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Strangers and Aliens 10 June 2007

Posted by Dr Moose in Faith, Life, Ponderings.

While I would hesitate to call myself a townie, I’m not really a country lad either. My home stomping ground in the Midlands had farmland within easy walking distance (in fact even in sight of my bedroom window for the first few years).

But my passing acquaintance with dairy farming doesn’t stretch to the phenomenon seen each year here, as scores of foreign teenagers descend on eurosceptic Kent to pick the fruit crops that few of our local young people will touch.

It makes this BBC news article all that more relevant. I’m sure none of the shoppers at my local ASDA would miss the busloads of migrant shoppers who appear in the summer months, but I bet they’d miss the strawberries and fruit, sourced from within the county with great fanfare. Which appears to be a real possibility if this report is to be believed.

And why won’t our own folks do the job? For the same reason that Polish Plumbers have become legendary: the relative expectations of pay and workloads.

(I’m also forced to admire Father Noel, who each year puts up signs in a variety of European languages and scripts to offer Holy Communion to any migrant workers as may wish it of an evening. I don’t think he gets many takers, and I fail to see how they could understand the English of the Prayer Book, but it’s a practical response to the care of the alien within our midst.)



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