Tuesday, 19 April 2011

cameron on immigration

david cameron has been making a lot of noise about immigration of late. in that it's all bad, of course, and the narrative is the usual stuff we hear from the right: that immigrants are parasites who are a drain on the nation and suck all the nation's resources or steal all "our" jobs while giving nothing back in return.

of course, he doesn't attack all immigrants, just the non-integrating kind who won't learn english. nice coded language, with the dog-whistling very thinly disguised. it seems mr cameron is following the john howard policy of out-pauline-hansening pauline hansen. in mr cameron's case, it's the BNP he's emulating, knowing that attacking a particular class of people will guarantee votes.

but it's more than that. mr cameron is using underlying racism and hatred as a cover for massive cuts in welfare. he's trying to soften the electorate for cuts by linking it to hatred of certain types of immigrants. UK wouldn't need these immigrants, if only the welfare system wasn't so generous. locals would be forced to do the work currently done by immigrants. more than that, people are apparently immigrating to UK because the welfare system is so good, therefore it should be made less good in order to remove that incentive.

as always, missing from the right-wing narrative is the real benefits that migrants bring to the country. given the way immigrations laws are in most countries, immigrants will be highly educated, but more than that, highly motivated to succeed. i doubt they migrate to end up on welfare. listening to the stories of migrants, and i've heard many, they have dreams of success for themselves and their children and a drive to achieve that success.

also missing is the realisation that these cuts to welfare translates into misery and hunger for a large number of people. people who have often landed up in that situation because of failed economic policies, because of the fraud and gambling of the finance sector, and because of the global recession which resulted. they are being asked to pay the price for the failure of others, and immigrants are to take the blame.


Deborah said...

Fantastic post, anjum. Cross post it on THM?

stargazer said...

thanx deborah. ok, i'll do it tonight when i have a bit more time to monitor the comments :)

Deborah said...

I'll hang around to keep an eye on the comments too.

stargazer said...

thanx heaps.