Hometown Glory?

After Monday nights Panorama: Life in Immigration Town was aired I felt the need to write this. Considering I’m a 42 year old, Black woman of immigrant parents who was born in Slough, raised in Chalvey and whose brother stood for UKIP for the same place, I can add my thoughts to the mix!

Firstly my own personal opinion on immigration is this; It’s a great thing and I love it. It’s nice to know you don’t have to stay in your one place of birth and can soak up new experiences elsewhere, or seek refuge should your sanctuary be destroyed through no fault of your own.

I’d like to think that should things go wrong (Brexodus) and I’m forced to flee my home I’d be welcomed with a sense of understanding and sympathy for my plight and a little, (or a lot) of love and humanity from others…a girl can dream can’t she?

Fortunately I’m awake enough to know that should that situation ever arise not all will be welcoming me with open arms…Hell, not all are welcoming me with open arms here in my hometown let alone elsewhere, but that’s a part of life. Some folk ain’t ever gon’ change and are ready to dislike you on looks alone which is their prerogative, but some things can be helped to curb the distaste.

Whether you choose or have to move to another country you should respect that country’s beliefs and traditions, which is more than doable without encroaching on your own beliefs.

If you can’t, then maybe you should find somewhere else to live. If you’re not prepared to work or contribute to that country in some way and only want to bleed their resources drier than they already are, then you should do one too.

That couldn’t be said of many immigrants when I was younger as they were, and the majority now still are, some of the hardest working people out there, but let’s not get it twisted, there are A LOT blatantly taking the piss and they need to be addressed.

Those who come over and abide by the rules and work to earn their keep have a right to live a life too. You can’t expect them to not use any resources. Naturally they’ll need to be housed, they’ll get ill and their children will need to be educated but somebody’s not doing the mathematics, and you don’t have to be Katherine Johnson to work it out! So who’s to blame? For me there is only one collective responsible and that’s the government. Side eye matey all you want but don’t hate the player hate the game!

When I was growing up the most predominant ethnic minority in Slough were Asians followed by West Indians. I’m of an age where I remember when White people use to run a good few shops in Chalvey and you could get most things from a trip down the road.

By my early teens you could notice the change more, as in not many, if any, White people running shops. It used to remind me a bit of Eastenders – The Foresters Arms being The Queen Vic, the launderette, chippy, I think the only thing missing was the market!, (but we had Ali’s and Jabbles so we were ok!)

You knew your neighbours and there was a sense of community between all races. That’s not to say there was never any racial tension every now and then but that’s to be expected – we live in the real world not a soap! The Foresters was one of four pubs, there was the Premier club (Treetops), working men’s club, the play centre, parks and Koolers bar for the youths – basically there were enough things, whatever age you were, to relieve some tension.

When you remove the stress relievers and add more people you get more tension which in turn breeds more hate. I’m not saying a pint or a game of pool is the answer to all of our problems, but I know it’d help some. I’m actually surprised they’ve left a piece of greenery and haven’t started building houses on the Rec yet!

I live on the cusp of Chalvey now, but I’m there more than 5 days a week as my mum still lives there. I visit the shops on a regular basis so know exactly what that elder had to say about the Romanians and believe me it’s not about being racist, it’s about being a realist.

If it were ANY group of individuals behaving the way they do I’d have something to say about it – they just happen to be immigrants and I’m not gonna feel a way about saying it or offending people. It’s not labelling, it is what it is.

I’m not saying it’s all of them who cause the disruption but there are a lot and I can imagine how some may feel intimidated by them as they literally stand in a pack as you try to walk around or through them. It’s funny though, if you walk a little further down the road, cut through by the recycling plant and across the fields you’ll never see a scene like the one being witnessed on the daily in Chalvey. But then they’ve got a castle and we’ve got a dump.

I have no problem with immigration – I have a problem with the people who control it…or rather don’t, which I’m sure a lot can relate to. I understand peoples frustrations and fears but there are ways to make your point heard and get your views across without it including racism, hate and/or antisocial behaviour. It should go without saying that if you’re an immigrant yourself UKIP is not the party you should be standing behind, in front of or next to.

To have a family member be that guy is not the one to say the least – I really didn’t have a clue until I saw his face on a flyer and was as shocked, surprised and confused as the rest of the majority of the Black community by his actions – but only for a hot minute. I then remembered who it was I was dealing with and soon realised he has all the attributes of what it takes to be a politician so would fit right in.

He actually had the audacity to accuse ME of making him look like a sellout because I chose to put a post up at the time on Facebook addressing the fact that it was not a family affair, as some had thought, and he stood firmly on his own. I would suggest him plastering his face on the flyer and knocking on people’s doors for votes might have made people think him a sellout but I could be wrong.

Slough’s not the greatest place to live but it’s not the worst and it’s my hometown. I can’t say I’ll live here for life, but it’s where I am right now and it’s given me some great memories. It’s not beyond being a great place, it just needs some love and attention. Lastly I’ve gotta ask where Panorama got their statistics from with the average weekly wage being £558!? Where was this poll taken? Which part? Whose wage? After tax? Can I get a job please?



R.I.P to all those who have lost their lives this week.


Home Is Where The Heart Is, Stay Blessed & #CelebrateLife

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *