The Men of Kent are suspect
October 16, 2007 11:45 PM   Subscribe

Two recent reports on immigration in the UK, a published study on its economic effects, and an expert panel report on its and public service consequences, paint very different pictures. Not that the press need logic or evidence: they made their minds up about those Poles a long time ago, like people did about the West Indians, Bangladeshis and Jews . Is a rational debate on immigration even possible?
posted by athenian (18 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
No. Everyone hates everyone else, and we are all doomed. Liberal democracies are a brief blip on the long, xenophobic, militaristic, enslaving history of mankind.

(What answer were you expecting?)
posted by blacklite at 11:53 PM on October 16, 2007

You can't really have a rational debate on immigration. As especially in the UK you have this small section of society, who can only be said act like BNP supporters. They refuse to see any positive aspects that immigrants may bring into the country. In stead they moan about how any immigrant entering the country are stealing jobs and putting British nationals out of work. The fact is that immigrants generallly do jobs that the British peple refuse to do and work at a lower rate, which seems very unfair to them when you think about it.
posted by Neotala at 11:58 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Is a rational debate on immigration even possible?


Neither is a rational debate on population control.

Because population control debate must consider immigration levels and if we end up reducing immigration then we will make some racists happy and ABOVE ALL ELSE we cannot make racists happy even if it is for a completely different reason and the health of the planet depends on it.

ps: I am racist.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:42 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

We can have a rational debate all right, as long as we do it without all those damn immigrants.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:49 AM on October 17, 2007

A rational debate is possible, but there are some big hinderences to this in the form of vested interests. The government and the press are both enjoying using immigrants to boost their ratings by shamelessly targetting them with negative stories and scapegoating.
posted by asok at 1:04 AM on October 17, 2007



posted by fire&wings at 1:56 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

I saw a video clip on TV the other day of some American guy during the depression era* complaining about all the 16.5 million immigrants that America had accepted over the years, and that if it wasn't for all those damned immigrants, then there would be enough jobs, JOBS I say, for everyone! So no, there never has been or never will be a rational debate on this issue, because the only people who want to debate it are those who are god-damned set against it. No one else cares enought about it want to debate it.

*Sadly I don't know who this guy was or when exactly it was made. It was a small clip in a larger piece about National Socialism during the 1930s.
posted by moonbiter at 1:59 AM on October 17, 2007

fire&wings :)
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 3:25 AM on October 17, 2007

Not to be a spolsport, but things are likely to get worse: demograhics suggest that as many very poor nations overpopulate, people will try to get in to nations in somewhat better shape (food, water, jobs) and serious fights are going to take place.
posted by Postroad at 4:39 AM on October 17, 2007

I'm against immigration because I'd prefer to pay a larger share of taxation myself. Keep tax payers British!
posted by vbfg at 5:06 AM on October 17, 2007

I have to share my personal favourite anti-immigration story (being an immigrant in the UK).

I used to work at this small web agency in Nottingham, UK. And along with me (American permanent resident), there was also a Romanian guy (permanent resident), and, at the time, a Polish girl (on a work visa). So for a team of ten, we weren't doing too bad on hiring immigrants.

There was also this 19-year-old just-left-Mumsy's and Daddum's-home self-righteous git, who I sat next to. And, one day, he was looking over the Conservatives' election campaign (the "Are you thinking what we're thinking?" one).

"Oh," I said. "Are you seriously thinking of voting Conservative?"

"Yeah, yeah, I think they have a lot of good ideas."

"Hmm." I frowned. "I don't know about their policies on immigration..." I say, in my flat Southern Californian accent, looking at the monitor that states the Tories' dreams of stopping immigrants.

"Yeah, well, we need that. They're coming over here, taking our jobs..."

"Oh." My accent grew even flatter, more obviously not English. Not Scottish. Not Welsh. Not even faintly Canadian or Australian or any sort of British colony. "Are we now?"

"Yeah," He says dismissively. "And, like, it's bad, see?"

I kinda gave up after that, although I do wish I had tipped him out of his chair and started doing his work. Since, y'know, I was stealing his job and all.
posted by Katemonkey at 6:08 AM on October 17, 2007

Is a rational debate on immigration even possible?

Sure, just not with a damn Italian.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:12 AM on October 17, 2007

Frankly, this is just plain ridiculous. Eastern europeans *are* europeans, th cultural differences are minimal. It's even less problematic than allowing mexican immigration to the U.S. I'm sorry guys but there just ain't any cultural conflict here.

If you want to talk about limits on immigration and cultural assimilation tests for peopel from Arican & the middle east, fine great. If you want to make people learn the langauge, fine. But these people *are* europeans. And they already speak English.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:18 AM on October 17, 2007

I still haven't gotten over those damned Indo-European agriculturalists shoving into our hunter-gatherer territory. Shortened their names, dropped their culture like a serpent, elbowed their way into all the country clubs.
posted by jfuller at 6:37 AM on October 17, 2007

Jeffburdges: I know, but we live in a world where one Labour MP, one Tory MP, and the UK Independence Party can all compare the process of negotiating the Lisbon treaty to dealing with Hitler.

This is the sort hateful xenophobic rhetoric that is destroying our political system from within. It makes me ashamed of the half of me that's British.

And then the Kaczynskis go and make the other half of me ashamed to be Polish.
posted by athenian at 6:38 AM on October 17, 2007

Katemonkey, I have had that experience several times here in Canada. I'm from Ireland, and apparently discussions about those nasty immigrants means "oh we don't mean you" and "you know, those other immigrants". Shrugging and asking how we differ tends to get a very stammered answer.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:45 AM on October 17, 2007

In the lead up to the Australian federal election, with the conservative Liberal Party trailing in the polls, that dog whistile is been given an early workout.

Seems that Somalis are not the type of refugee that goes with the curtains.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Andrews does the blowing, and the dogs come running.
posted by mattoxic at 7:43 AM on October 17, 2007

jamesonandwater, Its reasonable for people to object to particularly large migrations which threaten cultural shifts.

Mexican immigration threatens some small cultural shifts, but Mexicans ain't too different from Americans really. A good policy would be : any south americans under 27 who speak english well may obtain a 2 year work visa and/or a student visa to the U.S. So no old or uneducated people.

Europe has a far bigger immigration problem since they've allowed too many people from really vastly diffrent cultures in. All E.U. countries desperately need langauge acquisition & cultural adoptation tests for continued residency. But not really for other Europeans.

Here the Eastern Europeans only increase the level of education, social class, and physical attractiveness of the British population. Please please send more cute educated Polish girls!
posted by jeffburdges at 4:43 PM on October 17, 2007

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