UKIP welcomes refugees in need

The fact of even a single British person turning their backs on genuine refugees fleeing for their lives, as in the Syrian case, is shocking and to be lamented. That's what UKIP believes. In common with many mature democracies, we just oppose mass waves of unregulated immigration for Britain

Farage: We should be compassionate to Syrian refugees
Donna Rachel Edmunds
On 30 December 2013 16:52

Like the villagers who grew suspicious of the boy who cried ‘wolf’, some people in Britain have grown  equally suspicious when it comes to welcoming foreigners to our shores.

To my mind, the loss of compassion for those in need that is currently on display around the internet and in certain sections of the media following UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s warm-hearted and responsible remarks on Syrian refugees is the most insidious outcome of Britain’s mass immigration policy.

Far from fostering a global outlook, as proponents of multiculturalism assured us it would, unregulated immigration has led to ghettos springing up in parts of our cities, to mistrust between communities, and now to a cold hearted attitude to genuine refugees. It is a case study in the law of unintended consequences.

Yes, the other problems brought about by mass immigration are serious. Youth unemployment at over 20 percent; a shortage of school places; unaffordable housing – UKIP has been talking about all of these over the last few years with good reason.

They are serious problems and they do need to be addressed. But the solutions are relatively straightforward – our open border policy can be brought to an end. More houses and schools can be built. Young people can be encouraged into work.

What is much harder to change is the culture of a country. Once we lose our hallmark fair-mindedness and compassion, it will be hard-going to win those back.

There is little doubt in UKIP circles that the media is playing up some dissatisfaction within the party following Farage’s comments. But I’ve not yet spoken to any member who disagrees with the idea that Britain should offer a safe haven to a limited number of Syrian refugees.

There may well be a vocal minority within the party who do disagree with our leader on this subject; they have simply misunderstood the party and what we stand for.

Yet the fact of even a single British person turning their backs on genuine refugees fleeing for their lives is shocking and to be lamented.

Those people have lost sight of what our country once was. Over the decades we have had a long history of welcoming refugee migrants: the Huguenots, fleeing France due to religious persecution; Russian Jews, migrating in the 1880s following persecution in the Russian Empire; the Jewish children of the Kinder Transport in the 1930s; Ugandan Asians, expelled by Idi Amin in 1972.

All found their way to Britain and were accepted and assimilated into British society. Fish and chips was originally a Jewish dish. Curry has similarly found a place in our hearts. Our language has picked up words such as glitch and schmooze from Yiddish; bangle and shampoo from Hindi.

But the numbers of refugee migrants has always been relatively small: around 40-50,000 Huguenots; about 27,200 Ugandan Asians. Migration in the tens of thousands doesn’t create the sorts of problems that migration in the hundreds of thousands does, which in turn means that when smaller groups of people are in need, we have the resources and the goodwill available to help them out.

Only by restricting migration to those in true need, and the brightest and best from across the whole world, can we hope to foster the sort of attitude that allows people to be generous when populations cry out for help.

That is why adopting UKIP’s stance on immigration is so important to the success of Britain as a tolerant, outward looking nation.

Donna Edmunds, ediitor of is a UKIP councillor. Follow her on @DonnaInSussex

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