A number of Blogs ago I mentioned our friend in London, Ray Peters, sending us newspaper clippings etc., things he feels would be of interest to us and that, because of the cost of postage, I didn’t believe he would continue much longer. Last week we received a package with the following note – ‘I’m sorry to say my clippings will be less and less from now on. Postage is already too high and will rise again April 1st I believe.’ So there you are, the post office loses another customer, small maybe, but multiply it by any number of thousands and small becomes large. Talk about cutting your own throat! The next thing you know as the volume of post diminishes another few hundred workers will be laid off. Governments as well can behave rather stupidly (so what’s new?). The price of petrol has rocketed to such an extent there has been a decided drop in sales at the pumps with the result I suppose that all that extra tax the government hoped to rake in just isn’t forthcoming. We know how the British motorist feels as the cost of petrol here has got to the stage when we use the car only when necessary. No more exploring, no more adventures. No more fun roundabouts. We were only grateful that the price of heating oil hadn’t gone up as much as was expected though it is still pretty expensive.
Baroness Warsi, a conservative MP and herself a Muslim is decrying what she terms Islamophobia in Britain. She gives as examples - In the factory where they have just hired a Muslim worker, the boss says “not to worry, he’s only fairly Muslim.” In the school the kids say “The family next door are Muslim but they’re not too bad.”
‘It has seeped into our society,’ she says, ‘where it is acceptable around dinner to have conversations where anti-Muslim hatred is openly discussed.’ There has evidently been a backlash to her speech and, of course hot denials all round but I’m afraid the good baroness is only too right. I note by the way that despite being a Muslim she does not wear the bhurka of even cover her head but that’s by the by and it’s more than likely because she is “only fairly Muslim.” Now, having just read all about her speech, I turn to the news to see a video of what are called ‘pop-up tea rooms.’ So-called 'pop-up' tearooms are being used to fill shops left empty by the economic downturn. The temporary cafes have been set up with money from the previous government, and are one of a number of projects across England aimed at reducing the number of boarded up shop fronts on our high streets. In Handsworth, Birmingham, ‘Pop in for a free cup of tea’ is chalked on the window and what do we find inside? Virtually everyone who had popped in is either African, Asian, or Middle Eastern including what looked suspiciously like an imam complete with turban. I think I saw two European faces. Would I be correct in thinking that the venerable imam might just have been doing a spot of proselytizing while socializing and sipping his tea? The baroness is right not only because of crime and the work of extremists but because in some towns in the UK the Muslim population is now so large the people who have lived there all their lives do feel threatened. The Brits have been lauding the multi-cultural society but unfortunately, as Mrs. Merkel in Germany has frankly admitted, it just hasn’t worked, not when immigrants are so entrenched in their own beliefs and customs they refuse to be integrated or even acknowledge the customs and rights of others. So official forms and signs will still have to be produced in half a dozen languages because the speakers of those languages refuse pointblank to learn English. Henry Ford recognized how important language is when he started English schools for his workforce and, if immigrants can’t or won’t learn the language of their adopted country, there will always be suspicion and, yes, Baroness, I wish I didn’t have to say it – hatred; but then hatred of the foreigner, xenophobia, is hardly a new phenomenon.
On the other hand the Prime Minister of Australia has made it very clear what they think of the situation downunder. If you don’t like it then go. No one asked you to come here, you came of your own free accord so kindly stop whining and make an effort to fit in or leave.