This evening, I watched the Paddington film, and I absolutely adored it. It shows a stranger, an immigrant, coming here, being welcomed and then accepted for who he is and what he brings to the country. It shows a positive view of immigration that is sorely lacking in the media at the moment.
But what really brought a lump to my throat (and, I’ll admit, a tear to my eye) was what Paddington’s Aunt Lucy says to him just before she puts him on to a boat for London, near the start of the film:
Long ago, people in England sent their children by train with labels around their necks, so they could be taken care of by complete strangers in the countryside where it was safe. They will not have forgotten how to treat strangers.
“They will not have forgotten how to treat strangers.” This is my Britain! This is the Britain that I love; not the Britain of UKIP, brexit and division. I’m glad that a film can still be made that has that positive message of compassion, inclusion and acceptance. Messages like this are sorely needed at the moment and I’m so glad that I finally watched this. Bravo to Paul King and Studio Canal and I sincerely hope that the sequel doesn’t succumb to the zeitgeist of nationalism and insularity currently sweeping the western world.