Shocking views

IT is truly shocking to read some of the less compassionate correspondence about the displaced people of Syria.

Arguing about use of words and references to the OED doesn’t help.

Perhaps if Will Richards is going to refer to any text, the Bible and the parable of the Good Samaritan would be a better starting place.

To quote a Facebook friend “Refugees don’t scrape together their life savings, leave their loved ones behind, bribe and fight and struggle their way onto the undercarriage of a train, or into a tiny hidden compartment of a lorry with 40 other people, watch their loved ones die and get raped, all for the express purpose of bragging about earning £67.46 a week”.

Perhaps we should all try – for a moment only, any longer would be unbearable – to imagine what it must have been like for the people in that lorry, for the parents watching their children as the realisation that they were trapped became reality.

We are so privileged to live in this beautiful place, but we must remember that in no sense do we “own” it.

We must not turn our backs on our fellow human beings.

Philip and Alison King Malvern

Shouting match

THE debate in your columns concerning the Syrian refugee issue is in danger of descending into a point-scoring shouting match.

Similar debates are, of course, taking place throughout Europe at every level, from heads of government down to local communities like ours here in Malvern.

It is a Europe-wide problem which all European counties, especially the richer ones, will have to play their part in solving, and arguments about who said what and which particular words should be used to describe the plight of the thousands of displaced people currently in our continent are surely a side issue compared to what practically can and should be done at a humanitarian level.

These are people in urgent need.

We have the means to help some of them. Are we seriously saying that we are less able to provide this than say, Greece, or Lebanon (a tiny country with a population of 4.5 million and currently hosting more than a million refugees)?

By all means let’s continue the debate over our position in the European Union, what Ukip’s policies may or may not be, who’s responsible for the mess in the Middle East, the role of local charities and local government spending, etc.

But what is going to happen to these people now, right now?

James Pertwee West Malvern

Petition backed

I WAS very impressed by the positive and friendly response I received in Worcester when asking people to sign the petition urging Worcestershire County Council and Malvern Hills District Council to show their humanity by playing their part in the international relief programme by making an application to the Home Office’s Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme for the district to play host to a small number of Syrian refugee families (for which EU-funded grant support is available).

I would like to thank all those people who signed for their time and good wishes.

If you would like to sign the petition online you can follow this link:

Wendy Clark Secretary Amnesty International Worcester Group

What skills?

ON the one hand some say we must bring in more Syrian refugees, others say many will come with skills and qualifications eager to work.

Firstly, how many of those with said qualifications will actually have genuine papers?

We have more than enough people from the Third World applying for jobs with bogus papers, and the state has cut so many real jobs that there just isn’t the manpower available to check them all.

Secondly, looking  at some of this week’s job adverts – estate manager, dental nurse, sales and marketing assistant, radiographer – in the unlikely event that some of them can do those jobs what are our people going to do?

You all keep missing the point , when will we say to Cameron and Obama , enough is enough , for years now they have been meddling in Middle Eastern affairs , without a clue of what they are doing and this is the result , an EU which is proving to be totally dysfunctional , is not able to sort out the urgent issues that are tearing Europe apart .

For too long we have lived in a bubble, totally oblivious to what our leaders have been doing in our name in countries like Syria. Did those people ask us to go there and bomb them to pieces?

We all saw the picture the other week of that young boy washed up on a Turkish beach. Did Cameron ever wonder for one moment , what his bombs are doing to those self same children in Syria ? Why is it always us , the people that have to step in when our leaders get it so drastically wrong ?

One more thing. A year ago, David Cameron said during the worst floods in living memory that this is a rich country.

How interesting, therefore, to read in Charles Eden’s letter about library closures (Letters, September 4).

And week after week we keep hearing about fewer refuse collections in our area. Are all these signs of a rich country?

Oh, I forgot. All we need to do is allow lots of migrants and refugees into the area and that will magic up lots of new jobs. Sorted.

Bill Kovacs Malvern Serving public HAYDN Edwards wrote on February 21, 2014: “People elected to the council are there to serve the local public”.” Paradoxically, he now heaps obloquy on the mild defence of Worcestershire County and Malvern Hills District councils members’ decision not to be hustled into the unquantifiable Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

How unquantifiable is clear to see from David Cameron’s latest volte-face that several thousand refugees will be taken into the country instead of a few hundred.

Perhaps, in view of his previous statement, Mr Edwards would explain how both councils’ prudent reluctance to buy into this is not serving the local public?

Anthony Skelsey Malvern

Awful farms

I’M not quite sure why Edward Bullock (Gazette, August 28) describes chickens crammed together in a factory farm as good quality British product. I would think it is far from that.

The only reason we have these awful factory farms on our doorsteps is because some people still insist on eating sentient beings.

There are plenty of good meat-free chicken alternatives on the market now so I urge your readers to try them and help to put an end to animal factory farms. For more info go to

Pauline Burgess Malvern

Crash damage

FOLLOWING the horrendous accident on the A449 as reported and photographed in this newspaper (August 21).

The young driver had a very lucky escape, but not only did the crash write off his own car, it also did considerable damage to our garage and wrote off my wife’s car, which was inside. My wife and I would like to thank the amazing support we received from the officers of Worcester, Malvern and Droitwich fire and rescue service together with the police and community support officers, not forgetting the ambulance service.

Paul Craven-Smith Colwall