Last night's BBC news report, by Razia Iqbal on artangel's 'exodus' production, set me thinking on two levels, firstly was nostalgia as the cliched organ music was played in the background, and secondly bewilderment as the reporter seemed to wander from my perception of Margate, reference to "the famous abandoned scenic railway" would seemed to be at odds with the fact that this was being operated all summer, but as to the abandonment, a quick visit to the Save the Dreamland campaign would show that it has yet to be forsaken at least by locals.
scene from report
Perhaps the suggestion or comment that no one in this town should let pass, was this comment, "empty hotels and B&Bs have for years now been filled with refugees, the cause of racial tension here", whilst it may be true that Hotels etc have and are being used, to house refugees, I for one am unaware of any atmosphere of racial tension. Admittedly every town has its witless BNP supporters and Margate is probably no different in that respect, but the fact that Margate has absorbed very large numbers of migrants and refugees with minimal trouble does this town great credit. I personally have yet to hear anyone express the mindless hatred suggested by this report.
In my opinion, had this reporter relied less on obvious cliches, then she may well have reported on Margates exemplary tolerance in spite of Home Office incompetence, and government negligence in handling the sensitive issue of migration, only now in the last month for two have we seen government ministers accept the reality of uncontrolled migration.
Just coming back to the nostalgia, along with a thriving seaside towns, there may well have been a time, when journalists delved a little deeper and presented a balanced view.
Despite BBC reporting, and any impression given by 'the exodus production', MARGATE can be proud of its tolerance.
P S I don't feel forlorn or shabby either!