If a British couple deliberately set out with their small children into rough winter seas by night in a small rubber dinghy, got into difficulties and were rescued by brave life guards, there OUGHT to be complaints that they had stupidly and irresponsibly risked the lives of their children and the lifeboat crew.
Reasons for this are:
1.This is because Britain is NOT at war and our children do NOT live in constant fear of being bombed.
2. Britain isn’t over run by war lords or marauding gangs who kill for tribal, religious or any other reason which involves no set criteria for who survives and does not. We have State apparatus to protect us in the form of the police, judiciary and the legal system.
3.While there are deep inequalities in Britain and people struggle to see the way forward in enabling a better life for their kids the inequalities, by comparison, in failed or weak states are a bottomless pit from which there is no escape except to flee the boundaries of these states.
4.While Britain and America do not address the sources of conflict while still claiming world class Capitalist power bases, people will keep coming because they believe in the Western Capitalist dream. Who is to blame for this? Is it the people fleeing who are firm believers in the fact that Western Capitalism provides a high level of personal security or the Western countries who have decided that a Hobbesian world of anarchy is an acceptable form of governance for ‘others’?
5. When will politicians realise that the concept of human security is evolving from being solely a state function to one that concerns the security of individuals in a highly interconnected world?
As a mother I am constantly looking for ways to improve my daughter’s life. If I were to be in the position of the refugees fleeing circumstances which I cannot even imagine or fathom, given my privileged middle class lifestyle, I would do the same as them.
Instead, I am blessed and bloody lucky that I don’t have to.
My middle class status buffers me from having to make decisions that are anymore drastic than which Russell Group University my daughter was going to qualify for or will there be an Uber taxi around to bring her home safely.
My privilege and my Christian faith prevent me from condemning those parents who undertake death defying decisions.
So instead of constantly passing judgement while sitting on the (metaphoric) comfy couch of comfort of Britain, please shut up.