As the dust slowly settles on my Twitter ban, I am thinking about all the places I am or was not persona grata over the past 71 years. There are quite few. I am shocked.
1. The American Embassy 1966 : I only found out about this in retrospect. It came about as a result of an anti-Vietnam War demo a few of us organised on Welwyn Garden City Campus (that hotbed of revolution and radicalism). We were all banned for 10 years from entering the US. 'Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland' (Paul Simon.)
2. O Level Geography Class : Quote from Miss Walker: "I'm not having you in my class, you're disruptive." I have NO IDEA what she meant, other than I did get sent out of her class a couple of times, and used to hang from the window frame above the door, wiggling my fingers. She clearly didn't appreciate this impromptu gesture. But this is why, dear reader, I am unable to read a map without turning it round the way I am going, and I lose my car in multi-story carparks. All attributable to Miss Walker.
3. My family: It's what happens to Jews who 'marry out', especially if they didn't get on with their parents to begin with. This momentous event happened when I was 26. Apparently a rabbi was brought in, at the instigation of my Orthodox brother, and prayers were said over the dead. As in me. Their loss ~ my 'ex-parents' never got to meet my wonderful daughter.
4. Bits of the Parliamentary Estate: Post Brexit, the Met Police don't like us standing too close to the House of Commons etc. Or shouting. Whilst not technically a 'ban', I have been told off for chalking on the pavement outside the Cabinet Office too.
5. Harpenden Parents' Network Facebook Page: for daring to criticise posts by my Tory MP. Many of these 'local' pages are run by party loyalists, I gather. Luckily, St Albans still hosts me, so when we had a flood recently, I was able to access help.
6. Twitter: the latest ban. For being rude and hateful to a certain Home Sekertry. Come and say Hi to me on my new Instagram https://www.instagram.com/caroljhedges/ (or should that be Instagran?). I may be working my way back to Twitter, as I miss people, but it will be in another guise ...
7. The UK: Not happened yet ~ but if the Nationality and Borders Bill passes into law with Clause 9 re-inserted, the aforementioned Home Sekertry can take my citizenship away, without telling me or giving me the right of appeal. This is because 1: My parents came here as Jewish refugees, and like Windrush people, were naturalised, so not 'properly' British. 2. As a Jew, I could claim citizenship in Israel.
So there you are. Or in my case, there I'm not. It's pretty disgraceful and I am prepared to bet you can't equal it. Not that you'd want to, would you?