Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A question and an answer (Topic closed)

Comments are still coming in for this topic. Thank you for reading, but I am not publishing any more comments.

Hello. Someone asked a question, I will answer.

Lovely scenery. I wish we had that here where I live. I have a question. Are you at all affected by the refugee/muslim situation or are you too far out in the country to be impacted? I would love to hear the opinion from someone living in England instead of reading about it in the mistrustful media.

Long time readers may remember I wrote a post about the UK being full up and having no room to take more. It is almost three years ago I, aka Nellie, wrote that. It attracted 76 comments, many from people who have looked into the more complex issues of mass migration. I see Britain as a pot flowing over with people it cannot sustain because of weak infrastructures and insufficient resources. I haven't changed my view on this, but I am more mindful of what I say now, as it seems that anyone with this view is labelled as right wing and racist. I am choosing my words carefully. 

The movement of whole populations from one country to another is what I would class as an invasion, Europe is being invaded. The cause of this is the clash between different cultures, war in other places, and economic migrants who want a better life elsewhere. Who do I blame for all this unrest? The internet. People have always moved around the world for one reason or another, but not in such great numbers. Sorry I have not studied history in great depth, so you might know different. Now, everyone with a hand held device and an internet connection can see that life would be somewhat better than the place they were born in, so they want to make the journey. 

We (the UK) need more houses, jobs, hospitals, and schools to accommodate newcomers, the Government tells us the country is bust, no money. We already have a lot of homeless people living on the streets, people waiting for medical care and operations, and classrooms of unacceptably high numbers of children. I can't see how we can take in more without improvements to all these services. 

People will keep on coming, whole armies of them, it's like a great tidal wave that can't be stopped. It's all well and good saying they won't get any benefits for four years if they come here, so what is the Government going to do? Let them starve so they end up stealing to survive, or frog march them forcibly back to where they came from? Questions I don't know the answers to. 

In my crystal ball I see vast culture changes where east and west meet in the middle, neither sides wanting to give up their heritage. Those that come here will want to copy their previous life, on new soil, those that were born here will want to hang on to their British values and principles. It's going to be difficult. It's going to mean change for everyone and people are going to struggle with that. 

In my opinion, if you go and live in another country you abide by their laws, their rules, learn their language and integrate. I choose to stay here because I don't want to do that. If I say any more about that I will be called racist. 

I had better answer the question and stop waffling on. Am I affected by the refugee/muslim situation, or am I too far out into the country to be impacted? At the moment I am not directly affected. I can get to see a doctor if I need to. I expect that to become more difficult as numbers of immigrants swell, so I'd better try and keep healthy. I have a house so I don't have to look for one. 

I can find places of solitude in the country to continue my walking. I have noticed my town becoming more multicultural, and I have to say, this makes me feel uneasy. I am more aware of my surroundings when shopping, looking around me, steering clear of anyone who behaves in an unusual manner. Crime can be committed by any nationality of course, but if someone is desperate there's no telling what they will do. 

In the last few days it has been reported in the press of car jackings, an elderly lady was dragged out of her car and run over as the car was driven away. Not saying that the crook was an migrant, but it makes you think about what could happen. Best to lock yourself in your car as you are driving through built up areas, and not get out if you are approached. 

The sight of so many dark skinned men and youths roaming around the towns in groups makes me feel very uneasy. Am I allowed to say that? It is reported that trafficers are looking for new routes into Britain because of the security at the southern ports is tightening. Only last week a lorry load of human cargo came into Hull docks, it won't stop, there will be more. 

My prediction. In years to come Europe will change beyond all recognition. People have a chance to vote in or out in June, and no one knows exactly what will happen if it goes one way or the other. Discussions welcome, no fighting  :o)

Thank you for the question, I have answered it to the best of my ability.

Thank you for popping in. We'll catch up soon. 
Toodle pip

103 comments:

  1. Hi Ilona

    Thank you so very much for this post and I do not think for one moment that your views are 'right wing' or 'racist'. You have simply put into words what so many of us think. I was born in Kent in 1966 and as the years have passed I have seen Britain change beyond all recognition and sadly, not for better. I am fiercely proud to be British and am always mindful of the sacrifices that our forebears made to protect this country from invasion and dictatorship and allow us to enjoy our lives today. It sickens me to see this country sold down the line by successive Governments and those for fought so bravely for our freedom must be turning in their graves. I will definitely be voting 'out' in the coming referendum and nothing on this earth will persuade me to do otherwise. I want my beloved country back.

    Julia

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    1. Just spare few hours what U.K did to the native aboriginal people in Tasmania.

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  2. I thought you answered the question very well and how I agree that if you choose to come and work/live here please learn the language, it is frustrating when someone gets on a bus and asks in English for somewhere and the driver does not understand what the person wants. I feel threatened when traveling and would rather stand than sit next to someone who I don't like the look of.
    I live in walking distance of Heathrow Airport and lots of times I am the only white person on a bus and you have to listen to them on their phones speaking in a language you don't understand. I have seen several local towns and villages taken over by foreign shops. I have to wait sometimes 3weeks to get an appointment at the doctors. We have no new schools, doctors or hospitals in our area but population has more than doubled, the only thing we do get is more houses and overcrowding on the roads.
    I am not a young person just moved into the area but have been in my house for 54 years and previously lived in nearby towns.
    Sorry to rant.
    Hazel c uk

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  3. Hmm, I will have to disagree with you here (although here in Australia, the situation is slightly different, we certainly have plenty of SPACE) but I think you have said your piece very respectfully and so I shall leave it at agreeing to disagree.

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    1. You live in a very large Country, Georgie. Perhaps there's room for immigrants where you are, but we in the UK, with already around 60 million people here, are bursting at the seams and the infrastructure is disintegrating.
      Margaret P

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  4. These are difficult questions to answer for anyone however I do feel very fortunate to have been born into a country where I feel safe and secure and not in fear of being bombed shot raped stoned or any other hideous act. I feel so sorry for those fleeing places like Syria etc. Who can blame anyone for wanting to live in peace and harmony. I have also worked in the NHS for all of my working life and whilst it has its problems It is a large and wonderful organisation which is the envy of the rest of the world and which has depended for its success from day one on a significant amount of immigrant labour.

