One of the things that I have noticed over the past few years, especially since the start of the credit crunch in 2007 is the alarming rise in (for want of a better phrase) "nationalism". In Britain I have seen that political parties are more and more playing the "British" card when trying to obtain votes in local or national elections. Is this subconscious racism? Are we being manipulated at all?
Social networks seem to be the breeding ground for the kind of invective I absolutely abhor. I'll give you an example. I was on Facebook the other night skimming through the timeline, liking friends pictures and commenting on extended mickey takes on friends walls when I happened upon a picture post from a friend of mine that I used to go to school with. Now the beauty of Facebook is that you can make friends again with people you haven't seen for years and never have too see them. That would of course would be too awkward and would involve face to face talking and everything. Surely all social interaction happens on Facebook and Twitter yes? Sadly, it's becoming more and more the case. Anyway I digress. Now the picture post that shocked me so much from my old friend from school was from the BNP. Some utter tosh along the lines of immigrants are taking all our jobs and living off the state. They are receiving all the benefits that good honest taxpayers are paying for. British jobs for British people... It was puerile, reactionary and made me sad. Another thing that shocked me about this person was that the school we attended is arguably the most diverse school in South Wales. Children from all manner of nations went there and I made many friends from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds. I'm amazed that someone that spent five years in this environment can have a viewpoint like this.
Those of you that aren't in the know, the British National Party are for all intents and purposes the public face of the National Front. The face of the extreme white right of Britain. Anyone who identifies themselves with the BNP or the NF or the English Defence League require a massive re-brief in my opinion. If you want to read the very sordid story of the BNP take a look at the Wikipedia article here. It's quite frankly terrifying that people like this are allowed to lobby and win seats in local and national elections. Those of you that know me well, know that I am the grandson of an Italian immigrant and issues of race, creed and colour don't wash with me.
Let me give you some statistics on the real effects of immigration in Britain. These facts are from a study published in 2012 by The Centre for Economic Performance, called Immigration and The UK Labour Market: The latest evidence from economic research.
1. Immigration to the UK has been rising since 1995. Immigrant flows have been falling since 2006, but because the immigrants have been staying longer, the stock of immigrants has continued to rise.
2. Immigration has fallen in each of the last three recessions, but these falls have been successively declining.
3. On average, immigrants are younger and better educated than their UK-born counterparts. The most recent immigrants are better educated still. Around 10% are in full time education. Immigrants are over-represented in the very high skilled and very low skilled occupations.
4. Immigrants are arriving from many more countries than in the past. Poland, India and China are currently the countries that contribute the biggest proportion of new arrivals.
5. Immigrants, on average, are less likely to be in social housing than people born in the UK, even when the immigrant is from a developing country. Only immigrants who became UK citizens are neither more nor less likely to be in social housing than UK-born individuals.
6. There are potential economic benefits associated with migration, especially to fill gaps in the UK labour market – where there are shortages of workers, whether high- or low-skilled. While there may be costs to particular groups, there is little evidence of an overall negative impact on jobs or wages.
So, are the immigrants taking all our jobs? It seems not. Do they get preferential treatment for social housing? No. Are they better qualified to do the jobs that they actually get? Yes.
I'll leave you with a few personal thoughts. While we are constantly told by a right leaning media that a migrant workforce is a problem and a drain on our resources and economy, it appears that actually, migrant workers don't really affect things as much as we are told. Interesting. Could it be that the the vast majority of media outlets that feed us information are controlled by rich, racist white men? I'm willing to put money on yes.
Did you know about the above report? I certainly didn't. The internet is your friend in instances like these. Ten minutes of searching can get you a lot of information you don't get told. Make your own decisions, but whatever you do don't follow the herd. We aren't lemmings. We are people with brains and deductive reasoning. Everyone can get along. There is enough money, food, jobs and homes for everyone to live quite well. It is your moral responsibility as a person to question and challenge authority whenever you feel that things aren't right or the information you have been given is wrong or incorrect.
Rocco's Random Number is 1531 which takes you to Write. Edit. Share. Repeat. which looks quite informative. Wander on over and take a look.