Thursday, 25 June 2015

Concerns

Hello. Is anyone else beginning to feel fearful about their own personal security, because I am. It's not like me at all. I'm confident enough to go on long walks by myself, albeit in this country. I have lost the desire to set foot on foreign soil where I won't understand their language, their culture and customs, and the mindset of people who may not have the same values as I have.

I feel safe here, the familiar surroundings of the countryside fill me with a sense of peace and happiness. My eyes feast on the beauty of nature as I wander. I have the freedom to walk out of my front door, drive, get on a bus, or walk to wherever I want to go within our green and pleasant land.

I used to be quite adventurous. Been to Russia, the USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, on holiday. Been on lots of roller coasters in the USA. Had a helicopter ride from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Driven a truck to Holland and Germany several times, quite proud that I did that. Not such big adventures as some people have, but enough for me to get a little bit excited about life.

Everything has a risk to it. I don't feel safe flying any more, although that's daft, because it is still safe. I don't want to do anything which might cause me some anxiety, and I know flying will so I have chosen to remove it from my life. I now prefer to take the soft option of sticking within my comfort zone.

But times are a changing and I am now fearful that my own comfort zone is going to be taken away from me in the not too distant future, and I won't be able to do anything about it. OK, I'll get to the point, I am feeling vulnerable when I read that 350 stowaways were turfed off trucks at Calais in a four hour period. The French government say they can't stop migrant chaos. British lorry drivers are furious because they are sitting ducks and no one will help them. They are being attacked in their cabs by people desperate to enter the UK. All headlines this morning in the press.

I am scared that a lot are getting through. If they are willing to commit crimes to get here, what kind of crimes will they commit once they are here. And where will they go. The sheer numbers congregating on the other side of the channel should be a cause for serious concern.

I am now questioning how secure am I in my own home. I get on with my day to day life, making the most of my freedom, and being grateful for every day I am given. But how much longer can it go on. I am trying not to worry about it.


94 comments:

  1. I feel the same. I worry for my grown up children who are still finding their own way in life.

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    1. This. My kiddo and 2-grands are big concerns of ours. And our grands aren't even in school yet. Now there's a worry.

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  2. it's funny you should talk about this, as both my brothers are truck drivers. The younger one was crossing the channel a couple of times a week. Just messaged him on Facebook to see if he is in Britain or abroad and I am pleased to say he has stopped doing the trips across the tunnel. Someone is going to get killed with all that carry on.

    I don't mind crossing our border from Canada to the States, but am not too keen on going anywhere else in the world. Flying to Britain will be only done when I HAVE to do it, as with all those flights going down, that frighten's me as well. So yes I do feel the same as you.

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  3. Me too Ilona. I was listening to an immigrant in Calais being asked why he wanted to come here and the reply was that he wanted to come because in England you get given a house to live in. Basically they see UK as a soft touch. I think our Government should stop being so weak and take a tough line here and let it be known there are no free houses/handouts for these economic immigrants.

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    1. I agree too, this new government needs to stop this outpouring into our small island. Tougher measures must be put in place and the welfare and needs of British people ought to be put first ( for a change) MJ D

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    2. Totally agree too. Bring back Nigel Farage I say! And like Nigel, I am not racist, I have no trouble with foreigners coming here that have a skill or something that the UK needs but there's too much political correctness these days, somebody needs to sort this mess out.

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  4. My OH is a lorry driver, fortunately he doesn't go to any ports, but it's always a worry that his truck might be targeted. Until this Government gets its fingers out and actually does something about the illegal immigrants (like stop giving them money, housing and free medical care for a start), it's going to carry on.

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  5. I moved from a very small village in South Lincs to this much larger one in Wales. I do feel much safer here, there is very little street activity in the evening. No marauding groups of semi feral kids of all ages and very little police activity as it is not needed. However in some of the bigger towns it is a different story, I would not walk round Neath, Swansea or Carmarthen at night, specially at the weekend, driving through is bad enough. I make sure that my windows and doors are secure, even when I am at home and in the garden. We have a group of Eastern Europeans living 2 houses away and they are the most polite people that I have come across, they work very long hours and 7 days a week mostly. Unfortunately they seem to be in a minority, I am not convinced that our government has the will or intention of dealing with the situation.

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  6. I have the same feelings about flying. The same fears that build up when planning trips. I have flown to the UK several times and to Ireland four times, as well as Switzerland. Once we are in the air I know that all is out of my control and what will be will be. I also know that without getting on that plane I would never see the amazing beauty and history of these countries and I feel blessed to have been able to travel. Full speed ahead!

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  7. Dear Ilona and all,
    I like reading your blog, but I am a Little worried by your comments: you should Keep in mind: no one would leave his home and Country if necessary. Most of this poor People coming Long distances and traveling in the boots which sould not be on the water any more: they risk their lifes because they have nothing to loose. And living in Germany I can say: here are arriving a lot of immigrants and a very small minority might have some criminal ideas, the majority just wants one Thing: a perspective in life, something to live for. I do not judge your fears and thoughts, I just want to Point out, that These People are in great Need.
    From a Reader in Germany who does know a lot of immigrants

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    1. I agree. While I feel the current immigration policy should be fixed, I do feel for those desperately trying to better their circumstances. Desperation does not mean one has bad character, none of us know what we would do in order to help our own families. I really dislike stereotyping different nationalities, without national borders,we are all just people looking for peace and security. Underneath the physical differences, we are all the same.
      Some anxiety about change, crime, travel, etc. is natural with growing older, but embracing change idea at keeps us vital.

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    2. It is a dilemma, and all humans deserve respect and dignity, and as Ilona said, both the migrants and the drivers are at a safety risk. Until the super rich "have's" stop pilaging oil and all natural resources, and getting rich off conflict and war, the problems will continue, and I fear for all humans. I wouldn't want to feel forced to leave my home, and doubt they would travle thousands of miles if they had some sort of future at home. But there are people strugglling to survive in the country the migrants are trying to escape to. I know who I blame, and it isn't those trying to just live their life.

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    3. I agree, thank you, Sam, for putting it so well.

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    4. Yes these people are desperate, but I lose respect for them when they break into lorries and threaten drivers.

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    5. They may be desperate, but they are already in France why do they need to come any further! Because Enland is a soft touch!

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    6. Not sure for how many it is necessity .... some for sure, but for many more it is desire. However humane we may be, there's not the room housing or funding to accept all these immigrants ... enough is enough.

