View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 31 October 2015

NaNoWriMo & Movember

NaNoWriMo means National Novel Writing Month, and that is always November. Every day, you are committed to writing at least 1,840 words of a novel, that will eventually comprise at least 50,000 words. Some of you may have read my short stories, and I'm not sure I can manage 1,840 words each day. I'm writing this on 31st October, and I'll sleep on the subject matter of my novel. I may not come out with a coherent idea to start with, but it'll grow. Much as my facial hair is set to grow in November, as part of Movember, when men grow their moustaches and beards for charity. No, you're not getting any pics, not on a public blog like this. LOL.

I shall continue with my occasional postings on this blog, but will publish a NaNoWriMo posting every day for the next 30 days. Gawd, what have I let myself in for ;-)


In amongst the furore of the large numbers of migrants, refugees and what else, that are coming into southeastern Europe, one question remains unanswered. It is not why all those people are on the move. That is pretty well documented, hashed up on our television and computer screens day in day out. A brutal civil war in Syria, unrest in Afghanistan (tell me something I didn't already know), repression in various parts of the Middle East and griding poverty in large swathes of Africa. I am slightly non-plussed why all those people are united in their desire to go to Germany. But even that is not relevant.

The question is: how do they come to Europe's shores, and more to the point, who is organising it. Who stands to pocket a million pounds a boatload, and doesn't give a pin for the fate of those on board, whether they reach the other side or just Davy Jones's locker? Who has the logistics to organise hundreds of boats and thousands of lifejackets? Seen those pics of the mountains of lifejackets that are accumulating on the Greek island of Lesbos? A lot of the Middle Eastern migrants arrive through Turkey, which (on the surface at least) doesn't bat an eyelid at what goes on on its western shores. I do not point the finger at the Turkish government persé, by the way, although their role does not stand up to scrutiny. A similar people smuggling exercise was occurring between Libya and Italy, with countless numbers of boats and thousands of people ending up on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa.

In the fierce debate over the numbers of people that have to be housed across Europe (do they?), the question of transportation and logistics is not being addressed.

Who are the people smugglers, who supports them, bankrolls them (if they need bankrolling by now), and what do they stand to gain by Europe's discomfiture; in plain English, what is the political angle.