Sunday, 26 April 2015

Letter on Mediterranean tragedies

With yet more terrible deaths in the Mediterranean this week, your editorial was  right to lambast European politicians for not only refusing to rally "around Italy's admirable Mare Nostrum search and rescue programme", when possibly the "biggest human upheaval since world war two" is taking place,  but for failing even to treat the migrant issue as a priority. (Observer view on the human tragedy in the Mediterranean, 19/04/15)
  The British government refused its support last autumn for a typically callous reason that it would only encourage migrants to risk their lives in even greater numbers, revealing again their willingness to ignore  factual evidence when it suits them.
Sadly,  Labour is equally guilty of refusing to address issues deemed electorally unimportant,  even though there are obvious points to be scored with the adoption of an humanitarian approach. Presumably, fear of hemorrhaging even more votes to Ukip is the reason preventing our selfish politicians from making a stand. And their feebleness does not end at the Mediterranean!
Foreign policy has largely been ignored in the election campaigns of all the major parties  because of the common assumption that it is not a vote - winner.  Yet, wouldn't Miliband, for instance,  appear more prime - ministerial if he rejected the traditional UK policy in the Middle East, based as it is on American and Saudi prejudice? The Trident issue clearly needs more public debate, whilst having the courage to stand up to Merkel over Greek claims for war reparations would reveal more bottle than any European leader has shown. A pledge to restore the ill - gotten Parthenon marbles to their rightful owners would not go amiss, either!
It's amazing how politicians can on the one hand treat voters like mugs, when expecting them to believe, for example, in their compassion,  but are frightened of alienating the more gullible and bigoted of our society. Has there ever been a more urgent need for a general election to give the country a British government with an actual ethical foreign policy? Has there ever been, in modern times, less chance of it happening?

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