As usual I watched the Channel 4 News this Friday evening.

Amidst the nightly litany of political bickering and self aggrandisement there was utterly unadulterated horror.  On the borders of the richest continent in the world the people of the small Greek Island of Lesbos were pulling children’s bodies from small wooden boats. It does not matter if they were Syrian or not, legal or illegal, refugees or economic migrants these are human beings and deserve better than this.

Europe is rich, obscenely so in some eyes, yet our Government refuses to acknowledge these people’s right to life. We pat ourselves on the back saying the government will help. It’ll be fine. It’s away over there.  But it is not enough nothing may ever be enough. We’ll help say the government, but where is the evidence?  Stevie Smith’s poem sums it up;

     Nobody heard him, the dead man,
     But still he lay moaning:
     I was much further out than you thought
     And not waving but drowning.

And here we are distanced, protected; seeing things through a TV screen which anaesthetises our senses, blunts our outrage that in this continent once the cradle of civilisation such horror can persist.

Smile and wave, smile and wave – the politicians in the cavalcade, worry not little Britons for you are saved. They won’t be coming here. But still in the Mediterranean as I type there are children out there not waving but drowning.

And our leaders like Richard the III secretly say;

  Why, I can smile and murder whiles I smile,
  And cry ‘content’ to that which grieves my heart,
  And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
  And frame my face for all occasions.

The chameleon faced, gargoyle, grinning grotesques that purport to be our chosen representatives in the big wide world care more for a sick puppy than for these poor wretches.

I don’t profess to have a solution or to be privy to some greater insight, but surely we can do better?

“Rage Rage against the dying of the light.”

My work background is in operational meteorology and in my career I have been involved in forecasting for everything from bananas to jumbo jets.I joined the Met Office 1974 as an observer at Glasgow Airport. After training as a forecaster, I worked as an Operational aviation forecaster at various defence sites and airports. In 1982, I moved to Glasgow Weather Centre as a forecaster and STV broadcaster till 1988. He then took up a post as Senior Forecaster London Weather Centre, then Senior Forecaster ITV where I qualified as a trainer in presentation techniques for the ITV Association. After being diagnosed with MS, he moved into management and became Head of London Weather Centre in 1997 followed by a period of front-line management for Southern England and Europe covering London and Cardiff Weather Centres and the Met Offices on defence stations from Akrotiri in Cyprus to St Mawgan in Cornwall. He took up the post of Met Office Chief Advisor for Scotland & Northern Ireland in March 2008 and moved to Edinburgh. I retired in September 2014. My one claim to fame is once performed a comedy sketch on TV with Manuel (Andrew Sachs) from Fawlty Towers in support of Comic Relief.

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Posted in Comment, Europe, Greece, News, Politics, Rage, Refugees, UK

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