”You show me a fighting aged male and I will show you a man who can work. Show me the man
that you’re frightened of and I will show you a gentle soul who is scared. You show me an
economic migrant, an invader or a crook, and I will show you a mirror. For we are all the sons
and daughters of migrants. We, as people, have always moved. And we have all benefited from
In order for you to be rich, to buy cheap clothes and to talk on your phone, someone will slave for
you. It is our ease of living that has made them poor. It is our exploitation that makes them run.
Not just the West, but the rich all over. We are the creators of migration, the benefactors and the
blind. We turn our eyes to their suffering yet expect them to take all that comes. We buy brands
that exploit, and expect everything for cheap, cheap, cheap.
But when a boy, or a man can not see how they can survive, we expect them to drown silently in
their poverty, whilst we book our holidays in the sun. And we will use our passports to fly to
almost any destination on this earth. We, the rich can seek employment wherever we like, and
we can just pop to Paris for a weekend away. But when the man who suffers for our opulence
wants to do the same, we say no, don’t come, you should stay.
We, the creators of their misery, define ourselves as the victims of their pain. We cry and
complain that someone steals the job that we’re too lazy to do. We take their oil, their minerals,
their produce and their lives, yet it is ‘we’ who call ‘them’ the crooks. And it is we that call
ourselves the victims of their pain. You say that they come for our welfare state, yet I’ve met
thousands of people crossing this sea, and every single one of them wanted to work. Can you
say that about the people back home? I certainly can’t!
You talk of losing our culture but when we can turn our backs to the poor, then I think it’s a
culture that we can lose. You say that we should help our homeless first, yet when we see the
man on the streets, we walk by. We each live in a blanket of self righteousness, myself included,
stating that others should do something to change. Be it for the homeless, the lonely or the
displaced, we form our opinions from the warmth and comfort of our homes.
But unless you have walked one mile in their shoes, then don’t tell them where they should go.
For we are their reflection. We were all made the same. It is by chance that we were born with
opportunity, as it is by chance that they were born in the dust. And it could be by chance that our
choices are taken away. Their struggle is our struggle, for if it was not them, it would be us.
You think that leaving all that you have known is easy? You think that crossing that sea is a
choice? Then you don’t know how many are lost to this journey. You don’t know the pain that
they take. And if you want to talk about choices, then you should acknowledge that it is only us
who can choose!
We have one life. Let’s not waste it on hate. Only love!”
Brendan Woodhouse was a crew member on the latest Sea Watch 3 rescue mission. They were stalled yet again by European governments “negotiating'“ over the futures lives and safety of those people rescued. Brendan initially shared these thoughts on Facebook. They are important in these uneasy times. Brendan has kindly given us permission to reproduce them here: