Thoughts on refguees

The current refugee crisis has sparked all kinds of political discussion. It tends to fall into two arguments – let them in, or keep them out. Other intellectual, philosophical and religious arguments have been used, but it really comes down to whether we – by which I mean many things, Britain, Europe, wider Western society – should let the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing atrocities in Syria, Afghanistan, North Africa and the like in to our countries, or not.

Those who care about the welfare of the refugees, motivated by humanitarian or humanistic principles, have drawn parallels with the way that North African and Middle Eastern countries took on thousands fleeing from Nazi horrors during the 1940s. We should do unto others as they have done unto us, the logic goes.

Those who take the opposite view point tend to think Katie Hopkins is a person of sound political opinions.

The fact is though, the refugee crisis can be summarised very simply. In fact, these days, the news in general can be summarised very simply:

Children are dying.

Whether they are drowned in the Aegean sea, whether they are murdered by the brutality of ISIS, whether they are simply collateral damage in a US Drone strike, the simple fact remains:

Children are dying.

This is the top item of news. This is the only item of news. Until it ceases to be, everything else is utterly irrelevant. All religious and political ideologies are null and void. All philosophical arguments fall short.

Children are dying.

And we – whatever we means – stand in a position where we cannot prevent it, but we can give some of those who make it a shot at life. We are faced with the huge weight of collective responsibility, a requirement to either act or ignore. And we condemn ourselves morally and historically. How will we explain to our own children, and their children, that we knew did nothing when faced with a simple reality?

Children are dying.


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