The British media and ‘dog bites man’ stories on immigration


by Sunny
14th April, 2011 at 1:42 pm    

There’s an old maxim in journalism: ‘Dog Bites Man’ is not a story; it’s when a man bites the dog it becomes a story. I.e. you write about the unexpected not the stuff that will make people yawn.

I say this because the story: ‘Cameron thinks immigration should be limited’ is a Dog Bites Man story. It would be more surprising if the Pope declared that Christianity was the best religion ever.

So, I have three related points to make on this:

One: it once again demonstrates that the Prime Minister is able to drive the media agenda and national discussion in a way opposition parties simply cannot. This is why I keep telling people (who are used to hearing Labour everywhere) that Labourites are speaking out against the cuts, it’s just that the media isn’t listening.

Two: I initially thought that Vince Cable speaking out was a sign that discipline was breaking down in the Coalition. But Sarah Hayward is completely right – it’s all a set-up. A cynical ploy but one that is effective, keeps the story going, keeps members in both parties happy and completely tactical.

Hell, if you’re going to play the immigration card to deflect attention from the NHS, why not go the whole hog and pick a deliberate fight with your allies? Labour is far too clever to be provoked into a trap that Cameron is trying to set for them. So Cable was the natural choice.

Three: The predictable response is to point out the intellectual inconsistencies in what Cameron is saying. Mehdi Hasan was doing it last night on Twitter; the Guardian mention cuts to ESOL classes; Nishma has blogged about it.

These responses are a big waste of time because the Tories aren’t having a debate – they’re just saying things they’ve always said. I’m more interested in why the media is reporting on a ‘dog bites man’ story. There are no surprising policy announcements here.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : The British media and 'dog bites man' stories on immigration http://bit.ly/ejvJdv


  2. BigPhatWritersGroup

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : The British media and 'dog bites man' stories on immigration http://bit.ly/ejvJdv


  3. Keir beales

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : The British media and 'dog bites man' stories on immigration http://bit.ly/ejvJdv


  4. rabasure

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : The British media and 'dog bites man' stories on immigration http://bit.ly/ejvJdv


  5. Greg Sheppard

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : The British media and 'dog bites man' stories on immigration http://bit.ly/ejvJdv


  6. Hari Kunzru

    Cameron's immigration speech: Tory bashing foreigners? Not a story. Deflecting debate from NHS. This from @sunny_hundal http://bit.ly/hAQWuJ


  7. Trevor Learoyd

    Cameron's immigration speech: Tory bashing foreigners? Not a story. Deflecting debate from NHS. This from @sunny_hundal http://bit.ly/hAQWuJ


  8. mrsavp

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : The British media and 'dog bites man' stories on immigration http://bit.ly/ejvJdv


  9. Joluni

    RT @sunny_hundal: The British media and 'dog bites man' stories on immigration http://bit.ly/ejvJdv


  10. sunny hundal

    @sciamachy @OwenJones84 as I said – too easy and its a trap http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/12397




  1. Chris — on 14th April, 2011 at 1:51 pm  

    Glad you’ve put this story into perspective. It really is a ‘same old, same old’ type of story used to deflect media attention from what’s politically important.

    I despair

  2. Nishma — on 14th April, 2011 at 2:53 pm  

    Because you don’t ever sit down and point out the intellectual inconsistencies of Tory policy?

    Of course the Tories aren’t having a discussion about it – what do they actually have a discussion about?

  3. Kismet Hardy — on 14th April, 2011 at 3:20 pm  

    “There’s an old maxim in journalism”

    I thought it came from the movie man bites dog. Great film, and quite apt, in the making a story about an ogre who thinks he’s a saviour kind of way. Shame that unlike the movie, where everyone is unanimous that he’s a deluded loon trying to curry favour with an audience that view him as little more than a freak, a lot of people in this sad little real world of ours are cheering ‘hear hear’ right about now

    Moron bites bollocks

  4. Carl — on 14th April, 2011 at 3:44 pm  

    Sunny, was this why you thought that Sarah Hayward’s piece was good? Tories and Lib Dems send messages out to their voting base is too much like ‘dog bites man’ so the story of interest becomes Isn’t it clever how the coalition is pretending to be on different sides at the next election ?

