Sally Allen: Less chat and more do!

Torbay Weekly

Like many people these days, I recently tested my DNA and find, as I thought, that I am a mongrel. Indeed, I think that many of us probably are.

To be specific, my DNA is 59 per cent from Scotland, 12 per cent from England and north-western Europe, ten per cent Sweden and Denmark, nine per cent Norway, eight per cent Ireland and two per cent Wales.

What a cocktail – but very importantly, I was inordinately lucky to have been born white and in the UK.

I have even tracked relatives back to the early 1700s in Devon on my paternal side – so historically my DNA seems to reflect to maybe the Vikings and the Picts and Scots!

My husband’s family were refugees a few generations ago, fleeing initially from Russia during the pogroms and then from Poland during World War One.

The story goes that they were heading for the USA but ended up in London by mistake.

Hardly any of us can say that we are indigenous to our country 100 per cent, and certainly not in USA where it is only the Native Americans who can claim that right.

Everyone else is an immigrant, even those related to the Pilgrim Fathers.

So why are we not doing more to stop the horrors happening right now in the English Channel and in other parts of the world?

It is beyond comprehension and heart-breaking that we are not showing more compassion and dealing with the immigration problem in a better way.

Britain - when it was ‘Great’ Britain - was renowned for its welcome and succour to those under threat and in dire circumstances and seeking asylum and/or a better life.

I understand that we cannot accept everyone who wants to come here, because clearly our island is too small and, we don’t have the resources to look after everyone.

However, I do think that we could do so much better - 150 years ago, refugees travelled by ocean going liner not dinghy.

Double standards are rife these days and everyone is always so angry and uncaring.

We are all human beings, and we would all have a clearer and more compassionate view if it was us needing sanctuary, protection and understanding from discrimination.

Every life matters and has great value.

At least 27 people lost their lives trying to reach the UK in one boat in the last few days.

I understand from reading the reports that the 24-year-old student, Mariam Nouri Dargalayi was making the trip to be reunited with her fiancé, who is already living and working here.

Up to 50 people were purported to board two boats, but there was engine trouble and so rather than cancel the trip and loose tens of thousands of pounds, the gangsters who arrange these trips forced these desperate souls onboard one boat at gunpoint.

By the time these refugees even reached Dunkirk they would have had to travel long distances, in Mariam’s case from northern Iraq via Germany to the French coast. A no-doubt shocking trip on its own.

Is it really beyond our Government, and those around the world, to workout a system that can be sympathetic to those in dire need and to weed out any potential terrorists?

In my opinion, it’s our governments who need to raise their game and try to imagine themselves fleeing their homes without any possessions desperate to make a new life for themselves and their families.

The EU and ourselves should enable refugees to travel safely to their ultimate destination.

Instead of which, country after country merely pushes them on letting them get through to the French coast where they inevitably have to put themselves into the hands of the most unscrupulous people smugglers.

The EU seem to be washing their hands of any and all responsibility and should in fact be arresting the gangsters and not have thousands ending up on the coast willing to risk their lives for freedom.

Macron could be a hero instead of a villain. In politics in general, but on this issue in particular, there should be far more do and less chat!

When will politicians stop being so self-serving and start thinking of others?

Those running the world these days, live in great style and with incredible protection at all levels, and it seems they have lost touch with most of the realities of life.

When the horrors of real life don’t touch you first-hand, it is difficult to imagine other people’s plight, myself included, but we have to try to be more understanding and aware.

My parents went through World Wat Two, and I think it made them far more caring and selfless.