Talk­ing Pol­i­tics

John Knight

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS -

Green Party GREEN Party deputy lead­ers Dr Shahrar Ali and Amelia Wo­mack re­cently trav­elled to Calais to meet refugees in the ‘Jun­gle’ mi­grant camp.

They have both spo­ken out against the ramp­ing up of anti-im­mi­grant rhetoric from the UK gov­ern­ment in re­sponse to the hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis, which has seen hun­dreds of mi­grants risk their lives at­tempt­ing to reach Bri­tain.

The visit saw them of­fer their sup­port for the refugees and lis­ten to their per­sonal sto­ries.

“It’s im­por­tant to me to be able to hear the refugees’ side of the story first hand,” said Dr Ali.

“Too of­ten they are vil­i­fied, seem­ingly to make it eas­ier for the public to ac­cept ever more bru­tal clam­p­downs on a small but vul­ner­a­ble group of peo­ple.

“It is vi­tal for politi­cians to rem­edy the in­hu­man­ity of this sit­u­a­tion in pur­suit of just and fair so­lu­tions.

“In­stead of build­ing stronger fences, our gov­ern­ment must in­vest in en­sur­ing that peo­ple seek­ing asy­lum are treated hu­manely and not left in limbo.”

Ms Wo­mack added: “The lan­guage used by our gov­ern­ment to de­monise refugees af­fects not just those in Calais but the gen­er­a­tions of refugees who have moved to the UK, set­tled here and con­trib­uted to our so­ci­ety.

“This is a hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis and should be treated as such. The UK gov­ern­ment needs to help to ad­dress the long-term prob­lems that force peo­ple to flee their home coun­tries by in­vest­ing more in in­ter­na­tional aid and peace­keep­ing, and by com­mit­ting to tak­ing our fair share of the mi­grants who risk their lives cross­ing the Mediter­ranean Sea.”

As long as there are wars and vi­o­lent regimes, coun­tries deemed safer will be faced with a choice about whether to help or im­prison those seek­ing asy­lum.

Now is the time to be ac­tive on the world stage. We can­not hide be­hind fences much longer.

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