'....SO, I LOOK A BIT ROUGH; DOESN'T MEAN I DON'T LOVE SMALL FURRY ANIMALS, THOUGH..'
Autons and Sea Devils. Aliens. Doctor Who's got his 'to do' list sorted. Oh yes, the Romanians. Particularly nasty. All that foreign SOUP. Made of tripe ciorbă de burtă, calves feet and fish. Yes, yes, I know, immigration's THE top pub talking point, but treating the 'other' like an invasive evil, doesn't peace and harmony bring.
We're all immigrants aren't we? My lot nipped over from their Brittany bungalows in the 11th century. I've got Hull fisherman in my background mix (from Scandinavia), a musician (not sure) , and lots of very
ordinary digging for woad types (again, not sure). Yes, crossing borders is happening more quickly now. The pace of change real, and perceived, can be frightening and unnerving. However, 'the entire population of Transylvania', has not pitched their
tents in Marble Arch, despite one politician's past prediction.
SCAPEGOATING; FAST BECOMING THE NATIONAL PAST TIME....
Negotiations with the EU may or may not 'slow things down'; but the 'immigrant' is fast becoming the scapegoat for ALL our terrors, resentments and individual frustrations. History teaches us that this is a precarious and dangerous
perspective to pursue.
On a course this week, I studied alongside Arab, Eastern European , South African, Scottish and British students. All my nasty little preconceptions were triggered;
but by the end of the course, I felt I had received a gift. The gift of connection with the 'other', and myself.
The immigration debate continued to rage around us; radio phone-ins and TV
discussions chocked full of immigrant irritation.
It is so tempting when we feel vulnerable, angry, let down and scared, to 'Lygon' everyone with the same alien label. But where
does that get me? Where does that get you? More isolated, more frustrated and more miserable; both with ourselves, and the world around us.
29th November 2014. (Adapted from November 2013)