I don’t relish the idea of sitting ‘stacked’ on the motorway in Kent this week whilst trying to get across or through the channel to France for our holiday. Images of southern France occupy me now and I will float my way through the next few days dreaming of a warm breeze, the rustle of bamboo grass with the tantalizing tastes of Gascony on my lips.
I am generally positive in the face of such obstacles, although travelling with Maman and Lady Sedgewick means I less relish delays than usual as putting the elderly through the ordeal is worse than experiencing the inconvenience on your own behalf….however, I don’t blame the migrants. I know people in Kent and Calais are being put to great inconvenience and I sympathise – I really do. I’ve heard some strong views in the UK this week about the migrant issue. As usual, irresponsible and sensational reporting having whipped up those with the most extreme opinions. I’ve listened carefully to what has been said, thinking to find my own position…but the truth is, I have known what I think about it all along.
There lurking in my mind is the truth – and that is ‘there but for the grace of god’…not that I’m a religious person its just a phrase that works for me here. An accident of birth placed me in a democratic (well sort of) first world (hate that phrase but you know what I mean?) loving family…. I could just as easily have been born in a repressed, war torn, environment from which I would have done anything to escape.
The thing about this government is that they don’t want to invest in cause, only effect. They like to treat the end issue, because treating problems at the root is both expensive (and they prefer to offer tax concessions to the wealthy) and doesn’t appeal to their base of ‘middle England’ neither does it score swift political points which seems to me to be the only thing politicians are interested in. The retoric of our government being so much these days about showing our ‘strength’ while doing nothing….a desire only to tackle issues that can be solved in ‘one term’. They think sweeping in with money to build a wall is better than reaching out to the nations in need of help in the first place and they never, ever accept responsibility for having contributed to the resultant problems caused by their own flawed international policy.
I’m not saying I won’t be fed up later this week, if my holiday ends up being spent on the M20 motorway….but living in a migrant camp, stealing onto railway tracks in the middle of the night and putting yourself at risk of being killed by oncoming trains means, in my book, that you are desperate… for a helping hand, for a kindness, to be seen as a human being who has suffered great hardship and that you are searching for a better life – which is human nature isn’t it? If you leave people with nothing to lose, they have everything to fight for and they will fight hard.
I love this song, the man is a legend – saw him live back in the day…