Thursday, 10 September 2015
If I was a human trafficker I would be rubbing my hands with glee. I would be salivating. I would be seeing dollar signs. I would be delighted that market conditions are ripe and that business is set for long term growth. And perhaps I'd also be allowing myself a sly grin at just how adeptly I've set the mood amongst the people of Europe. Their good nature is the key to my success, their immediate and admirable desire to see the suffering of so many alleviated. The doors of the continent are open, and this is a tide that will keep on coming. And all the time Europe thinks that it is helping when, as time will likely attest, we've inadvertently done the complete opposite. So long as we have such short range vision the market conditions will persist. The boats and the lorries will keep coming, and the tide of human misery will deepen as so many seek out the services of those who promising safe passage. Right now we think we're helping, and in the short term we are. But this is not a short term game; in fact it will be a game without end unless we tackle the problem at source. That boy on the beach isn't the first and won't be the last, and perhaps the biggest tragedy is that this stark image which has captivated us all will probably end up as the catalyst to even greater misery for the afflicted. I've struggled to balance my human desire to help with the hard headed rationalist in me that just knows that if we allow the tide to persist the misery will hit even greater heights than what we see already. And believe me, we ain't seen the half of it. And as we Twitter and Facebook our moral consciences please understand that you may very well end up causing orders of magnitude more suffering amidst those least likely to survive it. I've seen those images, and felt the rage and the frustration and the compulsions to help everybody now. Right now. The trouble is, I just can't shake the feeling that by opening the doors too wide we will witness catastrophic future affliction, death and deprivation on a scale greater than the horrors we've already seen unfold. If we want to help, and help in a way that is likely to alleviate suffering over the long term we need to stop those boats, disable these trafficking cartels, and deal with the wider issues that have turned the Middle East into a continent of death. I hope as you read this I do not seem cold or cruel. I do not mean to be. I just don't think short term solutions are any solution at all. Especially when the challenge is this big.
Posted by Rob Barnes at 10:25