Monthly Archives: October 2014

Watching migrants drown: ‘there are lines which, if crossed, make us immoral’

Gerry says it all, so powerfully. Today, I’m ashamed to be human and British.

That's How The Light Gets In

Martin Rowson 29.10.14

Martin Rowson in today’s Guardian

A few days ago I posted a piece about the photo of desperate migrants perched on top of the border fence that surrounds the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the north African coast.  Now we learn that the British government has supported, and the EU justice and home affairs council has adopted a policy of leaving migrants to drown.

For the past year the Italian navy, with EU financial and logistical support, has operated a search-and-rescue operation called Mare Nostrum for migrants in danger of drowning in the Mediterranean which has saved the lives of an estimated 150,000 refugees. It is to be replaced with a much more limited EU ‘border protection’ operation codenamed Triton which will not conduct search-and-rescue missions. The justification given by both the UK government and the EU for this inhumane decision is that Mare Nostrum exercised a ‘pulling factor’, encouraging economic migrants to set sail for Europe.

Amnesty International’s UK director, Kate…

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The Lemon Tree: friendship and debate across the Arab-Israeli divide

That's How The Light Gets In

Remains in Imwas, al-Ramle today (photo James Morris, That Still Remains)

Remains of Palestinian homes in al-Ramle today (photo by James Morris, That Still Remains)

They fettered his mouth with chains,
And tied his hands to the rock of the dead.
They said: You’re a murderer.
They took his food, his clothes and his banners,
And threw him into the well of the dead.
They said: You’re a thief.
They threw him out of every port,
And took away his young beloved.
And then they said: You’re a refugee.

– Mahmoud Darwish, ‘Refugee’

I was ten years old when a small branch library opened in the Cheshire village where I grew up.  Week after week I devoured novels, many of them beyond my childish comprehension.  One of the books that did made a powerful impression on me that year was Exodus by Leon Uris.

Published in 1958, Exodus was a hugely influential book, and  I was one of those who were deeply affected…

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Guest Author – Alice Jolly on Crowdfunding – How to make new friends (and lose old ones)

I love Alice Jolly’s writing and I’m one of those Unbound subscribers cheering her memoir on from the sidelines.

The Literary Sofa

As with many other areas of contemporary life, the ways in which readers access the written word are changing all the time.  The theme of today’s post – literary crowdfunding – is one which I find very interesting and exciting.  Independent publishers Unbound recently came to public attention when one of their crowdfunded titles, The Wake, by Paul Kingsnorth, made the longlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize.  There’s a lot of bold, innovative and high quality writing out there that deserves to find an audience regardless of whether it ticks the usual boxes and this week’s title is a prime example.

GetAttachment-1.aspxAlice Jolly is a novelist and playwright.  She has previously published two novels with Simon and Schuster and four of her plays have been professionally produced.  Her latest book is a memoir about stillbirth, surrogacy and seaside towns.  For this book, she has decided to work with…

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