Derby News Comment

Foreign by Hollie McNish

Many thanks to Dmitrijs Solojevs, a Latvian living in Derby who was told about Hollie McNish by his Estonian wife. I listened to many of Hollie’s poems, all of which were excellent, but this one struck me as being very relevant to this site and in tune with its ethos.

Derby, with its 60 plus nationalities, is at an interesting moment in time as some negative views are being aired about our multi-cultural City. I would like every one of those people to read this, and reflect.

Hollie’s reading is very melodious, but for those, for whom it is too fast, I have copied the text below:

I find it strange when people complain about foreigners in the UK so much
and ignore all the foreign stuff that we use.
I find it strange the way we treat foreign people and families so differently than the way we
treat foreign money or products or food,
Let foreign ships sail to our shores filled with things we can take
But turn them away if the foreign people who make them want to come too.
I find it strange we’re ok with chewing on foreign food
Chinese carry out bags and Indian too,
kebabs and pizzerias and foreign tropical fruit juice.
We’re ok with eating foreign sugar cane sugary treats,
Munching on foreign cocoa bean chocolaty sweets,
Complaining between every bite about the foreign folk down our street.
We’re ok with wearing foreign clothes,
Stuff we love to buy cheap because foreign wages are so low,
Our whole household comes from Shanghai and Tokyo and I know,
that we’re ok with driving foreign cars, so fast,
filling up our buses with foreign petrol piped from their parts,
foreign heating gas extracted by digging up their plants,
watching foreign TVs as we sit on our starts complaining to each other about the foreigners in
our kid’s class.
We’re ok with going on holiday to a foreign beach,
lying in foreign sunshine,
swimming in foreign seas,
sipping sangrias and Cuban cocktails much as we please.
We’re ok with using foreign places to get away from UK rainy days,
watching programmes on TV showing British families as brave,
buying cheaper foreign properties and showing what they save,
we’re buying up entire Polish villages for English resorts and greasy spoon beach breaks,
complaining in Spain there’s no ketchup with the chips and covering Ibiza’s shores with booze
and teenage sick as we complain about the foreigners that come to us to work and live.
We’re ok with buying foreign goods we love to from abroad, then dumping all our rubbish on
foreign people’s shores,
filling foreign landfills over-spilling with our household cans complaining about the foreign
people with accents we can’t understand
and how our British culture is being killed by the foreign man
and all the foreign families
While we keep eating our Ugandan chocolate treats,
Keep watching our Chinese TV, our Korean MP3, our Taiwanese DVD,
posing in our Indonesian jeans,
going on holiday in our Spanish seas,
biting down on our scones and jam and cream,
sipping at what we proudly call our English Breakfast tea, forgetting as we sip that those are
Indian leaves, made from Indian seeds, shipped across in ships that sail from Indian seas.
So please, do not tell me foreign people are a burden to our economy, I feel it’s time we sipped
a little bit of our hypocrisy and thought about how differently we treat the nationality of
Foreign money, products, goods and food to
Foreign people and their families.
By Hollie McNish
More of her work, tour dates etc can be found at her website

Categories: Derby News Comment

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