Having just returned from a well meaning but overly self congratulatory “refugees welcome” march it seems necessary to spend a few minutes correcting, tweaking and obliterating some of the “facts” confidently spouted by commentators, politicians and members of the public.
The sheer volume of vacuous crap on display in recent months has been quite impressive. Now don’t get the wrong idea. I am not just going after those favouring a closed door policy. ‘Cuddle a Syrian campaigners’ are just as guilty of dropping steaming turds of inaccuracies as the ‘we have no room’ UKIP berks.
Leaning right doesn’t mean you hate refugees.
I was struck on this march how vociferously anti-right the tone was. I am not talking about the far right, I am talking about how anyone straying right of centre was essentially accused of wanting to sink every refugee vessel in the Med.
More people voted for the Tory party in the last election than any other party. Bad for the poor, good material for political bloggers. To suggest that the 11+million people who voted Conservative are indifferent to the suffering of children washing up on the shores of Greece is just wrong.
By all means rail against David Cameron only deciding to take more refugees when the focus groups told him that he should. Do not however, accuse anyone who voted blue of not caring about the suffering of others.
The left do not have a monopoly on compassion.
It is mainly the Wests fault.
Here is the real cherry on top of the steaming cow pat.
Usually said knowingly by someone who thinks they are well informed but who has actually missed a great opportunity to keep quite.
“Well none of this would have happened if we hadn’t invaded Iraq” they say while trying to exude a brooding intensity which belies their utter twatishness.
Yes, the US/UK led invasion of Iraq destabilised the region. Attempts to impose a western style democracy led to the fracturing of a state which has very deep ethnic and religious divisions. These conditions made it far easier for ISIS to take root.
However this argument can be made indefinitely going back to the dawn of time. Why not blame Saint Ambrose? The Bishop of Milan who 1500 years ago did more than anyone to establish religions primacy to state and promote the persecution of different faiths.
There comes a point when the person to blame for a horrific action is the person committing the action. The groups who behead aid workers, use rape as an instrument of conquest and desecrate historical sites are, lets face it, the ones mainly to blame.
Do not justify their horrific acts.
Stop saying economic migrant
Really stop and think about the phrase economic migrant. It is essentially someone who is moving to another country to improve their economic prospects. Most refugees come from Syria, Eritrea and Nigeria. This definition could easily apply to those people. They all want to improve their economic prospects.
However this really doesn’t tell the whole story.
Take Nigeria. As a Nigerian you will live with the very real fear that Boko Haram are going to arrive in your village, abduct and rape your daughters, killing anyone who resists. Obviously jobs are somewhat hard to come by in such a place. However is it really fair to label the family leaving to escape this hardship and economic migrant?
Lets look at Syrian ‘economic migrants’. Your whole family has either been gassed by your government, beheaded by insurgents or lay in the rubble that was your house. You have two children left and your town is a literal bomb site. You have no way of supporting your family and keeping them safe so you leave. Yes, to get a job abroad. But it is a highly inaccurate description of there plight to describe them as ‘economic migrants’.
Eritrea is insane. The government has systematised forced labour so as soon as a person reaches adulthood they have indefinite community service. If you stop, you go to prison. The government has also shown its proficiency in systematising crimes against humanity by using rape and mass murder as a weapon (see a great article here). If you leave Eritrea you will be able to get a proper wage for the first time. But can we define leaving virtual slavery economic migration?
These people are refugees.
We do enough
Shut up. You know who does enough? Lebanon. We are are offering to take twenty thousand refugees (over 5 years). That is 0.03% of our 60 million population.
Lebanon was at one point receiving 20,000 every two days! They have a population of 4 million and over 1 million refugees. That is a quarter. They are doing their bit.