Thursday, 3 September 2015

An open letter to Peter Bucklitsch

Dear Mr Bucklitsch,

Your disgraceful tweet today made me incredibly relieved that you failed to become my MP in the constituency of Wimbledon at the May election. Only 2,476 people in my neighbourhood voted for you and the rest of us should be glad.

I have no idea if you plan to stand for public office again, but if you ever do, you will be reminded on a daily basis that you felt the need to tweet: "The little Syrian boy was well clothed & well fed. He died because his parents were greedy for the good life in Europe. Queue jumping costs."

Then you felt the need to tweet a bonus load of hateful tripe: "Turkey is not a place where the family was in danger. Leaving that safe place put the family in peril."

As Kurds, the family were not have been warmly welcomed in Turkey. Thus they left Turkey. And then they washed up dead in Turkey. They were not on a beach in Bodrum for a suntan.

You have since deleted the tweets and your Twitter profile but, thanks to the magic of screen grabs, your vile words will still be accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Firstly, there is no queue to enter a safe country. When you are escaping a war zone, good manners don't apply. It is not like politely waiting your turn to get on the 163 from Wimbledon to Morden.

But what I really want to know, Mr Bucklitsch, is what you actually know about refugees, about the people who are seeking to do whatever it takes to get themselves and their families away from war zones and oppressive, undemocratic regimes?

I am really sorry that Aylan Kurdi, the dead child to which you referred in your sickening tweet, does not fit your stereotype of what a refugee should look like. I am sure his family were not concerned with ensuring their children looked sufficiently like scrawny, scruffy extras from Oliver! before they fled Syria so that people like you would not sneer from the comfort of safe and stable nations.

Aylan, his brother Galip, and his mother, Rehan, are now all dead. Only his father, Abdullah, survived. We know that they wanted to ultimately reach Canada, where they have relatives, not "the good life in Europe". We know they had been trying to enter Canada legally as asylum-seekers but had already had an application rejected. We know that they came from Kobani, a town which has suffered terribly because of appalling violence between IS and Kurdish fighters.

Abdullah was working as a barber in Syria. Presumably, until recently, he was able to earn a living to support his family, to buy them clothes and food. This was not so that people like you, Mr Bucklitsch, would question their refugee status because Aylan was apparently too well-dressed and not under-nourished enough for your liking.

Throughout history, refugees have not necessarily been starving, rag-clad waifs. In the lead up to WWII and from the time war was declared on Germany in 1939, thousands of affluent Jews fled for their lives. Educated people also have a long history of fleeing oppression. Hadi Khorsandi, the poet, satirist and father of stand-up comedian, Shappi Khorsandi, fled Iran, coming to Britain with his family after he criticised the regime that took power after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Countries such as Australia took many refugees from Cambodia during the awful years of Pol Pot's dictatorship - a particular target of his genocide was the educated and skilled. He did not want educated, skilled people. He wanted compliant automatons to work in a purely agrarian society.

But sadly, people like you, Mr Bucklitsch, have little interest in learning from history.

Thank you for adding nothing constructive to the debate. Thank you for reducing a global problem to a single, shameful, ignorant tweet that shows you did not bother to learn anything about the Kurdi family. Thank you for proving that as long as the people fleeing countries like Syria are seen as a "swarm" rather than real people with skills and life stories, we will not come any closer to resolving this horrific situation.

Yours sincerely,

Georgia Lewis

Photo by Gerhard Lipold


  1. I suppose I should be shocked by comments like these from Bucklitsch. The tragedy is that I am not. When did we as a nation lose our basic humanity, our common shared decency, our compassion? I am truly, deeply ashamed at being British at present.

    1. We lost all semblance of humanity thanks to THATCHER AND HER TORY/NAZI STORMTROOPERS who killed the notion of society and WORSHIPPED MAMMON

  2. Does this Bucklitsch clown and his like ever consider the emotional and distrssing decision to leave one's home and culture and probably an extended family and friends to undertake the (nowaday's) perilous journey to seek safety and the possibility of a better life? It is probably the most significant and important decision an individual and/or a family can make.

  3. This masterpiece by Georgia Lewis should be compulsory reading for every single person who has, or is entertaining thoughts of joining in the chorus of "Britain for the British" Which of us knows for sure that in their own family tree they do not have French, Danish, Irish, African, Italian or like the Royal Family, Greek and German ancestors.
    Here in Cheshire the largest employer for decades were two foreigners Mr Brunnner and Mr Mond whose global company became ICI
    Without foreign investment and ownership there would be hardly any motor industry in the UK. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Vauxhall, Ford and yes even Bentley at Crewe. are owned by overseas companies.
    Without foreign doctors, nurses, catering and cleaning staff the NHS would close tomorrow.
    be careful what you wish for.

  4. I can only add to the above comments Georgia. I find it unconscionable that the bigotry and preconceptions from the armchair critics, like Bucklitsch, have bypassed any knowledge of history and have voided themselves of any compassion for those in need of succour and new settlement.

  5. Someone with a surname that clearly indicates their ancestors were immigrants to Britain is complaining about immigrants?

    I doubt there is a single person in Britain who doesn't have immigrants among their ancestors, even within the past 150 years