Why Borders Don’t Turn Me OnI wrote this a week ago and since then we have seen another attack in Europe and the innocent slain and injured. So I hesitated to post this as the cry goes up: if we had strong borders it would not happen. So are my words here disrespectful to the dead and the grieving? Better perhaps to let them slide into oblivion?

But I changed my mind and decided to post. Why? Because I have a silly old book called ‘Daily Light: A devotional text book for every day in the year‘ that I picked up secondhand somewhere. I forget about it and then now and again I remember it and read a few days’ worth. The reading for the morning of March 22 included these words:

‘what communion hath light with darkness? … walk as children of light… and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.’

My letter…

Dearest Europe that I love because you are in my blood and bones from the time when I was in my mother’s belly as she drove thousands of miles back and forth from Cornwall to Romania, from west to east – all across this beautiful continent of freedom and horror. Each mile of that journey bound me to you as I grew…


Shame on my East European brothers and sisters who were welcomed with open arms into the EU for you shame us now as you raise the wire against the refugees.

Shame on us.

Afghanistan Iraq Libya Syria : a deathly roll call of countries where we interfered unbidden. From these places now people flee from horror and chaos and yet we will not accept we must reap what we sow.

These English words that come out of my mouth bind up every part of this continent with its Angles and Saxons, Normans and Vikings and the dim distance of our Indo-European ancestors, each word we reluctant English speak should remind us of what we are – Europeans who tried to conquor the world and now refuse to bear the consequences as desperate mothers, lost children and young men who want to work, tear themselves apart on the wire.

Don’t step into this black hole of hatred you are digging for yourself.

Come back into the light.

For all our sakes don’t break our hearts.

Don’t build the wall.

We must stay in the light and not let the darkness consume us.