Imagine this. Imagine your worst fears happen. Imagine Islamic State got a foothold in the UK. Slowly and surely things start to change, your wives and daughters are insulted for wearing what they like as they walk down the street, imagine the government appearing to do nothing and things worsening, imagine your daughter being called a whore and given lashes for daring to have a boyfriend, imagine the knock on your door in the morning, and your son being dragged out into the street and being lashed for god knows what, and as you look around your neighbourhood, you see your house is not the only one to have received a visit, your neighbours are crying, some in despair, some in pain. Imagine your son, defiant, fighting back, imagine him being dragged to the Cathedral Green and beheaded. Imagine. Imagine that. As you listen to the news you realise that this is happening in Bristol, Plymouth, Torquay…not just your town.
Imagine, your father comes to check on the family and witnesses an attempt to drag your daughter away and shouts and wails and lashes out with his stick. Imagine he is immediately lashed for his insubordinance, and thanks to his age, he dies. Imagine realising this isn’t just your county, but is happening all over the country. Imagine your father is dead, imagine your son is beheaded, imagine your neighbours are missing, your sister isn’t answering her phone any more, imagine you turn on whats left of the news and realise its not just here in the UK, its in spreading all over Europe. Fear, death, despair. Imagine you have no money left, you can’t go out to work, you need to protect your family, there is no job to go to, life has changed forever. Imagine knowing your daughter, unless you protect her, will be raped, maybe over and over and again. If she protests, she may well just be killed. And imagine all of this, with a back drop of war. There is no hope. No one is coming to help you. So you run, you pack a bag with soft toys and a few clothes, a loaf of bread, the last few pounds you have and you run.
Where do you run? You don’t know, you’re frightened and desperate. Your son is dead, your father is dead, you need to protect what remains of your family. You head to the coast and see a dinghy, you beg and scream and plead to be allowed on the boat, because to remain where you are means certain death, you get on the boat and during the journey people die, they fall overboard, imagine one of those is your daughter, you wail and cry and beat your chest in despair. The pain won’t stop, your life may as well be over, but you look over at your spouse and know that despite everything you must keep going, you must find sanctuary and safety. When you are there you can grieve and try to make sense of the living hell you have been through. And then imagine getting there and being called a scrounger, imagine people thinking you’d come for a pitiful £30 odd a week, imagine being turned away. Can you even imagine. So tell me, what the hell would you do? Karma is a bitch my friends, do as you would have done unto you, exercise some empathy, help however you can, because you NEVER know when it may be you begging for help.