You can't come in!! Looking after 'our own' millionaires first?

Date:

'Enda here ... We've a real immigration problem. Not enough multinationals are taking refuge in our tax haven'.

Cartoon of EU border guard pointing gun at drowning migrant

No we have no more room. No more room in Fortress Europe. This is the civilised world after all! And especially no more room in THIS country. That could be Ireland, or Germany, or France, or Greece, depending on who's speaking of course. But not HERE. Sorry but if those people wanted to have a decent life like the rest of us, they should have thought about that before being born on the wrong patch of planet Earth.

I mean, what about the Irish homeless, right? If we go around extending our solidarity to every group of vulnerable people, next thing you know the oppressed and marginalised will be a united force capable of overthrowing the powerful. No we can take on the refugees once the Irish homeless are sorted. Until then we need to keep making excuses for the state, about how the government has to make tough decisions. That never screwed us before.

But the Apple Corporation, that's a different sort of refugee. I mean sure they over-produce gimmicky proprietary software and hardware made possible by an army of Asian sweatshop labourers, and sure they brazenly pay almost no tax (what's an unpaid 19 billion tax bill to you anyway?), but Apple isn't the kind of refugee we should be wagging our fingers at. Come on, Apple is just trying to turn a profit - isn't it entitled to do that?

Now those real-world, feeling, dreaming, human refugees are another story. How dare they come here trying to improve their lives. What kind of freak wants to improve their lives? Especially if they're fleeing from a war zone. How unreasonable.

So there are 300,000 empty homes in Ireland, but the refugees are still the problem. OK, the refugees can come to Ireland, but they'll have to fight the already resident homeless in a boxing ring on RTE for the necessities of life. The winner is condemned to a marginalised existence as 'the other' while being used as a rhetorical bludgeon against another oppressed group.

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Really, whose side are you on in this picture? With whom does your sympathy lie? The border police taking orders from the rich and powerful, or the forsaken souls sinking in the unforgiving blue.

As long as we make excuses for why some desperate people shouldn't get what they need, don't deserve a nice life like everyone else, should be excluded, our society will be defined by cruelty. Homeless people (born here or otherwise) are subject to the same perverse logic of exclusion. We must reject this callous mindset and refuse to settle. We must start at the conclusion, that it is not only desirable but possible that everyone has a decent life, and work backwards from there to make that a reality.

Coming up with excuses for excluding refugees is speaking the tyrant's tongue. Let's speak the uplifting language of solidarity instead.

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