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    7. The immigrants who are fleeing their countries and entering ours illegally, will never be able to recieve funding or housing so will live in pretty poor conditions. Imagine what they must be leaving behind, which makes that sound like a better alternative. I don't judge them or fear them, instead I feel sorry for how desperate they must be, and hope they find a better life in the UK.

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    8. I would like to reply with something that no-one ever talks about.
      When we see the daily reports of immigrants in Calais trying every which way they can to gain entry to the UK has anyone other than me noticed that almost every immigrant is a man alone. There are thousands. They can't all be unmarried and without children. So, either they have left their wives and children in a comfortable home with enough money to live well which is reasonably unlikely, or these men are chancers - looking for women here happy to have their children so they can use 'human rights' to stay here, or they are trying to use asylum to be given a house and benefits before sending the benefit money abroad for their 'families' to either live on or to buy plane tickets to come here too.
      Either way, we as a small island cannot sustain it.
      Furthermore, we as tax payers cannot continue shouldering the growing burden.
      I know how you feel Ilona - and as for our beleagured truckers - they should be paid danger money.

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  8. It sounds very much like the USA. Donald Trump is running for president and just gave a speech where he said that the hispanics entering our borders illegally are thieves and rapists and then conceded that a few are probably decent people. Such an ignorant and bigoted statement! Like in the US, people entering your country illegally want a better life. In the US most of these people work very hard, often at menial jobs, and are law abiding. I hope that will prove the case in your country also.
    I do tend to agree with you that I feel less safe now that I am in those "mature" years. I don't fear flying itself....but the people aboard are a different story. Is there a terrorist aboard, or a mentally disturbed person who could disrupt the flight, etc?
    I tend to stay in my comfort zone more too. We lock our doors now, and I am more cautious in parking lots and shopping malls.
    The thing I see throughout all the bad that happens in the world is that when the bad happens.....the helpers come. Many many helpers come. No matter where it is, good people come to help, so I take hope and comfort in that.

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    1. I totally agree. Donald Trump is a buffoon.

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  9. A very sad reflection on Britain in the 21st century.

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  10. Hi, Ilona! I really enjoy reading your blog. I know that I have travel concerns that are related to being 65. When I was young, I felt invincible, and traveled all over by myself, and this was way before cell phones, etc. Whenever I heard of something bad happening, I just passed over it, thinking "it'll never happen to me". As I aged, things did happen to me, and I learned from them. When we first got married, we both had loads of family, so always had that support, but not any longer. They got old and died. Read too many newspaper reports of planes crashing, watched all the 9/11 stuff on tv. Also, medical issues came along, where I know I wouldn't want to live far from a hospital. And now, with computers, we know of things happening all over the world. The consequence of it all? I've become a homebody, with all of my needs/wants taken care of in my local area, or by internet purchases. I don't live in a panic state, but with an awareness, that at my age, I am much more cautious, and have no need to put on a show of bravery. I'd rather feel content.

    From a USA reader

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  11. maybe not giving them handouts would help. why dont they want to stay in France for example? because here they get houses and money. We should stop providing this as a deterrent to illegal immigrants.

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    1. I agree, so does nearly everyone I know.

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    2. I totally agree with what you`ve said!

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    3. Do you really think that the illegal immigrants trying to enter the UK will turn up at the benefits agency and receive a house and money? They are more likely to end up being exploited by an unscrupulous employer who will house them in squalid conditions whilst using them as slave labour. How quickly the lives and deaths of the cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay have been forgotten.

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  12. There are terrible things going on in the world and we quite rightly have given shelter to many, but the fact remains that those at Calais and crossing the Med are mostly male and they have abandoned their families to their fate, they think the UK is some mythical land of milk and honey , far from it . Europe is taking the brunt of this onslaught we are lucky enough to have a moat

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  13. hi Ilona, sorry you feel a little insecure at the moment. I do agree with you.I too am more wary than I used to be but I put some of this down to my age. In the area where I live its usual to hear different languages being spoken. My next door neighbours are Latvian .They have been here for 3 years.There are also Polish,Indian and some that I'm not sure of their nationality. These are just ordinary working people. The ones that you are doubtful about are the the desperate ones in Calais that come from who knows where.We don't know what its like to feel like that. Fear has no nationality. I hope that the government can do something about the problem soon because it is down to them.They make the laws. I think you are very brave going out on your long walks alone.I would never do that even if I was younger. You will still go out, just have to use your commonsense. You've got plenty of that!
    I also think that the media like to use scare tactics to sell newspapers too.

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  14. I totally understand. The borders here are a scary place. And what these lowlifes are doing and charging people to get them into safer/better countries is atrocious! I know people want better safer places for their families but do it legally. Granted not every one that crosses our borders is an angel but not all is bad either. Just like the ones that already live here. Times have changed and are getting worse no matter what we do it seems. I pray for my family daily.

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  15. Hi Ilona, while I think that the situation (particularly in Calais) is dreadful, I think we all also have to take a step back from DM journalism. There is no doubt that there are more and more problems with illegal immigrants, and I for one would be very much in favour of "amending" the terms of our EU membership to discourage "the scroungers" from coming to the UK. That being said, many (most?) immigrants are looking for a better quality of life and are very hard-working. And I don't believe all the baloney about them "coming over here and taking our jobs". To many even very low UK wages are better than what they can hope for at home, that is if they are not fleeing for their lives. And I speak as an immigrant myself, since I haven't lived in the UK for years and if I lose my job I will get NOTHING from the French government, despite being here for 25 years. (Thankfully I never did lose my job and hopefully won't). It's is an incredibly difficult situation and I feel desperately for the lorry drivers in the ports (and indeed the people of Calais) but I really feel we have to revise the terms of how and when benefits are handed out.

    That being said, I work in an international environment and my Greek and Italian colleagues are recounting worse horror stories than those we read in the DM. So it isn't just the UK, it's everywhere.

    I came to work in Switzerland over 35 years ago and felt VERY safe here. Now, while I still feel safe, there is a very big problem of drug dealing and it is coming from the illegals for the main part. Prostitution has long been legal/tolerated so it doesn't shock me to see prostitutes on the streets but to see the drug pushers openly standing on street corners (and worse) is worrying.

    If we could only wave a magic wand and make the problems disappear, but to see some of the awful sights of women and children fleeing for their lives is devastating. And no they are not the able-bodied young men we see in the news. I'll be damned if I know what the answer is.

