Moving the pieces around #flashfiction #carrotranch

Charli Mills latest prompt is 

February 23, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a migration story. It can imagine the dusty or arctic trails of the frontiers past or look to the travel across the galaxy. What issue about modern migration bans might influence an artistic expression in a flash? Migrate where the prompt leads you.

I wonder when I first became aware that people wanted to come to the UK and we didn’t want them to come? Sometime in the 1960s I suppose though I was probably older than my own kids when they heard about immigration. And what sort of message did I take away? Pride. Odd that, isn’t it? That I should have gathered the notion that people wanted to come because it was good here and we should keep them out so the goodies went to the locals.

The theories became reality when Idi Amin, in the early 1970s, threw out from Uganda a significant number of British passport holders  who then came to Britain. Some came to my largely white little corner of the world. A few years later there was a similar influx of Vietnamese boat people. In both cases they were billeted at old army bases.

And there was grumbling, NIMBYism at work. Fears about integration, about some sort of local cultural dilution. 40 years on and you’d struggle to tell it had ever been an issue. Both groups were hard working and their children have melded into the pot pourri that has always made up our mongrel nation. Back then we did the right thing; we didn’t do it well – we were churlish rather than generous – but at least we did it. Now, not so much. Which is such a shame on so many levels.

As to the flash, here’s Paul and Mary in discussion with Penny

Migration Watch

‘Oh for f…’

‘Paul! Language.’

‘I’m trying to migrate my website and it’s an utter disaster.’

Penny, his daughter, laughed. ‘First world problem dad. Be glad you have power.’

Paul growled. ‘Easy to say.’

‘We had a new kid in school today. From Darfur. His English is amazing. He said he learnt it from listening to music.’

Paul switched off his laptop. ‘You’re right. I don’t know when I’m born.’

Penny hugged him. ‘Glad you’re getting perspective.’

Mary barked as laugh. ‘All it means is he’ll get his people to fix it at work. He hasn’t migrated that far.’

Here you can catch up on previous episodes

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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14 Responses to Moving the pieces around #flashfiction #carrotranch

  1. Ritu says:

    First world problems indeed!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your intro, Geoff. It seems that our attitude about immigration has been under the microscope for us all lately.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Erika Kind says:

    Oh well, yes! How important some things can be which didn’t even know about some years ago!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clever twist on the subject! I do wonder why we are so churlish about immigrants. They bring cultural colour and vibrancy along with any issues of settlement – and the colour and vibrancy outlast the settlement issues! If the shoe were on the other foot I wonder how we’d feel……

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charli Mills says:

    Last May I visited my eldest in Michigan. She was working with a BBC television crew to film research that her college is doing in a boat-lab on Lake Superior. One evening, we went out for beer with the BBC producer. His parents were from India, and he was born and educated in London. He had this lovely accent (we Americans love British accents, maybe we yearn for our mother tongue). A patron, who had been sitting with his back to us, turned around, asking, “Are you from Great Britain?” But the look on the man’s face when he saw the producer was shock. Our friend didn’t miss a beat and he said, “Yes, I’m British and I’m brown.”

    In your flash, Penny is educating her father, as often happens with our children. I like the line about learning English from music. That’s dedication!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Tales of Immigration « Carrot Ranch Communications

  7. I hesitate to comment on the history or current state of the UK with what’s happening in the US. But I will say, as always, great flash. It amazes me (you’d think it wouldn’t by now but it does) that you’re able to continue this story with whatever prompt is given for that week. I don’t think I could do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Annecdotist says:

    Love the play on words these various sides of migration.

    Liked by 1 person

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