''I Used To Care, But Times Are Different And Things Have Changed''

You'd have had to be living under a rock not to have read or seen the endless news items about migrants or refugees...from those luckless souls crammed into un-sea worthy boats who have drowned in their thousands to the young men clinging onto trains and lorries to reach the destination of their choice.

Ireland has agreed to take four thousand people...in such a small country where our population usually hovers around the four and a half million mark...four thousand is a quite a number. Especially when the latest statistics show there to be almost two thousand people sleeping in night shelters or in doorways in Dublin alone...

Not all hopeless alcoholics or drug users either...too many are families who've lost their housing through being unable to pay the mortgage...a large number are barely more than children...runaways escaping poor home lives.

Where will those refugees be housed I wonder...what work will the able-bodied be offered when our unemployment is staggeringly high already...

Irish Doctors are leaving in droves to Australia, New Zealand and America where the standard of living is high and the pay reflects their skills...so how are the already stretched city surgeries and clinics going to cope with this influx of new arrivals...

Who will be available to teach those migrants/refugees English...to help them fill out forms for housing benefit and children's allowance and explain the schooling system...

It isn't much of a novelty now...having refugees in your midst. It was when the Hungarians came over to England during their up-rising in 1956...it was when Adi Amin kicked the Asians out twenty years later...the Vietnamese Boat people won over everyone's hearts with their eagerness to assimilate into local society...though you needed a strong enough stomach to listen to them recount stories of savage pirates and gang rapes...dying from lack of fresh water and burned by the sun.

We didn't dream of those aforementioned peoples simply coming to England to take advantage of our welfare state...they were lost and frightened and we did our very best to make them welcome.

We were never afraid that there would be insurgents in their family groups, hell-bent on imposing another religion upon us, relying on bestial methods to do so...

I've always supported the underdog...always given beggars on the streets a coin or a bag of biscuits for their dog...a packet of ciggie papers and baccy to a young man with a haunted face...

But I can't become even the slightest enthusiastic about these four thousand people arriving on our shores at any time soon.

Our basic pension hasn't increased for the last five years...we no longer receive a Christmas bonus...but we have to pay the going rate for food and services...

We've both worked for all of our lives...much of that time looking after the lost and those who were unable to care for themselves, saving the Government thousands upon thousands of pounds...now we live on an ever restricting budget, trying to keep our heads above the waterline.

Ireland has insufficient housing for Irish people...welfare benefits are being cut almost daily...city schools are packed to capacity...health centres are struggling to remain open as staff leave for better prospects abroad...

I've no idea what the answer is...if there is an answer at all.

44 Replies

  • Agree with every word you said.

  • I totally agree with you don't think the politicians know either ,

  • There will be so much trouble before long,plus we don't know who has come into the country,frightening, I don't know the answer either. My Son lives in Germany they will take many as their population has been declining for yrs.

  • You put your finger on it. If there is a solution at all. I have wept for them as I left the civil war inLebanon in a tank and arrived back inEngland with £10 and the clothes I stood up in, pregnant. I was lucky. I had the magical UK passport and family to come to.

    The circumstances which these people are fleeing are far far worse. They are doctors, school teachers, shop assistants and their children and grandchildren. There are a lot of young men because, unlike the UK, it is a country with a majority young population.

    People like us.

    It took them four years to decide that they can take it no longer.

    They are not after our benefits. They are after a life.

    Having said all of that I know that we and Ireland cannot take unlimited numbers, with all of the assimilation problems that you spoke about. Also, I am very very worried about ISIS terrorists hiding themselves amongst the genuine refugees.

    I was terribly upset by the tear gassing of little children by the Hungarians. My six month old daughter and I were tear gassed walking to the doctor's office in 1973 and it hurts.

    They just want to be able to live in peace in their own country but heaven knows how or when.

  • People like us - says it all really. God bless.

  • I have to ask why then have they bypassed so many of other Muslim countries to get to a christian one? countries that have been made safe by the lives of our own young people! many of those who come back from these war torn countries are badly maimed and suffering lost limbs, our government / councils cannot find homes for them and their families. Lets not get drawn into an emotional and endless battle of trying to care for those who actually have a choice! our boys and girls returning from battle dont have that luxury.