    You’re as guilty as many others on Cameron’s speech – yes of course ‘Cameron thinks immigration should be limited’ is obvious, but it’s no less offensive, particularly given the crass reasons he gave (it’s not Powell-ite, or even the “Griffinisation” of politics, but it is reductive and terse).

    The real issue is that across Europe, politics has moved to the right so much that it’s easy to share a platform with extremists than it is to toe the middle ground viz a viz third way politics (Blair, Clinton, Rudd, Zapatero).

    The scandal is that this epistemically closed, immoderate politics will be the phenomena to replace the third way, reducing the European Left to fringe status – and I’m afraid to say Ed Miliband is as to blame here as anyone, seeing fit only to comment on a shaky coalition, rather than speak the unspeakable and criticise Cameron’s dirt-politics rhetoric.

  5. Shamit — on 14th April, 2011 at 5:59 pm  

    I fully agree with Sunny – in fact we wrote a very similar piece:
    http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/41717

    The media lapped up a well orchestrated spin game perpetrated by the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour. All activists are fired up because their leader “defended” their interests or highlighted the “competence” of the government. But not a single new policy announcement.

    Good article Sunny also good article in the Guardian.

    Carl – Cameron gave a pretty nuanced speech where he pointed out the fallacy of foreigners stealing british jobs as well as the benefits of immigration – not really the fueling the extremist stuff is it now.

  6. Carl — on 14th April, 2011 at 6:14 pm  

    No I don’t accept Shamit – I know a good, reasoned speech on immigration when I see one – this one reduced the bad immigrant as one who has trouble with English and the good one as doing the jobs Brits don’t want to do.

  7. inders — on 14th April, 2011 at 6:24 pm  

    What’s his answer ??

    Cuts to the welfare state!!!

    I believe his answer came before the question. Great politics. Those who stand to loose the most will be among the strongest supporters because of the scapegoating of immigrants.

  8. damon — on 14th April, 2011 at 8:42 pm  

    Chris @1

    Glad you’ve put this story into perspective. It really is a ‘same old, same old’ type of story used to deflect media attention from what’s politically important.

    I despair

    I despair too, but for a different reason.
    I think this subject can’t be talked about in this country without massive spinning and a certain amount of dishonesty. I don’t care what Cameron’s reasons were for raising the subject again – so in that way I disagree with the way it was written up in the OP here, and many of the comments on Liberal Conspiracy too. I would have rather picked up on what Cameron said. It had echos of that ”Discomfort of strangers” article by David Goodhart in 2004.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2004/feb/24/race.eu

    Cameron said there had been ”too much” immigration for a number of years, and some of it had had a detrimental effect on parts of Britain.

    That is a very contentious thing to say, and I guess he would be talking about parts of cities that have become centres of the new immigration by poorer people.
    The ”bedsit-land” areas of inner cities, where the transient nature and coming and going of ”the churn” of people, changes neighbourhoods and the way people relate to each other.

    Short term, multiple occupancy homes, with landlords not caring too much about the standard of their properties, soon can have an area looking pretty shabby.
    I live in such a road myself. Every day there is mail for long departed tenants. Some of them bills left unpaid I guess. Regular warnings about TV licences. Even the police turning up one night looking for someone who had left some weeks before.

    I said I despair, because of listening to discussions like this one this morning on Radio five live.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0104139

  9. MaidMarian — on 14th April, 2011 at 9:41 pm  

    damon – I’d agree with much of what you say, but is that really immigration, or is that really the society that ‘we’ have decided we are happy with?

    Like it or not a great many people have seen the benefit of immigration – wage deflation in low-end services that has held down prices in supermarkets, cheap labour in certain industries (such as caring) to hold down prices, a willing rentier class for buy-to-let empires, trained labour at knock-down prices.

