"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Sunday 23 June 2013


“My parents are living in the most appalling conditions, when I could easily provide them with a better life, living with me....”

Ethan is a British citizen living in the constituency of Redbridge. He has lived in the UK for over 10 years, never having claimed any benefits. His brother incidentally is also a British citizen. He does however have two loving, if elderly and frail parents in Guyana. His only other sibling is a sister who lives in the USA but does not have the means to support their parents.

His parents are wholly, including financially, dependent on their two sons – sons they worked hard all their life in the hope of their having a better life than their own. Unfortunately, his parents also suffer from ill-health. Ethan’s dad is diabetic, and his mum has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and high cholesterol. She recently suffered a stroke, luckily a mild one.

Ethan is saddened that due to work and financial commitments, neither he, nor his brother can spend long periods away from the UK. And so he is being deprived from spending valuable time with his parents, who he is otherwise able to fully support in the UK from his own income..he does not need to claim benefits for himself, nor will he need to with them here.

His parents are not alone in Guyana. They are living with Ethan’s aunt in a one-bedroom property. While his aunt is nice, she isn’t able to provide the care for his parents the way he could, would and should. Third party care in Guyana is extremely expensive and anything affordable would deem that without immediate family that is able to keep an eye on things, they won't be treated well. (Often enough we hear of our elderly in homes being mistreated..imagine that a long flight away!)

How can you justify to your parents, let alone yourself, why when you are able to look after them in the UK, have them living with you while they still have time, you fob the responsibility for their wellbeing to someone else. It’s not just about sending money overseas. It’s about being able to sit and talk about your day. Have a laugh together. Hold their hand. Smaller things make the bigger differences.

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