It doesn’t take much of a ferret around in Facebook or Twitter to find the people who our politicians are aiming at with their inflammatory statements about refugees and immigration. One fact gets repeated again and again and like a brush fire even when you think it has been put down it’ll pop up somewhere else. This little lovely completely misrepresenting the payments made to refugees has been rearing its ugly head for the better part of a decade and slimed across my screen earlier in the week.
But the thing about having internet access is that it also takes very little effort to get the real facts. And that’s why there is no excuse for just taking stupid, inflammatory statements at face value.
One of my sons is doing an ethics course that is covering voting and why it’s important to be informed: Why casting your vote without being informed of the issues is unethical. Our modern world is a double-edged sword in this respect – the issues we face are increasingly complex and it’s not always easy to stay on top of things, but equally when an issue is important it there are deep and wide sources of real information available.
The issue of the moment is clearly refugees. If you were to listen to the politicians and their more hysterical followers you’d think we were being flooded with both refugees and queue-jumpers and that beating these hordes back from our doors was a full-time occupation. So some facts don’t go amiss. For example that our refugee intake represents less than 4 per cent of our total immigration intake. What any individual does with the facts is up to them, I can respect an informed interpretation of the facts even while not agreeing with it. But I can’t respect giving credence to the politicians’ inflammatory statements without taking two minutes to get the facts that are so readily available.
Obviously this doesn’t apply just to refugees. But if you are interested in some facts from the Government in actual refugee numbers you can’t go past something like this document as a starting point.