Saturday, 7 August 2010

Immigration


A question that has been puzzling me a lot recently is that of immigration. The topic was long debated during the run up to the election, and was (arguably) the cause for the increased support for the racist organisations of the British National Party and the English Defence League. Also, Turkey’s recent application for EU membership (and the challenging of this by the French and German governments) means that the question is being discussed all over again. Whenever this issue is being discussed it seems to be taken as read that immigration needs to be stopped to prevent unemployment amongst British citizens, but I’m not sure that that is the case.
First things first I would like to clear up that erroneous, clich├ęd and frankly ridiculous argument that England, or Britain as the case may be, ‘belongs’ to you. For some unfathomable reason people seem to think that in being born in a country gives you possession of it. As the comedian Russell Howard puts it, it’s not as if you chose to be born here: “Mummy, point your fanny towards Dover.” A slightly less vulgar form of this argument is that as a taxpayer you have a claim on Britain.  Firstly, immigrants pay taxes just as much as the next man, and even if they didn’t your taxes don’t go towards purchasing the lump of rock and earth sticking out of the Atlantic that is Britain, nor even towards the private industries which offer many of the jobs to which this question applies, they go towards public services such as the NHS.
However, whilst discussing the question with my friends and colleagues the point was made that it is unfair that British citizens are forced to move away from their hometowns just to find basic employment (or more accurately, employment paying the wages they want). For a while this had me stumped. It seemed a fair point, and for a week or two it had me convinced. Being forced from your hometown causes you great cultural turmoil, and can cause families to break up and all sorts of social problems. But then I realised that this unfair and forced migration from hometowns in search of a decent wage is exactly what drives the immigrants to Britain. Yes it’s unfair and sad that British citizens have to move house to find work, but it is equally sad and unfair that Polish citizens, for example, have to move house to find work. The question we should be asking is not how to provide jobs for British citizens, but how to provide jobs for the citizens of the world. It’s time to leave chauvinistic patriotism, childishness and prejudice behind and think about immigration logically and rationally.
If you have any opinions or ideas upon this matter please share them with me, I would love to hear them. Incidentally the English Defence League are having a demonstration in Bradford soon, in which it is thought that they have the intention of inciting racial hatred and provoking a riot. The anti-fascist internet group Hope Not Hate are running a petition to ask the government to make attempts to stop them, if you would like to add your name please follow this link.
Until next time,


Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine


3 comments:

  1. The BNP didn't actually gain much support. They didn't gain a seat and they lost all of their councillors in Barking despite focusing on that as a sure fire seat.

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  2. Well they didn't do well in the election, but I don't think that detracts massively from the fact that they did gain publicity and support (Nick Griffin going on question time, various newspaper articles and news things like the Sikh member etc etc) to a degree. The Lib Dems did terribly in the election, but there was still a massive hubbub about them...

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  3. Yeah very true good point

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