Distant echo’s of the past are playing out like a reoccurring nightmare as just over 100 years ago the first of many Belgian refugees fleeing the German invasion began to arrive in Britain. It was to become the largest refugee flow from one country to the UK with over 250,000 Belgian refugees, many of them children, arriving on our shores. Our european cousins would do well to remember this act of kindness by the British nation. the French in particular would do well to look back in history at the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon as a seed of the current troubles.
The Syrian people are in a similar situation to the Belgian refugees but the Belgians appeared to stop at the first safe haven. The Syrians are being past through country after country this should stop.
There is no obligation under the refugee convention or any other instrument of international law that requires refugees to seek asylum in any particular country. There has, however, been a longstanding “first country of asylum” principle in international law by which countries are expected to take refugees fleeing from persecution in a neighbouring state. This principle has developed so that, in practice, an asylum seeker who had the opportunity to claim asylum in another country is liable to be returned there in order for his or her claim to be determined. After the first world war, both British and Belgian governments appealed for the refugees to return home, the British government even set up a repatriation committee to expedite their return.
I doubt that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will appeal for their return.
There is plenty of middle eastern money that could help support these people. Saudi Arabia: $1.668 trillion, Iran: $1.354 trillion, UAE: $624.2 billion, Iraq: $534.3 billion so why is it that they are not asked to help and it is down to Britain yet again to support them? it’s everyone else’s problem except their neighbours.
The Calais migrant crisis is not exactly a refugee crisis as migrants are by definition a person or persons who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions. Refugees on the other hand are persons who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster and not someone who wants to come to Britain to watch Chelsea FC or Manchester United at home as one of the Calais Migrants stated on the BBC news during one interview.
With the all the government cuts to our infrastructure and services Britain no longer has the means to support our own people never mind economic migrants.
Worryingly the analogy of the drowning man comes to mind. It is said, that it is very dangerous when trying to swim out and save a drowning man. The natural reaction of the one going down, for possibly the last time, is to keep their head above water. In an effort to survive, he can grab hold of the rescuer, and in trying to get another breath of air, drown the person who is trying to help him. Too often, the person, who is trying to save the person, is drowned by the flailing, panicking drowner.
Lets hope this does not happen to Britain.