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  5. What an interesting post; I like something which makes me think. We live 13 miles from the largest town, Aberystwyth, the next one is 8 miles away and our village is 2 miles from the nearest shop. We are very rural really, I love it and we are not directly impacted by refugees. I don't think our village would ever be an option for re-homing refugees as it is very Welsh, if that makes sense. In Aber there have been some clothing and food collections for Syrian refugees who arrived at the end of last year but I don't know the numbers and I can't say I have been very aware of a large presence. I think you are allowed to say if you are feeling uneasy about certain things. I do not class myself as racist, in that I don't think I am better than anybody else who is not white British born and bred in this country. However I agree with you that if you do wish to remain in a different country you have to be prepared to fit in and not just transplant your life from your country of origin and expect live as you would have done before you arrived. I am not sure how Europe will evolve and I am not sure how I will vote in the coming days but I will certainly think about it carefully. I have never been one to want to live in a bubble, but we did look to move to the kind of place we have been lucky enough to find partly because of our children. The aim was to give them more options than to just want to look at a screen but if our decision develops into keeping them, and us, in our own safe and secure bubble then so be it. We are aiming to grow and keep our own food and we are very lucky to own our house so if I say for now I'm alright Jack is that a bad thing? Thank you for making me talk honestly. x

    (BTW I was born and bred in Lincolnshire, I went to school in Louth.)

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  6. Ilona, I agree with what you say; here in Northamptonshire we have mainly eastern Europeans who are usually hard working and integrate but it is a little unnerving to walk in the town and hear a majority of foreign languages rather than English. We must remember there is a difference between being a patriot and being a racist: the UK is renowned in helping refugees and donating foreign aid but, I would also like us to concentrate on our own population e.g. pensioners in this country are paid one of the lowest pensions in Europe.

    I must point out that we as a nation are not adverse to helping and welcoming GENUINE refugees and foreigners. However, I would like to see a general 'point system' immigration policy for non-refugees i.e. if we need 200 Paediatricians those with that qualification are permitted (I believe this is operating in Australia).

    The referendum in June will be very interesting; sorry to any American readers but your President offering his opinion to what we should do has not generally been warmly welcomed. This is our country's decision and no-one else's.

    We are a rich nation, and thankfully have freedom of speech, but I want this country to help others (morally right) but also to abide by the 'charity begins at home' motto.

    By the way, it's taken me 3 weeks, but I've now read your blog from the start and caught up, please keep posting. Hope all the 'kids' and you are fine at Tightwad Towers. Your shopping post about Aldi was good, I shop there as being in a village it is my nearest supermarket and cheapest, what you spent was around my cost. Keep sending the money-saving tips though. Amanda

    In essence, we are a very tolerant country who allows non-Christian peaceful religious gatherings and festivals but we expect our citizens to abide by our laws.


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    1. Lots of Americans don't agree with Obama.

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    2. Lots of Americans agree too.

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    3. mikemax
      I meant, mainly, we in the UK don't appreciate being told by the US President what to do with regarding the EU referendum and his comment 'if the UK leave the EU they will be at the back of the queue for trade agreements with us'. I am unsure whether your comment was general or specific to the EU topic. However, as already noted it is all a gamble whichever way the outcome is but we don't need outside interests butting in to cloud the water. Amanda

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    4. Anonymous/Amanda - Don't believe the media. The average American is appalled by his behavior and what falls out of his mouth. The average American totally agrees with you on "This is our country's decision and no-one else's."

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    5. No, Judy, the average American is not even paying attention to Brexit and 90 out of 100 Americans do not know whether President Obama voiced support or opposition of the UK leaving the EU. If people in the UK are angry about his remarks, that is one thing and of course they can pay no attention and vote to leave. The vast majority of Americans don't care one way or another. They are too busy lamenting politics in the U.S. in 2016.

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    6. You know, so many of your countrypeople, including your politicians, are extremely apt to wax on ad nauseam about what policies Americans should adopt. Including immigration over the years, as a matter of fact. So, I have really about a thimblefuls's worth of pity for your country being all in a huff over a few statements by President Obama. If you were so thin-skinned, you shouldn't have been nattering on about our policies for the last several decades. If you don't like the sauce, don't be the first to dish it out.

      And the vast majority of Americans, Judy, are in favor of President Obama, as you well know. Surrounding and insulating oneself with only people who think the same often makes one blind to reality, unfortunately.

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  7. I do think that we are fit to burst. Even I can see that we can't sustain more people. My Grandfather was a migrant who came to this country after WW1. He wanted to fight in WW2 but was too old. As a contrast, my Great Uncle on my Father's side left England to go to Canada and was blown up on the Somme in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. My Mum's friend was internally displaced in France in the Second World War and told my Mum of atrocities that happened as she crossed France with her wheelbarrow. We certainly need to take more people in that are fleeing awful brutality in their country. We definitely need to think that if we had conflict in this country, we would want others to take us in. We never know when we might need a friend. I think we need to be selective and help those who need us most. Natalie

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  8. Couldn't agree more, Ilona.

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  9. Well I live in London and am surrounded by people from various places of the world. I have a big mosque over the road two doors down. Am I negatively impacted? I don't think so. Am I positively impacted, sometimes yes. Mostly we are all just people getting on with things. People in hoodies, people with back-packs don't make me nervous they are just everyday people living everyday lives. I don't like the look of lots of people, but I don't base it on colour and I don't assume if they look unpleasant that they might be a terrorist. I am more likely to be harmed by someone in my family or a partner than a stranger.

    I will be voting to stay in Europe. I only need look at the politicians in favour of leaving to be clear on that - they are the ones who have resigned after doing very dastardly deeds and a mayor whose chief aim seems to be to make people laugh (he succeeds very well at that). Worker's rights will be as dust if we come out. Europe is bureaucratic and bound up in red tape which I hate and there is stuff that is plain silly but I can deal with that more easily than injustice, inequality and exploitation.