  • The whole situation is terrible. Unfortunately, and this distresses me most of all, none of the Muslim countries to which I believe you refer are safe. In spite of the sacrifice of our people. I have lived in the Middle East. It is a very complex and I don't think that this is the right place to discuss it at length. Suffice it to say, however it has come about, the suffering of everybody who has been drawn into the horrors of war, is something that deserves my thoughts.

  • Good article, thanks st.

  • Excellent article thank you :)

  • Experts in counter-terrorism believe jihadists are highly unlikely to infiltrate with refugees. IS has plenty of supporters already in the EU or with EU passports they dont need to risk their lives aboard crowded boats. The media would have you believe otherwise of course. Robin

  • Hi what I object to is the obsession with coming to Britain that many of them seem to have now because they expect free housing, benefits and good jobs etc. We haven't got enough for us now with the cutbacks. We are a small island and are in danger of sinking beneath all the people here now. I do feel very sorry for them but I want to know why the big underpopulated countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand won't take them? They have lots of space there and we haven't. x

  • Totally agree with you coughalot. It especially peeves me when our own servicemen and women never draw the same level of concern.

  • Hi Coughalot, Australia has agreed to rehouse 12,000 Syrian refugees and that will be straining our resources and already out dated infrastructure. I hope it works out for everyone. I have the utmost compassion for these people, but like Vashti, I am resentful of the fact that we give them more than our own pensioners - I would like to see equality at least.

    Not sure what Canada or NZ are doing.

  • Hi Ngaire I didn't know that. I wasn't trying to diss your country or anything so please forgive me if it came across like that. I understand about your infrastructure etc. I was just thinking of how big your lovely country is and not about anything else.

    Thanks for putting me straight. Take care. xx

  • No offence taken - just wanted you to know. Yes, Australia is large, but it is a harsh environment mainly. (It takes a special kind of person to live in the outback - most of us live on the narrow coastal plains. BUT it is very beautiful and only when there can you appreciate the age and majesty of the place - if only there was enough water!!)

    Cheers xx

  • That's a relief Ngaire. Thanks. We have lots of water in the UK from all the rain we get. Would love to be able to send some over to you :) x

  • I remember watching the news last year and thinking how I would leave that war torn place especially if I had children...I can understand how anyone would want to get as far away from it as possible, perhaps one day there will be peace for these poor displaced human beings...🙏

    So many wars...all over the world..some things don't change 😢

  • During the last war my dad went into France early on in the liberation my uncle was on north Atlantic convoys and was torpedoed my beloved uncle Billy was tortured by the gestapo. Bring out the children the infirm the elderly but why should we help those who just don't want to fight. Our relatives had no choice if you did not fight you were given all the horrible jobs unless of course you were in important work. We had nowhere to run. End of rant

  • My heart goes out to them until I see them rioting and demanding to go to a certain country. If I lived in a war torn country I would stay in the first safe one I came to.


  • I agree Suzy, how can the authorities divide these people among all the countries, when they insist on going to Germany or England? the sheer volume of people makes any organisation difficult. there is criticism if the children are hurt, but surely the parents are putting them in danger. iris x

  • I have to say I'm not a big news reader/ watcher ,,,,I tend to just catch the headlines and that's it ,,,it's ALWAYS doom and gloom ,bombings!,starving children !wars ,beheadings,etc etc !,,,,,,,,but my husband on the other hand watches all the news programmes he can ( when I'm not in the room ) and is always telling me ,,,the government should do thus ,,,that ,,,,or the other ,,,,,,but the latest news about the thousands and thousands of migrants wanting to live in Europe even has him baffled ,,,,ME ,,,,,??? It scares the life out of me ,,,,,how can we possibly keep helping others when we have thousands of people already living on the streets ,etc ,,,food banks everywhere ,,more and more charity appeals ,,,our housing problem is

