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Xenophobia and Remembrance Day
For those not sure about Remembrance Day and what it represents for some people, a look at Leo Mckinstry’s piece ("Today, in a nation that has lost its history, the white cliffs have no such resonance") in the Daily Express may shed some light. He makes a dazzling connection between the fact that soldiers sacrificed their lives during WWII and the fact that, since then, Britain has become host to generations of immigrants. Of course, Mckinstry omits to say that people also emigrated to France, Germany, Belgium and many other countries, but perhaps if he did he wouldn’t be writing for the Express.
He wonders why "the union flag is seen as an offensive symbol of xenophobia”. As he rejects that foreign-sounding word, xenophobia, he writes that "our once green and pleasant land" is now "surrounded by foreigners with whom [the Britons have] no sense of mutual belonging or trust" and live in "cities turned into modern Babels full of discordant tongues and wailing mosques". “The very idea of British citizenship”, he adds, “has been rendered meaningless by the twin malign forces of the EU and mass immigration".
However, the Express columnist may be cheered up by an email we've received from a Spanish reader called Gustavo who shows genuine empathy about living in a country "that has lost its history", "swallowed up by mass development" and invaded by “foreigners”.
"Dear Mr Mckinstry,
Please excuse my English but I am a Spanish citizen. I read your article in the Express and I understand exactly where you're coming from. First let me say, like yourself, I am not a xenophobe. However, we too are losing our history. Like many from his generation, my grandfather sacrificed his life during the Spanish Civil war. But if he was alive now I don't know if he'd cheer or weep. All over the country, from Costa Brava to Costa Dorada, through to Costa Blanca and Andalusia, we have been invaded by at least 800,000 (and still counting) Britons. Apparently, they have programmes on their national TV that promote the idea of snatching our property and even building from scratch on Spanish land. That may explain why they arrive in droves, even in winter, and many decide to stay. And I worry if they are bringing disease, because at all hours you can spot them being sick in our once proud and quaint towns.
Our police officers don’t know where to begin because, when they don't get jiggy in the street, those invaders often become very rowdy, fight and smash bottles on each other's head. Like you said in your article, those immigrants have no sense of belonging to our land. None of them bothers to pick up the language apart from the word "cerveza". You mention your "wailing mosques" and I know what you mean cos we have entire towns where clubs full of Brits whack some sort of incessant beat until the early hours of the morning. My grandfather would have mistaken it for an air raid siren.