I felt a tear fall down my cheek for the first time in a while last week. I was shocked, saddened and above all else appalled by ‘that’ photo.
You know, the one of the little boy, with his little shoes, blue shorts and red top covering a lifeless body lying face down on a Greek beach – all alone, no-one there to offer comfort, save a soldier. I wondered if that soldier was a father. I also wondered how well he might sleep that night if he was. I guessed if he was a father, he would no doubt spend most of that evening cradling, or at least looking down at his own child.
I know there have now been revelations about this little boy’s father and why he was placed on a boat in the first instance. I don’t care. Whatever the reason, this little boy should never, ever have ended up in this situation.
There is little doubt the open borders across Europe will lead to more and more of these kinds of images. I don’t proclaim to know the answer. I wish I did. What I do know is that the Middle East seems to be the centre of hell on earth at the moment. It sickens me.
I am sick and tired of opening my social media sites each day seeing people without heads, with the executor disguising his face. I’m sick of seeing people being burnt alive or ‘roasted’, as one such video suggested last week. I often wonder if they’re actually real, or staged. I am closing in on the point of not caring, and as a journo I feel guilty about this.
And this is my point. Should we, here in the beautiful lucky peaceful country we are fortunate enough to live in, actually care? Is it our problem? There will be plenty of arguments for the increasing of immigration to our shores in the weeks ahead.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said: “We cannot save the world single handedly but we will always do what we can to help”.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has said: “The violent evil being perpetrated in the Middle East is driving the largest movement of displaced people since the WW2.”
Granted, there will be much more politicking over the issue (Greens, I’m looking at you). I usually shun political correctness – and I’m also pro asylum – so forgive me while I drop this clanger: Perhaps the Syrian refugees, and those wishing to flee the war zones of this wretched place (see Middle East) should instead look to the oil rich Saudi nations.
After all, Germany will be too full soon. How about for once these cashed up Muslim nations in the Emirates take their share?
Oh, that’s right, they don’t want them either. And yet, more little boys will soon be found lifeless of European beaches.
Marcus Paul is the host of Canberra Live 3pm weekdays on 2CC.