"What will it take", I have often asked in my migration posts,"for the rest of the world to notice what has been happening in the Mediterranean?" The answer in April was an appalling tragedy and now that the crisis has spread to the land in other parts of Europe, it has taken a heart-breaking image to wake the world up
Looking at reactions to the crisis in my own country, I must admit that I have despaired over the past week and have been wondering just when we lost our ability to empathise. As a country the British have often made grave errors but we have also often done "the right thing" instinctively rather than waiting to be shamed into it, as our Prime Minister was today. I have hesitated to make the following point because I do not want to be accused of taking a cheap shot but after today's events I feel I must: David Cameron is a man who knows the pain of losing a child so it should not have taken a whole 24 hours for him to react to the image that has so profoundly shaken those he claims to represent. As even his own Members of Parliament began to criticise him earlier today, did he wait for his spin doctors to tell him what to do?
I am well aware that, as one who no longer lives in the UK, I coud be accused of not really having my finger on its pulse any more but I do pay taxes there, still have voting rights and I care very much what happens to my country and how it is seen internationally. But more than that I care about its humanity.
Meanwhile in the Sicilian Channel 838 people were saved yesterday and were brought to Pozzallo this evening. This morning a further 105 were saved by the Italian Coast Guard off the coast of Libya. Premier Renzi of Italy and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of Malta were right to remind the world, in a joint press conference this evening, that the publication of images such as the one that has upset us all is an almost weekly occurence in their two countries. Premier Renzi also had this to say:
"Europe must not just be moved - as some leaders are more than others; it must act."
Count your blessings if your children have been playing safely in the sea today.