Raconteurs News No 178 Owen Martin Returns
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Raconteurs News No178……. AKA Heart attacks are ‘us’
With Jason Holmes, Andy Young and Paul Webster.
Another welcome return guest this evening, Owen Martin who lives in Portugal.
Owen talks frankly about being a child born from parents who were part of the ‘Windrush generation’ and the worrying implications this may have on his own children who are now in their 20s.
Owens’s feelings of utter frustration, anger and incredulity are clear in his voice. He is struggling to understand why this is happening. Why now; after all these many years?
Owen fears for his children, and would these children find themselves thrown out, and dumped? Would they experience the feelings of “unbelonging?” The mixed messages from the Home Secretary Amber Rudd are not clear. “The alarm bells are ringing for me.” explains Owen.
Owen has parents who are aged 80 and this issue has caused a great deal of upset amongst this older generation. These family people have worked hard to build a life and paid their taxes, as well as contributing to their communities; so why should hard working people in the twilight of their years be ‘Excluded from the UK.” How could the UK Government humiliate working class people in this despicable way?
Perhaps our Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May does not value ‘The Windrush Generation’ their loyalty, and their strong feelings of support and allegiance to the UK.
Although the press generally greeted them warmly as ‘sons of Empire’, some members of parliament opposed the arrival of the immigrants. Their presence was needed to staff a number of industries, but although Britain was short of workers, there was also a shortage of housing. This led to the new arrivals being temporarily housed in the deep level air-raid shelter in South Clapham, approximately two miles away from Brixton town centre, while they searched for accommodation. The majority permanently settled in Britain, but the Afro-Caribbean community experienced significant prejudice, intolerance and racism in subsequent years.
Although Owen experienced a measure of abuse from some people, he did feel that in the end, he was accepted by the majority in his community.
It is certainly difficult to understand and comprehend why our Government would “Trample on anybody; disabled people or those from minorities.” Is this a cynical mechanism to divide us up? Is this the “Divide and Conquer culture” that many people fall for? Does the word “Race” imply a competition? As people we may have different physical features, but do we not want the same? A home, a place to sleep, a place to nourish ourselves; and care for our children?
Owen is an angry man, but he still conveys his thoughts and feelings eloquently. He also manages to keep his sense of humour and his sense of perspective.
As Owen commented, “it’s the human touch we all need.” “The British Government have certainly shot themselves in the foot.”
Owen’s dad explained to him, “That first you must learn to laugh at yourself, before you laugh at others” and “There are people who feel the rain and there are others who just get wet.”
Our Previous show with Owen can be found here
‘Hate cannot be channelled only in one direction,’ warns Amulya Ganguli.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh