8 January 2016

Lifejackets

If you are a news junkie like me you find yourself bombarded by tragic stories. Stories of warfare and shooting. Murders, pestilence, weather events, man's inhumanity to man. After a while you become slightly inured to it all. But once in a while a story crops up that really sticks in your gullet and so it has been with a story I heard this week from Kalkan and Deniz's homeland - Turkey.

You will all have seen images of refugees packed aboard little boats, making for Grecian isles in the good old European Union. These desperate people are not allowed to board regular, approved ferries that would bring them safely to the islands. Instead, they have to shell out wads of cash to low-life people smugglers, fishermen and other greedy entrepreneurs in order to make the hazardous crossings. Far too many have drowned while the world has stood idly by - just watching.

Puzzlingly, many of these refugees lost at sea were wearing orange life jackets. Turkish police have raided one small factory in Izmir where cheap life jackets were being produced. Utterly useless, these things are filled with cheap packing materials that will not aid flotation in any way. In fact, they probably make survival less likely as they absorb water and become heavy encumbrances.

Of course, the majority of refugees have been Syrian yet in the Izmir factory the police found two young Syrian girls amongst the workforce - helping to make these useless death jackets. How tragically ironic!

The mentality of profit hungry opportunists leaping upon the understandably cautious refugees' desire for some degree of safety is quite abominable and not an outlook with which I have any empathy whatsoever. I don't like to swear in this blog but to me they are heartless bastards and I cannot think of an alternative word to properly describe these sub-human crooks. Will the Turkish authorities or international courts successfully charge  these vile people with being accessories to murder? Somehow I doubt it. They will get away with their blood money. There are probably other small businesses doing just the same right now as more refugees look hopefully across the Aegean.

Once in Serbia, the refugees are bused free of charge to the northern border with Croatia so why can't this happen down in Turkey - free crossings on official ferries that are perfectly safe and upon which there isn't even any need for passengers to wear life jackets?

As I say, the fake life jacket scandal is one of the most horrible stories I have heard in a while. Because of it, countless people have drowned. I know that there are other opportunist refugees leaping on the Syrian crisis to get into Europe but nobody deserves to die like that wearing a cheap life jacket stuffed with packing material. What are the United Nations doing? What is the damnable European Union doing? Their silence is deafening.

35 comments:

  1. They are doing nothing about it. It's how 99% of politicians deal with problems. They either lie about them or ignore them.

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    1. Why not say what you think Adrian?

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  2. That's disgusting and horrifying. There should have to be some sort of accountability, but I know it won't happen.

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    1. I bet that Donald Trump would applaud their business acumen.

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    2. I'm sure he would, the evil POS.

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    3. Oh, now I see that POS does not mean "point of sale"!

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  3. How do those bastards live with themselves or look in a mirror or sleep at night? blood money indeed.

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    1. And to think they could have filled those vests with polystyrene (stryofoam) and that would have assisted flotation - just as cheap as the packing materials they used.

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  4. They themselves ought to be forced to make the crossing in one of those horrible boats, crowded in with all the rest, no food or water, wearing their own life vests. That is the very least that should be done to them. But, the world is more interested in other things.....like when are we going to see a picture of the new Kardashian baby or what did George do on his first day at nursery school or who will win the Golden Globe!

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    1. That's a great idea MT - an eye for an eye.

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    2. What is a Kardashian baby?

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    3. Perhaps it is a baby with an unfortunate congenital condition.

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  5. Who owns the media? All the same rich dudes who want us only to think about the Kardashians, or to blame everything from hemorrhoids to taxes on Obama. We, as a people, are so f--king stupid.

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    1. What are The Kardashians? Is it like The Haemorrhoids?

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    2. That's an insult to hemorrhoids.

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    3. OK. So YP wasn't going to be able to answer my question so I Googled it. The first page just told me that someone called Kim Kardashian was pregnant: a subject reported by dozens of sources. I didn't bother going to the next page so I live in blissful ignorance.

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    4. Graham Kardashian has a nice ring to it.

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  6. The dark side of human nature...even in misery some one profits

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    1. Dark indeed. It beggars belief.

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  7. You really have to wonder about the morality of some people when it comes to money.

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    1. Some are blind to anything else as dollar signs replace their eyeballs.

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  8. What a surprising story. Who would have thought anyone would have such a brilliant commercial idea?

    And what total bastards they are - if you can swear YP, then I can. Though I must say I am being quite restrained with the language.

    Ms Soup

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    1. Your two little paragraphs are in sharp contrast with each other Alphie. Are you schizophrenic?

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    2. The first little paragraph was a highly sarcastic comment. If there was audio on comments you would undertand from my tone of voice.

      Ms Soup

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    3. The first little paragraph was a highly sarcastic comment. If there was audio on comments you would undertand from my tone of voice.

      Ms Soup

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    4. You commented twice!!!

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  9. I'd not come across this before I read it here on your blog. You are right, it beggars belief. And yet - sadly - I can't say I am surprised. When there can be made profit, there will be made profit, no matter how many lives are put at risk through it.
    In the countries along the so-called "Balkan Route", where refugees are not allowed to stay but have to pass through on their way to Germany, transport enterprises such as bus companies and taxis drivers have been found out to make the refugees pay four times as much as the fare would normally be. Taxi drivers take their unsuspecting passengers on long routes to rack up 50 km to places that are only 10 km away, and so on.

    In 2015, an estimated 1 million refugees arrived in Germany. How can we NOT help them?

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    1. Britain has helped more than any other European country in paying to make life bearable in the refugee camps of Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. In my view, Mrs Merkel and Sweden sent out messages that increased the volume of uncontrolled migration to Europe and that was a mistake.

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    2. That's true. It makes far more sense helping people closer to home, from where they can return easier once the situation that made them leave in the first place is under control.

      Maybe you have heard what happened in Cologne and Hamburg at the central stations on New Year's Eve. It makes me so very, very angry.

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    3. Yes we have heard of that Meike. Awful stuff perhaps underpinned by the endemic Muslim denigration of women. The assailants clearly do not see women as equals worthy of full respect.

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  10. One thing I have learned in my life is that there is no depth to which people will not stoop. I wish I could say that I had found the reverse to be true as frequently.

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    1. I have seen so much goodness in the world. Even so I do share your cynicism Graham.

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  11. I echo Graham's sentiments....

    We live in a world overcrowded with heartless, greedy people.

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