    This is not to mention that immigrants tend to be outside of trade unions, diminishing the power of organised labour.

    You yourself may well have benefited from some of all this, I probably have, though I don’t feel good about myself.

    Now what has tended to happen is that the worst hit by the immigrants who have bought these benefits have been the lower paid. I avoid the term working class very deliberately because such a thing barely exists in any real sense of the word.

    We want lower prices and a market structure that delivers that, even if that means bed-sit land grows. Stark reality is that an awful lot of people have voted for it over a 35 year period.

    By all means, talk about how the demands of capital are at the root cause of this and how immigration is very much capital red in tooth and claw. And it is curious that for all Cameron’s wailing, he doesn’t seem to have any problem with the globalisation of capital. But to reduce this to immigration as Cameron did seems to me to be looking at symptom not cause.

  10. douglas clark — on 14th April, 2011 at 11:45 pm  

    Off topic I suppose but I see the LPUK is in some sort of massive asteroid impact story that will probably flatten the planet. Or the few of them that are left. It’s a kind of planet melt down scenario. I do wonder what Chris Mounsey feels about it.

    You gotta love schadenfreude…

    If only they’d take Harry’s Place with them, then my day would be complete.

  11. Niels Christensen — on 15th April, 2011 at 7:45 am  

    Denis MacShane has put the problem well
    ” European social democracy is trapped between a nativist working class which feels heavily taxed and under threat from incomers and the new proletariat of non-unionised minimum wage and part-time workers essential to keep the 7/24 service economy functioning. There are now as many cleaners, nannies, old-age care workers, or Starbucks slaves as there were maids and other domestic servants before 1939. A left-wing intellectual can be easily recognised by his or her habit of outsourcing child care and denouncing American imperialism while simultaneously applying for scholarships or teaching posts in the United States.”
    And the conclusion
    “The European left has policies for women, for gays, for children, for artists but does it have one for the working class?”
    http://www.nextleft.org/2010/11/crisis-of-social-democracy-and-search.html
    He of course doesn’t have solutions. But that doesn’t mean that the problems aren’t real.

  12. Awakening Tempest — on 15th April, 2011 at 12:54 pm  

    I agree, a tactic as such is to divert attention and drama away from the cuts imposed in the NHS – we can afford a war in Libya then why can’t we save the NHS.

  13. Sunny — on 15th April, 2011 at 2:11 pm  

    (it’s not Powell-ite, or even the “Griffinisation” of politics, but it is reductive and terse

    Wait Carl, you’re surprised and angry that Cameron is reductive and terse? When has he not been that?

  14. Optimist — on 15th April, 2011 at 3:33 pm  

    UAF joint secretary Weyman Bennett said:

    Cameron claims his latest remarks on immigration will stop ‘extremist parties’ like the BNP from flourishing and help ‘extinguish them once and for all’.

    In truth they will have precisely the opposite effect. Both the tone of his language and the content of his arguments feed the myth that Britain is somehow being flooded by immigrants.

    Cameron is effectively scapegoating immigrants for his government’s cuts programme. The effect of this rhetoric is more hatred, more hysteria and more strife and division in society.

    And the British National Party, the English Defence League and other racist and fascist organisations will thrive in such a climate.

    French president Nicolas Sarkozy has already tried this trick in France: attempting to undercut fascist parties by aping their language and conceding their demands. It didn’t work. Now we see Marine Le Pen’s Front National – a fascist party with close links to the BNP – riding high in the polls.

    History shows that giving in to racist arguments does not make the racists go away. It endorses them and encourages them to demand more.

    Cameron should be ashamed of himself – and we should be proud to live in a multicultural society where people from all backgrounds work and struggle together.

  15. damon — on 15th April, 2011 at 5:59 pm  

    Optimist, it’s for statements like that, that I don’t take UAF very seriously.

