Performative Nuance

Letter to my MP over Ukrainian refugees and sanctions

I wrote the below to my MP, Ellie Reeves, over support for refugees and sanctions against Russia in the light of the 2021 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here’s why.

Dear Ellie Reeves,

I write with grave concern for the people of Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.

In response to this, we must support refugees as they flee the bloodshed- The UK government likely spent more than a billion pounds arming the Ukrainian military for this war- At least £500m of direct weapons shipments were was disclosed, and the total cost will be far higher.

Spending less than this housing those fleeing the war we armed would be a moral outrage.

In an ideal world, we would act on this with a coalition of other nations to support refugees, and doubtless one will form- By acting now, unilaterally, we take a leadership role in such a coalition.

I hope that you will call on the home office to immediately begin providing refuge for Ukrainians in the uk, and begin providing administrative and logistical help on the western borders of Ukraine.

The Russian state funded their military buildup and invasion with capital raised on the LSE, and Russian companies traded there pay tens of billions annually directly into the Russian tax pot- The same scale as the entire Russian military budget.

The invasion of Ukraine is an egregious breach of the international order, and it requires exemplary action to show that it is not acceptable: Sanctions must be broad ranging, actually targeting all oligarchic money in the UK, the SWIFT transaction system(and the broader banking system), and energy companies.

While sanctions will doubtlessly cause the prices of oil and gas to rise further, and compound the cost of living crisis, this is what Russia is relying on and why it feels able to invade without fear of sanctions.

If our homes are heated only because Ukrainian civilians burn in theirs, we cannot accept it: We must burn less gas, and put in place domestic policies to ensure equitable distribution of what we do burn.

I hope you will call for stronger sanctions across the board, and particularly on oligarchic money in the UK, and resist the urge to timidity on energy supplies. I hope you will link our dependence on low gas prices to measures which can being down bills for the UK, such as mass insulation subsidies, retrofit grants and increased renewable supply.

Militarily intervening in this conflict is not on the table, but fighting a proxy war through arming Ukrainian resistance may further UK interests and weaken Russia, will come at the cost of worsening the suffering and massacre of a civilian population who simply need shelter and support. I hope you will not speak in favour of this.

If you know of Ukrainian or refugee organisations in the borough who may need resource at this time: I’m a specialist in care, especially of LGBT people, and can help organise wider support for refugees.

I hope I can count on your support in parliament and outside of it in support of refugees fleeing Ukraine and stronger sanctions on Russian interests in the uk.

Yours sincerely,

Ada Cable