We can’t resettle everybody here

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I couldn’t help but laugh at the comments that Tom Machell made, stating that refugees are welcome in our country.

Well, I am so glad that we have got his permission. He states that refugees do not want to claim benefits and want to work. Probably true. But why have these people from war-torn countries passed through many safe, democratic countries such as Italy? Passed through the border to France and are now determined to live in Britain.

Yes, the Mayor of Calais states that our benefits are too easy to acquire and she is probably right. Having said that, I think the shambles across the Channel has been caused by the border-less European mainland, and is little to do with our benefits. It is not our fault that we have got a great benefits system and fabulous health service. We have our natural border, it is our coastline. I am however concerned that the likes of Tom Machell would sacrifice our national safety by letting in all these people, just so we can feel liberal and proud to call ourselves a friendly country. It has been reported that many of the migrants in Calais have threatened truck drivers and police with knives, clubs and guns if they are refused what they want. Now I know they are desperate people, so what if they reach our shores and are refused money or a house? Will they use similar tactics to get what they want?

I am writing in this way as Tom states he is not native to our city. Well, I am, and I can remember the Kosovo conflict that happened in 1999. I was at Hinde House Secondary School, where some of the refugees were taught alongside us. Most were okay. However one afternoon a senior pupil was stabbed while walking home along the gennels from school. Luckily it was only a flesh wound. We were all shocked, as the victim was the type who wouldn’t say boo to a goose. The next day we voiced our concerns with the teachers only to be told to stop being ridiculous and racist, and realise that they come from war -torn countries and the only thing they know is to carry a weapon for safety. These refugees were put before us.

I do think we should be cautious before letting in who ever. Let us not forget that many are from Syria. We don’t know their true identities, and considering that IS are operating in Syria, we should take care to protect our country and also look after ourselves before we start looking after everybody else. I totally agree with Tom that we are a welcoming country and city, but we can’t resettle everybody.

Matthew Hobson

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