The reactions of many local communities to government plans to relocate asylum seekers to their areas were, unfortunately, to be expected.
It is now time for local leaders to step in. No one is asking them to disregard their constituents’ fears and concerns, but they shouldn’t allow people to get carried away by the hype and should explain that hosting a few hundred people in their areas does not pose a threat. And they need to show solidarity toward the island communities that have had to shoulder such as disproportionate burden.
Local leaders need to consider that by only looking after their own narrow interests, they risk setting off a domino effect that could turn an already huge problem into a completely unmanageable one.