There was one thing that people seemed to think was absent from a lot of the past few months of campaigning, and some peoples reactions to this story made me think about it again. Immigration, the great minefield of politics and everyday life.
Just to be clear, the story above has been blown massively out of proportion, they asked (note not ordered) some landlords in areas where there had been trouble after World Cup matches to think about how they were decorating. They didn't do it because it offended anyone and they weren't taking any down. Also, before I get started, here's some ground rules because people always seem to say the same things to me:
- First person to say or even think 'I'm not racist but...' loses all rights to read this.
- Anyone thinking that the above point isn't relevant because racism doesn't influence opinions on immigration, hang around and I'll show you why you're wrong.
- Anyone thinking that I'm just being 'politically correct' in what I say, you're welcome to leave.
- If I disagree with you, it doesn't mean I'm naive.
So, back to immigration.
We're supposed to be in a progressive, modern country but in so many ways we cling to the backwaters of olden times when it was acceptable to treat people based on how they look. You only have to look at the BNP to see the face of racism still alive and kicking in the UK (Yes, that picture is Griffin at a NF rally, they're like the BNP on speed).
If you ever get the pleasure of meeting or talking to people like this they seem to be universally ignorant of so much, its not that they're all necessarily as evil as the BNP, they've just been given the wrong facts. So lets clear a few things up.
Everyone's the same and everyone's different. That makes no sense does it, what I mean is we're all human, we all deserve the same rights, but at the same time everyone is an individual. So when you say that Polish people are more hard-working or some other group sponges off the state or that another tries to force their beliefs on you, it means nothing. There will be people of every group who are hard-working, and others in the same group who might try and get as much as they can in hand-outs, you can't just label a whole bunch of very different people in the same way just because you think they look the same, it's plain ridiculous. Let everyone prove their own merits, don't take the easy route of labelling them before they get their shot.
'Send them all home.' I should probably have included this in the ground rules because it pisses me right off. Often the people that are being told to 'go home' were born in Britain, home is 10 minutes down the road you ignorant buffoon. And before anyone launches into pathetic spiel about them not being native British or god-forbid 'indiginous British' you should probably know that there isn't a single person on this planet who is 'indiginous British'. At some point or other in your ancestry every single person reading this will have a relative who emigrated to another country, even the Queen has German roots! The name only changed to Windsor because they were worried having a name from the German Saxe-Coburg family wouldn't be the best idea during WW1.
As a country we've done some great things in making equality an important issue but we haven't gone nearly far enough. The new parliament is a shining example of how under-represented some groups are, women who would probably feel pretty equal these days, only make up 22% of MP's and only 4% are black or ethnic minority. That really is shocking under-representation.
But why is all this related to immigration? Because invariably when someone says immigration is out of control and you ask why, they'll reply either that all the jobs have been taken, that they're becoming a minority in their own country, that the immigrants are getting all the jobs and houses or that they're being treated worse because people are too politically correct and stand up for the rights of immigrants more than they do other citizens.
I hope I've shown why each of these just isn't a valid reason and that we still have a lot more to do. Now isn't the time to shut up shop and rediscover the backwards island-nation state of mind that we fought so hard to get rid of. We need the best of the best to help our country become the best it can be, regardless of colour, race, sex and religion. We should never loosen our grip on morality.
P.s. The last picture obviously isn't from the UK, but it's brilliant nonetheless.