Thursday, 25 June (The Day Michael Jackson died)
Now being someone who comes from a land that will always carry the echo of Apartheid, I was very interested when I saw this article in today’s paper:
Four in ten under-20s in London aren’t white:
Apparently: “A government report found that more than 700 000 children and teenagers are classed as non-white, around 40% of the age group in the capital. At present just over a third of Londoners of all ages are reckoned to be non-white – but the new figures indicate that this share will grow substantially in the future.
The Migrationwatch think-tank said: ‘This illustrates the massive change that is taking place to our society at a rapid pace and without the indigenous population ever being consulted. It is high time that the political class took their heads out of the clouds and responded to the very strong public opinion that wants to bring immigration under control.”
I couldn’t believe this article. Here I am working in classrooms where children gasp if I even refer to anything to do with race. Where people do not like to have open conversations about race, where people don’t even like to hear the word: ‘racist’; yet right here in their papers they have an article distinctly assuming many things. Surely white people immigrate too? Aren’t there individuals here who are on one or two year working visas through their companies, who may not be white? Surely the ‘non-white’ population of youth could have parents of different colours and different nationalities, one of whom is British? Aren’t the immigrants the power behind the working labour in this country? Yes, this city is over populated, especially if I compare it to South Africa; yes there are a large amount of people who don’t speak English properly around here (but then many of the English I’ve met don’t speak English properly either!); but surely judging immigration on the number of ‘under-20 non-whites’ is just daft? Or is that just me? I seem to recall a certain number of minority white people causing many a battle in South Africa. Surely it’s the security of power that’s being lamented over here, and not the loss of an indigenous majority? But then I don’t have a PhD in anything, so I’m not qualified to have my thoughts taken seriously.
At least in South Africa, with the ‘racism’ card anyway, there has been a move to indulge in a lot of open conversation in many respects over the last decade and a half; and I firmly believe that it’s open conversation that creates understanding and an ability to learn and accept. Not necessarily agreement, but acknowledgement and respect for the opportunities that ‘different’ can create, and knowledge is wisdom, and wisdom creates better circumstances and opportunities.
As I was attending Toast Polo tomorrow I headed into the office to get my timesheets signed in the afternoon. While I was there my boss asked to have a chat with me in the boardroom. I wasn’t sure what was going on (I was hoping I hadn’t done something wrong, like complaining about being illogically sent all the way to Sutton). As she closed the door, very unusual in this office, she asked me to take a seat; which I hesitantly did. She sat opposite me and proceeded to tell me that I was doing a fantastic job and that they were very interested in keeping me on so that I could revamp the role plays that were being used in the Schemes.
“I’d like you to stay on and help out until the end of September, excluding the school holiday. Are you available?”
Wow! I was shocked. This was completely unexpected. Then the penny dropped and I remembered Hong Kong.
“Wow! Thanks, I’m definitely available and I’d love to stay on; it’s just that I am going to Hong Kong with my sister for a week in September, so I won’t be around for that.”
“That’s not a problem, I’m sure we can work around that. Only there’s one condition,” she said smiling at me.
“Oh, what’s that?” I asked nervously.
“You HAVE to bring me back an exotic gift from Hong Kong!”
Relief! I laughed with her, “With pleasure.” I said; and that was the end of the meeting. I now had a good few more weeks of work doing some exciting stuff and I would also be able to afford to go to the Edinburgh Festival to watch some shows! So awesome! I was very excited, things were looking up. Thank-You Lord!
As we came out of the office Natt, Anna and Nina were heading off for a drink at All Bar One, I was very keen to join. Sadly it was a kind of farewell drink because Anna had two weeks left before she had to fly to Australia, I was not happy about losing such an awesome friend. Natt had accepted a nannying post with a very wealthy family; £500.00 a week cash with food and accommodation included; this meant she could move out from her place with the DJ and photographer. She was extremely excited and said the family seemed really welcoming in the interview. I was very happy for her. As the Schemes were now closing for the summer holidays Nina was going to be laying low to try and save money until she could get back into supply teaching, she was really worried and nervous about getting by, but said she was in touch with all the agencies and she was sure something would come up; something had to come up for her. I was unbelievably grateful that having fun and trying new things at the Schemes had paid off and I was able to stay on for a little bit longer before heading back to supply. I wasn’t quite ready to slip out of the butter just yet.