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Thread: The Weymouth Portland Barge

  1. #1

    The Weymouth Portland Barge

    Just had a few days in Weymouth staying with an old friend. Via his charity work his wife has visited the Bibby Stockholm the 'refugee barge' moored 5 miles from the popular seaside resort on the island of Portland..

    There have been a couple of 'Stop The Barge' protest groups with the same aim but for totally opposite reasons. You could label one as pro refugee and the other as anti. Pro refugee believe placing the refugees (500 of them when full) on the barge is inhuman as the barge is not fit to house them. Anti believe they shouldn't be here in the first place and certainly not in their backyard. Having spoken to someone who has been on the barge and spoken to a few 'inmates' I would find it difficult to side with either.

    I found out some facts I didn't know and neither do most locals which I will share.

    The refugees on the barge have all been in the country for more than a year and are close to having their applications agreed or not.

    Those she interviewed were well educated.

    They arrived by plane. not a boat, on a false passport. On landing they 'gave themselves up' and applied for asylum. In the book 'The Beekeeper of Aleppo' this is also how they arrive. I never knew.

    On the barge they receive 3 meals a day.

    All their laundry is taken care of.

    They have free buses into Weymouth every hour which run until 11pm. This is a bit ironic as the locals around where my mate lives have been after a late night bus service for years and failed'

    The owners of the barge are 'loaded' and making a lot of money from it.

    There were lots of scare stories with the Weymouth/Portland folk fearing this would bring down on them a tidal wave of crime from petty theft to rape and murder to everything in between. It was also feared the barge people would be easily identified after picked on by any groups of local ne'er do wells. A couple of months in there is nothing to report.

    My opinion is there is little room for complaint from the refugees. It may not be ideal but the conditions are far from inhuman (might be a bit overcrowded and a fire risk with the full 500 on there) and they are a damn sight better than the 'camps' they have endured to get here.

    The locals have little to fear. The applicants are all close to getting a decision and the last thing they want to do is cause trouble. This information has not been shared with the public. Why not? Surely this would go a long way to allaying the fears of reasonable people.

    My conclusion is although far from ideal it is possibly as good a solution as there is.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Some interesting info. Does indeed make you wonder about how come such information isn't shared but then again, I guess if it doesn't fit the preconceived ideas or agendas of particular media outlets they won't be inclined to publicise it. Much easier to sell papers or attract attention/click bait if you have a story people can rail against I suppose...

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