Cyprus Mail
Guest Columnist

Reader’s letter: Editor’s choice: British expats in Cyprus are also immigrants

If the letter from Peter Davis of Droushia is really the editor’s choice, then I am hoping this is merely a ploy to invite intelligent debate.

Mr Davis is clearly a highly articulate man who weds his facility with language to some of the subtler tricks of a political propagandist: a mixture of hard facts, opinionated views, half-truths and distillation of complex historical issues into verbal bullet points to suit his own arguments e.g “we went to war on behalf of Belgium” or “we attacked Germany on behalf of Poland”

Ignoring the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the inexorable rise of fascism, the annexation of the Sudetenland, Guernica and the “blitzkrieg “ of other lesser military powers – Belgium and Poland were mere catalysts in political landscapes dominated by the push and shove of 20th Century  European (and Asian) empire building which led to two World Wars.

But the most blatant giveaway is the use of the phrase “charity begins at home” which along with “an eye for an eye” must be the most cynical use of an aphorism commonly employed to argue a false premise.

Sure, charity begins at home; we look after ourselves and our families, but who says it ends there?

As an Englishman I feel enormous pride in Britain’s history of generosity and hospitality towards the oppressed of all nations of the earth. Is that proud heritage to be obliterated by attitudes that declare “services, schools and hospitals can’t cope” as justification for doing nothing?. During my recent spell in hospital in Manchester I was nursed by Poles, Eastern Europeans and people of Jamaican origin.My heart procedure was carried out by a Pakistani surgeon after referral by a doctor from some other part of the sub -continent-all working for an NHS that is dying for lack of manpower while the Eaton -educated elite moan about putting the economy straight, by which they mean -look after the rich first and then wealth will”trickle down” ha.

Mr Davis is right when he says that Cameron removed Gaddafi with no thought for the aftermath.

Both he and the iniquitous Blair, sucking up to Bush and the American industrial/military machine bear direct responsibility for the situation to-day. So, do not we, who elected these “political giants”, share any responsibility towards the hapless victims of these interventions? I am no apologist for the terrible erstwhile regimes in Iraq, Libya Afghanistan or even Syria but to remove these despots and then abandon their oppressed people to the mercies of war lords mafiosi and ethnic cleansers has proved far worse than letting those countries decide their own fate, especially when the presence of oil deposits so patently clouds our intentions.

Have we any idea just how desperate these “immigrants “ must be, willingly to subject themselves to the horrors they deem preferable to the horrors they are escaping?

I am aware that I am employing some of the propaganda tricks of which I’ve accused Mr Davis but to associate young, black males with increasing sexual assaults, whilst it may have some statistical truth, is nothing short of scurrilous. Have we forgotten the likes of Jimmy Savile and other white sexual predators as well as  various “celebrities “ and unnamed members of the houses of Lords, and Commons to name but a few categories?

As for low state pensions and the poor huddling in shopping malls and the other ails Mr Davis mentions, perhaps he should re-consider his electoral preferences , though any government in the UK find itself increasingly in thrall to the press barons who unashamedly manipulate public opinion to their own ends.

I thoroughly applaud Mr Davis’ many contributions to charities here in Cyprus and I am not advocating that he, or anyone else supports a cause by, as he says, giving “over all their wealth”.

There are no easy answers to this problem, but by condensing extreme views into shibboleths we risk becoming what we oppose.

I don’t know about the police service but to say the British people are “soft and unable to cope” is simply insulting. Finally, it’s perhaps time that some British expats in Cyprus realised that they too are immigrants.

Ian Goodall, Paphos

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