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  16. At the last census 20% of the population of the town where I live gave their ethnicity as black or Asian, which is far higher than the national average. I was shocked that the percentage was so high but that's probably because I barely notice who is what colour or what language they are speaking. I just see people, and I really wouldn't have guessed that the percentage was so high. We have a growing Eastern European community too. My next door neighbours are British Muslims and most of the houses in the roads nearby are also inhabited by British Muslims,a lot of whom are related to one another. It makes me smile when I pass by and see all the children playing or heading off to school together and when I see the family members popping from one house to the next so easily as the fences between them have been removed. We could learn a lot from their sense of family; how they care for their elderly family members. I shop in S'bury's alongside women who are veiled or who have their head covered. I chat to them and their children at the till and on the bus. They're just like I am. We all just want to live a peaceful life, for our children to do well, to do our best for our families and our community. Last week, at the start of Ramadan my neighbour brought us a curry that his wife had made. The day we moved in he popped round to introduce himself and apologised in advance for any noise because he was in the midst of renovations.He brought us a card and chocolates at Christmas even though they don't celebrate it. We recognise their celebration at Eid. We like and respect each other. We give them vegetables that we grow. They gave us a beautiful old trunk and a trellis for the garden. They have been encouraged to grow their own vegetables and fruit because of us. T has started to keep fit because he's seen my hubby going out for a run. They are the best neighbours I have ever had; better than the white, middle class, privately educated girl who had sex in the front garden at my old house, who played music until 6am, who didn't give a tuppenny toss about her child, who ignored it while it was screaming because she was on her phone and laptop in the garden, and palmed it off at every opportunity. Better than the white woman who told her visitors it was fine for them to park on my driveway and to block my drive. Better than the white couple who had constant rows at the tops of their voices. Better than the white drug dealer who lived across the road. There are good and bad in every nationality and every religious persuasion. The vast majority of peoplewho want to come here just want to work, to look after their families, to escape from persecution or conflict and to live a quiet life, but that isn't sensasionalist so it doesn't make the TV news or the front page of the Daily Mail.

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    1. Hi Scarlet
      I agree people are just that I had a couple who were from Dubi live next door to me and I never ever knew they were there. Always said hello and even remberd me when they went home to visit family bring back dates that their district were famed for. I now have people from eastern euroupe (as F& M had to go home for a job oppertunity) These new neighbours are rude borish and totaly inconsiderate even to the exstent where he would fly his drone from his back garden When I asked him to stop I was told to bleep off in VERY agressive tones. My Husband who is not in good heath got up from his bed and had to yell at him in the end her relented and stopped. He rows perminatly with his Partner and has move others in and I dont think this is is property he just rents! I know theres nothing wrong with renting I have shared ownership myself.But all I would like is fro him to be elsewhere I dont care where just not next to me . I wish some days for F&M to come back.we live in a treaced street where the gardens are very very small and they bar-b-q alot (god only knows what is used as an excelerant as it just stinks) we like you lived next to a drug dealer alsorts knocking my door in the we hours. then there was the guy OBSESSED with keeping pigeons and car repais even fixing them on xmas day. we were part of a class action for that, and as ther area we lived in was earmarked fro redevlopment had our home compulsorly purchased. So ironicaly moved to a redeveloped area where its comunity had undergone the same thing. All I want to do like my neighbours on the other side of me is be friendly pass the time of day with either a hello or a chat and get on with life. However I dont disagree with what you ahve said Scarlet.Like us all just some days I wish fro someting "other"

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  17. I think a lot of folk feeling so vulnerable at the moment is that all the bad news is reported ..... and I mean ALL the bad news. There is rarely good news reported anymore. Do you remember when Trevor MacDonald ALWAYS ended News at Ten with 'And Finally .....' a nice story, a light hearted story or just someone that had done something really good, that seems to have disappeared now with the news being full of bad things, arguing politicians and general doom and gloom.

    The police in this country do a fantastic job and have, under extreme cuts to their numbers, still managed to get the most serious crimes massively down in number, with their success rate in catching criminals getting higher and higher. Of course this isn't broadcast, because we seem to live a society that enjoys the horror of bad things, highlighting the risks to our safety, and scare tactics about crime, food, immigration etc.

    The people that are trying to flood the borders are mostly families, desperate young men not wanting to be drafted into wars they have no interest in fighting, women with babes in arms or who actually go through childbirth on their fraught journey to 'safety'. I doubt any of them would be coming here for the fun of it, they are simply wanting to survive.

    Please try to get to a state of mind that you feel safe again, there are so many good folk around this country, gosh you must have met so many of them on your walks around Britain. Most people want to live their lives in peace, to help others along the way and to travel this journey of life lightly, and we HAVE to keep the mindset of trusting people until we are proved wrong, otherwise we too are reinforcing a society built on fear and mistrust.

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    1. Sue, I loved it when the news ended on a good news note. I was just saying the other day, that the news is full of bad news. Anyone from another planet reading our news would think we lived in a terrible place. But as you say, there are wonderful people around us, people from every nationality too. I live in the north of Scotland in a rural area and we know hard working, kind people from Poland, Latvia, France, Germany, Switzerland etc. It worries me that the media are giving all immigrants a bad name and their kids at school catch it too which isn't fair.

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    2. I love that idea, trusting people until we are proved wrong. Perhaps I am fortunate in that I have never had any negative encounters with any immigrants, despite living in an area with a high Eastern European population. Perhaps this is because I treat everybody with the same respect and friendliness, not caring where they are from (something I unfortuntely frequantly see others in the area neglect to do.)

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  18. I think you do have reason for concern. The sheer numbers is mind boggling. On my return visits to the UK it is striking just how crowded everywhere is becoming.

    The neighborhood we live in has changed as well. Recently 3 cars parked outside were broken into at night. This would have never happened years ago. The police say it is young lads walking about and they will steal anything they can get their hands on. It is now recommended that you lock all your windows and doors when not at home.

    I no longer am willing to go out shopping in the evening as I don't like coming home to unload the car in the dark.

    I am still ok with flying and for me it is a case of have to. I understand why some would rather not. It does take a lot longer with all the added security etc.

    Interesting to read the various comments thus far.

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  19. I hadn't heard of the trouble in Calais, so I had to google. Scary sounding. Those stowaways sound desperate, and if they are attacking the drivers, I think something must be done to stop them.
    Trying to understand the reasons behind the church shootings in Charleston here in the US...I think there re desperate, mentally ill people everywhere.
    I haven't had the opportunity to travel as much as you, and I was hoping to come to England and Scotland in a few years.
    Stay safe, but don't let anyone take your joy.

