LibLink: Amna Ahmad: The Tories’ response to the refugee crisis shows that they are turning their back on the world

Lib Dem candidate for Sutton and Cheam, Amna Ahmad, has written for the House magazine about the ongoing refugee crisis.

We have always helped those seeking sanctuary, even at times when we faced domestic challenges and hard times, and we must continue to do so. Recognising others’ need even when we have distractions of our own is part of our identity, or “British values”, and I will not allow Brexit or Nigel Farage to take that away.

Furthermore, at a time when we are seen by many to be turning our back on the rest of to the world, behaving with compassion in the way we relate to those fleeing their homes sends a hugely significant message of unity and understanding to other nations, and we will find it affects our standing in the world for years to come.

But Theresa May has shown that she does not care. Under her government, the Conservatives have U-turned on two previous pledges, including one to take more refugees from Syria and another to help abandoned child refugees.

She outlines what the Liberal Democrats would do:

The Liberal Democrats will take 10,000 refugees from Syria every year in the next parliament, and we will reopen the Dubs programme for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children stranded in Europe. We want to play our role in this global crisis.

We don’t have to accept the Theresa May-Nigel Farage view of the world and a closed, mean-spirited Britain. The Liberal Democrats will give our children and our country a brighter future – one where we have the choice to be welcoming and decent to each other. Let’s not forget, too, that those who arrive as refugees have a huge amount to give our economy and society, and many are extremely eager to do so.

I’m proud that my party welcomes refugees and accepts its responsibilities. It’s the decent, right and patriotic thing to do. It’s part of the brighter future I hope for.

You can read the whole article here.

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  • Whilst I would not argue against the sentiment, this is bit of a difficult sell at the moment and timing wise, a little insensitive.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 26th May '17 - 1:18pm

    I imagine the article was written before the horror this week, but one thing is sure, the policy was already unnecessary, no party should tie it’s hands with numbers of anything , dependent on everything , on a fluid basis.

    That is true of most things, everyone who knows ” events , dear boy, events !” as a way of looking at these things in politics , can see such a commitment is politically daft , even if decent and kind.

    The opposite of mean does not need to be naive.

    The green party live up to their name, we do not have to make public opinion see Liberal , as knee jerk!

    We do not need fifty thousand refugees in the next few years under normal circumstances, but could welcome them on the basis of their need, thus proving Corbyn as wrong as ever on his loathing of everything we do in the west on foreign related policy.

    But we are in an abnormally awful situation on security. Unless the party and country wake up to this we are to have a generation of Conservative government.

    We need far greater vetting of immigration and refugees. The opponents of Assad are not necessarily our friends, so those fleeing him need to prove why we should trust them.

    Anything less is a discarding of our values, not an implimentaion of them.

  • Peter Watson 26th May '17 - 1:39pm

    @Lorenzo Cherin “I imagine the article was written before the horror this week”
    The PoliticsHome article is dated Thursday 18 May so is before the terrible events of this week, though obviously this LDV article drawing our attention to it was published today.

  • Sadly another article showing how out of touch LDV is with the views of most people in the UK. If this is the best that Amna can come up with, she will sadly end up even further behind Paul Sculley than Paul Burstow was in 2015. Will we never learn how to talk liberalism to voters in terms they are interested in.

  • suzanne Fletcher 27th May '17 - 10:06am

    Amna Ahmed is absolutely right. ” Recognising others’ need even when we have distractions of our own is part of our identity, or “British values”, and I will not allow Brexit or Nigel Farage to take that away.” .
    It is a longstanding principle of Liberal Democrats that we act with humanity and compassion, not to be hidden away because of malevolent attacks on such values.
    It is also part of what we believe in, that those who come here as asylum seekers, seeking sanctuary and safety, and treated with dignity and respect.
    We don’t change our values and even our duty to others because of the wicked attacks by some who may have had refugee status at some time, any more than we don’t stop having concerts, fun activities and going about everyday business because of the threat and fear of terrorists.
    you can see more about our Lib Dem policies here and the link to our LD4SOS mini manifesto is here
    There is no mention of either taking unaccompanied children under the “Dubs amendment”, or Syrian Refugees under the United Nations scheme at all in the Labour manifesto, just vague mentions of “fair shares”. there is only a vague reference to how asylum seekers should be treated in the UK. There is no idea of time limit for those in indefinite detention.
    The Tories are all for helping with vague promises, as long as those fleeing are not here.
    Those readers that are Lib Dems can be proud of our stance, those that are not in agreement of our values and principles still live in a democratic country and can vote accordingly of course.

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