    already A PROBLEM ,,,,,our NHS has MASSIVE. Problems ,,,,, if the government don't know the answers who does ,,,,,,I Put my hands up. In desperation for OUR Country and pray our governent keep strong ,we are a small island with limited resources ,,,and personally I think the British people ( especialy the young ) will say enough is enough ,,,,,,I have ,,,,ONE DAUGHTER ,,,,,,ONE SON IN LAW ,,,AND ONE GRANDAUGHTER ( she's ages 12 ) ,,,,,and the world is scaring me to death ,,,,is there a better place for them to live ,,,,? Possibly Australia ,,,,I love my family sooooo much my heart aches with all the love I carry for them ,,,,,and I love every moment I share with them ,,,,,,but I've told them ,,,,,if ever they get the chance ,,,,,and want to leave UK ,,,,then don't think twice ,,,,,,we will be ok ,,,,,,ALL. I WANT FOR THEM IS PEACE ,

    Selfish ????? Oh yes ,,,,do I care ,,,? NO ,,,,my family comes first ,and I'm sure I'm not alone ,

  • There are two elements to this refugee crisis. Of course we all feel desperately sorry for these people & families who have been through hell & want to help. What I can't understand are all these single fit aggressive young men who instead of deserting their country & causing riots & demands and threats wherever they go. Why aren't they staying & fighting for their country? It seems as if the European countries are being 'softened up' by the human tragedy that has unfolded, but there is a terrifying element that us piggie backing into all the European countries on the back of our compassion. Any hint of terrorism, violence or threats if any kind should be dealt with immediately & this violent extremist element denied access to any country. Sadly it won't happen, but what I hope will happen is that the European countries will pull together in their own countries & together & fight against these extremists which pose a serious threat to our countries. We need to toughen up big time whilst not ignoring the genuine refugees a& offering sanctuary. Totally agree that we should try & deal with our own poor, homeless, elderly etc before we magnanimously help others. I don't see a great difference between living in the streets in a bitterly cold British winter to being a refugee from a war torn country apart from the fact that you aren't being bombed, but there are other dangers from street living that I'm sure are nearly as stressful.

    Wish I knew the answer to it all. even with all the things no longer working well in this country, we are still better off than many. We just need to get our own house in order before we invite in more problems.


  • I don't think anyone really has an answer Vashti especially all the hapless Politicians and EU representatives, they have not a clue what to do. It is heart breaking seeing so many people displaced by war and atrocities we cannot even begin to imagine yet some, who knows how many, are simply coming over to Europe to do goodness knows what.

    We are taking around 20,000 over 5 years yet how will local councils cope with the influx when cuts are biting so very hard everywhere? I certainly don't have the answers but I do feel for the genuine refugees especially the children who have no say in anything.

    Take care xxxx

  • I think there are two groups also, families with children

    and the elderly.........and...fit young men who are really

    economic migrants, and these should be separated.

  • Rather disappointed in you Vashti when you seem to describe all refugees as illiterate. Throughout the news programmes and newspaper articles it`s clear that there are many educated and highly skilled people. A brain surgeon, engineers, doctors, teachers etc. I know you were`nt denigrating the refugees as a whole and I too wonder how everyone`s going to fit in. But be proud of Ireland. I`ve been ashamed of Britain. Even now Cameron boasts that he`s going to take 20,000. Yes over five years - and then handpicked from the camps.

    And someone should ask the the Hungarians how they felt when, as you point out, they came to England for refuge. Maybe I`m too sentimental- and believe me I`m only a pensioner with no great income- but if I have to eat less, heat less , have less, so that somebody else can survive then so be it. Keep well, Sheila

  • PS Meant to add. Why not reduce the House of Lords - greatly- over 800 there now. £300 a day just for turning up and snoozing in their seats. A lot more than I have in a week. And why should we subsidise the bars and restaurants of the Lords and Commons ? Spend that on the refugee crisis for a start ! Rant over, love to all, Sheila x

  • What I said was that the refugees/migrants will be needing help to fill out the huge number of forms they'll be faced with on arrival...those are difficult enough for people who have English as their first language.

