Compassion for Refugees

Drowned refugee boy

Drowned refugee boy shocks the world

It’s all about compassion. As I write this, the news media is full of information about the “refugee crisis” or “migrant crisis”. Hot spots are Calais in France, Southern Italy and Libya, Budapest in Hungary, and the island of Cos in Greece and Turkey. Who cannot be moved by the photograph of a young boy’s body, washed up on the beach. Politicians can rationalise and talk about the underlying causes but I sense a change in ordinary people’s attitudes as they feel sympathy, empathy and compassion towards people they see as fellow human beings. [Read more…]

Who should we blame?

No Blacks, no Dogs, no IrishThe other day we watched a film about a Jew, living in America, who had escaped Austria when the Nazis took over. Before she left Austria, the Nazis stole all the family possessions, including a famous  work of art worth millions of dollars. Sixty years later the painting was displayed in an art gallery in Vienna and the film describes her, eventually successful, efforts to restore the painting to its rightful owner.

In a sub-plot there are flashbacks in the film, to the period when Austria was taken over by the Nazis. We see scenes where the population was stirred up in hatred for the Jews. Jewish families were humiliated by ordinary people on the street, and of course they were eventually led away  to their deaths. [Read more…]

Immigrants or Settlers

Peoples of Britain circa 600

Peoples of Britain circa 600 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Immigration is a hot issue in the United Kingdom right now. Some time ago I picked up a copy of the Daily ? (a paper that I don’t normally read) and the story on the front page was going on about immigrants and basically implying that we should pull up the drawbridge and prevent any further immigration into our already “overcrowded Island”.

Turning to page 20 (or thereabouts) was an article about how the world economic crisis had affected Dubai and how “poor” British “settlers” were suffering from the economic fallout.

Probably the two journalists did not meet to discuss how they should handle the situation. But why are migrants to the United Kingdom demonised and called immigrants (a word with all sort of connotations) whilst British migrants to other countries were treated sympathetically as settlers? [Read more…]

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