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  20. I think the news is to blame for a lot - they only ever show the worst of life, often blowing things up to make the news. It doesn't hurt to be cautious but please don't live in fear.

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    1. Totally, agree, I think the journalists have made the situation look worse than it is.

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  21. When I saw the news over the last few days, I really did feel for the lorry drivers. They should he able to go about their daily work without feeling threatened and intimidated. France needs to address the issue properly before people start getting killed.
    Twiggy

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  22. I agree with you and worry about society in general with all the cuts people get desperate they dont just disappear quietly....i also am upset when i watch the scenes in calais and in the med and wonder if the powers that be care about life and plan to do anything

    tessa

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  23. I read the stories online. I'm amazed and shocked.
    The UK I visited in 2011 was definitely NOT the UK I left in 1990. I didn't feel at all safe staying in the city where I grew up.
    Jane x

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  24. Stop worrying I say,just carry on doing what you've always done. Worrying isn't going to change anything, don't go looking for problems that don't exist. If you believe and worry about half what is reported in the press you may as well padlock all the doors and live the live of a recluse. I suspect you would have more chance of the sky falling on your head than some poor homeless soul knocking on your door.

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  25. The stories are shocking ilona but I feel it will be a long time before your lovely neck of the woods will be under threat. We live in the London suburbs on the Kent border and what goes on is truly terrible and the last five years have seen massive cultural and behavioural changes occurring.

    I expect what I will now write might seem controversial to some - but we are living with the consequences of uncontrolled migration.

    Many of the migrants don't integrate at all ( fine if they did) and all around are mosques and African churches - many operating by flouting the law. As white British I am now an ethnic minority in London. Imagine what this ever increasing influx of population does to schools and medical services...

    We are used to living in a multicultural society - it can be enriching - but it is now on a scale that you need to live with to understand what this really means. This isn't like the Huguenot or Jewish migration into this country. People who worked hard and for the most part had moral values.

    Trouble is everywhere now; drugs, gangs, knifings, shootings - even our road has a house in it which has been turned into a bail hostel - makes a change from the brothel or the house which burned down through cannabis propagation!

    We were a target here throughout the IRA bombings and Lee Rigby was murdered just a few miles away. One of his attackers had been openly inciting violence on a market stall in the town - and wasn't stopped by the police although it was reported and horrified many people of all ethnicities.

    We will always have immigration, but there must be controls and the violence at Calais is appalling. Many of the 'refugees' reach safety in Europe but still want to come to the UK. I, like many, feel the French don't do enough to stop them. I would be terrified if I was a lorry driver; thank goodness you got out when you did Ilona.

    Finally, Would anyone choose to live long term where we do? I think not!

    In twenty years though, you might all be living this way...

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    1. Back in the 50s and 60s the east end and soho was full of crime , all pretty much white English. It was violent , especially in the homes with lots of wife bashers too

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    2. It may well have been - but I don't live in the east end! Where do you live?

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  26. As we all respect our animal world, then it is also our duty to respect and help humans in need. Desperate humans escaping wars and tortures, searching for a better and safer life. Who are we to prevent them from doing so, and in any case, there is a very low percentage of delinquents among them. Sometimes we should be afraid of our own people! I enjoy reading your blog Ilona and this is the first time I comment. You have so much to do that keeps you very busy. You will soon get over worrying about it and you will carry on enjoying your life as you always do.
    Blessings Gloria

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    1. Hi Gloria. Thank you for your first comment. Yes, I will carry on as normal, but I will be looking over my shoulder a lot more often.

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  27. Ilona it could been us who wrote this piece today. You really get to the heart of things. All the comments have made such interesting reading too. As someone said, it is very noticeable that there are many, many young men trying to come here. They seem to have abandoned their families and womenfolk. We are a similar age to you and we worry about our old age and what social cuts will mean to us. All the proposed cuts in services etc are going to bring lots of problems to many people. We also don't like being out on dark nights as someone else mentioned. I know that some people will say that we shouldn't let all these worries stop us doing the things we want but deep down it can affect our behaviour.
    I am so pleased that you put your voice and opinion on record, I know that you will carry on with your usual routines, and looking out for yourself will be very high on the agenda.
    Wendy (Wales)

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  28. I've definitely grown more nervous as I've gotten older. I went off to Canada as a nanny all on my own in my 20s, would travel all over Britain on the train or coach on my own, loved walking on the beach in the dark...now I even worry sometimes about walking down the street in to town and I don't think I'd feel safe walking through our park alone. Living in Dover we've had our fair share of trouble with people coming in from all over Europe, and there's a now a sort of no-go area where so many of them live in Bed and Breakfast accomodation. I do feel sorry for many of them, they must be deperate to go to such lengths to get into our country, but that doesn't help the rest of us feel any safer. And I certainly don't fancy going across on the ferry to Calais for the day, even though its only 23 miles and an hour and half's trip from here. Mind you, with all the chavs here in dover standing on street corners stinking of the weed they've smoked (and often smoke out in the open) and discussing so and so's latest jail sentence or how such and such got off on a warning, the problems are just as much home-grown as imported.Sorry for the rant. And its not a case of prejudice without reason or experience, this is something we live with every day.

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    1. Helen, we haven't been to either Dover or Folkestone for many, many years, but they were very nice places for a day out. Recently we thought of re-visiting Folkestone but we were advised by friends not to go as the waterfront area had changed beyond recognition due to the population change and the area becoming run down. Obviously there are nice areas, but if you go to the coast you want to see the sea!

      That made me quite sad as trips to the coast have always been enjoyable for day trips (we don't have holidays). Obviously the south coast is now the frontline for those people coming in from Europe. Also, as London is now so overcrowded and lacking in accommodation I believe many of the London councils now also move people down to the coastal areas, thus making the problems even worse.

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  29. Someone very close to where I lived was murdered a couple of years ago. It was on Crimewatch. The police came to question me (as I lived so close). It was hailed as one of the most horrific murders known to the police - there was torture - no one has been caught. I never have my door unlocked even in the day and I even feel nervous in my garden. I don't get into too much unnecessary conversations with men.

