Must think before we act

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Brits continue to demonstrate their amazing generosity towards the poor and unfortunates of this world, with a foreign aid level second highest in the world at 0.7 per cent of GDP, almost twice that of Germany.

Brits are usually first on the scene to help at tragedies and we have given home to five million during the past decade, but all this is too little for those grabbing the headlines lately and urging our Government to do more.

When a randomly chosen lady was asked “should we do more to help the refugee crisis,” by a TV reporter, obviously appealing for sympathy for the tragic drowning of a Syrian family, the interviewee replied emphatically with words to the effect that we had poverty enough here and charity begins at home.

A callous and thoughtless response it may seem on the face of it, but while many of us have already been moved to help the plight of refugees, perhaps her instincts like Cameron’s, may for once have some merit.

Those currently fleeing the Middle East comprise asylum seekers, economic migrants, criminals and Islamic terrorists, so if the West provides an unrestricted conduit from the African continent to Europe we will perpetuate the exodus, thereby inviting an even greater catastrophe.

Cameron’s offer to take people who have already been defined as asylum seekers from UN camps, would seem to give help where it is needed and provide a degree of control over who is admitted to the UK. We simply can’t take everyone.

Of course, the critical factor here is to stop fleeing refugees setting sail in the first place and note the conspicuous absence of the Islamic countries with their limitless oil wealth?

Manchester City’s owner Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, from the United Arab Emirates has a £20billion fortune and is deputy leader of his country, to name but one who could, surely, help to bring some order to this desperate situation.

Ian Jones writing in Saturday’s Echo believes the west should intervene in Middle East politics. Where has he been for the last 20 years? We did Ian and look what happened, but that’s where I came in.

Denis Gillon