As I made my routine scan through my Bloglines blogroll this afternoon, Deep Calls to Deep (a name I’m immediately connected with because of the events I run under the same name for Christian bassists) turned up an interesting link.
It was an article from The Observer newspaper, examining the truth behind the Calais ‘immigrant menace’. Apparently, last week the Daily Mail ran a horror story about vast seas of foreigners converging on Calais with the sole intent of crossing over onto British soil and profiting from our already burdened systems; funnily enough, the story coincided with the declaration of the UK General Election next month, for which immigration will be a major issue in many people’s minds.
Funnily enough, there was scant evidence of the crowds by the time The Observer got there. Maybe all those dangerous aliens have already invaded our shores. Or, maybe asylum seekers and immigrants are the new bogeymen; stories dragged out to scare us into voting from a defensive, emotional reaction to threats to our security rather than stimulating us to consider the issues in a reasoned and mature fashion.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting plenty of people from other lands. Some of them have fled from horrors. Others are simply seeking new opportunities (like the British citizens who decide places like North America or the Antipodes are where they want to settle). They’ve all been ordinary, flesh and blood people like me. Most have been good company and many have given me all sorts of wonderful food to eat (my stomach, at least, is well travelled!).
Therefore, I can’t help joining Mark Townsend and Gaby Hinsliff as they speculate that it’s all being blown out of proportion. A threat from asylum seekers? All sounds a bit mental to me, I’m afraid!