Thursday, October 2, 2008

Meeting at St John's

Of course, this was a meeting with the local MP, Nick Raynsford but also a panel of experts involved in day to day work of Social Issues or Refugees, but the best orator was finally a very intelligent and sympatic refugee from Uganda, who arrived almost broken from a prison here.

Here, speaking to St. John's church clergyman, after the meeting.

I was happy that I did understand all the speeches and most of the questions, more precisions too. And that is a more difficult problem that it seemed after the meeting, organized very well by the church's Social Justice group, because no one was on the panel who said "we do not want any more strangers, there are already enough" but I did hear people speaking before, who said something similar.

That problem of who to admit and who not, how and how fast, is a more difficult one than we with our human hearts would like to think, tragedy for some, new lifestyle for others, worry for some others.

Only the local MP (in French we call them Deputy) Nick Raynsfond, told sincerely: nowadays, with the new financial problems, it will be even more difficult as more will think "we are enough already" in the next elections.

I am lucky to arrive here from France, a country of the European Community, and in 1963, when I arrived to France, it was enough to find work to get a work permit, then stay 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, and after that I got 3 years permits. After five year, we could apply for citizenship.

Our doctor, the one helped my son to the life helped me through the childbirth, was an MP, and did help us to get it when our papers got lost in the multitude. So it is easy for me to tell, so many more people from everywhere are in London then in Paris!

Even me, arriving as a senior, after my 74 years, and being so well received. I am a lucky woman! In lots of ways.

It was a good, interesting meeting and it gave to all of us, I think, lots to think about. Speak about. I loved what M. said at the end: do not give us money, do not give us tea, let us do it for you: serve the tea. Do not come after us, before us, come near us. Let us care for ourself. Just be there.

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