One thing is quite clear – we have had too much immigration too quickly. It has caused major problems for the country, led to resentment of the indigenous population and fed into the whole Brexit vote.
Due to economic, social and conflict issues the world has suffered from unprecedented mass migrations.
What is causing this?
- A number of the Third World Countries, particularly in Africa, Indonesia and the Middle East, are experiencing huge population increases. This has resulted in large numbers of young people who are unemployed and have no future.
- A number of countries – Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, Myanmar – are beset with war and have displaced populations.
- There is tribal and religious persecution and radicalisation.
Desperate people look for places to flee that have promise of security and prospects for themselves and their family. The West and America look promising. These poor people will do anything to get here. They are prepared to take massive risks.
In Britain we have had unprecedented immigration due to:
- Refugees fleeing war from the Middle East
- Economic refugees looking for work and a future, largely from the Middle East and Africa
- Migrant workers from Eastern Europe who now have access to Western Europe due to freedom of travel in the EU.
This has caused some huge problems for us:
- Housing millions of new immigrants and their families
- The infrastructure to accommodate more people – roads, shops, facilities
- School places
- Health provision
- Various benefits – unemployment/housing/maintenance
- Fear of terrorism, criminals and radicalisation
- Fear that our culture will be swamped by mass immigration – particularly Islam
- A rise in fertility rates
Many people resent that these people have not contributed to our system but still have access to our systems and institutions.
But immigration is not just a mass of problems.
The benefits brought by these immigrants:
- We are an ageing population and do not have the workforce to cover many of the positions we need to fill.
- We require unskilled work in many industries – The NHS, social care, agriculture, nursing homes, factories, restaurants, hotels, cleaning staff
- We require skilled staff to fill our skill gaps – Doctors, consultants, surgeons, nurses, teachers, psychologists, counsellors, businesses, engineering, pharmaceutical,
- They contribute through their taxes
- They stimulate the economy
The Demonization of Immigrants
The media have played up the detrimental effects and created hysteria. Every time there is a violent incident or crime committed by an immigrant it is highlighted. Terrorism is blown out of proportion. Muslims, due to their costume and mosques, are seen as high-profile and the threat to British life is blown out of proportion. People are told that there are NO GO areas and enclaves of racist, violent immigrants who attack, rape and threaten. There is a perception that these people do not wish to speak the language, learn the customs or integrate; they wish to take over. People are made to view Islam as intolerant and sharia law as un-British. We are told that our values of tolerance, freedom and justice are being undermined. There is a feeling that British people are being displaced.
There are undoubtedly a minority of immigrants who are radical fundamentalists. There are some who want a free ride. There are some who are criminal and violent. There are some who are intolerant and want to impose their ways on us. There always are people like that in any community.
It is also true that recent wars against Muslim countries have created radicalisation.
There are places in Britain where large numbers of ethnic minorities have grouped together transforming the normal culture of that area – such as Bradford, with its large Asian population and Boston with its large Eastern European population (agricultural workers).
But my contention is that the majority of immigrants are hard-working, looking to get on and willing to integrate.
I hear many people up in arms, shouting and raving. I hear racism, xenophobia, fear and hatred. But what is it that these ravers actually want? Do they want all these minority to groups to be kicked out? Do they want to frighten them away?
Well that has never worked has it? When immigrants feel threatened they tend to gather together in tight-knit groups and defend themselves. They don’t go away. Right from the fifties with its openly racist policies, through the Paki-bashing of the 60s, 70s and 80s and the black baiting of the eighties. All that was achieved was hostility and segregation.
In the time since the Brixton riots much has been achieved in Britain in creating a fairer pluralistic, multicultural society. Racism has declined. Brexit has created a blip, but I look forward to that positive trend going forward.
What we need to do is:
- To control our immigration (ideally I would like to see that happen with Europe who is suffering the same problems of mass immigration)
- To start to solve the problems leading to mass migration at source – end the wars, repatriate the people, reduce the population increases, provide better economic futures, counter religious fundamentalism, eradicate terrorism, counter the climate change that is creating food shortages, educate the populations, reduce the gross inequalities that are fuelling discontent.
- To sign up to the EU directives that enable us to send the unemployed back to their own countries.
- To enforce the law of the land without regard to race, culture or religion. Lock up criminals and police places of possible radicalisation. Fear of being accused of being racist should not be a barrier against taking action as it was with the many cases of Asians grooming young girls.
- To do away with all systems that cause segregation (such as religious schools) and promote integration.
- To prevent racism, prejudice or any barriers against minority groups that stops them from gaining a position and having a vested interest in society.
- To root out terrorism, fundamentalism and un-British activity.
- To deport or lock up the purveyors of hate.
- To come down hard on all hate crime so that minority groups do not feel threatened and can integrate better.
- To promote multiculturalism so that all minorities feel valued.
- To promote the British values of tolerance, freedom, justice and democracy as an overarching umbrella.
We need immigration. Without immigrants many of our institutions simply cannot function. We need the doctors, nurses, care-home workers and agricultural workers because we simply do not have the people to do the jobs. We need both skilled and unskilled workers. They are good for the economy and good for our society.
What hasn’t been good is too much immigration too quickly!!
Has the knee-jerk of Brexit ended up throwing the baby out with the bathwater?