Saturday, August 8, 2015

…They were granted an entry visa if they had a guarantor already living here. The only work permit they received was as a home help. They felt they had no right to ever speak about what happened to them, because in their eyes nothing had happened to them, compared to the millions lost. They were the lucky ones…..Send me a parcel with a hundred lovely things

Recently, in the press a sister was interviewed about her brother. His wet-suit was found washed up on the Danish coast.
 Looking out from a French beach he had seen the white cliffs of Dover across the English Channel.
‘I can swim, it’s not too far,’ he thought, and bought the suit with his last pennies.
 He was deaf to the warnings of 136 ghosts, from East Berlin who had perished, swimming across the river Spree to the West.
He was young, middle-class like many of the migrants at Jungle Camp Calais, from an African country, where he spoke English.. He had never before experienced the squalor, the disease, of what are now   the Calais camps. He had fled   his home country for fear of his life, young enough   to start again.

There’ll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Tomorrow, just you wait and see

His sister had been waiting to hear of his safe arrival before she would embark on the perilous journey away from corruption, violence, female genital mutilation, to the squalid camp on the French coast, where despair makes migrants fearless.
Calais is where I walk a caramel dog along white sands, before driving home to Blighty,  through the tunnel that divides us from mainland Europe.
A chill wind of cruelty is blowing over Calais. It is reported that there are now about 5000   migrants desperate to get into UK. The demographics have changed from single young men; over a hundred women and children are   living there. There is minimal medical   support   to deal with the diseases spreading through poor sanitation and the injuries incurred whilst trying to jump on the lorries en route to England.
 There are many kids jumping, 14 years old who have travelled alone, many teenagers with   nothing left   to lose.  They storm the tunnel at nightfall

I’ll never forget the people I met
Braving those angry skies
I remember well as the shadows fell
The light of hope in their eyes

Europe has already taken in many migrants, Sweden has opened its gates to any Syrian   requesting asylum. 
The beleaguered fishermen of Greece stretch out their hands to help the starving walk out of the sea.
Two years ago our   Prime minister, the elitist Eton educated David Cameron, said “I believe that immigration has brought significant benefits to Britain, from those who’ve come to our shores seeking a safe haven from persecution to those who’ve come to make a better life for themselves and their families, and in the process they have enriched our society by working hard, taking risks and creating jobs and wealth for the whole country.”
Since then, his heart has turned to stone; he has   already cut the welfare provision for our own poor and disabled. Now he builds a fortress of poisonous language and poisonous gas, dehumanising migrants, referring to them as a swarm. No they’re not bloody bees, they are human beings; how many of us or our parents were migrants once? How many are safely here because ancestors   fled from oppression?  
What has happened to us with our existence privatised by belongings    and insulated by our headphones, our chittering chattering on twitter and posting every gooey cake we eat on Facebook?
Anyone who has a heart  must rise up and stand on the white cliffs of Dover, braving the tear gas and shouting  across...come and join us...we’ll share our daily bread.
The migrants, waving not drowning…..

Tomorrow, just you wait and see
There’ll be love and laughter
And peace ever after...
There’ll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Tomorrow, just you wait and see

(Sung by Vera Lynn, World War 2)   

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