Friday, 6 April 2012

Immigrants - In or Out?

What is it about immigration that sends us into a tail spinning frenzy? Why is it that we hate to share our country with others? 
From where I stand, a high majority of British people that I know, are against immigrants. This is because they see them as coming into this country and claiming benefits when they have never worked here. They feel they are using up our free National Health Service without first contributing to it. They feel immigrants are getting their housing needs met instantly, when others have been on a waiting list for accommodation for years. They blame immigrants for taking our jobs when there is already such a high rate of unemployment, especially during this economic downturn. 

I really began to look around me and this is what I saw. 

Yes, there is a high unemployment rate, but when you look at some of the immigrants who are employed, they are the ones doing the low paid jobs that most of us don't want to do. Look at the cleaners, yes, those that clean the public toilets after you have used them. Look at the dustbin men who pick up your litter and clean our streets, sometimes when we are tucked up nicely in bed. Look at the foreign labourers on building sites, the ones who are building our future homes, the homes those immigrants may never be able to afford. Let's not forget the ones who work on the buses, the underground systems and who drive our mini-cabs. Without them, London would be at a stand-still. When was the last time you ordered a take-away? Who delivered it? I honestly cannot recall right now the last time a take-away driver was not foreign. 

Let's take a look at the asian shop-keeper. Everyone loves to complain that there is an asian shop owner on every corner, and they are open all hours of the day and night and they are 'taking over'  Why shouldn't they be, in a sense?
If British people don't want to work all those hard hours for mediocre pay, then don't begrudge the man who does. If British workers don't wish to work 7 days a week with hardly any holidays each year, then don't begrudge those who do. 

There are so many jobs that many people just won't do as it is 'beneath them'. So when a immigrant who is grateful to earn a penny to put food on the table for his family does, why do we make such a fuss?

Immigration is a serious concern without proper border control and laws in place. If we don't want them to claim benefits, then blame the government and parliament, to get the rules changed and not the person who is making a legal claim. We are also at liberty to vote, to lobby parliament and so forth. 

If we don't want them in our country then take some time and think about the following: 

The clothes you are wearing, what country did it come from?
The foods you are eating and the coffee you are drinking, where were they produced? I bet the majority of those lovely strawberries you see at wimbledon tennis tornaments were picked by immigrants!
The gas or electric you are using to keep yourself warm, where did that come from?
I don't believe any country in this world is totally self sufficient. We need each other in order to survive. 

If you are one of those who hates immigrants then be true to yourself and have absolutely nothing to do with them. You'll end up cold, naked, hungry and very lonely indeed. 

Got a beef with immigrants? Then let me have it. You can always post anonymously if concerned. Remember the rules folks. 


  1. Now you did it, Rumpunch!

    Immigration is my way of life! I started working for a big multinational that thought it was nice to send me around the world, I knew some languages and then, they reasoned, it would be easy for me to learn all the other! So when things overflow my life, I left this job and started to be an immigrant in my own right!

    I did so after some years of being a "well to do immigrant" in several parts of the world, included the South East Asia and I learned that you may be an Arabian Sheik in Las Vegas, everybody will try to squeeze as many valuable coins or painted paper, whatever its name, you have but you will always be an immigrant, an outsider, an alien. Just very few countries in the world consider you as being part of their soil.


    Because of the myths? Because reality?

    A bit of each, I guess!

    I am a human being, at least so it seems when you look around me and my deeds, and I have needs and dreams as any other human being. I was pushed into the world citizenry by work circumstances so I am not an instance in the picture you drew.

    The problem is when a person, who often is a family, found they are under the minimal line of survival in their country. That is the moment they start to look around to get a better quality of life, and in those moments "a better quality of life" is anything!

    What are they going to chose as destination, any other country where life is as hard as in their own? Of course not! They will put all their efforts in settling a home where there is a future.

    The best example we have is Turkey and Germany, there was a flood of immigrants from the former toward the latter, even knowing they were meant to receive menial works at the best, or worse! They accepted this condition because in their tragic situation it was a step forward!

    All went fine while this "lower" class stayed lower, but they started to multiply, and the new generations were not Turkish, They were generations of Turkish-German people who wanted to start to climb the social pyramid, so, problems began.

    This is so sad, immigrants are fighters, people who are ready to anything to create a safe and good future for them and their families; locals tends to feel owners or the place and resources of their country; when you makes two groups in this condition face each other, you will encounter disaster!

