Tuesday, October 25, 2016


It's important to make our voices heard if there's any chance of stemming the tide of xenophobia, fear, ignorance, indifference and selfishness which is creeping, seeping into the fabric of our society, not only here but in many other so-called democratic, so-called enlightened, caring societies.

Here is a petition to sign.

Below I'm copying a letter from George Szirtes (posted on Facebook) to his Members of Parliament:

George Szirtes


Dear Mr Bacon and Mr Freeman,

I see your name is among those who voted to turn away 3,000 unaccompanied children. I myself came here as a child refugee in 1956 and met a far kinder world than the one you represent. I am well aware that nothing I say will make the least difference to your views, but I want to register my distaste not just at this particular action but at the hostile mood your party has created for all foreigners. I have been a citizen of this country since 1964 but consider myself a citizen of the world, that is to say of humanity too, which, in the judgment of the prime minister - your prime minister - makes me a citizen of nowhere. Nowhere is where you have left so many of us: doctors, nurses, public service employees, students, even widows who have lived here for decades but have recently been asked when they are going home.

Is the condition of what you consider 'proper' UK citizens likely to be any better for either this decision or the rhetoric your party has embarked on? Are the lives of those at the bottom end of the scale, the unemployed, the disabled, the dependent, likely to improve from the condition your government has reduced them to, as a result of this refusal?

If you believe it will improve the conditions of those born in this country, those, that is, who have benefitted from the work of people born elsewhere, people who have given long years of their lives to this country, people who paid their taxes and contributed their skill and labour where it was wanted and still is wanted, if you believe that their changed conditions are going to be any better for the rejection of 3,000 unattached children, please explain to me in what way.

I look forward to your kind and considered answer.


Davoh said...

Whatever the 'wealth' Britain has, or thinks it has ... it cannot solve the problem of mass migration from the "Middle east".

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Davoh, not sure what you mean. The tragic chaos in countries that ordinary people (ie "migrants") are fleeing from (as any of us would flee if we were in their shoes) was not caused by them. They don't want to leave their homes or to risk their and their children's lives in horrendous journeys only to end up interned in refugee camps. No, the problem can't be solved by Britain or other countrie but the least we can do is to open dors and hearts to them, in human solidarity.

Catherine said...

I am trying to find out for one of our professors if you have ever used the pseudonym 'Mila Corbellanni" Could you please let me know and if you have a contact email? Thank you Catherine email=cryan@nec.edu

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Hello Catherine, no, I've never used that pseudonym or heard of that name. What does it come from and who is your professor? Tell me more!

"Augustine" is the pseudonym I use for my cartoon alter-ego (see the section 'Comics' on my website) and also why this blog is called Blaugustine (the blog of Augustine). Only once, on the first edition of my book "Augustine's True Confession" I used the pseudonym 'Augustine Orbeliani' but the new edition, published a few months ago, has my own name.

Davoh said...

Natalie .. am not here to argue much .. but from my reading of History, 'twas Constantine (and his advisors on Mons Vaticanus) who decided that the Roman Empire could no longer be served with breastplates, shields and swords.

The British Isles has become a conglomerate of many Ideals, faiths and Mercantile asperations - even before Roman times.

The 'Dutch?' Hanseatic League came and went. The Portugese colonised various 'offshore' islands around this planet. As did the 'Spanish'.
As did "Britain" - circa Queen Elizabeth 1.

To me, as an Australian (and as such, part of the notion of a "Commomwealth" ....

,,, find it fascinating that a notion of "Islam", and the peoples therein - even NOW - continue to fight among themselves.

Only a thought.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Davoh, am not arguing with you at all. Just finding it hard to follow your train of thought. My point was simply that the UK ought to welcome refugees, wherever they come from, and yes, this island is already home to a mix of peoples from many places and so much the better for that.

Davoh said...

Um, the fact is that the British Isles ARE that. Islands. Same as Australia. While yes, it LOOKS as if Australia is a large landmass - one always has to ask the question - why, after all these years; there are so few people here? Answer - this Island/Continent ancient infrastructure CANNOT support any more humans. No reliable water.

Davoh said...

It's not that anyone in Australia is not aware of the problems in Syria, Yemen, Iraq - every human with any soul feels it ... but will stress - why are they fleeing? Surely, after roughly 1600 years of Islam - they should have become peaceful by now? Established some sort of coherent and stable States?

Davoh said...

.. and in a small answer as to why i think the British Isles should not accept more "refugees' from the 'Middle east". One really has to go back a bit. Am not really sure who 'began' to live there .. perhaps the Celts, then had to suffer the invasions of the "Norsemen", Saxons, -
Then the Normans, from Gaul (Bullies on horseback). Which changed what we now think of "England" forever - until Henry 8 then Elizabeth 1 -and set up a long running battle between "England' and "Europe ...

The last thing that i think that the British Isles needs right now is a "soft" invasion .... compre.

Davoh said...

(as any of us would flee if we were in their shoes) was not caused by them.

Really? Was not caused by them? Was it not 'allowed' by them?
When was the last time any 'sensible' democracy set up a system where people had to "flee" on masse????

Davoh said...

(and yep, Natalie; might be one of Shakesperes "Rude Mechanicals" [should be a wink... somewhere on this key board].

Davoh said...

[Shakeferef .. heh]

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Davoh, I'd like to drop that subject now.

Allan Lloyd said...

Ah, Nathalie, the responses to this post (and another elsewhere in which I believe you to have been treated cavalierly) illustrate why I seldom interact online these days. But I'm compelled to point out that, as an Australian, and despite having a Government (and an Opposition too) prepared, for the sake of staying onside with a majority of Murdoch-directed voters, to behave barbarically towards people who for the most part are fleeing the chaos and cultural/social disintegrations engendered by Australia in collusion with America and Britain, not all Australians are against welcoming refugees.

But an hour before my writing this, the Australian Government announced its intention to legislate that any refugees who reach Australia by boat (including those whose refugee status is proven to be genuine) will not only never be resettled here but also never, for the rest of their lives, be given a visa to enter the country. Even more cynically, they're intending to make this legislation retrospective to July 2013, so that adults already imprisoned in the country's off-shore processing centres (aka privately-operated hell holes) can never come here – even as tourists.

Right now, my partner and I are wondering where we might find a people smuggler to get us out of the land in which we were born.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

FM, many thank for this, on many levels.

That's terrible news about the Australian decision and I can well understand your considering leaving your homeland.

Is humanity becoming morfe unkind, more selfish? Or is it just plus ├ža change?

Davoh said...

Figmince , a 'people smuggler' to get you out of the country from which you were born .. is called QANTAS .... heh

Davoh said...

More ..um .. 'uncomfortable' migrants have arrived on this Australian Island/continent by aeroplane - than ever arrived by boat ... heh.