    That’s not a discussion, it’s just a rallying cry.
    In itself not so bad, but there has to be some debate back and forewards, and the points ”the right” can make should be taken up.
    2.3 million people coming to Britain since Labour came to power is a figure I have seen. That’s a lot of people, particularly if they gravitate to London and the south east, and to particular boroughs and neighbourhoods.

    There is a case for, I think, people being allowed to be less than ”enlightened and progressive”.
    If it really is such a hot issue amongst so many people, then just dismisssing them as the reactionary dregs of middle England – and Richard Littlejohn fans that just need to be ignored and overulled …. then it does start to look like that thing that Andrew Neather was said to have said about Labour in power .. but then said he was understood wrongly.

    MaidMarian, I take your points. But I see how hotly Cameron’s speech is being contested over on Lib Con.
    Anything that doesn’t fit the political view gets denied or spun it seems.

    If boroughs that have had the higest rates of immigration are some of the poorest in the UK, is that not the place to start a debate like this?
    Why are Tower Hamlets, Newham, and Brent some of Britain’s poorest boroughs?
    Another place that is near top of the poverty list is a ward in Leicester that has Leicester’s largest concentration of Somalis.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Matthew's,_Leicester

  16. damon — on 16th April, 2011 at 11:31 am  

    Here is Mehdi Hasan spinning like hell in the Guardian today.

    So David Cameron wants to talk about immigration? Bring it on.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/16/david-cameron-immigration-economy#

    At least they have a debate about it in the reader’s comments.
    The way Hasan writes, is like he’s feeling uptight and got his fast talking, slightly peeved mode on, like he’s willing to talk about this …. but will not suffer fools (or racists) easily here.

    He’s talking about ”immigration” as if it was all the same kind of thing. Entrepreneurs and dynamic people opening businesses. Which is true. And there are also plenty of people who are more like the inscription on the Satue of Liberty.

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”

    And of course, they are a great part of the British story too. But it isn’t always positives.

    This article about London’s Afghan community is also part of the story. It has positive things, but there are some negative things too … you could argue.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/10/london-afghan-community-little-afghanistan

    I just watched ”Unreported World” again last night.

    ”In 2010, more civilians were killed in political, ethnic and criminal violence in Karachi than in terrorist attacks across the whole of Pakistan.
    While the state seems unable to control the violence, reporter Peter Oborne and director Edward Watts spend time with a few courageous individuals who are risking their lives to hold the line against anarchy in Pakistan’s largest city.”

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/episode-guide/series-2011/episode-4

    What stops Britain from being like Pakistan?
    That our economy is stronger and that we have a welfare state?

  17. zak — on 16th April, 2011 at 6:31 pm  

    I’ll partly disagree with you sunny on point three..you are right when you say that challenging the inconsistencies means little for the Tories. However the point of challenging is not to prove TO the tories wrong is it to prove to the others listening they are wrong.

  18. douglas clark — on 16th April, 2011 at 11:32 pm  

    I’d just like to say.

    I have been a bit of an idiot on here. And contrarywise I have been allowed to spout my stuff.

    Some of you have found it amusing, some, not so much.

    If I have ever offended people, then largely, they have been absolute tit’s, and deserved it. When I was totally wrong, I have apologised. The others, have brought it on themselves, in my opinion.

    I tend not to compromise on that.

    I am very fond of the whole ethos of this place – not so much Liberal Conspiracy – ’cause this is all about talking to each other, rather than assuming that an opinion was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

    It has always been about bringing people together. Folk that wouldn’t necessarily have talked elsewhere.

    It seems to me that this is a fair place for compomise and discussion.

    I have made friends here.

    Thus, I think this is the best of Mr Hundal.

    He don’t know what he’s got ’till it’s gone. Take Paradise, put up a parking lot.

  19. earwicga — on 17th April, 2011 at 2:55 am  

    Oh do fuck off douglas.