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  30. Reading all these comments makes me feel very pleased to live in West Cumbria, we don't have problems with ethnic minorities, I can count the number of coloured faces I see in a month on one hand. There's the usual selection of Indian and Chinese eating establishments, a few market traders and a few doctors.
    Quite a few Polish people but they seem to integrate well and usually speak good English.
    Town centres are a no-go in the evenings at weekends, but the trouble is caused by our home-grown thugs mixed with too much alcohol.
    Drugs are a problem but that's everywhere, and the dealers and addicts keep a low profile, being a small area they are all known.

    The situation at Calais is very worrying, I don't know what the answer is, but it needs a strong plan of action by the authorities to control it. I feel so sorry for the truckers, fined huge amounts of money for something that is not of their making.
    I also appreciate a lot of the people are trying to escape bad situations in their home country, but don't really understand why UK nationals should be held responsible?

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  31. I am not afraid to travel. Right now I am unable to travel because I care for my elderly mother but at some point I hope to return to visit the UK and all the lovely places you mention. I would also visit Europe but would stay away from the Middle East. It is so, so sad for the people in Syria, Iraq etc.

    I feel very safe where I live. What I do fear is the multiplication of guns in the U.S. Everybody's got a gun or so it seems. I've always hated guns. When 20 children were killed at Sandy Hook, what was done? Nothing. Now with the killings in Charleston I don't expect any gun control legislation. I do not have children but if I did I would worry about their futures.

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  32. I agree with you Ilona - I worry for my Grandchildren and what kind of England that they will live and work in.
    I still keep in touch with colleagues in my old field of dealing with ASB and a lot of the joint working that they undertake with the police now isn't related quite so much to drugs as it used to be but to radicals and suspected terrorists!
    These young men must be stopped from entering our country - enough is enough now

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  33. I feel very strongly about this and fear for my daughter's and grand-daughter's future. If they are genuine refugees why don't they stay in the first European country they come to instead of traveling through safe countries to get to Calais and then hopefully on to the UK. I feel it's hard enough for ordinary British people to get housing, hospital/doctors appointments and a decent school for their children etc without the added pressure to accommodate more people. I never agreed with the channel tunnel before it was constructed and the episode this week of the migrants trying to get on the lorries proved me right. I feel sorry for the lorry drivers who just want to do their job instead of having to worry about migrants stowing away in their lorries. What I would like to know is, if some migrants are successful in getting into their lorries would the drivers still have to be fined for transporting them into the UK? I hope not.

    Joan (Wales)

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  34. A random question for you Ilona given your experience trucking - is there a reason why so many of the drivers at risk of migrants trying to get into their truck are not using a lock? I've been watching the pictues on the news of people just opening the backs of lorries and i'm wondering why don't they just lock them?

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    1. Hi. That's a question a lot of people are asking. The back doors of the trailers are locked and have customs seals on them. They are being ripped off with crow bars. Copied from a newspaper article
      Gangs of migrants continued to swarm around lorries queuing to enter the Channel Tunnel yesterday, forcing their way in to try to smuggle themselves into Britain.
      Several used crow bars to break into the back of lorries as helpless drivers could only wait in the cab.

      The locks used are not robust enough to keep out someone who is desperate to open the door. Under normal circumstances they are only required to show the customs officers and the receiver at the final destination that the load has not been tampered with.

      A box trailer with solid sides will only have access through the back doors. A tilt or curtain side trailer has access through the sides. These trailers can be slashed with a knife. Trailers are not built like tanks, they keep the weight down to accommodate a heavier payload, companies get paid by tonnage and volume. Therefore the materials they use are pretty lightweight and doors can be forced with a crowbar.

      Trailers carrying fresh food which have been broken into will have their load scrapped due to possible contamination. There are strict temperature controlled conditions that the carrier must adhere to.

      I feel sorry for the drivers who are going through this, they are virtually trapped in their cabs for many hours as they head towards the crossing.

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    2. The trailer roof is a weak point, fairly easy to break through. Some trucks have centraldoor locking which can be unlocked by hacking into the wiring loom so most drivers fasten the doors together with a ratchet strap.
      They take their break 4hrs away from Calais so they don't have to stop until they reach the docks. The asylum seekers try anything to make the drivers stop including lying down in the road.
      I reckon that the French authorities don't do much because its more the UK's problem.
      If itwas up to me asylum seekers would be held in a detention centre while they were checked out, perfectly reasonable if they don't want to apply in the conventional way.
      With the threat of terrorism at the moment we need to know who these people are.
      Dave.

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  35. I travelled through Dover-Calais twice last year. It is truly a scary thing to see.

    The migrants there are not families. No women, just young, angry men. Refugees are supposed to claim asylum in the first safe country they enter. Not aim for the country that seems the most generous.

    Now here's the kicker for me. I was born in the UK, I can still have a UK passport if I want one. My Canadian passport was stamped when I entered the UK with a stamp that said basically I wasn't eligible for a work permit or health or social services. Despite holding citizenship. Despite being born there. A refugee can claim these thing.

    Oh, and to top it off, the customs officer said "Welcome Home" to me.

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  36. Preaching to the choir, sister. You sound like me. It might be our age. I like to stay close to home anymore.

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  37. The UK's welfare system is both a blessing and a curse, great that we get free healthcare but the £35 statutory sick pay i got last week is an insult when families on benefits are getting £35k+.
    I don't blame anyone for wanting a better life but we can't accomodate the worlds population in Europe.
    Previous governments have sold us down the river by shutting down industry but house prices have caused the most damage, in lots of cases people can't afford to take minimum wage jobs when their outgoings are based on £30k incomes.
    The world is becoming dangerously overpopulated and i shudder to think what the future holds in store.

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  38. I'm sorry you feel that way. IMHO and experience whenever I am in England, the way the news is reported doesn't help what are already fraught and difficult events/situations. My mother has been staying with my grandmother in England for over 3 years, now, and I have watched her go from confident to frightened - and yet Britain is no different, safer or more unsafe, than anywhere in the western world. Very often, it's just the way it's portrayed. When I am there, I go out of the room when the older ladies watch the news, as I can't stand the scaremongering and exaggerated manner in which the news is broadcast. Ugh.
    (quite unrelated, I wondered where your relatively exotic name comes from? A blog post?)

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    1. Hello. Do you mean Ilona, or Kontowski? My mother gave me the name Ilona, she was German, that is my real name. Kontowski is a random name I picked out of the book Ilona, by Hans Habe. I have an English surname, my father was English.

