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    This should never be the question. To save, always to save. Politics should never get in the way of saving lives. EVER. Unfortunately though, inevitably it always does.

    So we find ourselves in that increasingly common scenario once more. A boat full of illegal immigrants finds itself in the middle of the Mediterranean, waiting desperately to be rescued. Are they being rescued? You would think that would be an astounding yes, surely we must save them. But sadly the answer is actually no. Scenario’s are being discussed, situations measured, the muscles of politilife (yes a new word, I just made it up) flexed. But no action being taken.

    I would like to play devil’s advocate a little here and honestly say that I can see both sides to the story. Don’t lose your shit here, I am not saying we shouldn’t save them. Let me be clear, we absolutely should be saving them, immediately, not waiting a single second more. The day that politic maneuver rules over the decision for human life is the day I proclaim humanity totally lost (perhaps I am naive here and in actual fact it has been lost for a long time). What I am saying, is that there is a debate going on in the court of public opinion and honestly I can in some ways understand both sides.

    Before I tackle my points for both sides I think we should all try and look beyond the facts of the situation. We should make an effort to understand why. People do not make the decision lightly to pack up there entire family, hop an a smallish boat and decide to cross a very large sea. This is a decision born purely out of desperation. We may truly never really be able to understand their predicaments. How could we? However the reality is that the majority of these people live horrible, miserable, poverty stricken war torn lives. So terrible in fact that they would risk their lives and that of their families just to escape it. If I were you I would hope you never have to make such a decision in life.

    Who wouldn’t wish for the children to have a better life?

    Now to the debate, my understanding from both sides of the argument. I will risk the wrath by starting with what I deem to be the negative. The option to not allow them to come ashore in Malta. The decision to leave them fending for themselves. It is a harsh reality, but I do disagree with ILLEGAL immigration. Notice how I put the word ILLEGAL in caps. I have absolutely no issue with immigration whatsoever. My family in fact immigrated to Australia when I was a baby, at the time searching for a better life. We went through the right channels, it took some time but it happened.

    But illegal immigration is a different kettle of fish altogether. To be taking a soft stance on it can be a very dangerous game as to the point where you set a precedent for future generations of illegals. Simply, Malta does not have the resources or infrastructure to continue to deal with it either. Its a sad but real fact. So what to do. If you agree with this stance, truly, I can understand why. As I too have these thoughts. It’s a problem, but why should it be ours?

    The above is me being honest. I have these thoughts as I am sure many others do when trying to grapple with their own conscious on what is a very sensitive subject. But when I have these pragmatic thoughts, rather hard line in nature, I also get an overwhelming feeling of narcissism and selfishness. Yes, I am being a patriotic citizen of Malta, but am I being a good human?

    I would imagine the view is quite different from behind the fence.

    No, not really. So I challenge myself, asking does my heart break for the plight of these people? Answer, absolutely yes. If I had the means, would I willingly help them to achieve a normal quality of life like the rest of us? Again, absolutely yes. If I saw one of them drowning, would I jump in to try and rescue them? Yep. Say a group of them came to my door, desperately hungry looking for food, would I give them the meal from my table? Again, a resounding yes. Asking myself these questions and understanding the answers I think helps me understand which side of the argument I really fall on.

    Conclusion, for fuck sake save them first, resolve the fallout of it later. SIMPLE. You may agree or disagree with illegal immigration, but if you consider yourself a human with a heart, conservation of life should remain above all. Always. At this juncture, I would like to say FUCK THE WORLD, FUCK ALL GOVERNMENTS, FUCK THE FILTHY RICH AND FUCK THE EU. This is not a new problem for us or for the world. But all these bloody years later we are no closer to any kind of resolution.

    Again, this may be a completely naive standpoint. But, were we to help them, I mean really help them, to find a quality of life in their country of origin, they would not need to resort to desperate life or death measures just to live? The sad thing for me is that writing this blog article is the only real way I can help. I have no power to change things and neither do most of you. That can only be left to those of power and money, whom to date continue to give even less of a shit as the days go by.

    Finally, I did not mention, race, religion or Corona-virus at all in this post, because frankly none of them should matter in this case.

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    1. Chris

      Just to make clear there is nothing illegal about seeking asylum in another country, it is a fundamental human right that everyone has, just like water and shelter.

      If you’re being persecuted for being homosexual you have a right to seek sanctuary somewhere safe. Same applies for those seeking shelter from war or political persecution.

      I seem to see a lot of people on Facebook who can apparently make accurate judgements about people’s status from just looking at a picture of them without knowing any details. They have such skills in perception they should use their skills elsewhere.

      Obviously there are limits on what states can do and it takes time to ramp things up, I appreciate that but let’s face it the west, developed countries can do a lot more, billions are spent on nuclear weapons each year how much do you think it takes to provide shelter for someone who needs it.

      Finally and when I wrote to my UK MP about their disgraceful asylum policy with regards to children (!) he wrote back that their aim is to reduce the need to come to the UK by making countries safer, well hows that going? It’s not.

      I personally think that Everest Bartellos plea for a fund to make Libya safe would probably be better spent on anti racism and xenophobia programs throughout europe.

      1. davidoziborg

        Great response Chris. Thanks. Agree especially with this…

        “Finally and when I wrote to my UK MP about their disgraceful asylum policy with regards to children (!) he wrote back that their aim is to reduce the need to come to the UK by making countries safer, well hows that going? It’s not.”

        Nothing changes in this respect. It’s a joke.

    2. Leonard Tabone

      I think that at this moment we have to keep in mind this situation that we are all in. The main problem I think is that the NGOs are still give them hope and forcing them to leave their countries keeping in mind that not all of them are at war so these poor people are going to countries that are more at risk with this corona virus

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