Refugees. Is it them versus us?

Jon Danzig |

Our poor and disadvantaged and those struggling to make ends meet – many in Britain think they should be helped rather than refugees.

Refugees fleeing terror, war, and torture? We’re full. People here need looking after first. Charity begins at home. We don’t want them. We can’t afford them.

Those are typical comments by some British people on what the country’s response should be to the world’s worst refugee crisis since the Second Word War.

And not just in Britain. In other European countries too, there is a huge backlash against the numbers of refugees entering our continent.

Hence, the win by a far-right, anti-immigration, anti-refugee populist party in the Netherlands this month.

In the UK, 13-years of Tory rule show that they care as little for our desperate and needy as the world’s desperate and needy.

But look at it this way:

A government that’s callous enough to turn its back on hundreds of thousands of ravaged, terrorised people fleeing for their lives to seek refuge in Europe is the same heartless government that turns its back on the growing numbers of Britons who must use food banks.

The same government that doesn’t care less about Britons hit by the cost-of-living crisis.

The same government that demands of our sick and disabled: go back to work, and if you don’t, we will impoverish you even more by removing state help.

The same government that shrieks to asylum seekers with a genuine claim to asylum here: we don’t want you, stay away, or we’ll send you to a far-off country with an abysmal human rights record.

If this was a compassionate, caring government, concerned and considerate towards our poor and struggling, it would show the same face to those refugees perilously seeking our help.

Many Britons mistakenly believe that letting in refugees represents a threat to them, their livelihood, their prospects, their chances.

But the threat isn’t the refugees.

The threat is a government that doesn’t care about our struggling and desperate as much as it doesn’t care for those struggling and desperate on our horizon, just beyond our borders, gasping and dying for rescue.

This shouldn’t be a competition between needy people.

A wise and inclusive government that is naturally humanitarian will be doing all it can to help all it can – our poor, our citizens, as well as a fair number of genuine refugees.

And a government that doesn’t do that, risks dividing its people, and enabling fanatical, far-right despotic rule, with extreme policies that will hurt a nation and the world.