You know that feeling when you are just settling down for the night, maybe had a wee glass or two of refreshment, having just one last wee squint through Twitter and Facebook before bed, and you notice one or two posts and comments from friends and acquaintances that in usual circumstances you would normally just grind your teeth a bit about and then quietly to yourself disagree with.
You then do that kind of thing where you rationalise for them, you think maybe they don’t mean what their words actually read like they mean. Maybe they are just at the wind up to see if anyone will take the bait, and then you briefly turn your mind to the old adage “well if we all had the same opinion the world would be a dull place” that was perhaps instilled in you by your parents or someone significant in your early development.
There are some subjects however where if we all had the same opinion the world would be in fact a much better place.
One of those subjects is the continuing humanitarian nightmare that is the massive displacement of hundreds of thousands of women, children and men from the Syrian and Iraqi regions of the Middle East. Terrified, battered, bedraggled and in desperation these poor people are wandering Europe right now looking for sanctuary.
Official records suggest that over 1 million refugees crossed into mainland Europe, from this region in 2015 and 3770 men, women and children died, mainly through drowning, in an attempt to escape their homelands (These are just the ones they could count). These tragic fatalities continue to happen on a regular basis.
They have left behind the horrors of their homes being flattened, poisoned chemical and gas attacks, the high possibility of sudden death or maiming from sniper fire, rape, torture, fear of being stoned to death, or whipped or beheaded. All in a maelstrom of the powder keg mixture of civil and religious wars where power and extremism are vying with each other for control.
The writers of media comments which suggest that these people are coming to the west to seek economic benefits might just want to consider the previous paragraph. What would you do if it was you in that situation, if it was your children facing these horrors on a daily basis?
These refugees, not migrants, are human beings like us, not aliens from another planet. They don’t want their children to die before them, same as us. They want to provide for, feed, shelter, and clothe their children, like us. They are us. Only we are lucky enough to never have to face the nightmares that they have endured.
Secondly, anyone who suggests that these poor souls should sort their own problems out is living in cloud cuckoo land, and as such should perhaps grab a hold of an old DeLorean car with a digital counter on the dashboard,get Christopher Lloyd to shout “Great Scot!” at you, and fuck off back to 2003.
When you get there go and listen to the speakers on stage when over a million people marched to Hyde Park protesting against an illegal war which was not sanctioned by the United Nations, undertaken by the world’s superpower and their wee sook, a leader who quite possibly you posters of the “sort your own problems out” variety voted into power at the time.
A war based on fantasy football imaginary weapons of mass destruction, killing hundreds of thousands of innocents and radicalising to a great extent some of the remaining population to the point of joining or forming,by sect, extremist religious organisations hellbent on creating havoc and taking revenge. These are the groups the mass movement of refugees today are running away from.
So to say “sort your own problems out” is a bit rich seeing as the government of your own country hugely contributed to creating the problem in the first place, oh, and they might want to currently stop bombing the shite out of their countries as well.
There is a summit taking place in Brussels in which, in exchange for a bung, a one in one out system, free movement for its own citizens into Europe and accelerated moves to membership of the EU, Turkey are prepared to accept and shelter the ragged boatloads who reach Greece (approximately 2000 a day), Turkey already has approximately 2 million refugees sitting in transit camps within its borders. This is an attempt to stop these desperate people from taking the perilous journey from Turkey to Greece by sea.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister of Great Britain, who likes to refer to refugees as being “a swarm” can happily lounge on a deck chair at Dover with a set of binoculars in one hand and a megaphone in the other, so that if he ever catches sight of any half sinking boats filled with crying Middle Eastern types, or spots any floating bodies, he can holler, with his newfound EU special status hat on, ” We have an absolutely rock-solid-opt-out from these things” at the top of his voice. Aye, that will see them off no doubt.
This continuing humanitarian disaster is not going to go away. From a human perspective these people require our help.We are all citizens of the same world. They are our brothers and sisters. If you can’t see that,if you are just not “getting the vibe”, the thousands who have tragically had their lives ended during their desperate bid for sanctuary have died for nothing.
On International Women’s Day spare a thought for the Syrian and Iraq mothers of the 10,000 refugee children officially currently missing in Europe.