Expat or immigrant?

The threat to the dam has receded. The power is back on. The residents of Whaley Bridge, homeless for almost a week, have returned, and the blackout at Ipswich Hospital is over.

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and community spirit shown from across the High Peak and beyond,” High Peak Borough Council said.

All’s well that end’s well.

But the reporting of these early, brief episodes of climate and No Deal-style disruption in the UK, and commentators’ emphasis  on the grassroots neighbourhood response is unsettling.

Journalists and Whaley Bridge locals, for example, use the word “evacuees” – conjuring up images of children fleeing a wartime enemy and welcomed, rehomed and loved by strangers in other parts of the country.

Other people on the move, meanwhile, are refugees, migrants, immigrants or illegal immigrants.

Are you an expat (White British) or an economic migrant (everyone else)?

Are you an entrepreneur, or are you Tier 1?

We’re grateful for and celebrate the collective response to this particular climate emergency. There is solace in local unity.

But ‘local’ means restricted.

As well as supporting those in the malestorm, our response is to tackle the causes of climate breakdown (or act palliatively if we believe we’ve passed the tipping point); and remember that, as you read this, there are still ‘evacuees’ fighting for their lives in the Mediterranean.


One thought on “Expat or immigrant?

  1. So when a white lightning during a thunderstorm strikes, torches your white house and the white firemen can’t save it – then you are a climate refugee?

    What when anything has been black? Are you a refugee fleeing racism and climate?

    And remember, as you read this, there are still a lot of humans earning big money for selling other people in the Mediterranean.


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