"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Once Upon A Time...

... in a land far away, a teenager spoke with with her father.

He: "The government is allowing too many strangers to settle in our country; it will all end in tears."

She: "Everyone has the right to a better life."

The years passed and the once teenager-now woman remembers her father's words and is glad he died before he saw the culmination of government policies settled in the 50s and 60s and seeing fruition in the 2000s.

He had the battle-scars (and trophies) of war at El Alamein and never spoke except to make light of it: nothing in life was awful for him and he would always find the bright side of any situation.

I doubt he'd be laughing now: he'd be sad.  He was a Labour man through and through and would despair at the thought of Ed Miliband, son of Adolphe/Ralph, as Leader of that Party.

As you know I've recently moved from London to Torquay and in doing so I can give the lie to the Buddhist tale of the stranger in a strange town. I don't have a link but it's the one where a man leaves a village and encounters a stranger walking in the opposite direction.
"How are the people in the next village, are they friendly?" he asks the stranger. "How did you find the people in the last village you walked through?" asked the stranger. "Oh, they were awful: cold, unfriendly, and they'd steal the shirt from your back," he said. "Then you will find the the same in the next village," replied the stranger.
Well, I can categorically tell you, after all these years, that it isn't true. I've been here since May 2nd and, without fail, every single person I've met, from shop-keeper to bank clerk to cabbie to neighbour, has been unceasingly friendly (apart from the man from Neighbourhood Watch).

London is a country of wealthy financial sectors, impoverished immigrants who are content to stay in ghettos (now called 'Communities')  and middle class enclaves behind securicor-patrolled gates.  I'm glad I'm away from the suspicion, the down-cast eyes, the spitting on the pavements, the foreign languages, the looks of hate and distrust.

My cabbie this morning (30yrs old, married with a 19-month daughter) is to be Best Man at a wedding next week and has arranged a stag weekend this Friday; he intends to centre around Piccadilly, do the clubs and bars, maybe a bit of tying a naked groom to a lamp-post and taking a few embarrassing pics before driving back to Torquay on Sunday.

The cabbie said London was 'cosmopolitan' and I told him he was being polite and to have eyes in the back of his head because the Met Police aren't like Devonshire Police, not at all, and London isn't just "a City like any other": it's a Capital City unlike any other part of England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland - it's a place apart and I'm glad to be out of it. #whiteflight #strangerinastrangetown


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