Illegal Immigration and a wholly pointless charming video

In the nineteen seventies in England, after school, television programmes aimed at children used to play for around one and three quarter hours. In weekdays, that was the ration for the young.

Children in those days were expected not to be sitting around staring at the screen for much longer than that. They were meant to be out playing, hiding up trees from the corrupt wing of the metropolitan police anti-terrorist special branch or digging up the back garden looking for the Yorkshire ripper's latest victim or somesuch healthy activity, before coming in for sausages made out of rizlas, smash and chemical beans. Then they would practice Latin or woodwork, depending on their eleven plus exam, obviously. Or both if they went to a comprehensive.

I found this charming video extract of one of the regular characters who would appear for five minutes, just before the news, on youtube. It is all about an illegal immigrant bear, who comes 'from darkest Peru'.

He meets with a middle-class English family, who take pity on his visa-free existence and rescue him, despite the fact that he soon ends up covered in some white material and eating all the buns before falling asleep on the table. Still, their daughter liked him.

The film is sweet, and brought back some memories for me. It is very tempting to make some off-colour political observations or to use it as an excuse to have a go at some political muppet, but actually, I thought that I would leave you to start your Monday on a quiet silly note by making up your own modern Paddington story.

Please don't let it involve an immigrant camp, getting shot on the underground, or go on about how every single working class character in the Paddington stories tries to rip him off whilst resenting his presence. These stories, from a time in which Britain's self image, if not its reality, was of a decent, tolerant country, probably just deserve to be taken as they were.


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