I do not blame anybody wanting to come to Britain from foreign climes. This has been going on for 800 years and particularly for 400 in the English Fenland where skilled individuals and families desperate to escape religious persecution abroad began a new life draining our region.
They, as well as persecuted business proprietors with their workers, came to England in their hundreds rather than hundreds of thousands and worked in East Anglia and the Fens to earn the belated gratitude of the nation.
A recent notion to present the Fens as a business attraction is to paint lorries with scenes advertising towns of Holbeach, Boston and Spalding while the vehicles cross Europe. This artwork will be seen in Spain, Belgium, Romania and Bulgaria. The Arts Council are behind this venture which will cost £40,000. Could the money be spent in a better way?
How long will it be before places such as Wisbech, March and other Fenland towns, steeped in agricultural and horticultural expertise, be advertised in a similar manner and encourage hard-pressed families to migrate to the Fens? This form of advertising will be keenly noticed in Romania and Bulgaria, the current topic of mass exodus when tens of thousands are expected to migrate to Britain in less than a year’s time.
Few English people are willing to work on the land nowadays but low-paid individuals from overseas are more than willing. Our small island is subjected to political whim inspired by bureaucratic European ideals. History is repeating itself. The Fen’s unique character is threatened by inadequate governance and failed open border policies. Not for the first time major changes are shaping up and true Fenmen, if any be found, are being squeezed to the edge. In the circumspect of events taking place here long ago, things haven’t changed that much. I read the letter in the Citizen recently from a Latvian with sympathetic interest but surely they will realise there has to be a limit as to how many migrants our small island can take.