    I often feel safer in London to be honest. I also live right in the thick of where we had riots a couple of years ago, I was worried about the situation but not frightened of the people. A lot of nonsense was spoken about that at the time.

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  10. We live in South East London closely bordered by Kent. We are used to a multicultural society - but not to the degree it is now. Apart from the European migrants, over the last ten years or so we have had a massive influx of Africans; who, because of their culture, tend to have many children. I'm not aware of any animosity - but, although I shouldn't generalise - many don't integrate either - even when you try to reach out.

    The swell of people trying to reach the UK will be never ending... And it's very true that housing, health services and education just can't cope anymore. We see it here first hand everyday. I will vote to leave the EU for a whole variety of reasons, but population change - with all its long term consequences - can't now be halted as it has gone too far. As white British I'm now a ethnic minority in London and have watched a way of life change for ever.

    Probably this is nothing new - the Romans certainly changed people's lives when they invaded!

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  11. PS. Please ask those ex pats who live in say Spain or France or Greece just how well they have assimilated and put aside their own cultures. Do they all speak the native languages and absorb the customs of their new homes, or are they mostly little Englanders searching out English food and bars? I don't think they tend to be following the 'When in Rome...' directive very well in any case.

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    1. I am a British expat living in Germany - I'm 26, moved here when I was 21 and I have learnt fluent German, work for a German company, eat German food, amongst other things. I don't think you should tar all 'expats' with the same brush.

      Little bit shocked at MQ's comments, I thought better of her. If you look at the palty number of migrants the UK has taken comapared to other European countries, I don't think you've got anything to complain about. Why don't you try interacting with new people in your area, rather than be scared of them simply because of the colour of their skin or the fact that they are refugee/muslim as the original question so eloquently phrased it...

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  12. We should have a "points system" to come to live/work in the UK as someone has already said. I get fed up of hearing people labelled as "racist". It seems you can't say much now without being labelled as "racist". It's just ridiculous. Where I live there are lots of migrants and I can't wait to get away one day.

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  13. Well I do not agree at every Point but you are right Ilona: everyone can state ist own opinion.
    I am just wondering: How is Britain going to cope if leaving the European Union? Investors and Economy will not continue their investments to the same extent and tourism will certainly be affected with a serious decrease. This will be very difficult to handle as with less income less money will be available for infrastructure etc. I really hope the UK will stay in the European Union as otherwise I see bad economical Impact for the UK....

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    1. How do you know that 'investors will not continue their investments'? Do you have a crystal ball :-)

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    2. I personally think that the literature that the Government has put out, saying it will be bad for the economy if we leave, is scaremongering. We are a rich nation, we can find business throughout the whole world, we have a lot to offer and other nations will still want to trade with us.

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    3. Britain is one of the few *net* contributors to the EU, which means we pay in much more than we get back. What they give us for various projects is just a very small bit of our own money back. So, if we left, the 'economical impact' would be that we would be much better off, not worse.

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    4. This is all scaremongering; the EU will not decline to trade with us: we need them and they need us, so it is a ridiculous argument. Let's say the EU 'have a turn' and won't trade with us - unlikely - how about trading more with all the other Commonwealth countries (our links with New Zealand, Australia have depleted since our EU entrance); Canada, USA and Far East are other options to forge better trading links, we are not bound - or shouldn't be - to the EU for trade. The 'Remain' campaign will be shouting 'oh, the costs etc', no, if we are not bound and gagged by EU rules we can tender our own agreements. As meerkats say 'simples'. Leading on from another comment sited here - I realise all of WW1 and and most of
      ww2 veterans have died, but, they gave their lives for our freedom in these isles, commemerorated of course on 11th November - Churchill said ' give me the option between the sea and Europe, I choose the sea'. Amanda

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  14. Thankyou for your post. I agree with all you have said. What I don't understand is why so many of the migrants from Syria all seem to be young people fleeing the war in their country. Why arn't the young men doing what our young men did when threatened and stand firm and fight for freedom and to build their own country instead of running away(leaving their old folk ?) We didn't have it handed on a plate why should they ? Oh and your idea for the rose on the watering cans BRILLIANT ! ta. jac.xx

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    1. That is exactly what I said. If their country is so usafe then why are the men leaving their wives and children behind

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    2. In order to attempt to get some kind of status and then apply for family reunification

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  15. I really feel for the people trying to come here. Even those classed as economic migrants (and hence undeserving) are trying to escape situations that we, in the affluent West, cannot even imagine. I think that part of the solution is that First World countries need to increase overseas development budgets significantly. It is far cheaper to keep someone in their own country where they probably would want to stay anyway if living conditions were safer and more satisfactory.

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    1. Well said lovelygrey, I was beginning to despair seeing both this post and many of the comments on it.

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    2. Yes, also from my point of view it's good to see an opinion, which contains what one would hope were basic emotions of humanity and compassion.
      To some extent I understand the unease from many people on here. It's also natural to be somewhat uncomfortable about anything that is at first unfamiliar.
      Arguments about a minority (and it really is a tiny minority) not being exactly who they say they are should not be dismissed out of hand either and I don't think the vetting process is efficient enough to allow such a large volume of migrants into the country in such a short space of time as has been the case in countries such as Germany, where the population as a whole is less insular.

      All that being said though, the vast majority, if not fleeing life-threatening situations, are still in urgent need of economic help and facing situations unimaginable to anyone in the UK, whether they live in a 10-bedroom estate on the outskirts of London, a comfortable semi-detatched house in a sleepy Lincolnshire community or a run-down, terraced house in a depressed suburb of Glasgow. What's more, while not the fault of the British people, the situation that has caused many to flee towards this continent has certainly been exacerbated by our very own Government.

      For these reasons, it is genuinely saddening and even shocking to hear people citing fairly feeble excuses such as the erosion of British culture as a reason to send people back to life-thretening situations. To the best of my knowledge, having a Muslim family as a neighbour, doesn't stop you from engaging in the same culture and celebrating the same traditions that you always have done. Furthermore I'm yet to meet any Muslim who cares one bit about what you eat, drink celebrate or do. That's not to say that such Muslims don't exist but they are in such a small minority that they shouldn't play any role when you choose to call for basic human rights to be denied to the vast majority that come to Europe and are not interested in changing the way you live your life.

