A murky water envelopes a chalk white body, limp on a desolate coastline. The father of the departed three year-old rubs his worn palm across a clammy brow. This man is alone. But he is only one ripple in an ocean of impoverished expats merely seeking finer days.
These harrowing snapshots are just some sent to haunt the richer powers of the West. The refugee ‘crisis,’ as named by media, has startled even the most oblivious of world citizens. But this does not have to be a crisis. When co-operation should be at the forefront of global affairs, influence-wielding leaders simply fail to come together.
Arguably the worst showcase of hardship since the Second World War, the mass movement of thousands from Northern Africa and Middle Eastern nations has provoked conversation all-round. Sources suggest that the UK’s projected quota of migrants would struggle to completely fill a tube-train. Last Wednesday, the European Commission encouraged EU member states to reel in a collective 40,000 migrants from Greek and Italian shores, but David Cameron was keen to rebuke the possibility of Britain taking its share. Surely it is nothing short of a national embarrassment that the Prime Minister lowers the drawbridge to migrants only after being coaxed by the people.
As many nations seek fairer societies, Britain no exception, large numbers foregoing essential commodities must cause headaches for socio-economic brains. Problems which United Nations Millennium Development Goal strategies aimed to terminate way over a decade ago remain unsolved. It is a sad reflection upon our communities that cries for care, shelter and nourishment still resonate across the waves upon which many refugees sail.
What has happened to the air of interdependence? What has happened to the togetherness and organisation of our European Union? And what has happened to the hearts of our statesmen and stateswomen? The question may be, in fact, did these fundamentals ever exist?
The sluggishness with which Britain jumps to the rescue of others provides little hope for the future. The engine that was the Union, fuelling global cohesion in the past, is nowadays slow-moving. After aid has appeared in large quantities for Britain’s use in times gone by – most notably for the regeneration of Britain after catastrophes such as the World Wars – it is only selfish that we do not reinvest in the futures of others – futures especially of those at the centre of the migrant crisis.
There is no other way. Britain, in conjunction with other superpowers, must welcome the challenges which this new age brings. No longer can we find a way out every time. A new epiphany of global teamwork must urgently come into view. We must assume a central role throughout political problem solving. Civilians tumbling from port and starboard, canopies of corrugated iron and washed up corpses? These are not icons of the neighbourly, tranquil and fruitful world of which we frankly fantasise. Rather, they are warnings. Warnings that leaders must guide their people home like blazing beacons, evermore radiant by working together.
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