Had a interesting multiple person discussion about the people drowning in the med trying to get to Europe and to various countries in Europe.Some wanted to stop them coming, to close our borders.
- Question one – how do you intend to do that?
- Shoot them!
- Turn them back to where they came from? [regardless of risks to them from doing so]
- Stop them entering, so leaving them camping on the border.
Only the first of these will stop them, the others just delays making a decision.
- Question two – why do they want to come here?
- because its dangerous to stay where they are, due to war, chaos, persecution etc.
- because they can find better jobs and life style here.
- For freedom, from war, persecution etc.
- because you and I would do the same in their place.
Think about your family, would you stay and suffer in a country or would you try to find somewhere safer to live. Somewhere you can live free from the threat of death, hunger, free to work and bring your family up. Even within safe England people move for economic reasons around the country, moving south quite often. Should that be stopped? In the middle ages, even with people tied to the land and their lord, people moved to towns to gain freedom. It has always happened.
- Question three – why has this happened?
- Because as a western culture we have interfered in the way other nations work. Keeping there incomes low so they provide cheep labor to make goods holidays and food for us. We support bad government with arms and money, rather than helping to raise the living standards of their people.
- Because our leaders see strong nations as a threat to us.
- Because we encourage, small power groups which destabilise nations. We supported Alquahia in Afghanistan in the first place to counter the USSR.
- Because people, just like us will always want to try to improve their life. We do it all the time, why can’t others?
- Because we are all greedy and want more of the resources of the world for ourselves. Regardless of how it effects others.
Think about the things you buy, how many are made or grown by people who are paid very little so you can have it cheep? How much of your food or other goods are ‘Fair Trade’? Our holidays, how much are the people serving you paid? How much goes to western companies?
Baroness Anelay for the government as reported in the Guardian – “We do not support planned search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean. We believe that they create an unintended ‘pull factor’, encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths.”
As a Christian I want to see them treated as I would want to be treated. I would want help, help to get somewhere safe, help in getting shelter etc. Is that what we are doing?
I know its a difficult situation but I do think we can do a lot better than just letting people drown. We can pay for and defend safe camps for them, either side of the sea. We can encourage them to stay at home by providing help in their countries by making sure that they can have safe homes and paying work, just as we want. That will mean fairer trade for a start, as well as stopping the supply of weapons. It will mean that we can not just take and use what we want without thinking about the consequences for others and how they live.
This will mean sacrifices but for a very long time they have been expected to sacrifice so we could have a good life. We have created the problem by the inequalities in the world, just as we can see those same tensions in our own country. Here governments will introduce minimum wages etc to try to keep the unrest at inequalities under control, just as the Romans used bread and circuses for the same thing. If it works here then it works for the poorer parts of the world as well.
Its the right thing to do.