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  39. In our area I feel that I am not living in my own country. Younger friends are saying that they hope that their children do not have any children. Older friends who lived through the war. Say that they feel betrayed by the politicians. This country now, is not the country that my parents and grandparents fought for. There was a programme on the BBC "Britain's Greatest Generation" Older friends have said to me it should have been "Britain's Most Betrayed Generation".

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  40. I think you are being paranoid . Apart from war zones , western countries are safer than they have ever been, crime stats are the lowest ever per head in every western country. It is just that every thing is open and reported now
    Janey

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    1. Paranoid my arse, ha ha.

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    2. Attacks on women in this country are higher now than ever. Rape, grooming, decapitation of that innocent elderly woman in her own garden, Oh yes this country is safer than ever, not!!! Do we really want to take in people from the other side of the world where human life has little value? Watch today's news Anonymous - violence in places not designated as war zones - tourist resort in Tunisia/France - get real!

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  41. I think you speak for many of us.I have always considered myself to be fairly liberal and humane but the situation in Calais is terrifying.It may be being reported by the media but the footage we are seeing is real.'Real' refugees should stop once they reach safety.These desperate attempts to reach the UK,for some at any cost to others who they feel may hinder them,appear to be a 'lifestyle' choice.Angry young men who feel they have a right to what they want at any cost.The elderly,frail,women and children do not seem to be in much evidence at Calais,I do not believe that is biased media coverage,as it would,sadly,make good headlines.Time for the UK to take stock,before this situation causes goodwill to be withdrawn to those who are genuine refugees as opposed to economic migrants.The situation of the poor lorry drivers,who are trying to make a living and support their family's is awful.What will it take for something to be done to help their situation,they are victims in this.

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  42. If we stopped giving handouts, our problems would be reduced by at least half!
    I have no problem at all with people of any colour, creed, religion or nationality living here, as long as they're prepared to work and pay their own way. Unfortunately, we are seen as a soft touch (because basically, we are) so are being 'invaded' by those who want to sit on their backsides and be kept!
    I spent five days in London earlier this year, three years after my last stay there, and the difference was staggering, I heard more foreign languages/accents there than English, which for a major city is pretty staggering!
    We spent ten days in New York last year, and I can honestly say that I felt safer in Manhattan at night than in London.
    I have a friend who lives in a lovely village in the Lincolnshire countryside, not far from Woodhall Spa. Their outbuildings have been broken into so many times that now they have security lights, alarms and CCTV all over their property. The oil tanks for their heating have been emptied three times in the last eight months, their summerhouse was emptied of furniture overnight, their hens were stolen from their hen house the same night. Now, maybe this can't all be blamed on immigrants, but the problems have only arisen since our immigration levels increased dramatically!
    There are no simple answers to the problems, but stopping handouts would be a good start.
    If British people (of whatever race, religion etc) are in the situation of having to use food banks, whilst immigrants are being given handouts as soon as they set foot on British soil, our priorities are seriously messed up!

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  43. I think you're right to be worried Ilona, I certainly am. I think it's partly an aging thing, you feel more secure in your own home or neighbourhood and don't feel the need to travel so much, being more content with your own doorstep as it were. Must admit, I feel safer in the countryside where there's nobody about, than in the middle of a town surrounded by crowds. This immigrant thing, I really don't know what the answer is, maybe keep Rottweillers and Pit Bull Terriers in the trucks along with the cargo! You must be glad your'e no longer a truck driver.

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  44. They are criminals by the time they arrive and our prisons are already full of reprepribates of our own country we don't anyone else's. If your a hardworking family in this country you get nowt. If you commit crime to get here you get everything a person could want plus a bag to put it in.

    Personally I'm scared for my daughter who's off on a coach to France next year with school I don't want her seeing all this animalistic behaviour. My cats behave with more morals x

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  45. I understand your concerns, Ilona. I am 42 and definitely feel more fearful than I did 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. While obviously there are scary things going on, I do believe that the constant 24/7 exposure to bad news from every corner of the world is re-wiring our brains and making us hyper vigilant, alert and sensitive. At least that's how I feel. News sites are cleverly designed to draw us in with tidbits which lead to more and more negative reports on everything bad happening in every street, town and country. This level of exposure is a relatively new thing and is addictive to many people. I think sometimes I feel that forewarned is forearmed and that I need to know everything, but there is so much sensationalism and fear mongering, and it is not balanced out by the immense good that is still in the world. For me, the answer is limiting my exposure to news media, making a conscious effort to seek out happy stories and blogs (like yours!) and spending as much time as possible in nature, where there is some kind of balance and sanity! I have spent this week in a coastal town called Kalbarri, about 600km North of Perth, Western Australia. I have immersed myself in the beach, national parks, fresh air, kangaroo spotting, pelican feeding, a bird sanctuary... I have been away from the rat race and the TV and computer, and got back to basics and the simple things. I feel a lot better for it. Keep doing what you are doing - walking in the country, living simply, loving the people and animals in your life, and making the world a brighter place for your readers. With people like you around, the negativity can't win. Susan x

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  46. Living is a dangerous business, but I do believe that our greatest threat to feeling safe is fear itself. Pam

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  47. With the news of today's events in Tunisia, and the fact that terrorists have already told us they will implant IS people in with the uncontrolled numbers of refugees now flooding into Europe, I think whoever called Ilona paranoid upthread should be ashamed of themselves.

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  48. Hi.It troubles me that a woman as strong, smart,independant and adventurous as you fears for your security.I do not believe that you are being conditioned by media or are paranoid.I think you are listening to your intuition and it is telling you something.When a woman gets older and lives alone common sense says that they are more vulnerable.Making sure you are secure in your home/haven is important to you and nothing is wrong about that.There is little to be done about something you can't control.The lorry driver situation is outrageous and the authorities should be doing more to protect the drivers.Let's be clear folks,the "desperate"people in crisis trying to make a new life stowing away are young men who are violent and will do whatever it takes to get in the country.The legal channels of applying for refugee immigrant status is not open to them because they would not be eligible to gain entrance legally. Most are unwilling to go through the vetting process required, know they would be rejected and choose to do this instead because many cannot afford the cost of proper channels and many are criminals and would not gain entrance legally.Honest, good people who work hard to get into a new country follow the guidelines and want to assimilate into their new homeland.( not segregate themselves and create division and increase criminal activity)The reality is multiculturalism is here and is not going away,there is a lot of injustice,violence and oppression in our world.We are more exposed to that now, not as insular because of technology,and are going through a huge painful growing process.On a happier note,Ilona your positive, happy , creative approach to life and your wonderful blog contributes to the positive and good in life. Thank you for being you, yet again, and I know you're always wise, careful and go on with a smile,that's just who you are.Bye for now,D.

