Celebrities, authors and footballers have spoken out to pledge their support for the thousands of refugees seeking sanctuary in Europe.
Bob Geldof, in a highly charged interview on Irish radio, offered to take in four families immediately and give them shelter in his homes in Kent and London. Geldof said: “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.”
He told RTÉ the images of three-year-old Syrian Aylan Kurdi’s body being washed up on a Turkish beach, and other distressing reports from borders and cities across Europe, were a source of shame.
“I look at it with profound shame and 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.”
On her Twitter account, the author JK Rowling added her support to the refugees welcome campaign that is spreading across Europe.
If you can't imagine yourself in one of those boats, you have something missing. They are dying for a life worth living. #refugeeswelcome
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 3, 2015
Mary Portas, the fashion retail expert, added her name to the refugees welcome campaign, urging her followers to sign a Save the Children petition for urgent EU action and for Britain to take its fair share of refugees.
Stan Collymore, the former Aston Villa striker, is among those supporting the campaign to show solidarity for those trying to start a new life in Europe after fleeing war zones in Syria and elsewhere.
“I remember Doug Ellis and our team taking aid to Bucharest in 1997 ahead of playing Steaua [Bucureşti], and also Birmingham is a vibrant multicultural community,” he said. “I think our great club could and should do our bit to help.”
He also said he would look after a refugee family in his own home.
If my government allows, I'll take a Syrian family in my home for a year, tomorrow @leehayward1970 . Will you? Or just bitch?
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) September 2, 2015