If anyone has been involved in trying to get a local community behind Welcoming Refugees, you’ll know how important leadership is, especially in the local press. Often the Press is cautious and craven, worrying about advertising revenue and providing a “balanced view” of contentious issues.
So it has been really good to read about the heartwarming invitation by the Island of Bute to 80 Syrian refugees who have recently arrived on its windswept shores. They must be feeling a long way from home but the work that concerned local people have done to make them feel welcome is nothing short of magnificent.
But the very best is the leadership shown by the editor of the Local paper Craig Boland who, recognising that not every one on Bute agreed with the move said in his editorial : “There have, predictably but depressingly, been grumbles about how we should look after our own first, how we should be spending our taxes and so on. But mostly these are just not-very-thinly-veiled ways of people saying ‘I don’t want them in my back yard’. Well, I do. I want Bute to be a place where people who come here with little more than the clothes they are standing in can feel safe and at home. I want Bute to be a place known not for narrow-minded bigotry, but for its warmth, and humanity, and willingness to help people with nothing in whatever way it can.”
You can’t ask better than that!