In response to the letters of Gordon Thomson and Anne Kay, may I be allowed to defend myself? Anyone who knows me will be aware that I am in no way a racist. I have regularly played bridge at the Synagogue on Wednesdays and have many friends there (my own religion is Christian/ Congregational) and although I do not associate with coloured immigrants I am absolutely tolerant of their right to a decent life. I thought I made that point clear in my earlier letter. To me all people have equal rights and deserve respect. And I have certainly seen more of the world than anyone on this island.
I grew up in severe poverty during The Great Depression. We grew vegetables and kept hens and ducks in order to survive. Fortunately I had that greatest blessing in life - a wonderful mother. Just after my fifteenth birthday I had to leave school to earn some much-needed money. In those days a footballer was someone unemployed and on the 'dole'. We had no such things as unemployment benefit, health service, old-age pensions, child benefits, etc, and the churches took care of hardship cases worse than ours. Happily these days we can take all the support that is needed from the welfare state - and I am pleased this is so.
And, yes, I am environmentally conscious and grew up in a beautiful place, Harrogate, but before it became clogged with traffic. Nowadays I choose not to own a car because I don't need one and, anyway, walking is healthier. About six years ago I decided to undertake at least one hundred hours of hard, filthy labour, without proper reward (I was given 20.000 pesetas by our President) to smarten-up the public areas of the old 50-apartment block in which I live. The work involved removing eleven public doors so that their bottoms could be planed to enable smooth opening and closing - and I also fitted new locks and handles which was a painstaking and lengthy task. I also cleaned out the two under-staircase storage areas in the foyers (the block has two entrances). They had no lighting and I had to specially make a light on a trailing flex to see to work. Our cleaner was afraid even to enter those storage areas. The filth of over 20 years was appalling: soggy, rotten mattresses, old furniture and other things much too disgusting to describe.
So I am NOT unwilling to do dirty work myself. During my working life as an officer in the Royal Air Force I had much arduous manual labour (especially during a five-year stint in Saudi Arabia). And, yes, I insist, I do NOT have enough time to do all the things I want to do on this lovely island. That is why the thought of sorting my rubbish into separate bags so incensed me. I have just completed a course in the Catalan language at the University of Balears (as you may have noticed the other day in the Bulletin) and I have the best interests of my home, Majorca, at heart. In the 19th century immigrants to the USA were always willing to do the dirty work provided their children could receive an education and have prospects. And look how that country has prospered! An inter-mixing of racial bloods is extremely envigorationg to the population (one had only to compare Saudi Arabia with Oman to realise this): In the position of an immigrant, if I had children, I would be perfectly happy to slave for their future - and I suspect that your correspondents, if faced with the same situation, would feel that way too. If Majorca is now being spoken of as the new Hong Kong it is my opinion that a similar attitude towards immigration would be very beneficial. Of course not having to sort rubbish would mean someone losing a fat contract to make plastic bags not be quite so 'policitally -correct' and 'enviromentally-correct' as many people are. Whilst I agree with their attitudes, I do not whole-heartedly jump on those bandwagons myself. I am too much a realist. Is there anyone reading this who knows me and would care to rise to my defence - even though they may not endorse my views. It is not nice being unjustly publicly 'branded' and I would appreciate apologies from your correspondents.
T R H Lyons
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