Population rise ignored

30 May 2015 | Leicester Mercury

(Headline by Leicester Mercury)

Sylvia Reid’s concern for the thousands of migrants risking their lives to reach Europe is shared by many. (First person, May 26) Nevertheless, we should try to understand the difficulties in dealing with this tragedy.

A billion people are being added to the population of Africa and the wider Middle East every 25 to 30 years. How many of these billions of people should the politicians allow into Europe? A hundred million? Ten million? One million? How many can come over here without serious conflict breaking out in European cities? Politicians have to decide these matters. It isn’t easy and we should hesitate before blaming them.

Sylvia Reid notes the migrations from Syria and Iraq, two countries which have been doubling their populations every 25 years since 1950. She also mentions the Irish famines of the 19th century. In the fifty years before the great famine of the 1840s Ireland had doubled its population, from 4 million to 8 million, the fastest growing population in Europe and a major cause of the famine. These causes of migration from Syria and Iraq recently, and from Ireland in the 19th century are virtually never mentioned. Commentators should start mentioning them now.

Gerald Danaher