      Having been fortunate enough to have travelled quite a bit both inside and outside of the UK, I have been fortunate enough to experience many different cultures and by doing this, you really do understand that everyone is human and want what's best for their families regardless of what they look like or what they believe in. By extension of that, it's only natural that I end up finding the 'send them home' mentality abhorrent and lacking a basic respect for humanity.

      As a final point, there appears to be many people linking this topic to the upcoming EU referendum which is totally irrelevant. As we are not part of the Schengen Agreement, we already control our own borders and leaving the European Union would have no impact whatsoever on our immigration intake, which in any case is already miniscule compared to many European nations.

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    3. Kathy, free movement of peoples is one of the fundamental pillars of the EU. So, whether we are in Schengen or not, as long as we remain in the EU we have to accept free movement of people from EU countries. Many of the Somalians in the UK, for instance, came in on EU passports newly issued in Holland.

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  16. Hi Ilona. I strongly agree with everything you say, our country is over crowded. I can't decide which way to vote as although I think we are safer in the EU I think we should control our own borders and courts. My lovely town where I grew up has changed so it is unrecognisable. I visited a park last week when we had the good weather and I was the only white person there! I did not feel very safe and so did not stay very long. It is very sad when I remember what it was like.

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    1. Why didn't you feel safe in the park? If it's because everyone else was not white then that's racist.

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    2. How can not feeling safe have anything to do with racism? More to do with young men sat in groups watching you walk past! Why are they not working and don't tell me there are no jobs available - they don't want to do them.

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  17. I have two beautiful mixed race grandchildren I certainly do not feel unsafe when mingling with the black members of my family or when visiting parks where other children and parents of a different skin colour to my own gather.

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    1. Nor I. There are some pretty scary white people!

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    2. Exactly. The previous comment was ridiculous. Talk about judging someone by the colour of their skin!

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  18. Dear Ilona: I heartily share your opinion: If you go and live in another country you abide by their laws, their rules, learn their language and integrate. "When in Rome (or Great Britain or the USA or Europe or anywhere), do as the Romans (or Brits or Americans or whomever) do." Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I believe many of us share them. Elaine in Philly

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  19. I think where you live helps how you comment on this question, people in the country have no real idea what it is like to live in the middle of large towns. I woukd love to move to where my family are - all 5 siblings live in little villages - but it's not easy to up root yourself when you reach the later years of life and my own children are fairly near. I do sympathize with the poor people abroad and help sponsor a child in Nepal. But I do think we have done enough and need to help the youngsters who were born here. My own grandchildren will have to move away for they will never be able to buy a house here for the houses are being brought up by foreigners to let each room out. It will be interesting to see how the EU vote will go.
    Hazel c uk

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  20. Good post Ilona
    I worked with asylum seekers for more than 2 years - all you ever here from an asylum seeker is 'I want' - I want more benefits, I want a council house not a flat, I want more money, I want all my family here with me - their 'wants' are never ending - strangely though you never here them say I want a job - I worry for my Grandchildren and the type of world that they will grow up in - I finished work nearly 2 years ago and even then as an Housing Officer there was an area of the town which had a large population of immigrants and which we had to liaise with terrorist police when we needed to go into the area to manage our properties. I agree with another commenter that the young men should go back and fight for their country just like our grandparents did, but they won't they want to come here, sit on their backsides, bleed the system dry and just take what we don't give them. I think all the do-gooders who bleat that it's such a shame for these asylum seekers should be made to work with them so that they could see what the truth really is. Finally we open our doors, we feed them, house them, provide them with health care but what about our security - how safe will we be on the underground or bus service then xx

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    1. Well said Trudue.
      Hazel c uk

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    2. Everyone has their own opinion on this subject however I too have worked with asylum seekers with obviously a different experience to you. Most of the underground system and public transport in London is manned by immigrants along with the NHS as I've already mentioned. I will not stop reading or commenting on your blog Iliona I think you are fab however some of these comments are not

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    3. Yes you're right Wendy - we would have had different working experiences regarding asylum seekers as you were a Health Visitor and I was a Housing Officer, so it's to be expected that we'd have differing opinions on the subject based on the interactions that we each had with asylum seekers.

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    4. Go back and fight for their country?

      This isn't the 2nd World War when our grandparents did a fantastic job of defending the UK from a foreign force. Which one of the multiple different factions supposedly fighting for Syria do you suggest they join?

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    5. I couldn't give a toss which faction they join - as long as they're not here and people can go into an area and do their job safely without having to work with terrorism police officers - my concerns are for my family.

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  21. This chap, who is an economist (he was in the audience of Question Time), calculates that we could actually pay off our national debt if we left the EU, instead of staying in and having to borrow more and more and more

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySuk6jE6kJc

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  22. I will not be following you any more, meanqueen, which is a shame because I like a lot of what you stand for. But my heart goes out to those fleeing terrible situations and wanting to find a safe place to bring up their families. I am not naive and I am not stupid. I agree that we need to make sure there are enough facilities for everyone. But we are the world's 5th richest country and our government has just voted to turn away 3,000 unaccompanied children who have fled war to come here. When you say migrants/immigrants 'them on their phones' as one of your commenters calls them, I say 'people'. Our country is richer for the generations of people who have come here from overseas and gradually over time blended in. If we sink to the level of seeing others as less human than us, we are embracing the thin end of a wedge that ends with ISIS. This poor broken world needs love and a bit of sharing with those less fortunate. Bye Meanqueen, it has been fun.

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    1. I'm sorry you think this is a subject not to be discussed here. Goodbye, I wish you well.

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    2. Ilona has a right to say what she wants, its her blog! Why do people get so upset at free speech!

