I wrote the other week about seeing all the refugees coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq as humans. The image – which I have deliberately chosen not to use on this page – of the young drowned child which now sits on newspapers around the world somehow has sparked the world to action from standing still just moments before.
Why does it take such a graphic image for us to shake out of our collective ignorance? For many people it is the normality of these things that causes issues – we see pictures of starving, destitute, abused, helpless children on adverts, charity appeals, the news and online everyday and we have become hardened to the reality of what those pictures mean.
Statistics also ignore the individual stories and throwing numbers around as many are do not tell the story of the father who lost his son to the sea between Turkey and Kos. It takes a slap in the face of all that is good and decent to wake the media and large sways of the population from their collective slumber.
Neither David Cameron or any who support him will read this but it needs to be said: Not in my name.
I do not support your actions in ignoring the issue, blaming it on others, claiming that through Aid and Defence budgets you are helping. We are an Island nation with a proud past of opening our arms to the world; from those who seek refuge from persecution and war, through to those who come here for a better life.
I would welcome any of these people as my neighbour safe in the knowledge that my country stepped up and did something that mattered. That, regardless of annoying the right, took in those who would rather face the dangers of open sea that the danger of their everyday lives in war-torn countries – many of which we caused or refused to help with. I want to be on the right side of history, on the right side of decency and most importantly on the right side of my fellow human beings.
Stop pointing fingers. Stop making excuses. Stop passing the buck. Stop talking about securing our borders. Stop. We are a strong proud nation and we want to help – don’t be the one to stop it, be the one to help fix it.
There is only one option – hold out the UK’s hand and help these fellow humans or you’ll have to accept that what happens from here on in is all laid at your feet.
Please sign and share this official petition to ensure the men and women who represent us, truly represent the wishes of this United Kingdom http://www.petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105991
Lobby your MP to ask them to speak on your behalf in Parliament http://act.refugeecouncil.org.uk/lobby/medcrisis
Physically do something by donating if you live in Aberdeen https://www.facebook.com/events/545479862296780/
Other ways of helping are available, but I’d personally recommend Unicef’s work with these migrants and if you can afford to make a donation – either a one off or a small amount regularly – you’ll be helping the most vulnerable in the world.