  • Yes you`re right there vashti - in some cases at least. But I sometimes think that we forget that prior to the war, Syria was a developed country. Some may have a different religion to us but they are just as civilised as us. It`s a horrible situation all round.

    Keep well, Sheila x

  • At no time whatsoever have I ever said they are uncivilised...nor have I ever implied that...bad enough to accuse me of labelling them all as illiterate...nor do I give a flying feck as to which imaginary friend they happen to worship.

  • The graphic scenes we see every day create conflicting emotions. Who do you turn to and where do you go when your own country's regime bombs your home and murders your relatives and neighbors? Pretty certain I would be among those refugees fleeing with what little they have left. But its also quite disturbing to watch the determined aggression demonstrated by the fit young men (and children) when their way is barred. Their frustrations are easily understood but horribly reminiscent of the many conflicts and demonstrations we witnessed in their homelands before this mass migration took place.

    At present the UK is a relatively stable law abiding country, we're well trained on the whole but it can get tricky with those who don't like the many rules and regulations that help keep us a desirable safe haven.

    A woman I know was heartbroken when her beloved cat died yet genuinely believes that the very real tragedy of the dead toddler found washed up on the beach is being hyped up as propaganda.

    Shocking but sadly she isn't alone in her prejudice and scepticism.

  • Just jumping in here,to say I find it incredibly sad,especially seeing those babies,children,& pregnant Mums suffering,let alone the elderly.....

    This is 20015,& we still don't have the answers for the unrest in the world.

    Here in Australia,we are taking in 12.000 very shortly,whilst another 10.000 are also being helped,from different countries.The priority being put on women & children,so they say! I believe Canada is also helping,America rather reluctant to do so!

  • A common theme is that risking your life to reach Europe is good evidence you're a genuine refugee rather than an economic migrant.

    However: uk.reuters.com/article/2015...

  • My grandaughter works for a Turkish family who have been here many years. They said the refugees were looked after well in Turkey and had no need to escape to Greece in the first place. It was a child fleeing from Turkey who drowned.

    Turkey is a big country with plenty of room well away from the border region.

    My friend is a retired Royal Marine Captain. He says the ISIS fighters will operate like the old IRA and target big Cities for maximum impact and publicity. Although "some random nutter" his words, may try something. I really fear for our military men. The fanatics care for nobody but their own kind.

    There are resistance groups such as Britain First rapidly growing. Other similar groups are forming, worryingly White Supremecist ones. This crisis has nothing to do with colour. It has everything to do with culture. Our society has laws and rules that are completely incomprehensible to an immigrant.

  • An excellent article Vashti. You are so right xx

  • I am sad and disappointed you feel like that Vashti -'there but for the grace of God go I' - there is enough money in Ireland England Europe etc. to support all of us and more and well if only it was distributed more fairly - through lucky circumstance I was born into this life and not another's - who knows what I may not have done to escape poverty, war, rape etc. - if these were rich people wanting to come here they would all be welcome - look at the nationalities buying up London - but no they are poor so worth less eh. afraid the few crumbs the powers that be let you scrabble for might be even less without thinking why a top !% get the majority of the cake in the first place - as I said disappointed in you - just my sad opinion xx

  • I agree, and dont like talk such as "hell-bent on imposing another religion upon us, relying on bestial methods to do so" not nice to talk about desperate, exhausted people, whove had to flee their homes, in such terms. Robin

  • I wasn't....my concern is the fit and able young men hurling missiles who may well be members of ISIS...beheading someone is bestial...

  • Fit young men can still be refugees from war, from being called up to fight for the Taliban. IS simply dont need to risk their lives amongst refugees, there are plenty of their supporters in the west already.

  • Thank you for expressing your opinion

  • And you vashti. It IS a scary situation, we agree there. Im quite worried about the arguments breaking out between EU countries, as well as the situation in Syria, Putin's antics, the rise of rightwing groups etc. The world seems more dangerous than ever. Robin

  • You cannot hold me responsible for the unfair distribution of wealth...nor can you ever accuse me....not ever...of being uncaring towards those on the margins of society

  • Nobody seems to have anything but praise for the biggest benefit scroungers of the lot, the Royal family.

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