GG OPINION: 200 Syrian refugees arrive in Glasgow. Should we take more ?

More than 200 Syrian refugees arrived in Glasgow Airport last night ready to begin their new lives in Scotland.

The displaced civilians have been brought to Scotland as part of the governments Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme and will be housed equally by local council authorities in Glasgow, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire as well as throughout Scotland.

      Desperate: Families have been left with nothing

This will take the number of Syrian refugees housed in Scotland in the last 18 months to 1300 as the crisis in the West Asian Arab Republic hits breaking point.

Which means Scotland has now taken in more than 20% of refugees accepted from Syria by the UK as the Westminster government aims to bring in 20,000 by 2020.

The arrival in Scotland has been a bit of a mixed bag for refugees and asylum seekers over the past few years- for some it has been the end of a nightmare as they begin a new-life away from their war torn country.

Like the Syrians that said thank you to the people of Renfrewshire for giving them such a warm welcome.

But for others it has been a continuation of their nightmare as they are faced with homelessness, racism, religious prejudice, exploitation and many forced into prostitution or domestic slavery.

Queues for food parcels at a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan

The, mostly women and children, refugees were identified as vulnerable persons and put forward for resettlement from the region around Syria by the UNHCR. (The UN Refugee Agency.)

Glasgow and Scotland have so far been more open to idea of refugees in comparison with popular opinion in huge parts of England that is vehemently against housing refugees.

Former asylum seeker Roza Shalih will run for election to Glasgow Council in May

After May's council election Glasgow could have the UK's first elected Asylum Seeker as former Asylum Seeker Roza Salih from Glasgow Girls fame is running as an SNP candidate for Glasgow City Council.

Late last year the UK government voted to block a proposal to bring in an extra 10,000 vulnerable children and orphans from refugee camps- despite all elected members from Scotland voting in favour of the proposals.

Denied: The UK government rejected proposals to accept more orphan children currently living alone in camps

With a country that is 80% empty and an ageing population that is beginning to dwindle it can be argued that Scotland is in a much better position to house refugees than most other areas of the UK, particularly in English cities that are seeing overcrowding issues.

But in reality all that open space isn't what is being used and in many cases the refugees are being put in areas that are already struggling with issues like poverty and addictions and sadly seeing some different looking/sounding people move in to area breeds resentment among many people.

Syrians kids still smiling despite dire circumstances (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) 


We say Britain and Scotland should continue to bring in more refugees from war-torn countries as it is our duty as human-beings to help those in need.

But it is also the duty of our government to help the people already staying here and the vast amount of areas and people that are living in poverty, relying on food-banks and struggling to feed their kids.

The middle classes are rarely bothered or hassled with the issue of having hungry, needy and desperate families on their door-step- instead they are dumped into areas with enough problems and struggling as it is and in many cases it makes things worse.

We don't for a second blame the economic immigrants, asylum seekers or refugees for the problems in these areas but a fact of the matter is the more desperate people are the more likely they are to commit crimes and become involved in anti-social behaviour- and that goes for Glaswegians, Irish, English and Westerners as well as Romanians, Asians, Arabs and Africans and the rest of the world.

Poverty: many refugees are moved into Scotland's poorest areas where many issues are already present

All we are calling for is that the areas that will be housing these refugees get extra funding, extra public services, extra policing and as much help as possible to make life easier for the locals and the newcomers or risk further division and resentment among the working classes directing their angers down the way rather than up the way towards the people in power causing all the unrest.

Do you think Scotland should continue to take in more than it's fair share or the UK's refugee quota ? Do you think we take in enough, should take in more, or have enough problems of our own ?

Let us know in the comments


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