Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time to end the hysteria about "them immigrants" and deal with the reality

Much is being made in the media of a Mrs Duffy's hurt feelings over Gordon Brown saying she was a bigot after she complained about 'the immigrants'.

It looks a lot like the Blairites have set Brown up here, but apart from that what about the feelings (not to mention the lives) of "the immigrants", many of them genuine refugees fleeing torture or death or people who lived in dire poverty and came here to work hard and earn a living?

I doubt they’ll feel good that people in Britain frequently talk about being sick of all immigrants.

If anyone thinks that prejudice against all immigrants and refugees is any better than prejudice against all black or Asian people, or all people of a particular religion they’re wrong.

In the 1920s and 1930s unthinking hatred of Jews was considered normal and rational. Refugees and migrant workers are the Jews of today. Unthinking hatred of them is considered acceptable by too many people.

Mrs Duffy has a point on free immigration from Eastern Europe to the UK, but then there are also a million British immigrant workers in other EU countries; and Poles come here partly because they have a surplus of skilled trades-people - plumbers, carpenters, joiners and electricians - and we have a shortage of them as our government hasn't made companies and tradespeople take on apprentices.

I'm not opposed to a referendum on whether to leave the EU either. I'd vote to stay in, but would accept whatever the majority decided.

I disagree with many of the things Gordon Brown has done and said, on PFIs and PPPs, rail privatisation, Iraq, unfair taxes, Afghanistan and many other issues, not least sending genuine refugees back to torture or death to pander to unthinking hatred of ‘immigrants’. On this he was right though. Mrs Duffy’s comment was unthinking prejudice, probably based on ignorance and endless rants containing completely made up “facts” from the Daily Mail, the Sun, the News of the World and too many politicians of both the main parties who have fed the hysteria about immigrants which has boosted the pathetic BNP.

It’s time to end this hysteria and deal with reality. Other than within the EU, Britain already has one of the harshest immigration policies in the world. Immigration is caused by mass poverty and mass hunger caused by ‘free’ rather than fair trade, by natural disasters, by dictatorships (often backed by our own governments) and by wars.

Scotland, with a low birth rate and ageing population, would not have enough people of working age to pay the pensions of its pensioners if it wasn’t for immigration.

Most refugees and migrant workers don’t live on benefits either – they work. People applying for refugee status (asylum seekers) aren't allowed to work while waiting for their claim to be heard, are deported if it's rejected and mostly work if it isn't. While waiting for their claim to be heard they get much lower benefits than unemployed British citizens do.

For some of the sources on these facts and more details see and Thirteen Myths about Asylum Seekers

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