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  49. Hi,again.Your beautiful calm photo says it all.Warm regards and hugs,D.

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  50. I think I understand how you feel, and I feel the same way. I look forward to reading your blog every night. It brings me good vibes and good energy. I appreciate you Ilona! Thank you!!!

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    1. Totally agree about the good vibes and energy ... all the best, love this blog x. Barbara

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  51. If I were living by myself, I'd probably get a large dog with a deep bark and a deceptively ferocious appearance.

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  52. Someone has made the comment that western countries are safer now than they have ever been, it is just that all crime rates are reported now and are more transparent than ever before....a recent think tank in Canada addressed this same theory that was made here. I believe the initial spark to the conversation was about whether tougher penalties and/or longer jail terms needed to deter crime. Politicians and high income families thought that crime in general was going down, and that "softer" method for dealing with crime, had deterred or reduced it, over all. Middle and lower income people perceived that crime was increasing, and that getting satisfactory results from the courts and the justice system, was on the decline. The think tank explained that both perceptions were true, for both groups for a very specific (but disturbing) reason. Politicians and high income people were able to live in communities that were better policed, where they could afford high tech security systems, in case there was a need, the best lawyers. Because they lived in areas of high real estate values and were financially influential, when crimes were committed against them and their homes, they had their issues addressed quickly, with a greater degree of satisfaction. In a very real way, they lived in a "gated community bubble." The middle class and lower class, however, do not have the same privileges or wealth. If there were break-ins in their communities, the police were not guaranteed to show up, and if they did, there was little incentive to do much about the crime, as they were so common place. The police force was not funded enough to cover the stress on these neighbourhood homes. Security systems, high priced lawyers, or teams of lawyers are out of reach to most average people, and of course, apart from a vote from time to time, most did not have the influence on politicians and policy makers that the wealthy have. I am not against the wealthy being wealthy, nor do I think that economic hardship is noble in and of itself, but when I think of this, I can see many examples that fit this theory, here in Canada. Mary Jane in Canada.

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  53. Just to give you a glimpse of the other side to immigration - though I do agree with some of what you said. We live in a university town which has a majority of immigrant students. This has caused a lot of concern recently. The upside to all this is that a failing uni is flourishing (funding from abroad), they have bought and modernised a run down part of town, private landlords have refurbished derelict properties or built new buildings in undesirable areas. The uni has become the second biggest employer after the council. They pay their staff well and pretty much have a job for life with great career prospects. The town center has really picked up, shops are not closing like they once were, it is rare to see an empty unit on the high street. I see a lot of foreign students in the charity shops - hopefully keeping them going too. There is a downside (which is the problem that seems to come out in the media) that some immigrants get a student visa they come into the town to register - then they disappear. This does happen. It is a worry. But the majority of students come here to get a decent education (some have never even used a computer) paid for by their own country in a hope they will return home and invest their skills in their own community. I cannot imagine wanting to go and live in a foreign country where you are not even wanted, leaving your own family and customs behind. Most want to return. In fact, after an influx of polish immigrants to our own town and the outrage it caused - most did go back when the work dried up. A family member employed Eastern European immigrants as cheap labour and highly praised their work ethic and skill. He chalks that up to them coming from a system where if you don't work you don't eat, you do a poor job there are financial consequences. You ask if I am fearful for my personal security. The only time I have genuinely felt threatened is by the increasing yobbish behaviour on our nearby council estates - which houses white 'indigenous' people who have lived there for generations and have no aspirations to better their lives. I have been verbally attacked in a shop by a white woman who could barely string a sentence together without using the F word (whilst with a young child). There is an underclass of people who have no social skills nor concept of right from wrong, nor decent parenting skills (I have stories that would make your hair stand on end). I have also had an immigrant taxi driver crash into my wall, drive off and denied everything to the police. People can be horrible - and it doesn't necessarily depend on where you come from. Debbie.

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  54. I, too, am beginning to feel very worried about the future, for myself, my OH, my children and grandchildren especially. OH would like us to take our caravan across to France via Calais but there is no way on this earth that we will ever do it now. We haven't left this country for 14 years and I'm much too worried to do it now. Just look at what happened to those poor holidaymakers in Tunisia yesterday, gunned down by a terrorist whilst on the beach. Although we live in a quiet area of Worcestershire, by venturing into town we encounter so many different languages that I feel I am abroad anyway and in the ethnic minority! A while ago, I was frightened for the first time ever while shopping. A group of eastern European looking young men began watching me and I felt they were sizing up their opportunity to steal my bag. With a pounding heart I rushed into the nearest big store (it just happened to be M & S) and didn't leave until some time had passed and I could see my way clear to running to my car. I read in the paper a day or two later that women had been targeted as 'easy touches' for bag snatching....
    Until the government stops these easy handouts to illegal immigrants our country will always be the target destination and our already struggling services will all fail. We already have food banks which are desperately needed for our current population, how can we carry on absorbing more people, however desperate their situation. My heart goes out to those poor lorry drivers trying to earn a living for their families.

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  55. I read this when you first posted. It gave me food for thought, but at the time I felt I had nothing to contribute. With yesterday's news of the massacre in Tunisia, it made any fears we may have very real. Other atrocities were also committed yesterday, in various other countries, some events were larger, some smaller, some were reported, and other deemed to small to mention. I think the point here is, that to the victims, none of the events were small. It is a sad reflection of today's world, that life has become so cheap.

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  56. A complex and worrying situation indeed, Ilona.

    I wouldn't want to turn away those escaping persecution and war, but given there are millions in this boat, how can we take them all. Australia is facing a similar issue but with much smaller numbers. Mainly Afghani and Iraqi asylum seekers are trying to come here. They fly to Indonesia first. The question is similar. If they are safe, why are they travelling on? In our case by risking their lives on boats. I think both our countries are seen as having more opportunities for employment and education.

    I was recently in London. I've only been once before, over 22 years ago. I was saddened by the number of beggers who were obviously from Eastern Europe. While this may have nothing to do with shocked by the number and the prevalence of women in niqab. London was quite a different place in terms of ethnic mix last time I was there!

    Re the poor truck drivers in Calais: it must be scary. Though as hunger and fear are big drivers, I might also do the same. Or send my son.

