A former UKIP candidate has taken to Twitter to argue that the three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on the beaches of Turkey this week died because “his parents were greedy”.
Three-year-old Aylan Kurdi and his five-year-old brother Galip and their mother Rehan drowned when a migrant boat leaving Turkey for Canada sank this week.
While there has been much debate about the media sharing the image, it cannot be denied that sight of such tragedy has done much to transform attitudes about the refugee crisis. For many, but sadly, not everyone.
UKIP’s Peter Bucklitsch, who stood in Wimbledon during the 2015 general election, believes the family were simply trying to milk the European benefits system. How they could have done this from Canada, he doesn’t say.
Sadly, he is not alone. A recent YouGov poll a staggering 67% of the British public back sending the troops to Calais to stop migrants entering the U.K.
Thanks to an intransigent UK government and a largely hostile press, the British response to the crisis has been left to small start-up campaigns.
- British group of 7 concerned citizens have raised £50,000 ($76,500) in just a few weeks to help put together aid packages for refugees in Kent.
- Another British group set up a Kickstarter for the same purpose which has raised £41,000 ($63,000).
The petition to pressure the UK government to accept more refugees is now going viral, with almost 200,000 signatures and counting at time of writing. This should secure a parliamentary debate on the matter, but we can’t wait for parliament to get involved.
When a human crisis erupted in Europe in 1938, we were on the right side of history. Well, it’s 2015 and human crisis has arrived once more. We have the capacity to get on the right side of history again. It’s time to show the will.
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