Meaningful action needed on refugees

I have become increasingly angered by the self-satisfied, sanctimonious, opportunistic and downright wrong comments being made by those who should know better about the current appalling “migrant crisis” facing every one of us.

The easy option for journalists and attention-seeking politicians is to play a simple tune to simple minds.

So tempting and weak willed to blame the hated Westminster government for the death of children and displaced persons now being herded across Europe. So straightforward to claim “something must be done”.

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“Something” is not enough. Many things must be done, and they need to be done through co-ordination of effort, not through condemnation for condemnation’s sake.

This crisis may well have started through European actions, but it now affects the whole international arena.

There must be agreement across continents. Petty differences must be put aside. We have to address the issue of where the migrants have come from, and work to remove tensions in these countries to allow the refugees to return at some point.

We must hold properly co-ordinated talks, by global region, to decide how many refugees can be given sanctuary in each crisis-free nation, for example on a population density basis.

The UK density figure is 661 per square mile. Germany is 583, France 301, Italy 522, Australia 7.3, USA 90 and Hungary 279. Centres must be set up to co-ordinate refugee numbers, allocate accommodation and set up supply bases for basic needs.

All this will take time and personnel, but it can and must be done. Instead of whining about “shameful” attitudes, or “getting really angry”, politicians must act now.

Hamish Alldridge



The utterly tragic death of an innocent wee boy washed up on a beach has brought tears and instant awareness to a world that has been 
paralysed by political indecision in dealing with the present refugee crisis.

Maybe the European Union in conjunction with the United Nations will now form a plan of action where member states tackle this humanitarian disaster fairly.

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It has even galvanised our Prime Minister into saying this is now a “moral question” and we should do more. We will see. The UK purports to be a Christian country yet our Christianity seems to be like a familiar jacket that is worn or discarded at will when right wing capitalism is concerned.

With desperate refugees dying within and on the borders of the EU, the UK, one of the largest and richest members, takes in fewer than many other EU states.

Germany, France, Italy and Greece have taken in tens of thousands of refugees, yet the UK is spending millions of pounds in Calais keeping out a couple of thousand. The tired, hungry and lost need our help now. Where is the Christian mantra: do unto others as you would have them do unto us?

Grant Frazer



Let the 1,000 refugees from Syria that Scotland has apparently offered to take be some of the hapless non-Muslims who have been caught up in this internecine Muslim conflict. IS is apparently funded from the oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Gulf states that have done nothing to alleviate the suffering they have instigated as they pursue their political objectives.

Elizabeth Marshall

Western Harbour Midway


Your editorial (4 September) about the present European refugee crisis ignores the fact that the basic problem is that the population in large parts of the world is now too large for the local economies to sustain.

Of course the present situation is being exacerbated by the conflict in Syria, but Syria is only part of the problem.

It extends over large parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia and until all of us, nations and individuals alike, take a more responsible approach to the population race the more hysterical among us will have to accept that refugee casualties are just part of the price of our careless approach to over-population on our planet.

Irvine Inglis



Our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is proposing that Scotland should have its share of the refugees.

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I would hope that our politicians who vote for it will ensure that their own constituency will house a percentage of the numbers who arrive, otherwise it will be the poorer area of Scotland that will bear the brunt of it all.

John Connor

David Henderson Court

Dunfermline, Fife