Monday, 10 August 2015
LETTER TO THE TIMES
This was printed in The Times today:
Certain organs of the media have assaulted our eyes and ears with lies about migrants sneaking into the UK, demanding and obtaining accommodation and elbowing citizens out of jobs. I used to be an interpreter and have worked at the Home Office and at detention centres. I know that asylum seekers – and those fleeing from Syria and other hell-holes are asylum seekers, not economic migrants – suffer while they travel here and continue to suffer after they arrive.
They risk their lives and may even lose their lives to escape anarchy, violence and torture in their own countries. It is amazing that any of them survive voyages in unseaworthy boats across the Mediterranean.
Italy and Greece cannot accept all of them and it is monstrous that the UK, represented by David Cameron, conspires with his peers to keep them out. Cameron has had the best education money can buy. I would expect Eton to teach boys a sense of responsibility; in his case, it has failed. This is a rich country. We share some of the guilt for making this such an unequal world. What we ought to share with other rich countries is ways of accepting asylum seekers, helping them recover from their sufferings, educating those under 18 and supporting the efforts of adults to find work. Instead, we treat them like vermin.