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    3. It is a shame someone has to stop reading your blog, Ilona, simply because in this instance they do not agree with you. The subject is a very difficult one and I thought it was generous of you to open the subject up for discussion - surely we can share views and not fall out ourselves? You are not racist, but you are voicing concerns so many people here in the UK have, even those of former immigrant families from many years ago who are now very much British citizens.
      Margaret P

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    4. I wonder if you would welcome an immigrant family in your own home if you had spare rooms or if you just wanted to sound good behind a keyboard

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    5. Have you thought what we would do with 3,000 unaccompanied children?! We cannot find enough foster homes for our own family-less (is this a word?!) children as it is.

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    6. As others have said, that is a bit of an over-the-top reaction. Some of the incompassionate views on here are highly disappointing, but it doesn't necessarily make the owner of the opinions a bad person, everyone has the right to offer their opinion and most importantly, it's no reason to stop reading a blog that you no doubt otherwise find very interesting.

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    7. And i will no longer be following you creaky door as apparently you don't value people's right to a differing opinion.

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  23. Thank you (as well from me) for this post. In my opinion, you are brave to do so, and can not disagree with anything..

    " I am choosing my words carefully"...
    yes, I too find the same...

    "In my opinion, if you go and live in another country you abide by their laws, their rules, learn their language and integrate. I choose to stay here because I don't want to do that. If I say any more about that I will be called racist."

    I have not read the entire article, or all comments yet, but I will.

    I just happened to read the one from Creaky door, and all I can suggest, is Creaky door may have no/little exposure /experience in these actual situations. And if Creaky door cares to share, how many have been taken in to the home of Creaky door?

    For now I will just say, there are a lot that are visible (because of their dress) where I am at. I feel incredibly sad, as when I was young, and immigrants came to live, they did try to fit in/clothing/customs/language etc.. Now, it seems they do not, and are strongly encouraged not to. It creates an entire different atmosphere.

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    1. Language yes. If you're serious about making a go of it in a foreign country and leaving independently from the state, then learning the language is a must, but why should you judge people on what they wear or what customs they embrace in the privacy of their own homes?

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  24. I'm writing this-
    I'm the daughter of migrants. My grandfather was invited here by the British government to come and work after WW2. He came, worked hard, paid his taxes and made a contribution to the society in which he lived. As has every single one of his offspring since then. There were 5000 Muslim Britons that fought in Ww2 for Britain and lost their lives. There are many many more Muslims and men of dark skins that fight for Britain across the world as we speak. I was born in England and am as patriotic as my white friends,neighbours and colleagues. I work hard, earn my own money and bring up my children to be good law abiding English/British/European/Global citizens. As do the majority of British people, regardless of their creed, colour and religion. My children are training for professions that will hopefully touch the lives of many British people positively-if it's my son that operates on you to save your life after you've had a heart attack then I know he won't check the colour of your skin before he does so. His is not white by the way. Being a particular colour or religion does not enhance ones British credentials nor disqualify one from being British. Those are the true values that make Britain great. Long may they reign.

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    1. To Simplesista I say, you and your family are exactly what we all want to see and hear about. The contribution of your family is so very much appreciated and the fact that your children are striving to obtain professional positions that will touch many British people positively is what we all hope for. Unfortunately, many do not approach the situation they are in, the same way. Many do not know what it is to have to work hard to provide for themselves and their families. Many think they, somehow, are owed housing and provisions for their family. I live in the USA and have experienced both. I have not always had an easy time of it, but I always managed to get by without handouts. It came from my upbringing and pride that I made my way. You came from the same type of background. It seems this is a sensitive subject, but we are entitled to our opinion - that's the result of the freedom your country and mine has given all of us. Ranee

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    2. You're not wrong anonymous but some people seem to be using the fact that not every immigrant fleeing from hostile situations will end up being a positive influence and greatly contributing as justification for suggesting that they should be sent back to the awful situations they came from.

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  25. I live in a town in which, at the last census in 2011, over 20% of its population identified themselves as black or Asian - almost twice the national total. Despite that statistic, the fact that the percentage has risen in the 40 years I have lived here, and the growing eastern European community, I don't feel that we have been 'invaded'; in fact I don't think there are many black, Asian or eastern European people living here. My next door neighbours are British Muslims, as are many of the families who live in the surrounding roads. At Eid I bake for them and buy them a card, at Christmas they bring us a card and gift. We swap the produce that we grow, we chat and wave when we see one another, and I can honestly say that they are the best neighbours we have ever had - far better than any of the 'white British' ones that I have ever lived alongside. I regularly see women wearing burkhas, hijabs or niqabs shopping in the supermarket,travelling on the bus, or dropping their children at school and think nothing of it - I chat to them and their children and pass the time of day. My sister's husband is Asian,several of my husband's colleagues and friends are Asian, my Mum's neighbours are Asian, the consultant I am currently being treated by is Asian, the doctor who saved my life is Asian. Many of my daughter's friends are black and her best friend is Anglo-Indian. What we have found about anyone we have lived alongside, worked with, been treated by or chatted to, is that they are not ' other' as some people, or sections of the media would lead you to believe, they are just like us. They want to live a peaceful life, they want their children to be happy and healthy, they want to feel safe where they live. Of course there will be those who want to play the system, but there are many white British people who live on the same estate as my mother-in-law who are the third generation of their family who have barely done a day's work in their lives and have contributed very little to this country. As for a terrorist threat, I don't feel any more unsafe than I did growing up as the daughter of a soldier in the 1970s. I didn't view every Irish person with suspicion then, and I refuse to view every Asian person or immigrant with suspicion now. I suspect that's what the terrorists want; to divide and conquer. I won't allow that to happen within my family and some of what I have read and hear saddens me enormously. As for the ' learn their language and integrate' argument, how many Brits are living in Spain, in little British communities, still speaking English, with no intention of learning to speak the language or integrate with the locals?

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    1. Hi Scarlet

      I completely agree. As a Yorkshirewoman transplanted to London and here since the 80s I have to say my life has been immesurably enriched by living in a thriving multicultural neighbourhood (Tooting!)

      I've learned a lot from colleagues and neighbours who've shared their food, traditons, hospitality, culture, language and most recently crop growing and cooking skills, My thriving and wickedly mulicultural allotment society can track the waves of immigation through the now aging Windrush generations to the people who fled Uganda and Amin to the more recent Polish and Slavic plotholders.

