Refugee plight affects us all
The plight of migrants prepared to risk death for themselves and their children, to reach what they believe will be refuge in Europe, must affect us all.
We watch from the comfort of our armchairs while refugees fleeing from persecution, killing and torture in Syria, Eritrea and elsewhere, are at the receiving end of treatment which varies from welcome, sympathy and attempts to help, to hostility and inhumanity.
According to Amnesty International, under international agreements, migrants actually do have some rights, though as we look at this situation, very few governments seem to know that.
They include the right to an immediate assessment of specific needs, the right to a fair and effective asylum procedure and to be treated with respect as human beings.
David Cameron and Theresa May’s solution seems to involve more secure razor wire fences plus guard dogs at Calais, and a belief that we can sort out the murderous government and the equally murderous “Islamic State” in Syria so quickly that we don’t need to offer even temporary asylum to these desperate people.
No mention is made of those who have braved the Sahara and the Mediterranean to get away from famine and persecution in Eritrea and elsewhere.
We used to have a vetting procedure at Calais in collaboration with French authorities which would be one step in the right direction, perhaps at least caring immediately for the most obviously desperate cases – families with young children, pregnant women, the old and ill.
Most importantly, as a matter of urgency, our politicians must be prepared to consult with their European counterparts to work out the sharing of responsibility for large numbers of refugees, most of whom will want to go home as soon as it is safe. Over four million have fled Syria alone, with another five million still in Syria, who have had to flee for their lives.
Most of the four million are now in neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, and Sweden and particularly Germany have been welcoming, whereas our intake has been minuscule.
In contrast, private citizens here, as well as some councils, are signing up to welcome them into our communities.
Contact your local councillor if you would like to get involved.
Protesters are not extremists
I read with alarm that Yorkshire police have held a meeting of 100 local teachers and said that pupils, who didn’t believe in or supported fracking, could be viewed as potential extremists under the government’s new counter-terrorism strategy.
I wasn’t anti-fracking when there was an exploratory drill in our Sussex village of Balcombe, I just wanted to know more about it and look at the regulations in place to safeguard our health, air and water supply.
After just a few months of watching our community invaded, traffic and noise planning laws continually breached, the dehumanising and ridicule of any protesters, and only self-regulation by the oil and gas industry – and after years of attending planning, environmental, scientific, and industry meetings, reading worldwide papers, watching the millions of PR pounds spent, the government spin and the chipping away of our rights, this 55-year-old professional mother of two is now apparently an extremist.
Does that label also apply to the brave Lancashire County Councillors, who rejected Cuadrilla’s fracking plans?
Sorry, but am I living in Great Britain or the old Soviet Union?
Gran donated trophy to club
I read your article regarding the Ashton Park bowling green being closed (LEP September 16 ) and have enclosed photographs of the Ladies Bowling Club taken in the 1950s. My grandmother was Elizabeth (Lizzie) Nightingale, who donated a cup that they played for every year. She was president several times and is the lady holding the flowers in the photo above.
Mrs Ashcroft, Preston
Helpers kindly looked after me
Around 1pm on September 3, I had the misfortune to fall badly after crossing over from St John’s Centre. I was very kindly assisted by three young ladies and a
gentleman who insisted on calling for an ambulance and stayed with me while it arrived.
I was so shaken I did not think to ask their names and addresses to enable me to thank them personally, so I hope this letter will let them know how grateful I was. I am beginning to recover from two jaw fractures and bruises.
If they had not helped me, I do not know how I would be now, so I want to express my gratitude, in the hope they will read this. They were wonderful. Many thanks.
M Willam, Fulwood, Preston
Prompt service was amazing
I recently had to report a failure in my power supply to the emergency number. I was helped by a friendly lady who appreciated my problem. Within a short period of time, I was contacted to say that a technician would be with me as soon as possible.
Almost immediately, a very helpful gentleman presented himself at my door. He sorted out the problem in no time at all.
Everything was sorted in less than an hour. Well done, Electricity North West. The service was absolutely amazing. Thank you.
Erika Baron via email
Put a bell around your cat’s neck
I was distressed when I read my letter in this morning’s LEP to find a significant misprint, in that “bell” was changed to “tell”. This makes the letter nonsense. My point is that a bell around a cat’s neck would alert any birds to the proximity of a stalking cat.
Julie Dixon, Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley