a pro-refugee protest named “Refugees Welcome, Bigots Not”. The organizers have made a spurious claim that the media, in particular right-wing has “seized on the opportunity to turn this tragedy of the millions of people being displaced and imply that the innocent people fleeing conflict are terrorists”.

The paradox of how left-wing supporters manage to make claims of what right-wing publications write without reading one is fascinating. I am reader of the Daily-Mail and The Times, which are supposedly right wing newspapers, but I am yet to read an article stating that all refugees are terrorists. However by educating myself by reading newspapers, I am aware that ISIS are a terrorist organization that is based in Syria and Iraq and a lot of the refugees at present are from Syria and Iraq and therefore there is a possibility that some of the refugees are members of ISIS and therefore possibly terrorists.  Isn’t it ironic how left-wingers criticize right-wing publications for manipulating facts and figures to scare the public, however on the other hand the left-wingers subterfuge also by exaggerating what the right-wingers claim?

The possibility of terrorists is only one reason why people do not support refugees. The other problem is economical; the economy can arguably not support the large influx of refugees. Yes, the UK is a first world country but that does not mean the UK does not have problems. People point to austerity, the cuts being made to the NHS, cuts being made to education, the housing crisis, falling of living standards and the unemployment problem. These problems could become worse with more people on benefits, more sick people needing help from the NHS, more people requiring housing and more children needing to go to school.  Yes the UK can help the refugees, however not with grave sacrifice.

Some people are wealthy enough to be in a position to help refugees without it having a significant impact to the quality of their lives. Like  Sir Bob Geldof, who claimed after seeing the picture of the three-year-old Syrian boy’s body washed up on a Turkish beach, that he would happily provide refuge for three families: “‘I’m prepared – I’m lucky, I’ve a place in Kent and a flat in London – me and (partner) Jeanne would be prepared to take three families immediately in our place in Kent and a family in our flat in London, immediately, and put them up until such time as they can get going and get a purchase on their future.” However, has Geldof practiced what he preached? No. It has been three months, and there has not been a single refugee family moved into the Geldof palace, never mind three.

So this is what I pose to the pro-refugee protesters on Saturday - practice what you preach. If you want to welcome refugees - sign up to do so. If you want to make sacrifices for more refugees, then you are welcome to do so.  So you can’t go out this Saturday for your friend’s Birthday - that £50 needs to be saved for the Refugees. You can’t get the new IPAD from for Christmas - tell Santa Claus you are spending that money on refugees. You can’t buy new make-up - the Refugees won’t care if the person helping them looks like Shriek. And no you can’t go to Ibiza this summer - the Refugees don’t like Techno.

Do I think most of the protesters on Saturday will actually make any personal sacrifices in order to accommodate Refugees? No. Do I think they are going to create a huge mess costing the council lots of money, go for a drink after and approbate each other on how morally superior they are to right-winged folks for taking part. Yes.

Adam Henry Magee

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