      I refuse to "other" people just because they're a different colour, practice a different religion or speak a different language!

      And your spot on with the British expats who refuse to learn the language or frequently obey the rules of the countries they live in!

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  26. Hi Ilona, great post!

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  27. Hi Ilona. I think everyone has been forced to choose their words carefully in order not to be branded as something they are not. I am not a racist and never have been. The colour of someones's skin has never stood in the way of my friendship with lots of black people over the years, just as the colour of my skin has not stopped them being friends with me. My concerns are regarding how many people we can actually allow into the UK, bearing in mind our land mass, infrastructure and national debt. I am also concerned about the mindset of the young men that come from a society where women are regarded as second-class citizens. The Syrian people need help, but there are people that are coming in that really shouldn't be as their country is not at war.

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    1. Maybe those people are from your ex colonies. Maybe they are missing you.

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  28. I can understand where you are coming from, Ilona, in terms of the U.K. being a small country bulging at the seams. Since I've been reading British blogs I've noticed that the lack of housing is a big issue.

    I, on the other hand, live in the wide open spaces of America. I think that we should be doing more to take in Syrian refugees. I can't imagine their lives in war-torn Syria. Of course many in the U.S. say that we can't afford to take in people.

    A month or two ago I saw a news clip of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally welcoming Syrian refugees to Canada and giving them warm clothing for the Canadian winter. I was really impressed. I believe that they were carefully screened and selected to come to Canada.

    I think the UK's situation in the EU is difficult in that (from the way I understand it) you must admit anyone from EU countries who want to move to the UK. I think that includes anyone from around the world who is given legal status in an EU country like Germany.

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  29. Thank you, Ilona, for having the courage to express your feelings about this issue. I hope you don't receive too many negative responses. I hope your little corner of England stays "green and pleasant" for many years to come. Having visited the UK many times over several decades, after visiting the last time 8 years ago, I decided I would never go back and preferred to remember things the way they were.

    Whether or not many/any/few of the migrants coming to the UK assimilate and become productive, law-abiding citizens, only time will tell. However, in the short-term it does appear that the UK does not have the money, housing, jobs, health care services, and schools to take care of all these people. Certainly if they don't learn English they will always be living apart and needing extra services. And yes, Scarlet, I do think that the British living in Spain should learn Spanish, although I have no idea how much the Spanish government accommodates them - pamphlets in English, English interpreters free of charge, special teachers in schools?.

    Finally, as a vegetarian (transitioning to vegan), the thought of animals being tortured in death to pointlessly provide halal meat makes me sick.

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    1. But the animals being tortured to death pointlessly to make non halal meat are dying a more noble death because they are feeding the white Anglo Saxons? I imagine the Angels must come and soothe them to sleep before they are killed when their carcasses are meant for the non-Muslims, but of course. Killing animals is killing animals and none of it is pretty or painless. It isn't an immigrant thing, it's an animal killing thing.

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    2. I was the person who wrote the comment about halal meat. Your tone was unnecessary. Obviously, as a vegetarian/vegan, I am against all animal killing. Most people are not going to give up eating meat but it should be done in the most humane way possible. My "pointless" comment was that there is no reason to cause unnecessary suffering in an already horrible process. My understanding is that some UK supermarkets, restaurants, and schools now serve halal meat. I find this level of "accommodation" to be unreasonable.

      I deliberately kept my first comment on this brief, not wanting to hijack Ilona's post with something slightly off-topic.

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    3. I think the "pointlessly" was taken from your comment! The writer of that comment didn't say your comment was pointless, you did that yourself. Services serve the communities in which they exist. So it's within reason that they provide services that will be used. So serving non-halal meat in a mostly Muslim school would be a waste of that meat. That would be indeed be pointless. Just as serving any meat in a completely vegetarian school would be pointless. You choose not to meat, you wouldn't want to be forced to eat it would you? So why should other people be forced to have foods they don't eat forced upon them? So they should eat halal if they want to and not halal if they want to. And not at all, if they want to. As you do.

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    4. Simplesista - Since reading comprehension is not your strong point, I will not be reading or responding to any further messages. Slitting animal throats to kill them without stunning them first is what is pointless cruelty and should not be allowed in a civilized society. It's as barbaric as ISIS slitting the throats of its captives. Goodbye!

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    5. yes stunning them first would make the experience so much more palatable. Goodbye to you too, I wish you well.

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  30. Damn I just typed a whole spiel and lost it! I guess my computer was getting "steamed up". I am what you might call a "reverse" immigrant in that I am a Brit born and bred and chose to leave the UK at 21 (I am now 57). I have lived in the US (my ex is American), Australia, Switzerland and for the longest period, France - 27 years and counting. I intend to remain in France when I retire. I have always worked and paid my taxes. Both my kids are also "immigrants" in that they are neither French nor Swiss (one lives and works in Switzerland and the other in France). My feeling is that the majority of immigrants are hard-working and want to get ahead - but where things are ruined is by the young men who, as a previous commentator mentioned, want it all and have no intention of working for it. The French have the same problems too, and feel the same way about it, by the way. The gutter press certainly don't help. I was on a bus from Dorset to Gatwick in March and the driver was Latvian. We had a really interesting conversation as I understood exactly "where he was coming from". He wanted a better life and in the 10 years he had been in the UK he had always worked - his English was excellent too. I agree with other commentators obviously that if you move to another country at the very minimum you learn the language! My OH is an economist and Dutch. Just this weekend he was saying that if Brexit goes ahead UK trade (exports) would be screwed. Apparently 50% of our exports go to the EU and enter duty free. That would no longer be the case in the event of an "out" vote. I know there are many problems with uncontrolled immigration and I also understand how anyone can want a better life for themselves and their families. Moreover, I don't think any of us would be against helping people fleeing war and persecution in their homeland. I mean, how desperate do you have to be to put your kids in a leaky dinghy and head out across the water! I strongly believe it should be legally controlled immigration, carried out properly. I mean if 1 million Mexicans massed at the US border demanding to be let in with no administrative control I think people could see the parallel with what is going on in Europe right now. I don't know the answers, and believe it or not - pending the outcome of the High Court appeal - I actually have no vote on the issue as I have been out of the country for more than 15 years. I disagree with that very strongly because although I could stay in France anyway, I wonder where that would leave so many Brits who moved abroad within the EU on the basis that they had every right to do so and would have reciprocal agreements on health care and pensions etc. You don't give up your nationality simply because you chose to live somewhere else and then have someone pull the rug from under your feet. I guess you can tell then, that should I (and the other 800,000 British expats like me) get the vote, I will be voting IN - knowing it is not a perfect solution, but I'll be damned if I know the answer to that one. Anna

