Comfortably Numb?


There are two things going on right now. And one of them is Ben Howard’s lyrics spinning in my head “Has the world gone mad or is it me?” Well has it. No. It’s gone deaf and dumb. I have almost certainly gone mad.

If I had one wish it’s that I could have spent three years completing a degree, which would have enabled me to be at the front of human activism right now. I feel that is my failing to the hundreds of thousands of desperate, persecuted people that we are failing right now. Who’s banging on the door falls on deaf ears. We couldn’t possibly let them in. How would we cope? How do you mean? We would cope. Nations are strong. One statistic shows that during the twentieth century it is estimated that 167 – 175 million lives have been lost due to “politically motivated carnage”.


Was that in vain? For the 37 million servicemen and women who died in the World Wars, not to mention the civilian statistic, don’t you think it’s a little disrespectful just to roll over? To let the world tick by as we are comfortably numb. So numb in fact that we scroll over words like “behead” not even lifting an eyebrow. That within the last ten years we have numbed to a frightening degree.

I want to shake the world. Wake up. When did it become acceptable for leaders of the free world to speak of “swarms of migrants’ Is that what the Jews were in the Second World War? Is that what the Bosnian Muslims were? Swarms like a swarm of wasps. No, we have never in history likened a persecuted minority to an insect infesting us, attacking us. These so called migrants are refugees or has that been forgotten. Has it been forgotten that ISIS are ethnically cleansing the Middle East and North Africa. Does the average person sat behind their apple device or their PC or in fact their dinner table, or their burger, does that person have any idea what it is like to risk their life to enter a new country? To have nothing, to be so desperate that they risk everything in search of new freedom. Of freedom to be safe.

These insects. They have families, their are children who’s only wish is to go to school and play with their friends, who’s parents long to be able to go to work, to earn a better future for their families. They may look different. Is that what we are afraid of? A different religion, or a different colour, or a different sexuality? Because I thought we had moved past that. I thought we had established that race, gender, religion it doesn’t matter we are all human.

So moving on from the wasp analogy. And, sorry, going back to the carnage. And trying to believe that we in 2015 have moved on from judgments based on ethnicity. Oh yes back to carnage.

Eastern Europe is dealing with “illegals”. Illegals. Interesting term. Are they criminals then? I am They are just illegal. How disgusting to refer to another human. One with nothing except desperation as “Illegal”. Everything about you is illegal. Anyway moving past that. “Hungary is building a wall to keep out illegals”. This reads like something out of a movie. It’s very frightening. But I’m comfortably numb. Remember. “No one invited you here. If you don’t like it Go Away” That was the Czech president. They are part of Europe. And just to back up the madness the words of Raivis Zeltits the secretary general of Latvia’s Alliance Party “ We don’t have experience with Multiculturism. In other EU countries Muslim integration has brought negative results”.


I’m sure you are still numb so it won’t bother you then that Poland has said it will only take in Christian refugees. Sorry did my chair legs just break? Did I fall off my seat? Was that huge hammer that just hit my head? Did I just break my arm? No, nothing. Numb.

So that’s clear then. Lets read on. There is a story of a man. And his name could be Jason or Paul and I am sure if it was maybe we could all relate better, maybe he wouldn’t be illegal, maybe we could actually identify that he is human. But his name is Ahmad so for Ahmad he will just have to be seen as a wasp. He risked his life to reach Greece in a rubber dingy. And I have been in many rubber dinghies and I also been in that stretch of water between Turkey and Kos, and actually I was on that stretch of water next to Tunisia only last week. And there is no way in hell that you would get me in a rubber dinghy. Not even if my life depended on it. Ahmad lost his 4-year-old niece on his treacherous journey. As a wasp surely that’s not even plausible as a human he will probably experience PTSD, grief, depression, to name a few emotions that these wasps may be able to feel.

I’m lost for words. Whatever I say and however I feel about our reaction to the atrocities facing hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, it’s falling on deaf ears. Even those journalists who do seem to write about it with some heart seem to miss the point its all condescending and patronizing, it’s about being “heart-burstingly proud of the BBC” for broadcasting from the jungle with the insects. Oh how fabulous Songs of Praise with religious wasps.

The fact is we turn our blind eye to men being pushed off rooftops because they are homosexual, to people being routinely beheaded in the streets, to children being trained to fight, to women and girls being raped and sold as sex slaves. The only thing illegal about the whole debate is the acts being carried out by what can only be described as terrorists and the only thing that should be made illegal is that we sit here and turn off and zone out.

Then I read that there are British people operating trafficking between the continent and England. Exploiting the vulnerable, or the wasps. The most depressing thing about all of this is that we don’t stand up. We don’t fight for basic human rights. We don’t take care of our brothers and sisters. We don’t help the sick, needy, those less fortunate than us. Instead we exploit them. We are fearful of them. We believe they are scroungers here to do nothing but live off our welfare state. Oh but I forget. They are illegal. And we have found them guilty way before they were even charged. Whilst they are still the victim. They are illegal and guilty and we do not want to know.

We should open the border. Help these people, let them flood in. They are humans, not wasps. They are refugees. In their own country they are killed and have no freedom. Aren’t we greater than all that. Haven’t the wars of the last 100 years taught us anything? Or are we just too afraid. Or like I believe we are just comfortably numb.

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