I seem to be becoming far more political and opinionated in my old age. I don’t know if it’s because I’m changing or because the government is but I definitely take far more interest in the news and politics than I ever have done before. There are so many things that I disagree with about our current government, I’ve already made my feelings clear about cuts to the NHS but there’s far more than that making me angry each day, whenever I look at the headlines. Changes to Education and Energy being two areas which make my blood boil but I’ll keep those rants for another blog.
Today it’s not so much the government that I want to rant about, it’s my country, and how disappointed I am by some of the people who live here.
The news recently has been full of stories about the refugee crisis, people fleeing their countries because of war, conscription, terrible human rights violations. Families being split. People living in fear. Running because nothing can be as bad as the thing that they are trying to escape from. I have been truly touched by the individuals who have taken it upon themselves to do something to help. The Worldwide Tribe are doing a great job of sharing the stories of people in the Jungle in Calais and are doing some amazing work as CalAid.
Patrick Ness set up a Fundraising page to try to raise £10000 for Save the Children and it’s already raised almost £250000. In fact the total is going up so quickly that it will probably be way over that amount by the time I finish writing this blog! It’s brilliant, people really care about their fellow humans. There are events being held to collect items and raise money to help refugees. It restores your faith in humanity. People are offering rooms in their own homes, it’s amazing.
Then I come across a newspaper article on Facebook about Cameron agreeing to take more refugees, for once even he is in my good books! His promises aren’t great but it’s a start. And then I see the comments. So many comments. Talking about “people coming over here to take our jobs”, “they’re only coming for the benefits”, “what about British people who need houses?”, “why should I pay for them?”. I am horrified. I have always, from a very young age, appreciated how lucky I am to live in this country and in this time. Because that’s all it comes down to, luck, or lack thereof.
I am so lucky that I can’t even begin to imagine what these people have been through. It makes me sick to think that people could be so lacking in empathy. If people are in need surely we help? It’s so inspiring to read the messages that people leave on the donations pages. People apologising that they can’t give more but giving all they can.
I don’t understand this idea of “us” and “them”. We are all just people and some of us need help. It seems to me that certain members of the British public are more willing to help animals than humans and it makes me sick. We are so lucky to live in a peaceful country where the vast majority of people have all that they need and far more besides. It’s not the first time that people have been displaced and sadly it won’t be the last.
People don’t risk their lives for £36 a week. They risk their lives because the alternative is too terrible to comprehend. We are all humans and I really hope that if the narrow minded people who wrote those comments could meet these people as individuals and hear their stories, see their scars and feel their pain they would understand.