    And I am writing about decent, honest people. What about those who has no moral, no responsibility. They will become dangerous enemies because they do not stop at any limit.

    Each country is a separated story, I cannot blame people for their beliefs, sometimes it is true, immigration can be a drawback for local economy, especially if it is massive. But most of the time there is space for everybody, that is, if everybody accept that the way to grow is to work.

    Finally we should try to point to the real guilty party of this gala! Economy, the terrible wrong way wealth is distributed around our hapless Earth, and greed, but then again I am not discovering how tasty chocolate is.

    1. Thanks for sharing this untony. Yes, wealth can be a good then and a 'terrible wrong'. That's another story...

  2. There are two ways of viewing a migrant: As a competitor for a finite amount of resources, or as a resource in themselves - a human resource with potential to contribute to the host society.

    The prevailing political climate seems to endorse the latter.

    So 'tolerance' and the 'celebration of diversity' have become the order of the day. To those who don't like it, the answer could well be 'what viable alternative is there?'.
    A- In Europe, the ratio of deaths to births means the population is falling, so new people are needed from somewhere. Whether or not they are 'like us'.
    B- People are going to migrate anyway and there seems to be little that can be done to stop this. We may (at the risk of sounding hegelian) find ourselves fighting against the tide of history.

    In order to make the most of this human resource, integration of new arrivals is key. Vital to this is the accomodation, by the host nation, of difference. The more attempts are made to strip a person of their cultural identity by, for example, limiting their freedom of religion, the more fiercely they will cling to it. That's just human nature. The result is separation into ghettos which impedes progress and the potential of an immigrant group to contribute constructively to society.

    When this process goes well, history teaches us that in the space of a couple of generations, culture tends to prevail over blood.

    But, in the real world, integration presents real challenges. We need to get beyond branding anyone who raises legitimate problems as racist and consider what they are saying.

    What do we as Europeans do with a culture which sends young girls abroad to have their cliteris cut out when they reach puberty? Do we accept this as 'their' culture?
    Or people being forced to marry against their will, or kept in abusive relationships for fear of a stain on the family honour? Do we dignify this concept or declare it as unacceptable?
    What if the standards of hygene of individuals from a developing world village undermine the public health of a city neighbourhood? At what point do a set of standards need to be imposed?
    Is it 'tolerant' to allow a section of the community to declare their area a 'no-go zone' to gays, on pain of assault, on account of their right to practice their religion?

    The decision makers who brand people who are experiencing this first hand as 'racist' don't have to live with these issues and are failing to engage in debate with those who do.

    1. Shiloh
      I totally agree about getting away from using the term 'racist' every time someone raises a question or concern about immigration. We need to thrash out the issues in a respectful way and deal with them accordingly. That way we have progress and move on.
      As I mentioned before (drugs and the law) every country has rules and regulations that we have to abide by. If you happen to live in a democratic society then you may have the opportunity to oppose and make new laws. I know it's not that easy but at least you have the chance to do this. Voting, in my opinion, is a good way to let the leaders know if they are on the right or wrong track. Thanks for the participation.

  3. There are two types of immigrants; The ones who come here after work from civilized countries with high education level and special know-how on different branches. And then there are the ones who come from the developing countries, the countries of low education, low respectance of human rights ( human rights of women especially ) and high in corruption and dictarure, the ones who come here as refugees escaping from war or persecution. Two sides on a coin.

    Certainly it is easy to accept the ones coming here from same type of cultures and having the valuable know-how and expertise in medicine or high tecnology etc. But the other side of the coin causes polemic inevitably.

    Personally I don't have any beef with immigrants who get employed and support themselves (no matter was it in the medicine or dustman) and are respecting the rules of our society, the laws and the human rights of woman also.

    But those ones it is very difficult to respect who totally deny to accept the culture and laws of our country and are not getting employed and come here to live by tax money of people who work, like me...In Finland it is a cruel fact that two of third in property crimes and in rapes are made by foreign backgrounded people.........

    I don't care about person's skin colour or ethnical background, that doesn't matter but ones mentality does.

    1. Hi Amethyst

      My personal view is that the issues you touch on here lie behind a lot of what is branded 'racism'.
      You raise legitimate concerns. Which sadly the politicaly correct mainstream tends to stigmatise, choosing instead to fall back on facile sloganising. The vacum this lack of intelligent debate leaves is fast becoming a ripe field of consensus for the far right who are seen as the only ones prepared to talk about these issues openly and propose their own misguided solutions.

