Saturday, 8 August 2015

Migrant Tragedy: I'm Depressed and Angry

I'm  depressed and fucking well angry at the inhuman reaction towards migrants which has been stoked up by nasty self-serving politicians courting popularity on the backs of  lost lives. 2 days ago an estimated 200 migrants drowned in the Med, bringing the total drowning's to almost 3,000 this year. On top this we have a massive body count of migrants dying  in the deserts and hostile terrain they  have to cross to reach the Med and Europe, or who falling victim to murderous robbers they encounter on their way. Even after reaching Europe death still stalks these unfortunate people. In Calais at least 10 people have died in the past 2 months trying to reach the UK. And if the high probability of death was not bad  enough, migrants are forced to live in unimaginably squalid conditions for months on end before their applications for asylum are processed. Just today the United Nations Commission for Refugees published reports condemning the utterly dreadful  conditions and lack of humanitarian support migrants face when they come ashore in Greece, or at Calais in the  modern day slum called the Jungle. For fuck's sake Europe is a wealthy continent and asylum seeking migrants should not be forced to have to live in medieval conditions.

These are some of the most desperate people on our planet. They are fleeing war, persecution, torture, rape, murder and famine. They are prepared to take any risk imaginable to get to a safe heaven and yet we treat them as sub-human. Instead of being compassionate David Cameron has decided to spend £7million, (on top of the millions already being spent on security) on erecting more fencing, employing more security guards, and fitting more CCTV at Calais Channel Tunnel. And if that wasn't enough the Government plans to withdraw the already pitifully low financial support provided to migrants coming to the UK and to end their right to housing, if their asylum applications are unsuccessful. So what's going to happen to the  4 out of 10 failed asylum applicants  who win their cases on appeal? Are they going  to be forced to live on the streets and beg to survive  until their cases are heard?  And don't forget when compared to other EU countries we take in a shamefully low number of migrants.

All this week BBC Radio Kent has hosted phone ins about migration and the Dover/ Calais situation. Some of the nasty, vitriolic comments made have astounded me. I simply cant believe that there are so many ignorant bigots in Kent. Even our local MP for South Thanet, Craig McInlay has been stirring the pot of hatred say that tens of millions of asylum seekers will head to our country if we don't adopt a tough stance. And as for the Labour Party, all of the leadership candidates, with the exception of Jeremy Corbyn, have remained silent on immigration despite the continuing deaths and the comments of the United Nations. I thought Labour was supposed to be the fucking opposition! And just to demonstrate how nasty and hateful people can be about the migrants, just last week I attended a demonstration at Folkestone Channel Tunnel Terminal in support of the migrants with 30 or so compassionate people. Our peaceful humanitarian demo was charged and attacked by thugs from Britain First and the English Defence League.

But the fact is that fortress Europe and a Calais lock-down will never solve this problem. As long as we, and other western countries, through out foreign policy,  continue to politically and physically destabilise vulnerable countries and exploit the natural resources; and as long as we continue to pursue policies which  lead to global warming;  migration will continue and it will grow.  What we are seeing now is only the beginning of what is likely  become a massive international crisis of an  unimaginable scale. We need to act urgently to tackle the root causes of mass migration rather than erecting fences and employing more security guards. Lets start by spending money at Calais on a modern  reception centre where migrants can live in decent conditions and be processed quickly. Instead of screwing Greece for £billions in repayments lets write of its debt and allow it to invest some of this money in providing proper facilities of the tens of thousands of refugees who come ashore from the Med. My hope is that instead of focusing on the death TV celebrities or sporting success, our political leaders will begin to focus on and show sympathy towards  the humanitarian crisis of tens of thousands of people perishing whilst fleeing horrors that most  of us will thankfully never have to experience.

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