    I don't feel unsafe. But I do worry about the randomness of terrorist attacks. I know they have happened everywhere and before - eg the IRA bombings - but they are much more frequent despite our loss of liberties with the increase in security everywhere.

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  57. Hi Ilona - love your blog.
    I'm disheartened at the lack of knowledge displayed by a lot of your commentators. The UK government can no more solve the illegal immigrant problem than the US or Australian governments just by being inhumane to the ones that do get through the barriers. Maybe if they stopped invading other countries on bogus pretexts and interfering in their politics, or manipulating the populations and military of other countries to rise against elected governments who won't allow the US to pillage the resources while keeping the people in poverty there would be considerably less refugees, (e.g. Just since WWII there has been overt or covert interference in the Philippines, Central America, Greece, Iran, Brazil, Cuba, Congo, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Chile, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan and many others. Besides pushing millions of refugees out of embattled countries this has also pushed millions of ordinary people into the arms of terrorist groups which increases the risk of the feared terrorist attacks.
    There is little doubt that the threat of terrorist attacks has been exaggerated by western governments to enable them to devote large amounts of their budgets to arms acquisition and development, and intrusive surveillance of the general population of their own countries. 9/11 is often quoted but that took place in 2001 - nearly 14 years ago! An attack of this magnitude has not been repeated. Other bombings have taken place but these are not weekly, monthly or even annual events in the countries affected. People are killed yes, but an individuals chances of being caught up in a terrorist attack are miniscule.
    This is the same with violent crime - despite the media frenzy, UK, US and Australian figures all show a drop in violent crime. In the UK from 2003-2014 homicides 1047 to 537, attempted murder 822 - 500, all types of robbery 110,000 - 57,000, total violence against the person 708,742 - 634,586. The only figures increasing are sexual assaults/rape. (UK Government figures). If you look at the numbers of homicides /total violence against the person and divide them by the millions of people in the UK, taking into account the relatively small number of illegal immigrants, and then think about the higher levels of crime in cities as compared to rural areas the chances of anything happening to you Ilona, especially from an illegal immigrant are pretty slim and to my mind, (as I live in a rural area too, but of Australia), are not worth worrying about! Also , for US readers Wikipedia states 'Since the 1990s crime has declined significantly in the US and current crime rates are approximately the same as the 1960s' !!!! Air travel remains safe and compared to the millions of individual flights per year only a minute fraction 'go astray'.
    I of course recognise that there are areas of high crime and we should all be vigilent when away from home but taking the above FACTS into account I think the best way to translate them into your own peace of mind and feelings of personal security is to stop reading the daily newspaper!

    Regards

    Jo

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    1. You live in Australia and can't understand everything about the UK. You're only quoting internet statistics. Rural obviously is relatively safer than urban, but unless you live here you aren't seeing the full picture. Tanya

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    2. I am from the UK - and I am quoting UK GOVERNMENT statistics which, yes, do happen to be on the internet. I know you can prove/disprove anything with judiciously quoted statistics but I was just trying to illustrate the point that, despite immigration you are SAFER than you were 10 years ago!! I can see the 'full picture' from the range of replies to Ilona's original post and some of them make me despair that the human race has learnt nothing in the last century. Luckily others make me proud of my 'rich' but generous British background.
      Australia has a refugee 'problem' as well - we have boats coming from Indonesia so the government intern them on offshore island countries in third world conditions for years where they, their families/children, slowly go mad from boredom, abuse and uncertainty. Our government has a news blackout on their disgusting actions. We can only get reliable information from humanitarian agencies or the odd intrepid reported who will risk arrest to get it. I wouldn't wish that on any refugee or as some call them, (displaying their ignorance), 'economic migrants'. Any sane human being would want to take their families from Indonesia where they aren't allowed to work or send their children to school to Australia where the people smugglers tell them they can have a new life. Of course, stopping the boats only stops the 'foreign' migrants. Loads fly here and just overstay their visas - the biggest group of illegal immigrants in Australia was New Zealanders(!), don't know if that's still the case.
      Anyway, we had all better get used to it and learn to get along as when the effects of climate change start to bite in a big way, with rising sea levels flooding parts of low lying countries, the refugee influx will increase manyfold.
      Oops, getting off subject - keep safe everyone.

      Regards

      Jo

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  58. Even though I live in a rural area in the US, I am uncomfortable with the number of immigrants that have been "allowed" to enter our country so I can understand the concerns of British citizens. I go to the supermarket here and I see a lot of them and wonder--why here?? Our winters are harsh and because of the rural area, there are less services and infrastructure available and then I know that this is probably the best option if they are trying to hide and avoid the US INS.

    I think the solution is to make life better in these other countries so that the people who are so desperate to leave feel safe and secure and are able to make a life where they were born and raised. As human beings, we need to make a stand against terrorism. We need to make sure that all people know how to read and write in their own language and obliterate illiteracy. We need to make sure that all people have access to domestic and international news that is not controlled by their governments or any one group.

    I believe if we can accomplish these two things, the world will be a better place.

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  59. i feel exactly the same its like being invaded but nothings being done about it, the world has gone mad hows all this going to end ?? these people are nameless and passport less they could be anything from anywhere they could be carrying deceases and don't even get me started on the criminal element which we have seen an awful lot of, its disgusting that today regarding isis Cameron is saying we all have to be patient as he does nothing great news for all the families whose loved ones have just been needlessly slaughtered

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  60. I just came back to the US after a trip to Latvia and Norway. In Latvia I felt safe but was so saddened by all the graffiti on the beautiful old buildings. I did not see people from outside the country but I think that no one wants to go there as there are few job opportunities and the pay is very low. A teacher makes 800 Euro a month. The country is beautiful and the people were very kind.
    In Oslo Norway it is a different story. The city is dirty and there are so many immigriants that I felt like I was in a different country. Then I read where the people from Norway are upset as the immigrants are taking their jobs and the government is supporting all of these people. I did feel that in Norway I had to watch my bag closer and that it was not as safe.
    I would go back and visit Latvia but not Norway.
    I think as I've gotten older it is scary as people see us as an easy target. We have to be more on guard. Then all of the violence around the world that makes no sense. I don't know that I will travel out of the country again. My big wish is to go to the UK as that is where my family originated from. I have a lot of books on the UK and it's beauty and that may be how I see the country. This last trip was hard, a lot of rude people in the Oslo airport, very unorganized in getting through the security lines. Maybe it's better if I just stay here where I feel safe now. But I wonder as the violence esclates if any of us will feel safe anywhere.

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