      What is needed is a robust dialogue at all levels of society to reach a shared view of what can be done do to engender the respect for the law, rules of society etc. that you advocate. The role schools, communities, the workplace, policial intiatives etc. need to play in this also needs to be carefully thought out.

      In short, how can disparate people be socialised into becoming citizens, without resorting to coersion which will only prove counterproductive.

      What can be done to create a climate in which the benefits of citizenship are seen to extend beyond merely economic interests?

      This can only happen where there is a shared ethical and cultural richness which attracts hearts and minds as well as wallets.

  4. Amethyst
    You seem to be on a similar track to Shiloh with this. According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper (UK) dated 09 April 2012. "more than 54,000 European Union citizens have been convicted of crimes, including murder, in the past 2 years". I guess that the numbers are higher as not everyone is bought to justice. So, I cannot deny that you made a valid point here.

    I do have one particular beef in regards to Abu Hamza who is currently living off benefits in this country, whilst he spews out hate, inciting violence against us. Thanks for being open and honest here Amethyst. Your comments are appreciated.

  5. I think you are presenting the 'logical' argument of Immigration here. When I say 'logical' I mean the argument of academics and politicians. We are told that they do the jobs that are low paid and that the majority of people will refuse to do but I want to ask the question of what proof do they have of this?

    Britain has a recorded history 1000s of years old and this argument suggests that we never functioned before the 20th Century. The reality is that we cleaned the streets, nursed the sick and delivered the milk long before the boarders opened.

    The truth is not a question of if we will do the work, but how much we will work for! Look back 50/60 years ago, a working class family could live comfortably on one modest wage and now both parents have to work. That is a result of many factors of course but one of them is the fact that wages do not match the cost of living. This is down to the fact that wages are kept low due to massive competition for work, especially for the low skilled positions.

    If you run a KFC then this is great but if your a employee of that franchise then it is not so great. The standard of living for those immigrant KFC employees (for example) are low because their wage is low, but the profit is high for the franchise. With large competition for low paid jobs a employer can afford to offer lower wages, lowering the standard of living across the board.

    My personal view on immigration is that it has been allowed to continue regardless of the effects it has on the host nations because of greed. The people at the top of the pyramid care not for freedom of movement otherwise they would not take it away with the other hand, the people at the top care about lowering the standard of living to all because its profitable.

    1. Thanks Anonymous
      You've turned this on it's head. The rich become richer and the poor poorer. In summary its like playing off one set of poor people against another..

    2. Hi Anonymous

      Your point is valid and expressed well, but it fails to take account of an important factor. Globalisation.

      Britain is no longer a self-sufficient, agriculturally based island nation able to autonomously regulate its own economy, independent of outside factors. Neither, as it was to later become, part of a small elite club of industrialised societies with a virtual monopoly on the technology needed to mass-manufacture cheaply. It is now a small chess-piece on an interconnected global board.

      Britain now has to compete with maturing giants such as China and India who are increasingly making their presence felt. And to do so it has to be competitive. Closed borders are no more viable in this environment than trade protectionism, if we are to compete in a global market.

      Other countries will out-produce and out-price us, and the transnational corporations who hold the purse-strings in this brave new world will jump ship and leave us isolated, bankrupt and irrelevant.

      Then it will be the British packing their suitcases to seek work in Albania, Sri-Lanka, Ukraine...

    3. The Globalisation argument is valid but in my view puts the cart before the horse. The reason why we are no longer self-sufficient is because of Globalisation and not a result of it. Im not ignorant to the fact that times have changed, but at the same time they have changed because we made them change. If we look at the EU for example they inforce globalisation and freedom of movement so we can't possible be self-sufficient.

      You just have to ask the question 'how is Globalisation working out for the world right now'.

      Im all for being competitive, but we used to manufacture goods that stood for quality, the world used to come to us for quality products. Now if I want to buy a apple they are imported, a t-shirt from China and a Chicken from a science lab. Thats why we have record high unemployment, because we don't manufacture anything. Because of Globalisation. And the work we do have in the UK does not match the cost of living, due to the limited number of jobs created against the growing population due to immigration.

      Its great if your a megacorp!

    4. How's globalisation working for the world? A trenchant question... but one for another discussion. One in which both our opinions would most likely preponderate towards the pessimistic.