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  31. Wow! Lots of comments. Disappointed people who don't agree leave your blog. People, the world over have died for the freedom for us to speak our minds. What's that saying? "I might not agree with what you say but I'll die to defend your right to say it."
    Great post, it's got people talking!

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    1. What in the world does a reader's dislike of Ilona's post have anything to do with free speech? It's frustrating how so many people misunderstand and abuse this term. The readers you speak of are not protesting her right to it, nor do they have the power to take it away. They are merely telling Ilona that they disagree with some of her comments and will no longer be reading. With that, they are exercising their OWN right to speak freely. Until and unless they try to have the government shut down her blog or put her in jail for writing it, no one's disputing her right to express her opinion.

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    2. How does someone's disagreement with Ilona's views translate into their disagreement with her right to express them? No one has suggested anything of the sort: readers responding to her opinions are merely exercising their own right to speak freely. Unless they have the government shut down this blog or put Ilona in jail for writing it, her freedom of speech is not under attack.

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  32. May I remind the British of their invasion of Ireland, India, parts of Africa, the west Indies, Australia the list is quite endless really. It's less than 10 years since Britain handed back Hong Kong to China. And you have the nerve to be worried about immigrants coming to Britain. You deserve all you get. Bring on the invasion, it's about time you Brits had a taste of your own medicine.

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    1. This is as nasty as some of the other posts. YOu've lost your argument due to the tone of your post

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    2. What argument did U.K give to bomb Yugoslavia for 78 days .YES innocent civilians and this is KARMA.


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  33. I like your blog because you cut through the bull and challenge conventional thinking on so many fronts. And I like this post. I hail from a small European country that the refugees passed through to get to Germany and other greener pastures and I live in a country that struggled to curb the tide of boat people risking their lives making dangerous sea crossings to reach our land. For me this flow of 'migrants' has been, as you say, a mass invasion and I cannot see how countries such as mine and yours can continue to accept more and more without reaching breaking point. I am not racist or inhumane. I just don't think that it is realistic for the west to absorb such huge populations from the middle east and africa. Popular thinking seems to assume that we must save everyone and no one should suffer in this world. I think this is a false belief and will be the undoing of our nations. I blame the media and internet, selling our 'good' way of life that often is not as good as it seems. I blame globalisation and greedy corporations that pillage lands, exploit labour, and deprive countries of prosperity through tax avoidance. I blame ever increasing populations that seem to know no bounds and no one across this globe wants to address this issue of too many people for too few resources. I blame politicians and every citizen for not addressing climate change that is affecting people's ability to live and survive in their own lands. And I blame this notion of 'free borders' that presumes countries have no rights to have a say in what and who crosses them. I think I have a right to protect and defend my language, culture and religion and to live in a space where I feel safe and am surrounded by the familiar and the like minded. I want to envisage a safe future for my children and their children. I am not racist and I do respect other cultures. But I my world has become overwhelmed and I feel that I am not in my own place anymore. Despite my democratic vote, I have no control regardless which team or ideology I support. To me they are all the same on these matters. Apart from more war and conflict, I don't know how these global problems can be solved. I just know that they have to be for the world to continue.

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  34. The country is full, no question about it. I am not a rascist and have worked with all nationalities in the NHS, but I think enough is enough. I too want my country (England) back and will be voting to leave the EU. Too much meddling and dictating in our affairs for me. I could go on, but won't.

    Joan (Wales)

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  35. Excellent post Ilona and many thought provoking comments...I agree with your views too...

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  36. hi I really agree with the majority of what you have said as we do not have enough resources to look after our own people here so how can we provide for others? It is pure stupidity to carry on allowing more and more in here while we have kids on the poverty line living out of foodbanks. I dont mind different ways of life as I think we should be tolerant of other cultures but the same should apply to the immigrants and they should respect our laws and our culture. Can not understand why we have schools serving halal food and Christmas has to be Happy Holiday. Really dont think this is the work of immigrant people but barmy council officials the PC brigade! Large groups make me nervous too but that applies to groups of all nationalities and gender. Love the way you share your thoughts with us Keep it up

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  37. It is very, very bad for UK.On the second thought UK colonies in the past had British invasion without asking people. I am U.K born living in Australia.

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  38. This is a very difficult problem I have nothing against the refugees political or economic but it is the vast number, who have a completely different culture. My family left the UK in 82 because of the Tory gov policies ,no work, to live in South Africa. We now live between SA and the UK as we are retired the culture in SA is totally different from the UK and we found it hard at first now we have difficulty with the UK view when we come back. There is no easy answer and I doubt we will find one.

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  39. Well said Ilona!

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  40. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. We are a country of free speech and if we cannot discuss then the issues and concerns we are discussing will never be raised at all.

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  41. Thank you Ilona very interesting question. I and OH live in a rural village in Cornwall so don't see any or very few coloured people in and around here and towns nearby. When we visit our daughter in London especially in Woolich and around there are more coloured than whites. I think that the African woman especially looked well dressed and colourful and on Sunday's dress up even better. The Muslims the woman I must admit look very elegant with the way they wear thei headscarf. Some wear all black and cover their face don't see the point in that they should try to integrate better. Also the government are being too accommodating by allowing mosques Islamic faith schools, and sharia law, who what they teach the young in these places. About the referendum I am definitely voting out.
    It's a choice between being controlled by an unelected people cartel of dark suit bureaucrats dictating the fine detail of our lives from Brussels overriding national law and Parliaments.

