Saturday, April 04, 2009

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it

When you are an unashamed leftie in a country where the Mail and the Sun shift 8 million copies a day between them you can sometimes feel a little under the cosh. There is that constant feeling that you are having to defend yourself and constantly justify the fact that you might actually give a toss about other people.

In particular I am constantly told by many people, my own parents included, how refugees and asylum seekers bring nothing to this country, how they are just lay abouts and all out to get everything they can out of "soft touch Britain". I keep getting asked to justify my position that this is not the case. I don't think I should have to, if someone is going to state that person x is a work shy lay about arsehole who wants to convert us all to Islam and eat our swans then I am firmly of the opinion that it is up to them to justify their position and not just regurgitate the cobblers they read in the Mail

However today I am going to justify my position, with a story that is very personal to me. This is a link to the latest edition of Scouting magazine which is the internal magazine sent to all scout leaders. Not a particularly reviting read for those of you of a non scout persuasion but if you scroll through to page 32 you will come across the story of Aline Afazali, a refugee from Rwanda. She fled Rwanda during the civil war in the 1994, using many of the skills she had learned a scout just to survive.

She came to the UK as a refugee and is still here. She is now a scout leader with 3rd Potters Bar scout group in Hertfordshire. She, like many others that come to this country, is doing something for her community and giving back what she has taken. And so next time I'm told what a waste refugees are and how they should all just be rounded up and sent home I shall point to this woman and ask why she should be sent home.

And why is this story so personal to me? 3rd Potters Bar is where yours truly was a cub, a scout and a young leader.

Paul Dacre and co, stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

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