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Refugees: we used to do it differently - what's changed?

Sirs

Having read Dr Maurice's thoughtful piece on your website about current 'migration problems' and following the recent truly terrible news reports and photos, I wanted to share some of my thoughts - personal ones - on this unfolding international disaster.

One of the first international events that caught my attention was the Soviet Union's brutal intervention to put down the Hungarian uprising in 1956.  I was 14.

I eagerly read The Bridge at Andau describing - as I recall it - desperate escape stories of nationalists fleeing from the bullets of Soviet forces.  And then into a council house very near our home came a Hungarian 'refugee' or 'asylum seeker' - but not, please, a 'migrant'.  

This was a leafy, rural part of 'the Home Counties'.  I was pleased - probably a bit proud - to have him as a neighbour.  He brought up his family in the village and started a small painting and decorating business and was universally approved of as a successful member of the village.

I was pleased Anthony Eden's government had allowed him to settle with us.  Now we have a Prime Minister espousing a very different sort of Conservatism who seems intent on pulling up the draw-bridge - unless those front pages and television pictures persuade him to lower it a few small notches.

While Whitehall and Westminster haver and duck and weave before the cameras, would it not be good if Wiltshire Council announced that we should take in a hundred or so Syrians who have fled that country's war?  As a county so long connected to our country's army, Wiltshire knows a great deal about the awful results of war.


(Name and Marlborough area address withheld - but known to MNO editors)

Print

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Tina-May5
Camilla-2012-10-19152
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Mop-Fair---10-10-09---08
Sunset2
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Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
Scouting-for-Girls7
Hares017cropped
4MI-2013-11-28030
Gordon-and-Sam
Duke-of-Kent086
Turin-Brakes6
Musical-Time-Machine5
Snowy-High-Street
MYFC005
D4S9273
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SBJ
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
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Pete-Gage-Band1
Brooks-Williams1
Brazier
Animals06
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George-Wilding-301
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Sunset
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08---07
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09---30
IMG9097
Landscape
Big-Bull
Torch-2012-05-23093-
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Ogbourne