Horatio Clare’s timely article “On Dover Beach” (Life & Art, FT Weekend, January 22) brilliantly highlighted the differing views of many of us living on the Kent coast. But, worryingly, as the author points out, “free speech suffocates”. A sad situation, when this tide of humanity still deserves compassion, regardless of one’s political point of view.
But, reassuringly, he also found that ordinary people make an extraordinary effort to “do their part”. There is also a large amount of support. People in Folkestone are collecting warm clothes for migrants housed in Napier barracks, and I have just received a wedding invitation in which a local couple is requesting donations to Kent Refugee Action Network instead of gifts.
The headline reminded me of Matthew Arnold’s poem “Dover Beach” with its “murky ebb and flow of human misery”. It resonates today.
Sandgate, Kent, United Kingdom