Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Immigration and the BNP

They love to cause controversy but rather than let them set the agenda its more interesting to look at what is giving the BNP their minor successes. They preach that immigration is causing the downfall of this country, when they say immigrants go home when would they draw the line? Everyone in this country is descended from immigrants as it was covered by ice sheets thousands of years ago, so we would all have to leave, but where on Earth would we go?

Now for a brief and not very accurate history of this countries immigration. Large numbers of Saxons came from Germany/Denmark and pushed the Celts towards Wales and Cornwall. Some Vikings settled in the North, fought the Saxons to rule the country, lost to Alfred but many stayed. Normans came in the 11th century, changed the language to French, but a few generations later English emerged as a hybrid of many different languages, its still evolving today. Many later waves of immigrant’s including French Huguenots, Jews, West Indians and those from the Indian Subcontinent.

The right wing press love stories of immigrants on benefits but don’t believe all that you read, many are indeed hard working people looking after their families. Many are legal immigrants who mostly want to make some money and then depart. Some are illegal seeking shelter from oppressive regimes, we’ve often aided those regimes in the past so should feel an element of guilt.

I’m involved in construction in the South and there is a skills shortage here. Poles and other Eastern Europeans are being employed in large numbers, but most companies would prefer British or Irish as they speak English, many Poles don’t and its not safe for them.

Some support for the BNP is indeed a reaction to the press headlines on immigration, the home office incompetence doesn’t help. A vote for them is a protest against the three big parties whose policies have become very close indeed, Respect has gained votes in this way too. But none of those parties are looking at the most important issues seriously, just playing the same game as Tony Blair, pretend to be interested then do nothing. The attention span of most politicians is only 4 or 5 years as that’s the term of office, to think beyond that wont help in their next election so leave that problem till next time. The Green Party are looking at the real issues, what to do about a changing world. Immigration from climate change will get worse as the effects from more extreme weather become larger, already some pacific islands are being evacuated.

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