by Jack Tomlin
Britain? Nice? No no, definitely not. Such a horrible place, it’s cold, there are very few jobs, and what jobs there are, are terribly paid, terrible indeed. Please don’t come to stay.
And so it was, that last week, a handful of Britain’s ministers took to damning Britain’s green and rolling pastures in efforts to discourage the sure-to-be mass influx of those pesky, benefit stealing, pick-pocketing Eastern Europeans. Not the Polish this time, but the Romanians and Bulgarians, sorry, Roms and Gypsies.
In 2014 all the limits restricting the citizens of the newly acceded EU states of Romania and Bulgaria, will be lifted, leaving all those able and willing, to immigrate to Britain and seek a different lifestyle to that back home. It is the concern of more right-wing politicians that this will undoubtedly result in an onslaught of benefit swindlers who believe, in the words of one minister, that “the streets here are paved with gold”.
Should any stock be put in these concerns? Or are any issues present being unscrupulously milked and exaggerated?
Its basic economics that when there is a finite population that sees a vast, immediate increase it will not be in proportion to the job market, with residual residents claiming aid from the state. But this isn’t the real concern here.
Here, it’s politically fuelled.
Last year, Britain was on centre stage, presenting itself to the world as the happening place, able to safely organize the planet’s largest sporting event and unite the globe harmoniously. Britain was culturally and socially to be envied. The latest pamphlets given to arriving immigrants touts Britain as a “fantastic place to live: a modern, thriving society…”.
Doesn’t quiet seem to fit, does it?
Let’s back things up somewhat. The sun never set on the British Empire, Britons set off abroad and foreign nationals ventured alongside them for the return leg. It was international on a scale unparalleled by other countries. Its not a surprising consequence that Quman Akli, a Somalian national who fled to the Netherlands before settling in Britain, when recently interviewed by the Guardian newspaper, would say that “the UK is more open than other European Countries”.
Such a line of thought as posited last week is not reflective of all British politics. Labour MP Keith Vaz stated that such notions regarding the influx of Romanian or Bulgarian nationals and any advertising campaigns arising from it are “bordering on the farcical”.
Yet for some reason, sad notions of discrimination linger, on the more conservative tongue, wailing, flicking spittle unconcernedly, bandying dismissive welfare state slogans and bragging about individual autonomy. In 2007, eurostar released an advertising campaign featuring a tattooed skinhead pissing into a teacup.
What harm has immigration done to Britain, I mean really done? Perhaps some super wealthy pocketed a little less and perhaps some jobs that would have been given to a British citizen went to a foreign national. But in 99% of those cases, I bet the new employee was willing to work harder, willing to bring more to the workplace with a broader perspective on the world to boot.
As we are, in the state we find ourselves in, the planet being as it is, why don’t we few, we lucky few, sit up and realize globalization and immigration is an unbuckable trend, consistent for decades, for hundreds of years. An unbuckable trend I’d rather witness next to my Bulgarian friend.
I really do have a Bulgarian friend. He’s called Ivan.
Photo courtesy of the Guardian