Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigrants

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Italian navy rescue asylum seekers

Groups of people are fleeing Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Israel and many other countries around the north of Africa and across the middle east. Giving up their lives and life savings to strangers to escape persecution and warfare. Our response? Not our problem.

Consider that it is our (the West’s) actions that have caused much of the unrest in this area and you have to wonder why people are tuning their back on these people. Specifically the UK. Germany, France, Sweden and others are welcoming these individuals into their countries but we refuse to help and instead would rather piss around with policy at the Euro Tunnel instead.

I am aware that the influx of “foreigners” is not going down well everywhere – Greece and Germany are facing riots and demonstrations – but overall it is the continuation of decades of living in a continent that is all about people joining ad leaving it everyday.

ISIS, or whatever they are called this week, are creating confusion across the Middle East and thousands are fleeing for their lives. The UK is responsible for the existence of ISIS in the first place. Along with its allies it marched into Afghanistan and Iraq and did untold damage to the infrastructure and then left a free for all for US & UK companies to divvy up the spoils afterwards. This unrest spread and the Taliban mutated and became a new and less peaceful creature.

We now sit here in the UK tsking and tutting our way through the news reports, but whether you were pro or anti the wars we were involved with we need to do something. Forget the terms Refugees or Immigrants or Asylum Seekers and lets call them what they really are – people, our fellow human beings, families running away from danger and death.

Let’s frame the situation this way – without labels or countries or religion involved:

People are being killed, raped and tortured by an enemy who will stop at nothing to get their way and steal land and belongings of others. They sweep through countries and rip out anything of value to help them. The indigenous populations are grabbing all they can and escaping this knocking on their neighbours’ doors to find shelter. Their neighbours lock the doors and ignore the noise outside. 

If everyone took their fair share and ignored the Daily Mail/Right Wing/UKIP rhetoric and actually looked at the images of young children crying as their parents try to find passage to safety with their kids on their shoulders to avoid them being crushed then perhaps we’d see it differently.

We need to confront ISIS. Why are we largely ignoring this wave of hatred across a huge swathe of the planet? There needs to be a more focussed and collaborative approach – especially from those who were happy to march in over a decade ago and cause the issues in the first place.

The UN has to intervene and organise passage for those arriving in Malta, Greece, Macedonia and other countries and have a fair sharing out of people. Stop putting all the pressure on a few countries and look how best we could solve this human travesty.

Finally we in the UK need to stop being so blinkered. Immigration to this country is not massive. And the laugh is that we wonder about all across the globe, living in other countries and retiring across Europe – but still we make the most noise about incomers when we’re one of the worst for emigration.

Until we see those faces on the news as our neighbours and fellow humans struggling to survive this problem will not go away.

JD

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