Maggie Chapman welcomes Romanians and Bulgarians
As Romanians and Bulgarians achieved full rights to live and work in the UK last night, Scottish Greens co-convenor Maggie Chapman welcomed them to Scotland.
Chapman, who is also the party’s lead candidate in this year’s European elections and an Edinburgh city councillor representing the Leith Walk ward, tweeted her welcome to Romanians and Bulgarians while watching the New Year fireworks from Calton Hill in the capital:
Happy new year, one and all. And welcome Romanians and Bulgarians to the UK! #openborders
— Cllr Maggie Chapman (@MaggieEdinburgh) January 1, 2014
Maggie, who is herself an immigrant from Zimbabwe, later said:
When I moved to Scotland, the welcome I got was tremendous. Scots are famed worldwide for our hospitality and openness. And since I’ve lived here, I’ve found that each group of people who has moved to Scotland over the years has enriched our culture and helped to make us a more prosperous nation.
It is not yet clear how many Romanian and Bulgarian people will come here in the coming days and weeks and months, but each one of them is a new Scot, a new neighbour, and a new friend.
Maggie’s new year message of welcome contasts starkly with that of No campaign spokesman Alastair Darling, whose anti-independence appeal to “the people of this island” carried an unwelcome tone of narrow, ethnic nationalism:
Wishing you a happy 2014. This is the year where Scotland makes a historic choice #indyref http://t.co/vVPMeFIrrb pic.twitter.com/bn5Qjsqzcw
— Alistair Darling (@TogetherDarling) January 1, 2014
Right. Re the fireworks Maggie was watching? Ever wondered where all the phosphorous fall-out goes to from the exploded fireworks? All that fall-out, and the fumes from millions of house gas central heating, and fumes from other things such as vehicles etcetera, must almost surely be causing extreme bad weather conditions. All the chemical fall-out from fireworks definately goes in to folks’ lungs> What a barmy load of silly humans we have in this world.
This needs shouting from the rooftops to drwon out all the scare-mongering, invented stories and fear of the Other that so much of the mainstream press and politicians are stoking up. Scotland (and for that matter, the UK) has always been a hybrid community, a set of mongrel nations and no good has ever come from demonising the ‘intruder; whether they’re Irish, black, Muslim, Indian, Pakistani, Polish or generic ‘foreigner’.
Maggie, you’ve made my day. As a Romanian, I’m actually relieved to see how much discussion there is about our ‘right’ to be fully welcome here. I don’t like some of the discussion, but I’ve known for years that there are big feelings about Eastern Europeans in the UK. It’s good to have them out in the open where I can engage with people’s perceptions of my country. I do so appreciate you speaking out and making us feel welcome here.