Britain's Youngest MP Explains Why She Welcomes Refugees
When Mhairi Black posted a short message to welcome refugees to Scotland she received both support and condemnation. Here she responds to those who said she should be more concerned about the problems faced by Scottish people.
Britain's Youngest MP Explains Why She Welcomes Refugees
By Mhairi Black / facebook.com
Nov 20, 2015

Helping the homeless people on our streets and helping those who are suffering unimaginable tragedies in their home countries are not mutually exclusive. It is not a choice between one or the other.

To all of you who have expressed worry about the homeless in this country, I share your despair at the situation many people find themselves in. However, it is worth remembering that due to the definition of homelessness in Scotland, the figures quoted refer a wide range of people in varying circumstances such as those staying with friends or family, living in overcrowded conditions, or living in poor conditions that affect their health. The idea that all homeless people in Scotland are sleeping on the streets is misguided and inaccurate. That is not to imply in any way that this is any more acceptable but it is an important point to highlight. It is also worth noting that despite continued cuts from the Conservative Government, The Scottish Government are making great strides in reducing homelessness, including making sure that all those assessed as unintentionally homeless by local authorities are entitled to settled accommodation as a legal right. Certainly in my constituency homelessness has dropped 4% in the past year, and 34% since 2010. But I must again reiterate that one homeless person is one too many.

Still I refuse to let any opportunity to do good pass by. When we have a Westminster Government so determined to do ill by people, I will not stand by and watch people suffer just because they were born in a different country.

I implore everyone remember that these people are running from the terrorism and extremism of Daesh. They are fleeing the very people behind the attacks in Paris and Beirut. How could we turn our backs on them, when all they want is to live peacefully and without a fear for their lives?

To those who state that “no one wanted refugees”, you should know that hundreds of my constituents contacted me after the chilling images of Aylan Kurdi hit the front pages in September. Even more got in contact outraged at the pitiful number of the refugees the Government announced they would take.

Also, so people are aware, when refugees arrive in this country they have been through a two-stage vetting process. One by the Home Office and another by the UN including the taking of biometrics, documentary evidence and interviews. They have had to endure so much to reach this country, and abandon everything they had ever known. It is no easy task to become a refugee in these islands, and so for those that make it we must welcome them with open arms. They have been through enough. To pour ignorant bile and thinly veiled racism onto social media is cruel and so disappointing.

We have a duty as human beings to do all we can to protect and shelter people who face the very kind of threats and attacks which appalled us so much in Paris in their everyday lives. If we believe terrorism is wrong in Paris and that we must stand in solidarity and help the innocent affected in France, then we must also apply the same principles to the innocent people fleeing that terrorism. Terrorism is wrong no matter where it occurs or who it is against.

I must commend the number of gracious, well informed and kind comments which I am glad to say outnumber those of utter ignorance. A number of the Syrian Refugees are staying in my constituency, so I can speak for myself and all those who have posted positive comments on my page, a big welcome to all refugees and I hope they will finally find some peace, safety and comfort in our inclusive country. No amount of bashing on Facebook is going to change that.


Watch Mhairi's maiden speech in Parlaiment here.

4.0 ·
1
Trending Today
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 11,764 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 4,216 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
Baraka (1992)
97 min · 3,495 views today · Featuring no conventional narrative, this film presents footage of people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness, the movie takes...
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 2,205 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,116 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Why I Think This World Should End
4 min · 1,741 views today · Sorry if this offends you. - Prince Ea
What Is a Gift Economy? - Alex Gendler
4 min · 1,730 views today · What if, this holiday season, instead of saying "thank you" to your aunt for her gift of a knitted sweater, the polite response expected from you was to show up at her house in...
Union Co-Operatives: What They Are and Why We Need Them
Simon Taylor · 1,371 views today · Neoliberal policies contribute to alienation, disempowerment and non-unionised jobs, but a new model for unions could break the vicious circle, argues Simon Taylor.
Prophecy Delivered! Martin Luther King Jr. and the Death of Democracy
Reverend Osagyefo Sekou · 1,091 views today · “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Democracy is dead. It...
The Myth of Romantic Love May Be Ruining Your Health
Susanne Vosmer · 1,045 views today · Romantic love in Western societies is often portrayed in a stereotypical way: two yearning halves, who search for each other to find their complete, original state. Few find...
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 846 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 836 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 832 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: Bracing for Trump's Anti-Worker, Corporate Agenda
Colin Jenkins · 522 views today · Rich people don’t have to have a life-and-death relationship with the truth and its questions; they can ignore the truth and still thrive materially. I am not surprised many...
Something Better to Offer Trump Voters Tired of Waiting for Their Turn
David Korten · 412 views today · A world free of extremes of wealth and poverty in which no one needs to stand in line for a chance at a secure and fulfilling life.
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 378 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Trump Is a Symptom of a Sickness That Is Raging All Across The World
1 min · 366 views today · This is why we are here. And this is what we need to remember. 
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 362 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 350 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
Josh Jones · 339 views today · Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Britain's Youngest MP Explains Why She Welcomes Refugees