The Palaver Hut
I understand that, as country after country plunged into economic crisis and austerity measures loomed, politicians began to link multiculturalism and immigration with social regression and all that was tearing not only UK apart, but also Europe.
I understand there have been numerous debates and arguments about fairness, abuse of the British hospitality by foreigners and abuse of asylum. The question on who should have access to benefits in this country is leading to some public breaking point.
I understand that the national mood has changed; and that the vast majority of British people, of all colours, believe that immigration is too high. I also understand that the public is increasingly becoming angry because immigration is not being reduced to a trickle.
I also understand that the blame has not only been on the bankers and global financial crisis, but also on immigration to justify the biggest round of spending cuts since the 1920s, at the time of this current economic crisis.
I understood when German Chancellor Angela Merkel, declared in a speech in Potsdam on 16th October 2010 that multicultural society had “utterly failed”, that the “multikulti” concept – where people would “live side-by-side” happily – did not work.
I also understood when Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme stated in a radio interview on 2nd November 2010, that “the policies of integration have not always had the beneficial effects that were expected of them”.
I understood when the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, during a television interview using a characteristically impatient tone declared that: “We do not want … a society where communities coexist side by side. If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France.”
I also understood when the Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Maxine Verhagen, stressed that the Dutch no longer felt at home in their own country, while immigrants were not entirely happy either, and called on the Dutch to be prouder of their nation.
I understood when the Danish Liberal Party Immigration Minister, Søren Pind said that multiculturalism “should be set in stone.” Pind argued that “Denmark only has room for foreigners that adopt and respect Danish values, norms and traditions; if they don’t, they shouldn’t be here at all.”
I also understand that migrants’ contribution to the UK economy is so vast and undeniable. Yet the British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that Britain had been torn apart by the biggest influx of immigrants in history. He said that “significant numbers of new people, not able to speak the same language, not really wanting to integrate, have created a kind of discomfort and disjointedness in some neighbourhoods”. He added: “This has been the experience for many people in our country – and I believe it is untruthful and unfair not to speak about it and address it.”
Now, let’s talk about fairness because I don’t understand how this fairness is being implemented. What kind of fairness says that a quirk of fate – the location in which you happen to be born should determine your life chances? And what kind of fairness says it’s a fair game to kill other human beings through border controls, in order to keep them out by forcing them into a situation where they may face torture and death by preventing them from coming into the country?
I always wonder why the government is not willing to take immigration from EU Countries seriously. They always talk about reducing immigration from non-EU countries. They’ve opened the door for some EU citizens to come in freely at the time they are seriously considering stopping non-EU migrants from coming here. No offence to the EU citizens as we’re only talking about fairness here.
What I cannot understand is the issue against non-EU migrants coming to the UK. Most economic migrants to the UK make full and worthy contributions to this country’s economy and by restrictions on work visas have ‘no recourse to public funds’. They must be in full time employment to meet the conditions of their visas, pay tax, NI, council tax unfailingly and cannot claim benefit if they lose their jobs, nor claim for any benefits including childcare. They end up paying into the system without taking anything out of it.
The EU citizens have everything including access to benefits, as soon as they step on British soil. But non-EU migrants have to live here for nothing less than between five and 14 years depending on their visas for that privilege. Is this fair?
What I also cannot understand is why the government cannot apply unbiased policy in reducing the number of immigrants allowed here. Clearly, this looks more like scapegoating than anything else I could think of.
I do understand that being an economic migrant is a choice. But let’s not forget that no one likes to be a refugee, it is out of choice!
By Joseph Spencer