Immigration is back in the news again well what with the general election announced here in the UK. In Saturday’s edition of BBC Radio 4’s Any Answers several people called in to give their views on the matter and Monday’s Woman’s Hour looked at the issue of what is home.
The topic of immigration tends to evoke certain emotions amongst people , some do not want to discuss it all because for fear of being branded racists, some put forward reasoned arguments for and against immigration whilst others persistently call for immigrants to go home, “they are taking our jobs” is another cry that we hear so often.
They were two points raised in both programmes that caught my attention
- Immigrants are not welcome here- WOMAN’S HOUR
- if the unfairness that exists in the world such as better trade agreements were resolved there would be no need for people to come to the UK as economic immigrants.
I will discuss point one here and point two in tomorrow’s blog
Zrinka Bola one of the guests on yesterday’s Woman’s hour made an interesting observation ” the UK is not unique in it’s attitudes towards immigrants and wherever you go you will find similar attitudes, immigrants are never welcomed”
This got me thinking about some examples of what she was talking about, remember the riots in South Africa in which several Zimbabweans died? Everyone in South African knew how bad the situation was for folk in Zimbabwe, but some in South African could not find in themselves to welcome them with open hands
I was further reminded of a conversation I once had with a shop assistant in Kampala in Uganda. I had to have a traditional dress made at short notice so I could go to an engagement ceremony and whilst I waited, the sales assistant, asked me when and where the ceremony was and I told her in two days.
Why then are you sourcing your dress this late in the day?
I don’t live here and I didn’t know about the event until a few days ago, I replied
You sound like you live in England is that right, Yes it is I replied
I really feel sorry for the natives of the UK, she said
I asked why
Oh, the whole world wants to go and live in the UK, they can’t have that much land to accommodate everyone, she continued
She then went on to say,
take Uganda (UG) for instance, in the recent years we have had all sorts of people turn up here, Somalis, Sudanese, Nigerians, Rwandese, Congo and Burundi and then more came following the troubles in Kenya. What are we going to do about all those people, they are never going home now are they? If we don’t like, I can’t imagine how the people in the UK feel about all sorts of people trying to get into their country.
I am very chatty but must confess to being lost for words at this.
Another BBC Radio 4 programme gives an interesting insight about the Brits abroad and especially looks at what happened after Hong Kong was handed back to the Chinese. The presenter at some point asks whether the Brits are bad at being immigrants!
The questions is what should an immigrant at the receiving end of violence and or hatred do?
In tomorrow’s thread I will explore the extent to which second point (if the unfairness that exists in the world such as better trade agreements were resolved there would be no need for people to come to the UK as economic immigrants) might be true or not
In the mean time if you have a point of view please share it