    "It's a choice between that and having laws that affect the people of Britain made within the land of Britain.

    That's not hard is it which way shall I go?" It will be safer out as we can control our borders.
    The EU wastes vast sums of our money better spent on our people.

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  42. Picture this: So, all the kids are in the World Playground. There are 100 kids and only 90 bags of crisps to eat at morning break. The 90 children who have been given a bag of crisps each are also fortunate enough to receive three square meals a day. Of the other 10 children, many will have a nutritionally inadequate diet, some will regularly have days when they don't eat at all. The 10 kids who have no crisps ask the 90 kids who do if they might share their snack: "Oh no, we couldn't POSSIBLY share our crisps with you! We might have to feel a little hungry for a couple of hours until our next square meal is served up, and that would never do." For goodness sake, we are the FIFTH RICHEST country in the world. We are talking about people who are so desperate for help that they risk the lives of themselves and their children to flee their homeland. There is a very thin line between frugality and meanness of spirit. Judging people by their appearance is not the way for this poor, war-torn world to come together.

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  43. Late to the party as usual...here's my opinion. I live in a large town that is very multicultural and I honestly 100% believe it is immigration that keeps our town economically afloat. The majority of the University students are foreign (because British students do not consider our town cosmopolitan enough to want to be here). As a consequence of foreign investment into the uni it is now the second biggest employer after the council. Not to mention the grotty houses around the uni are now revamped and respectable (no longer a no go area). We have a bustling market which is majority Asian stall holders. We have fab small independent shops run by minorities who provide a far better service than the big corps like Apple. We have every kind of cuisine you can think of. My GP has come from Africa and so far has been way superior to that of the retired grump. The female GP is an Indian lady and I actually ask for her if she is available as she is an angel with my autistic son. Sometimes we get the creme de la creme of professionals from overseas because we can offer them more. We need to try and understand the idea that people come here to contribute and improve things, not to rob us and devalue our culture. As far as feeling unsafe...I am far more anxious when I am anywhere near our local council estate (99% white indigenous) than I am walking past a Mosque. I wonder what immigrants must think of us when they see violence at football games or drunken behaviour after closing; vomiting in taxis, assaulting late opening shop staff, clogging up A&E with alcohol related injuries etc etc. My daughter's best friend is second generation from a Pakistani family and she is a VERY good influence; well mannered, modestly dressed and behaved, strong work ethic, does not drink or smoke. This is my opinion. (I hate disagreeing with you and still think you are fab).

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  44. Well said Ilona. It's nothing to do with being racist or anything else, I don't care who comes here as long as they have a qualification that the uk needs and are able to house themselves. I heard a bit on the radio a couple of weeks ago, by a medic who was looking to get more doctors which the NHS is desperate for, from India, apparently India has loads of super qualified doctors who would be more than happy to come here. But he couldn't because the quota had already been taken up by unqualified European immigrants. How mad is that, when the NHS is falling apart? And we already have countless homeless people on the streets so where are all these new migrants going to go?

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  45. You do have a right to speak your mind Ilona... but sadly I think that after many years of happy reading it is time for me also to unsubscribe. I live in New Zealand, where my family migrated 6 generations ago. I know that the original inhabitants of NZ would probably have preferred not to have the UK's overflow but I feel very fortunate to live where I do.
    I understand that there are currently issues in Europe and there are probably no easy answers but I feel very uncomfortable with your comments about people with dark skins and just don't want to be identified with these views. So thanks for some interesting reads over the years but it is time for me to move on.

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  46. Hi Ilona, as you know I live in Middlesbrough and it became a dumping ground for asylum seekers some years ago because of cheap housing - you may have seen the furore in the press re doors being painted red . They felt that this unfairly identified them. I cant comment on that but I do have friends who are asylum seekers and at church which 10 years ago was all white is now very multicultural. There have been some difficulties but I think that is down to the mental health problems that some of them experience due to the difficulties they experience. I can understand being afraid of groups of particularly young men roaming around with nothing to do. They aren't allowed to work so what else can asylum seekers do. There is only so much the brain can take in with new language learning in any one day.
    when I was in Germany last year , I met many who had anti-immigration views and that was before so many were admitted there so I can foresee problems ahead.
    It was only very recently I realised that my DH's father had been a refugee after WW2. He never returned to Poland. I don't know the answer but as you say things will change dramatically in the next 10-20 years - some for the better and some worse.

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  47. Thank you for several years of enjoyment and reading of your blog. But I too will not be reading it again.

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  48. I just wish all could live with freedom & peace, I'm in Australia & it's so easy to get caught up in our 1st world problems.... my new dishwasher was delivered with a dent & the one they sent as a replacement was also damaged. When I tell people this, the reaction is as if the worst thing possble has happened.Perspective people! Also I've never had any fear of people because of skin color, but often feel fear with regards to intoxication, alcohol, drugs these addictions are things that don't descripinate

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  49. Why do we moan about people coming here to live when a lot of British born people have and still are going to spain/france etc to live ! Are they not immigrants to those countries ?jane

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  50. I have been watching the comment count rising and now I am calling halt to any more being published. The discussion is becoming nasty, and has veered off topic in several directions. Nothing more can be achieved by continual sniping.

    Three people have said they will not be reading my blog again, that's their choice. I write about what's on my mind, not what I think you might like to read. Sorry you feel you have to go.

    I wrote this purely because I care about our green and pleasant land. I am not racist because I say that groups of dark skinned people make me feel uneasy. It's because I don't understand their culture, their language, and their religion. I went to Bah Rain once and felt intimidated by all the unwanted attention I got, made me feel very uncomfortable. Perhaps I should have added that large groups of white youths also make me feel uneasy. I genuinely don't like crowds.

    I thank you for all your comments, the debate will continue indefinitely in other places, but not here. I don't think a solution to the immigration crisis will ever be reached, we have to wait and see what happens.
    Ilona
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  51. Hi Anon. Yes, the comments section on this topic is closed. You can read but comments will not be published. My blog, my rules. I can't remove the comments box from one post, Blogger will not let me do that.

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