Bee's blog

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immigration, isolation, racism

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 09:42 -- Bee

The blogosphere is ablaze with chatter about whether or not Tory immigration policy is racist. The answer is debatable; I believe it is merely xenophobic, but that isn't much comfort to those of us who are actually immigrants, now is it?

When David Cameron evokes words like "discomfort" to describe how he thinks native-born British regard new members of the community it makes me feel, hmm, "unwanted" and perhaps even "sad."

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birthday, symbolism, Shoreditch

Sat, 04/09/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

In the midst of waves of visitors we threw a party, collecting an extremely random assortment of people at Jaguar Shoes for a belated joint fortieth birthday celebration.

The whole thing was hilarious, not least because our friends, when offered the opportunity, imposed their own natural social segregation. All the scientists and business people congregated together, all the literary types huddled on the other side of the room, with just a few confused new recruits and one Israeli attempting to mingle.

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cities & views

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

London is a city largely without a view: there are very few hills, fewer tall buildings for the wandering public to ascend, and the river is bereft of commuter traffic.

For a person like me, who grew up on a peninsula between two mountain ranges, hiking up and down steep hills for even the smallest routine chores, using ferry boats as regular transportation, this is rather odd.

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immigration, mobility, hypocrisy

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

The UK Government has announced a new social mobility strategy.

Nick Clegg, David Cameron and pals have made public statements condemning the "who you know" culture that gives preferential access to educational opportunities and jobs based on social connections. They say that under this government everyone should get a "fair chance."

The initiative is fascinating, not least because Clegg, Cameron, Osborne and associates were all privately and expensively educated. They are, one and all, people who obtained internships and career placements through family connections.

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renovation & gentrification

Tue, 04/05/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

Construction has commenced on my Portland house.

When I bought the place in 1996 it was boarded and derelict, yard strewn with broken glass and stolen cars.

I pulled the boards off the cracked windows and had the cars towed away, but never made any other gestures toward renovation. We lived without a thermostat until Polly showed up in the middle of the night to install one, without bathroom doors until Donna offered carpentry services, without proper running water in the bath ever.

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literature & immigration

Tue, 04/05/2011 - 12:08 -- Bee

When I am not working or seeing friends I walk around London, for hours and miles every day, listening to recordings of Nancy Mitford books.

It is absolutely true that I moved away from the United States because I wanted to live in a place where everyone has equal access to health care. But why England, specifically, when I could have chosen any country in Europe?


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