Letter: Refugees

Have we given away our power to control our own country?
Have we given away our power to control our own country?

We have given away our power

In the Bridlington Free Press Sean Kenny slammed UKIP for “blaming” refugees for excessive demand on the NHS, schools and housing. He suggests that logically they should similarly “blame” Jewish refugees for these problems, as that “makes about as much sense”.

Does it, though? His comparison of current migrants to refugees from Nazism provides food for thought, for the way the latter were treated by Britain could not have been more different from the EU’s open-door policy.

Jews could not simply march into Britain; they had to apply, and most were turned down. It was intended to be only temporary admission – once the immediate danger subsided, they would be expected to leave.

Far from giving handouts, the Government refused to admit any refugees at all until the British Jewish community made a commitment to financially support them. Nor was “multi-culturalism” encouraged.

Refugees often encountered anti-Semitism. The Government’s response was advise Jews to assimilate, speak English and try not to look or sound Jewish. There was of course no NHS and refugees did not get free medical care. Nor was there a chance to follow their own profession in Britain. To protect British jobs, the employment of Jewish refugees was restricted by law to domestic service. An exception was made for those who were in a position to start a business and provide work for British people.

After the end of the War, around 40,000 Jewish refugees applied for naturalisation and were allowed to remain in Britain. They learnt the language. Since that time, Britain has swung to the opposite extreme in its response to refugees, or those claiming to be such. Regardless of your personal views on immigration, the vital point is that it was the British Home Secretary who had the power to decide who would be allowed into this country.

Of course we should not “blame” migrants themselves for the problems uncontrolled immigration brings. We have given away our power to control our own country; we let others dictate our destiny. If we allow that situation to continue, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Linda Thorpe

The Crayke, Bridlington