Thursday 2 September 2021

Barnet Council offers to house five Afghan households

Barnet Council has the highest population of any of the 32 London Council's. It has recently announced that it will be housing five Afghan refugee households. These refugees are people who put their lives and the lives of their families on the line to support the British Army operations in the country. They are arriving in the UK having left everything behind, with what they can carry. The figures indicate that there have been 8,000 people airlifted out with up to 20,000 eventually coming. As the largest of Londons councils, is 5  households really all we can do? 

We have a responsibility to these refugees. They are at risk from the Taliban because they chose to work with us. It would be immoral to abandon them. I was initially quite pleased when I saw that Barnet Council were offering assistance, but five households seems like a very small number. Surely people who have fled such terror need the support of friends, family and community. Of course Barnet Council haslimited resources and is massively stretched and for once I will refrain from being too harsh on them for such a small number. Central government and Boris Johnson are the ones who have created this crisis and they should be offering generous funding for councils to encourage them to assist. 

One aspect the government are keeping very quiet about is what they will do the billions that they are not spending on the war anymore. There clearly is the cash there, it would be good to spend some of it in the UK on people who need it. 

My assumption is that the people who are coming over are people who have a history of working, many as interpreters, so they will be fluent in English and will surely be able to find work, they will not be a burden. They also have demonstrated a commitment to democracy and inclusiveness. We should house them and give them the means to earn a living ASAP. It is the very least we could do, and surely we should do more than the very least.

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