Letters September 15: Ending Syria conflict is the answer, not mass immigration

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From: Paul Rouse, Main Street, Sutton on Derwent, York.

I WONDER how much longer we can expect to see TV news reports filled with images of people trudging up railway lines and climbing fences, but refusing to be legally processed at any stage of their journey. The reports are always accompanied by a commentary telling us how desperate these people are, and how the British public are demanding that they be given help. Just occasionally one of the reporters goes off message and points to a group of young men from Pakistan, or some other country that is perfectly safe to live in. Many of the young men from Syria are, it seems, escaping from the mandatory “draft” in that country. They were not caught up in the war, they just don’t want to be.

Judging from the way that most of the immigrants are dressed, the amount we are told they have to pay the people traffickers, and the number of mobile phones in evidence, many have the means to travel to their preferred destination by air. But, of course, that would mean going through customs. An innocent young child drowned, not because of the war in Syria, but because the father thought he could do better in Europe than in Turkey, where his family were already living and safe. So, he put them on a leaky boat and lost them at sea, but somehow managing to save himself. We were all moved by the tragic deaths, but some of us were also furious at the father for taking such a stupid risk.

Angela Merkel wants to take 850,000 “refugees” into Germany. Perhaps she remembers that the last mass migration crisis in Europe was caused by Germany, and wants to make amends. In fairness, she is obviously prepared to risk falling foul of the elephant in the room, which has only been mentioned so far by the Hungarian Prime Minister when he said that he did not want thousands of Muslim refugees in his country. Perhaps that is why our Prime Minister has opted to select his 20,000 refugees from the Syrian refugee camps where they can be vetted, and from the children, who one hopes are less likely to have been radicalised.

I have yet to speak to anyone who wants the UK to accept a new tide of immigrants. Only a few weeks ago we were being told that our net migration figure for 2014 was 318,000. That is the number of people who moved to the UK, minus the number of people who left. It means that in 2014 we increased the number of people in the UK by the equivalent of the population of Coventry. The answer, of course, is to somehow stop the conflict in Syria.