An eye opener

Like many people I have social media accounts that allow me to keep in touch with people from the past; in general people I grew up with or worked with during my transient working life. Most of the information and news updates that I receive are seen, absorbed and moved on from. Recently I have noticed an unwelcome trend in the postings, people who I thought of as being like minded have shown their political colours and their views on topics like immigration, religion and an multi racial integrated society with no holds barred. I find many of these posts shocking as the people sharing inflammatory and threatening material are people who I know, thought I understood and considered genuine friends. People who range from my infant school peers, the mothers of people I know and high ranking military officers. I presume that it is not just the people I know who now feel that it is acceptable to post uncensored material and that the situation is spread throughout society. As an immigrant living in a foreign country I do hope that French social media sites are not carrying the same level of hatred targeting people like myself. The economic and political aspects of Brexit will be dealt with reasonably quickly but the referendum itself is going to leave scars in society that will take many years to sort themselves out. On a personal level I now have fewer friends but I am so glad that I no longer live in the communities that most of these posters come from.

5 Likes

I had begun to notice similar postings to those you describe. At first I ignored it, simply putting it down to the “young and foolish” section of the family, but when my sister-in-law started joining-in (no longer young)… I made a firm decision that such rhetoric was not welcome on my FB page.

I shut-off any further posts/shares from all the unwelcome sites… while leaving S-I-Law etc free to post/share the normal family stuff…

Phew… as you say, it is a bit of an eye-opener…I believe in seeing the best in people… but, now… who knows what to think…

2 Likes

If you read the comments on FB pages for papers like the Sud-Ouest, they are very often in a similar vein and often very anti-British. Lots of ‘go back home’ type of stuff :frowning:

2 Likes

If the British living in France spread themselves out more rather populating entire villages, areas and departments then you would not get that type of problem.

You won’t find that type of attitude in French cities.

2 Likes

I think that you have got the scale of expat populations in rural France out of perspective. By far the largest concentration of expats live in and around Paris.

1 Like

Of course, but Paris and its surrounding areas is very multicultural and has a population of 12 million. In cities and large towns you blend in.

It is very difficult to blend in if half or a quarter of the village is British. I guess it does cause friction with locals and other British for that matter. It is the same problem in the UK with immigration. Some people find it uncomfortable to live with large communities of a foreign nationality. A lot of people voted Brexit for that reason. I just hope those British living in France did not vote for those reasons.

2 Likes

Not here in the Clunysois.

I’m not so sure Jane…Verosvres is your neighbouring village.

When they wanted house 150 refugees in population of 450…there was a bit of a polémique.

Mark, we are members of the Charolais collectif to help refugees. What was said in Verosvres was dreadful, but the way that the Prefecture dealt with the issue was also lamentable. There was little or no information given to the Commune before the anouncement that the old schol was being turned into a reception centre.
The Prefecture has also, in quite the opposite way, dragged its feet in allocating families to accommodation where there was already a welcome.

Relocating 150 Syriens (or any nationality) was never going to work in a tiny rural French village. 3-4 families yes but 150 would just unbalance the demographics of the village and cause conflict. The same applies to the British moving in large numbers to certain places in France.

We had a window salesman around many years ago and halfway through the conversation he talked about his mums village that had become predominately British. He was quite vocal and angry about the issue and basically said the same things that many British say about large concentration of certain foreign nationalities in the UK. The village had lost its heart, the British only employ British artisans etc etc etc. It works both ways. This is what makes Brexit such a farce.

Where are these villages that you talk about Marc? It is one of your ongoing themes but on your own omission you don’t have any first hand experience of living in or visiting them. At most your criticisms imply that you do not understand the priorities of people who have the freedom to choose to live wherever they like in Europe who choose the attractive villages and welcoming climate of areas like the Dordogne or Gers, the beauty and coastal locations of Brittany, the open spaces and wine of the Bourgogne, the ruggedness of the Alps or even the glamour, heat and the crowds of the Mediterranean coast. Just because these people use different criteria to yourself (whose choice of location is controlled by your wife’s job and possibly family connections) it does not mean that their choices are inferior to or any less individual to your own. I presume that you are trying to be funny and clever but in fact you are constantly insulting other people’s lifestyle choices.

1 Like

I am not criticising I am pointing out. The British complain about immigration in the UK and how certain areas/towns are predominately of a certain nationality. Most notably those from Eastern Europe. Yet the British do the same in France, Spain and many other countries which also causes conflict. People who voted Brexit on immigration (and I bet some British living in France did) are hypocrites.

The classic place in France is Eymet. 40 % British or something. I have read of similar places in Normandy and Bretegne. The example I gave was somewhere in the Charente I think. It has already been pointed out on this thread that there is anti-British talk on FB. Sometimes when you read news stories on local French news websites you scroll down to read the comments and some can be anti British.

You said in the opening thread “As an immigrant living in a foreign country I do hope that French social media sites are not carrying the same level of hatred targeting people like myself”

Brexit is not your problem. Nobody cares about Brexit in France. Ever met anyone who cares ?

Mmm… Mark… you are not quite right… once again a sweeping statement “Nobody cares about Brexit in France.”

Many folk care and yes, many French folk… indeed all sorts of nationalities…they care about the future, what will happen and what it will mean for their English friends…(if not for themselves directly).

The morning after the Brexit vote our Mayor came to check that we were all OK… not leaving us are you… and so many phone calls offering support and comfort.

Last weekend the warmth was again very noticeable…we were away on a Rally with a group of friends. When we went down for breakfast on Sunday morning…their distress was evident… everyone wanted to hear our news about the London attack …and offer their sympathy… is your family OK… etc etc…

Again, later after a super lunch… I was chatting with the Chef… and as soon as he realised I was English… his reaction was spontaneous and heartfelt… oh you poor things in London… such a horrible attack…etc…

I suggest that most ordinary folk do care what is going on in the world…:grinning:

Mark, it was not permanent relocation. It was a resettlement centre that was planned. Some time there to help them into France and then moving somewhere else more permanent.
Some small communes like Trivy need newcomers to keep the school open. We have a good few retirees from Lyon who live here.

I thought it was more permanent.

Ironically, the school ‘Lycée Sainte-Marguerite’ is named after Marguerite-Marie Alacoque who was born in Hautecour and was made a Saint because she saw a vision of Jesus Christ in Verosvres. It would have been quite a fitting place to house the refugees.

Amongst the only two in support of the centre was the longest and eldest person living in the hamlet. Those who have moved to the village over the years from Lyon and elsewhere were against !!!

Marc makes generalisations. I don’t think that he understands that people like you and me, and I presume the majority of expats live here and get on with our lives. It’s not a case of artificial integration it’s just a case of making the most of the life that we have chosen.

1 Like

Mark, I know more than two from Verosvres who support refugees.

Why did you pose the question / start the thread ? Feeling a bit insecure ?

Not at all. I am just shocked by the way that some people that I thought I knew really well are now happy to share their racial hatred and religious intolerance on public platforms without hiding behind an avitar.
At least with you I know that many of your comments aren’t based on fact, experience or reason, as you have admitted you enjoying laying the bait knowing that others will respond to your confrontational manner.

David, you are a tad confrontational yourself to be fair. The difference being, I go for the debate but not the person. I leave you to reflect on what you have written above.