Italy has hinted it could give up or cut the desperate search-and-rescue operation it runs to save the lives of thousands of immigrants who try to cross the Mediterranean – unless other EU countries help share the burden. Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has renewed his demand for the European Union to relieve pressure on Italy, which has seen some 100,000 migrants arrive so far this year alone – and hinted the country would stop the operations without help.(Huffington Post)
And lo there was a baby floating in the waters of the River Nile and lo Pharoah’s daughter espied the baby. Reaching down into the waters thus did Pharoah’s daughter exclaim,”But what is this? The boat the child sales in is not seaworthy! Should I be importuned by Hebrews floating their children upon my waters? Should I take in this child it will create an unintended “pull factor” and more Hebrew migrants will attempt the dangerous Nile crossing, drown the child, drown it!”
– From the Bible of Capitalism
Now this is not quite how the bible story goes, but these are the sentiments of the British government as expressed in the House of Lords this week, courtesy of the Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay. So, Britain can afford tax cuts for the rich, but it can’t afford to rescue refugees running away from the multitudinous conflicts taking place all over the world (some of which we have had a hand in). It can afford to focus its attention on countries of origin and transit, and take steps to fight the people-smugglers who put lives at risk. But it point blank refuses to pay for helpless people to be pulled out of the water.
I’m wondering this Sunday evening which part of the bible members of the Conservative party read when it comes to issues like this. Could it be the section talking about sowing and reaping? I doubt it, because this looks mighty like that part of the bible where Pharoah observes the burgeoning numbers of the Hebrew tribe and right there and then, decides to drown the lot of them. Only he keeps himself at a distance as it were, promulgating the propaganda (sounds an awful lot like Nigel Farage) and leaving the rest of them to get on with it. The combined efforts of the Italian navy and coast guard have saved over 150,000 men, women and children attempting the perilous crossing from the coasts of North Africa this year so far. That’s almost 200,000 lives that would have wound up rotting at the bottom of an ocean had the Italian government not examined its consciense and intervened.
Don’t you just love that face? I bet it would look exactly as the face of an impressive Prime Minister should look when chewing away on a burger or a Bacon Butty. Doesn’t that face look compassionate, caring and earnest? Doesn’t he look like the kind of person who will govern this country in a manner that makes all its citizens proud, as opposed to wanting to flinch and cringe? I present to you another picture of baby Moses in his less than seaworthy reed basket…