Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.
Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.
Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?
Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
'If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread';
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.
From Refugee Blues by W H Auden, 1939
I don't care what you think about benefits/council houses/'immigrants' etc etc.
I don't care what our inadequate millionaire arse of a Prime Minister says (or doesn't say).
These are people. PEOPLE.
One thing to come from Aylan Kurdi's tragic death is a U-turn from the 'they're all just after a European passport' attitude to 'we must do something!'. For the press at least. Unfortunately, many of our fellow countrymen and women are still in their 'sponging scum' happy place, I am ashamed to say.
The UNHCR say that more than 2,500 people have died so far this year. The number of children is not clear, but three year old Aylan's was one of five young bodies found on the beach that day.
Migrant Offshore Aid Station and Medecins Sans Frontieres are actively plucking people from the water; 1,658 people were rescued by MSF on Tuesday. Whilst other charities, including UNICEF, Save the Children, World Vision and the Red Cross are active in the area. PLEASE DONATE!!
75 years ago we welcomed many refugees from Europe, but left a lot behind to die.
30 years ago we pulled together as a nation to help people in the Ethiopian famine.
What will we do today?
If you would like to know more about MOAS and its founder, read this article.