THERE were two contrasting developments yesterday. In a poll for The Sun newspaper asking if Britain should take in more Syrian refugees, only slightly more than one-third said we should. But 51 per cent of those asked said no. And 14 per cent said we should take none at all.

Another poll in the Daily Mail suggested most people in Britain would take fewer than 3,000 refugees.

It is a depressing, grim and sobering development. We think that even our most harsh countryman can see the dead, the struggling and the hopeless and want to do what they can to help. And yet the people asked for those polls would rather we did nothing.

Are we really that uncaring, that selfish a country?

Because, this weekend, throughout the country the actions of thousands of ordinary people would suggest otherwise.

People have rallied round. They have given money to Oxfam, Save the Children.

Workplaces, schools and nurseries around the country have organised collections for shoes, tents, pots, pans and other essential items requested by refugee groups.

Thousands of people in Scotland and the rest of the UK have expressed a desire to help.

Desire is perhaps not even a strong enough word. Thousands of us have looked on the picture of Alan Kurdi, dead on that beach, and felt a need to do something.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Eritreans are searching for a new home, even just a temporary home, because they wish to keep their family safe.

How can it not be human to look at that situation and want to help in some way?

Our inbox is full of National readers offering their spare rooms to refugees. Ordinary families, the elderly, single people, parents whose children have flown the coop, students living on their own have all asked to help.

We are receiving phone calls constantly from groups and individuals organising fundraising events.

It seems across Europe this crisis is bringing out the best and worst in people.

There is a time to talk about our foreign policy. There is a time to talk about what we can do to bring an end to the violence of Daesh and Assad in Syria.

There is a time for fine rhetoric and grand writing.

There is a time for talk about military intervention and its effectiveness.

But what we have here is not a refugee crisis, or an immigration crisis, what we have here is a human crisis.

Make no mistake, those who want to keep this country the way it is, to keep “them” there and “us” here, will have no luck.

This is the beginning of a change and a challenge in our world. It will be unlike anything we have ever faced before.

The world is changing. It is time to be human.