Princess Alyssa of Nigeria – Part One
I read yesterday that an MP made the news because he has two African refugees living in the penthouse flat of his villa. Dear Martin Patzelt, someone should inform you that taking in refugees is so three months ago (Dahling!). We already did it, at the end of May. We didn’t have a spare flat to give away though, instead our refugees stayed together with us in a 69 sq. m. two-bed apartment.
OK, OK admittedly we hosted only one pregnant refugee – therefore one of our refugees was very much smaller than one of Martin‘s. But thankfully, or maybe unfortunately, this isn’t a competition about refugee hosting, although if it were, we might have a chance of sorting out this problem. So just to be clear, despite my teasing, I think Martin Patzelt is a hero, what a fantastic thing to do. I decided to find out a bit more about him and to my surprise discovered he is a Conservative MP in the German CDU party. Maybe I am being mean, but can anyone imagine a Conservative MP in the UK hosting refugees in their own home? I can see the Daily Mail headline now! But Martin Patzelt is not alone in wanting to help refugees. Hundreds of other people in Germany are taking refugees into their homes**. Meanwhile, sadly, the top immigration headline in the UK yesterday was about the proposed new measures requiring landlords to evict „illegal“ immigrants currently being piloted in Birmingham.
One of the many reasons I love Germany is that pretty much the entire system appears to be to the „left“ of the UK, apart from the direction of traffic and the neo-Nazis of course. But then we live with the „helpful“ reminder of how damaging crazy right wing fascists can be if they get into power. The people I know in Germany benefit from a system and culture that to British ears sometimes sounds like full-on socialism. I have noticed hundreds of small subtle differences that add-up to making life in Germany and certainly in Berlin, a whole lot easier for most people. Not all of course. And certainly not forever, as times-are-a-changing. But all these good socialist-type benefits occur under a Conservative Prime Minister, admittedly one who presides over the current Conservative/Labour coalition government. Maybe if Cameron actually adhered to the values he espoused previously, the UK too would be a much fairer, healthier, less fearful and stressed nation. But this is a story about how we came to provide a temporary home to Alyssa. This story is about Alyssa who had to leave school at 11 because there was no money to pay for her education, not David, who attended Eton and Oxford. All the same, I know who I would rather share my flat with!
**Be great to know if this UK project has been successful, or if any others of its kind exist in the UK. Please comment below!