I was saddened to read in today’s Oxford Mail what I assumed was a fair representation of the Oxford public’s response to the question of Afghan refugees coming to this country.

There seemed to be a misunderstanding on the part of many people of who is likely to arrive in the Oxford area.

These are people who worked with UK armed forces and were promised that they would be protected from the Taliban.

Are some people suggesting we should not honour our commitments and leave people who risked their lives helping our troops to certain torture and probable death at the hands of the Taliban ?

Do people who don’t want Afghan refugees coming here have daughters, wives, sisters ?

The Taliban is setting out to impose horrendous punishment on women who have gained freedoms over the last 20 years.

There will be women amongst the refugees who will escaping probable rape, beatings, torture and worse.

How did our country change from the one in the last war who welcomed Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in large numbers when Britain was far poorer and with far worse housing than now ?

Afghan refugees are not coming here to steal jobs and housing from British people.

They are coming to be able to live.

Government figures show that refugees bring a net, financial benefit to this country.

And God knows we need young people who have enough ‘get up and go’ when we are short of lorry drivers, fruit pickers, care workers.

The people who worked with our troops will be able to speak English!

The argument that we have homeless people of our own is misleading,

The Government are not suddenly going to produce thousands of houses for our homeless after 11 years of building virtually no council houses.

Afghan refugees will be put in accommodation that British people would not want to live in.

So far, the ones already here are crammed into temporary places with dreadful facilities, no money and virtually no help or support.

They are still incredibly grateful to be alive and out of the hell hole which is Afghanistan.

We need to remember we followed the Americans there 20 years ago without any proper strategy or endgame.

And now we are beating a hasty retreat, again following the Americans.

Stephanie Newsome