It is surely a matter of shame that a country that prides itself on treating people in a humane and civilised way can submit desperate refugees arriving on our shores to such degrading and inhumane treatment as that reported at the Manston holding centre this last week.
Take for example the case of the Afghan family with small children who had already spent 34 days in a marquee with mats on the floor in wretched conditions, or the cases now being reported of people being bussed out of Manston and abandoned in the centre of London with no warm clothing, food or accommodation.
The claims by the Home Secretary of an ”invasion” deflect blame and seek to stir up resentment when the real cause of this crisis is the Home Office’s total mismanagement of the asylum process with asylum applications backing up for over a year while asylum seekers are left in limbo. In a word there is no welcome, no humane reception, no standard of care, no forward planning and no commitment to processing applications in a timely fashion.
Moreover, the Home Office rhetoric about refugees needing to come via safe, legal routes rather than so-called “ illegal” crossings belies the fact that such safe routes are only open to a very tiny few of those facing war or persecution.
We call on our Conservative Member of Parliament, who has been supportive of Ukraine refugees locally, to extend her voiced concern to all refugees and to:
- speak out against present injustices
- call for a complete overhaul of Home Office culture and practice and
- press for a genuine new commitment to developing safe routes
John Miles on behalf of Nailsworth Quaker Meeting
Andrea Rigby on behalf of Stroud Quaker Meeting
Fiona Meadley on behalf of Painswick Quaker Meeting
Julie Price on behalf of Gloucester Quaker Meeting
C/o Nailsworth Friends Meeting House, Chestnut Hill, Nailsworth, GL6 0RA