Saturday, April 25, 2015

Syria - Refugees

This is a huge problem obviously for the people fleeing but also for those of us whose lands are reasonably civilised.

The Guardian newspaper this morning suggests that  the Labour leader Ed Miliband's reported comments to the effect that obligations owed  by the UK to the Syrian refugees derive from failings under David Cameron's watch to plan for post-Libyan wars government, appear to me to be patronising in much the same way as Ed Miliband's view that the UK people should not be permitted to have a referendum about whether or not to leave/remain in the EU.

The Labour view on Libya seems to be either that the West should have left  Libya well alone or that having become involved, the West should be responsible for the outcomes of  its governmental failings  . Quite apart from Libya's killing of many British and American citizens some years ago,  in the Lockerbie air attack under its previous regime,  its dictator was involved in dreadful civil wars.

Possibly with the benefit of hindsight the West should just have let the civil wars  and killings in that country take place and not become involved at all but being wise after the event is hardly real wisdom. Nonetheless the disasters for its citizens were occurring under the previous regimes and to blame the UK Prime Minster and others for the current  refugee crisis seems absurd.

Quite apart from people from Libya, many refugees appear to originate from other African countries such as Nigeria where the ISIS terrorists are endeavouring to wreak havoc by for example kidnapping hundreds of school girls. There seems to me to be little point in endeavouring to politicise the human agonies in this way though electioneering being what it is some politicising is bound to occur.

Much more relevant  than the blame game, is the immediate  consideration of how civilised countries should react to the plight of the suffering refugees.  This is a difficult area. No one wants their existing employment, open spaces, housing and life, adversely affected by influxes of others. However we are all human and ultimately treating fellow men, women and children with common humanity if not kindness is the key.

What would Christ have done is the question Christians could or perhaps should ask. The answer to that question should guide us all and our political leaders.

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