ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Morecambe Bay.

with one comment

Societies are global, from the earliest time travellers went from region to region, across the globe in search of better lives, goods and trade. In doing so brought back tales of faraway places, exotic people and strange customs, or so the Romans thought when meeting early Britons.

Britain is, lest we forget, a nation of immigrants, from Celts passing through, Roman settlers, various Germanic tribes and the proto-French conquerors. All that even before the 12th century. Later on the British Empire further expanded globalisation through slaughter, theft, commerce and even slavery.

The English language is an another example of globalisation, peppered with foreign words, complete with peculiar grammar structure, inconsistent spelling and non-phonetic pronunciation.

Britain, along with other European countries is multi-ethnic and whilst some might want to think of themselves as somehow “Anglo-Saxon” and deserving of special treatment, that is an illusion. (Ask yourself where that Saxon comes from? Modern day Germany and Denmark ! How ever so British.)

So the xenophobic slogans employed in the recent strikes are worrying, but worse is our inability to remember those who once harvested cockles in Morecambe Bay, five years ago.

Twenty three of them killed by criminal negligence.

Further compounded by a vague apathy to them, as people, they were immigrants from China, part of globalisation. People seeking work, to better themselves, to live to enjoy life, as we all do.

Dave Tang’s comments at the Speccy are surprisingly good:

“As a Chinese Anglophile, I have recently become incensed by the way in which some of my compatriots, though illegal, are being treated in this country that I love. I am hugely saddened by the fifth anniversary of the Morecambe Bay incident (on 5 February), in which 23 illegal Chinese cockle-pickers drowned. They were forced to do a filthy job and they died a foul death. It has made me think how wrongly complacent the British are about the Chinese population. We Chinese have this reputation of being reticent, rather inscrutable, but minding our own business, excelling in our professions, and beavering away making money. It’s not a bad reputation and so as an ethnic group the Chinese do not cause any worry, still less alarm.”

So remember those deaths on Morecambe Bay, five years ago and ask why such indifference to their fate?

Written by modernityblog

31/01/2009 at 16:25

Posted in Uncategorized

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