Anonymous replies

I welcome Cameron's reply to my letter criticising him for his view that a few hundred refugees could pose an existential threat to Sheffield, (Letters, August 26). Not for its content, with which I strongly disagree, but for its tone, which marks a welcome reduction in the temperature of the debate.

Wednesday, 31st August 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Thursday, 1st September 2016, 2:21 pm
migrants and refugees

Despite his determination to stand by everything he’s said, I would ask him to think again.

For too long our society has been run for the benefit of those who possess the most financial and social capital. This has led to those who possess very little of either being treated badly.

However, problems can only be solved when causes are identified correctly. Regardless of the referendum result, poverty and inequality will blight our society until an alternative economic model is put in place. What we have now and will continue to have under the Tories is a broken model minus (in theory) free movement of labour.

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Refugees and asylum seekers constitute so small a proportion of the non-British population that they cannot be a factor in any serious analysis of the country’s problems. Radical economic changes are required if people are to improve their lives. Those most likely to resist such changes are to be found in the boardrooms and corridors of power and privilege, not queueing for breakfast at the Archer Project.

Two people wrote about me in Saturday’s paper without giving their names ,(Letters, August 27).

The ‘How pathetic is that?’ letter contains much that I agree with (except the ending, which is based on a misreading of my letter). I joined the Labour Party last year in order to play some part, however small, in helping to create a better country, especially for those who feel ground down and alienated by hardship and the neglect of their communities.

Of course it’s possible that someone given refuge in Sheffield might turn out to be dangerous, but the odds against that happening are surely massive. It’s much more likely that a person who owes their life to Britain’s generosity will turn out to be an exemplary citizen.

The ‘Belt up Kevin’ letter contains mistakes. Cameron did say ‘thousands’ of Syrian refugees would be arriving. It might seem as if SCC is prioritising these people but as I explained in my previous letter, the money required for their resettlement and integration is not coming from the local budget. I don’t know how many of them will be fit young men but as the scheme is called the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme it’s likely that most will fall into other categories. Besides, even fit young men have a right not to be murdered by their government.

It’s good of the author to recommend me for the job of providing for them out of my own pocket, but that’s best left to the State, to which I’ve contributed a lifetime of taxes. And there’s more chance I’ll follow Cameron’s advice and go to Specsavers than ‘belt up’ to suit an opponent, especially one who prefers to remain anonymous.

Kevin Hanson

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