The UKIP MEP Roger Helmer wrote a very unpleasant piece about the refugee crisis for the Lincolnshire Echo. I wrote a response, but the Echo did not publish it. So here it is on this blog.
"The First Person article by UKIP MEP Roger Helmer, published in last week’s Lincolnshire Echo, gives a staggering insight into the nastiness of his views and the bankrupt policies of the party he represents.
I find it astonishing that an elected member of the European Parliament chooses to mock all those – and he constructs a long list – who feel compassion for the plight of Syrian refugees.
Only a few weeks ago the world was shocked by the photograph of a drowned child, dead because the prospect of staying in a war zone was even worse than the perils of escape. Mr Helmer scorns that humanitarian response, and he should be ashamed of himself.
In contrast to this uncaring approach, Sleaford and North Kesteven Labour Party wrote an open letter to the Leader of North Kesteven District Council, encouraging the authority to welcome its share of refugees, just 35 in all, to the area. We were pleased to receive a positive response, indicating broad support for the principles we put forward.
It is Labour’s firm belief that we are citizens of one world, and that we have an international duty to relive the suffering caused by disasters such as that endured by the people of Syria. That is also the reaction of the vast majority of decent people; not a category within which Mr Helmer may be included."