      But if you're implying that we, or the leader of any single nation state, can have some sort of say in whether or not to engage with the process of globalisation, I think you're mistaken. Globalisation is the inevitable result of advances in transport and information technology and the fact that we humans have just one planet to share between us all.

      We have about as much control over this as we do a tsunami. But we do learn from Machiavelli that, though you can't stop a flood, its impact can be mitigated by dams and levees.

      So if instead you're disputing the way in which the policy of engagement with globalisation has unfolded, then your point gains purchase.

      I agree that, yes, whether our leaders admit to it or not, England has abandoned manufacture. But perhaps it was a case of jumping that ship before it sank anyway. Perhaps it was unviable to try to compete against countries with a massive population willing to work long hours in inhuman conditions for starvation wages. Wasn't the choice to position ourselves on the global market as the European base for global banking, finance, creative media etc. potentially the only realistic option?

      Admittedly, as a result Britain has become interdependent with a global economic symbiosis over which we have not control, and England itself has been reduced to being little more than an appendage of London. But history has passed the roles of imperial power, ruler of the waves and workshop of the world into other hands now… and beggars can’t be choosers.

      Apologies to RPD for taking this a bit off track - and for my bleakness!

    5. Oi Shiloh!
      What a lot of long words just to say we've got no choice!
      Only joking, good debate guys!

  6. Luckily in Finland there are no such figures like him yet, but it is visible that also here are immigrants who despise our culture and country even they're living by our money and hospitality. Also the criminal statistics of immigrants speak their own brutal languange.

    They're biting the feeding hand deliberately and not respecting it at all even it may have saved their life and is maintaining it currently. That is something I cannot understand or accept and I think no one does. But still it is politically allowed to happen since someone who has the courage to interfere with this issue is often stigmatised as a 'racist'.

    Soon enough this issue will get more broblematic and ugly if it is not getting acknowledged, when the amount of immigrants increases.

    Luckily there are lots of proper good people coming but also there are the 'poisonous' ones with perverted values and motives.

    When in Rome you shoud do as the Romans do I think. And even if you are an original folk of the State you're living in and violate your country's law and ethical values visibly, you get punished!

    So why is it so inflammable to interfere with the issue of crimes made by people who even are not original folks of the country, have come here elsewhere to stay alive, to escape from unfavourable conditions and now live in a "paradise" where their living is paid by others, the ones who they disrespect and violate and still seemingly are justified to act as they want ?

    1. Amethyst
      That's always been an issue here, when immigrants do not always integrate with existing communities, for various reasons such as language barriers, culture etc...but our country is also part to blame.

      I have raised this issue many times as I have been vocal in my London community and have objected to things like local newspapers/information sheets, various documents and signs being printed in different languages.

      This is only because I feel that the same money could be spent in helping people to speak English and hopefully mix, rather than accommodating them, and then accusing the same people of not be part of our society. Thanks for your comments.

  7. We have the same issues here in America, and it has really come to the forefront since this is an election year. We do have a lot if illegal immigrants in the coastal state where I live, but as you said, a lot of these people are willing to work longer, later hours and for much less pay. If more Americans were willing to do so, maybe immigration wouldn't be such a problem.

    1. Menopausal mama
      This where we all need to be careful, because election time is when polititians comes out of the woodwork to tell us how they will make great changes, and promise us the earth, then after election, nought.
      Thanks for your input.

  8. And, like we've seen in Britain, you also get immigrants who don't work, kill children and preach hate about the same country they're in.
    There are those who want a better life and come looking for it, and that's fine! But when they start poisoning the country, trying to get the stoning of women legal and such, there should be no argument. They go.

    1. Jade,
      Just heard on the news today that Abul Hamza will be extradited to USA. I hope the American Judicial system provides him with a fair trial so that justice will be served and the truth be known.
      I won't relax until he has be removed of course,but saying that, there will always be others in his place.

  9. If we can provide justice and freedom allover the world, there'll b no need for migration for any1

    1. Sounds good but what do we do in the meantime?
      Thanks InnocentDevil.

  10. I don't have anything else to add, other than:
    A VERY WELL chosen article Rum-Punch, and very, VERY smart comments on the piece!!!

    Definitely facebook and twitter material too!!...

  11. I truly appreciate your comment Ziva. I'm gonna do my best to keep this up, but thanks for the much needed encouragement.


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