David Cameron’s Response to Asylum Seekers Crisis Isn’t Working

Ethan McLaughlin, Contributor

Photo: Zoltan Mathe, AP
Photo: Zoltan Mathe, AP

First off, there seems to be a missed message, promoted by the government that there is little or no difference in economic migrants and asylum seekers. I agree with the government stance that free movement with a long-term resettlement should be based mainly on employment. Internal migration does not need to change.

But currently there is a deeper socio economic crisis where an open Europe is not for everyone, but that is a discussion for another day. I don’t often agree with Russia Today but their assessment is correct and points out in greater detail that is missing the point of this crisis. But it is not those people from what I have seen, who are currently on the street of Budapest trying to take it through armed police in Macedonia or being marked by authorities in the Czech Republic.

These are people who we, Europe, The West, whoever you want to blame, left behind. People coming from Afganistan, Libya and Iraq are migrating because the so-called development or peace that the UK Prime Minster talks about has not come yet, and they do not have the time to wait for their society to develop around them; so far it doesn’t seem to be happening. The reason why he is not taking this crisis seriously is because those who see people coming into the country as one large group, or “swarm” is ignoring why they are migrating. And that’s where we come in.

Photo: AP, Frank Augstein
Photo: AP, Frank Augstein

Currently the government is presenting this issue in a way which will reinforce the message that gain them the most political capital in middle England. This is how we can help:

  • Sign this petition showing your support of our need to promote taking in more asylum seeker. We need 15,000 people to get the issue debated in parliament.
  • Support however you can within the work of organisations like Save the Children, The Refugee Council and many other great organisations.
  • Something pretty simple, but read up on the issues on sites like Migration Observatory, participate not just on social media but at events organised by student and charity groups.
  • Any Queens students’ or anyone in Belfast can support charity events around campus in the following weeks.

To the argument pushed by those who believe we don’t have the space IS the fact we don’t have the space: if we don’t have the space, which it appears we might not, it is because your government has failed to build enough for us all.

To conclude, Germany is demonstrating that when they are asked to show the liberal values they promote they didn’t step down; now it is our time to do the same. Whilst we are still part of the European Union, it is time for us, Prime minister, to take our fair share of asylum seeks on Europe’s boarders. Greece has 160,000 people already landing on their shore; our response cannot be only what we have done so far. I am growing up in a country which is proud of its progressive values and prides when we, as a nation, have stepped up. But it is time for us to step up again.

For more information on how to join the Refugees Welcome campaign, visit The Independent’s Guide.




Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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