Tuesday 28 March 2017

Refugee crisis a monstrous shame, says Geldof as he offers to take in families

Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof

Ed Carty

Bob Geldof has offered to immediately take in four families as he expressed disgust at the migrant and refugee crisis in Europe.

The aid campaigner and singer said he would open the doors to his family home in Kent and his flat in London in a personal response to the shocking scenes on borders, beaches and railway stations.

"If there's a new economy then there needs to be a new politics and it's a failure of that new politics that's led to this disgrace, this absolute sickening disgrace," he said.

"I'm prepared - I'm lucky, I've a place in Kent and a flat in London - me and [partner] Jeanne would be prepared to take three families immediately in our place in Kent and a family in our flat in London, immediately, and put them up until such time as they can get going and get a purchase on their future."

Geldof told RTÉ Radio: "I can't stand what is happening. I cannot stand what it does to us."

The former Boomtown Rat and Developing World campaigner said the images of three-year-old Syrian Aylan Kurdi's body being washed up on a Turkish beach, and other distressing reports were a source of shame.

Betrayal

"I look at it with profound shame as a monstrous betrayal of who we are and what we wish to be," he said.

"We are in a moment currently now that will be discussed and impacted on in 300 years' time."

Geldof said he was in his home on Thursday night and could not grasp the depth of the crisis and the limited response from governments when he decided he should put his money where his mouth is.

"I've known, you've known, and everyone listening has known that the b******s we talk about, our values, are complete nonsense," he said.

"Once it comes home to roost, we deny those values, we betray ourselves, but those values are correct, and it happens time and time again.

"So we are better than this, we genuinely are."

The Dubliner said he was on the Italian island of Lampedusa 12 years ago where he visited a refugee camp and spoke to the mayor who said that every morning dead men, women and children were being washed up on the rocks.

The campaigner described himself as a migrant.

He warned "environmental decays" will worsen the migrant and refugee crisis in coming decades.

"All of this is happening now. We must have the politics and the humanity to deal with it. It makes me sick and a concert won't do it," Geldof added.

Irish Independent

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