Thursday, 11 June 2015

TW'sV on migration

Having briskly walked up a hill, my thermos of tea was welcomed.  As I lent back to take a sip, a curious beautiful lady approached and I couldn't resist taking her picture.  Apart from her mandatory numerical identity, she was named Drumbeat Rachel.

That's a sure sign she is being treated with the respect she deserves, not locked away in a factory 'farm'.

An optician was out sailing on his small yacht with his mates, when he heard screams and found himself surrounded by drowning people whose boat had just sunk.  He managed to rescue almost fifty, but had to leave hundreds behind to perish.  

His story reminds us that the people being trafficked across the Mediterranean are just that, people not things.  The encounter has left a scar on the optician's life, and he now campaigns for European action.  This leads me to my first view on a complex matter.

Any talk of migrants being less than human is obscene.  We should respect all life, from that of a calf to that of our fellow human beings.

Apparently our islands have taken a lower proportion of migrants than most other European nations.  During the election migration was a major issue [and responsibility for climate change largely ignored!?].  Many feel their jobs are threatened by migrants.  This is a people story too, because the ability to find work of dignity and reward is immensely empowering.  In this beautiful part of Dorset the gap between average incomes and average housing costs is one of the largest in the country.

Having a completely open door would be foolish because our islands are becoming increasingly crowded.

As I understand it much of Bristol's historical wealth derived from the slave trade, so we are not squeaky clean when we point fingers at others.  Chains were used to anchor ships; they were also used to anchor slaves to those ships.

Picture from Fast Company
As brave Christians stood with William Wilberforce and others to abolish slavery, so we should stand against human traffickers, or any form of slavery.  The picture above comes from a site encouraging companies to make sure they don't inadvertently employ slaves.

But how?  Well it took Wilberforce many attempts before legislation was passed by Parliament, so it might take us time to find the right solution.  His stance was urgent and powerful; we need to follow in the same path.

Politically, and in our daily conversation we must:

  • talk about the people involved
  • balance resources for all on the planet we share 
  • root out traffickers and any who treat others as lesser people.

Finally and positively, we should be thankful for and relish the freedom and peace we enjoy.