FYI, David Mackintosh responded (rather promptly) to my open letter below, and then I responded to him.
Dear David Mackintosh,
I am ashamed of our government's response to the refugee crisis.
The UK is lagging far behind all other wealthy EU nations in their commitment to sheltering refugees of the Syrian crisis. I am aware that David Cameron recently stated that the UK will take 20,000 migrants over the next 5 years, but this is still a tiny drop in the ocean and pales in comparison to the response from other EU nations: Germany let 20,000 migrants into the country this weekend alone.
I have also heard the rationale from the government: that Syria needs to keep its skilled workers nearby; that we shouldn't be encouraging people to make the dangerous journey etc.. I don't agree with this position at all. I believe it's a position born out of a xenophobic desire not to welcome Syrians and others, and an arrogant belief that our government knows whether people genuinely need to flee the area better than the people themselves do.
I was very impressed by David Miliband's comments about the crisis. As CEO of the International Rescue Committee he gave a clear and non-partisan explanation of why Britain has a responsibility to do more.
I not only believe that the UK isn't doing enough to support the rest of the EU in this crisis, I also believe that the EU itself should be doing a lot more - starting with revoking EU directive 2001/51/EC as mentioned in a video by Dr. Hans Rosling.
Therefore I urge you to encourage the Prime Minister and the cabinet to massively expand the UK's commitment to assisting in this refugee crisis. Until they do I will continue to feel deeply ashamed of Britain's role in the international community.
Yours in deepest sincerity,
Robin Winslow Morris