I am wasting my time right? The only people who will read this already agree with me. Those that don’t won’t.
So I will write this for my own sake. It might be therapeutic. I only wish I could do more.
The BBC has reported two ‘crises’ over the Christmas period. The first of these was the ‘drone crisis’. The other was the ‘migrant crisis’. It struck me that there was a strange synergy between the two- the language used. The fear of the faceless inhuman other. The popular perception of an infringement on our ‘rights’ to continue with our small-island Britishness with no disruption.
The implication is clear. Migrants are not people- not people like us, anyway, so pull up the drawbridge. Build a wall.
It is too crowded here.
We are dealing with austerity; our NHS and our benefits system is already stretched to breaking point.
It was logical then, when faced with small boats landing scores (not thousands, as are landing elsewhere in Europe) of desperate souls on our beaches, for our Home Secretary to come home for holiday and shout ‘Crisis’. (The same Home Secretary whose family had also been migrants, during a time when conditions were less ‘hostile’.)
Next we had to listen to him wringing his hands with the most twisted piece of logic ever spewed on to a TV screen. Should we deploy more patrol ships to drive them off our shores, or would this attract more migrants because they would feel ‘safer’?
They aren’t like us, remember?
Perhaps they are not. Perhaps they have more compassion than that displayed by our government. One day we will look back in shame.
So, as a tiny, probably pointless act of resistance, I write this, and also offer you this song, in the faint hope that we remember that people are the same on the inside,
no matter the pigmentation of their skin,
or what accent flavours their almost-perfect English,
or what name they give to god.