Best wishes and a very Happy New Year to every person of Chinese origin around the world, but especially here in the UK!

It should be said, at this time of general election in the UK, when the question of immigration is causing such a stir in some parts of the media, that many of the arguments about immigration occur when certain immigrant groups draw undue attention to themselves, or are highlighted by the media to create sensationalist headlines.

In my 57+ years in this country, as an Englishman with English ancestry (as far as I know!?) I have never seen or heard any bad news about the Chinese population of our tiny island. I am sure the chinese population must have bad members of its' community who cause or get into trouble, just like any normal community, but it never makes the headline news.

As a child growing up, I saw the gradual increase of the Chinese through the introduction of Chinese Chippy's (fish and chip shops) all around Manchester where I lived. 

Racial Abuse

As a teenager and young adult getting into the social life of pubs and clubs late in the evenings, I would often frequent some of these chippy's and I'm sorry to say, witnessed a lot of racial abuse from drunks towards the chinese people serving the food. I may well have joined in some of the drunken humour from time to time, not really realising, in my drunken state, how insulting and upsetting some of that tasteless humour would have been to those very decent hard working people behind the counter. 

Chinese people kept their cool

Despite all of this, the Chinese people kept their cool. They added their colourful culture to our culture, quietly, patiently and very respectfully. 

Riots - Demonstrations!

I can't recall seeing any news items about the Chinese causing riots because of their treatment and using that as an excuse to raid and destroy shops to get a free television or toaster!   

Anti-Social Behaviour

In fact I can't recall any news items about the Chinese community causing, or joining in with, any anti-social or anti-anything demonstrations? Perhaps there have been some... I'm just not aware of them! 

Respect, Patience and Civility

Maybe I have just been ignoring the news for the last 57+ years... or maybe and more likely, the Chinese community is quietly showing us all how to behave in a civilised way, despite being laughed at or ridiculed by brainless drunks staggering home late at night, the Chinese people I have come into contact with have always shown respect, patience and civility. 

Turbulent Youth

So, speaking as someone who may have behaved in a less civilised manner during my turbulent youth growing up in the streets of Manchester, I would just like to take this special Chinese time of year to apoligise for my own behaviour, but mostly to thank the Chinese population of Great Britain for their kindness, their humour, their integrity, their respectful manner, their patience and civility and not least for some excellent Fish and Chips over many many years!

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous new year! 


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