  20. Kismet Hardy — on 17th April, 2011 at 6:27 am  

    It was a cold, dark night when an ambitious young man with hope in his heart and spunk in his pocket took a sideways glance at this website and then something changed inside him.

    Where once his desires were inflamed by the passion to create, change the world and touch people, he now sat glued to the screen, not understanding much, but doomed to forever be driven by the compulsion to slip in a knob gag among the popper and the propaganda.

    That someone was me.

    I could have been someone. I could’ve been a contender. Instead of a timewasting tagnut from the sweaty crack of hell.

    You’ll miss me when I’m dead.

    Or at least till next tuesday.

  21. Boyo — on 17th April, 2011 at 7:28 am  

    long night…?

  22. Boyo — on 17th April, 2011 at 7:40 am  

    @16 Damon, what stops the UK being Pakistan is that, among other things such as the structure of society and yes, it’s wealth, Pakistanis remain a small minority.

    I do think the “import” of people from rural communities who essentially live mediaeval lives in to a 21st Century society is fraught with difficulties, not helped by well-meaning types who encourage them to hold on to their backward ways because who are they to judge, etc.

    However you would be better comparing a future UK to India or (God help us) multi-confessional Lebanon. Personally I think the best solution would be to grasp the nettle and restructure the society in the direction of the US, but actually that is impossible, even in America, which is becoming more like the UK, a place where the elite have pulled up the ladder.

    But I suppose it might be a start.

  23. Kismet Hardy — on 17th April, 2011 at 7:41 am  

    Nah, just fancied pastiche for breakfast… :-)

  24. Kismet Hardy — on 17th April, 2011 at 7:46 am  

    Oh admit it Dougie, it was a BIT melodramatic…

  25. Kismet Hardy — on 17th April, 2011 at 7:59 am  

    I wouldn’t take it personally. And you kinda DID post on the wrong thread! Always see the funny side. When your head is lolling about it hurts less when you take it on the chin…

    It’s a beautiful day brother

  26. douglas clark — on 17th April, 2011 at 8:15 am  

    Kismet @ 27,

    Sure is a beautiful day. And it’s my birthday.

    So, best wishes to everyone, including earwicga. May she find maturity one of these days.

  27. Boyo — on 17th April, 2011 at 8:32 am  

    Is this a thread about internet censorship?

    This IS the Stormfront blog, right?

    Er, Aryan brothers…?

    Um…

  28. Kismet Hardy — on 17th April, 2011 at 8:34 am  

    Yep. Which is I’m playing Screwdriver on full blast all day and narrating pages from the turner diaries loudly to myself

  29. damon — on 17th April, 2011 at 11:35 am  

    Boyo

    I do think the “import” of people from rural communities who essentially live mediaeval lives in to a 21st Century society is fraught with difficulties, not helped by well-meaning types who encourage them to hold on to their backward ways because who are they to judge, etc.

    Overall Boyo, I don’t agree with you. People change very quickly to new circumstances, and their children are nothing like their parents usually.

    In Afghanistan, misogyny and backward attitudes by men to women is the norm, but Afghans who come to the UK soon lighten up quite a bit. They would have to.
    Though there is of course a lag. I have seen the young Afghan lads who hang about in Croydon, standing together watching all the girls go by, and it’s a whole new life for them. Some of them become quite the chat-up merchants, and they get English girl friends.
    Some are going to be sent back to Afghanistan according to a family member of mine who works with them – which will be a big shock to their system. Cruel too.

    But the ”I love migrants” campaign that Sunny mentioned on LC sounds just silly and patronising.
    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/04/16/new-labour-and-ignoring-racism-of-the-past/#comments

    ”I love” who exactly? Humanity? OK. But still.

    You love all those guys from India who work in the Halal fried chicken shops? Fair enough.

    The Westminster traffic wardens from West Africa? I’ve had to deal with them when I was working as a delivery driver. Some were alright and some weren’t.
    I couldn’t say I ‘loved’ them though.

    The Roma people all over Belfast sitting outside the shops on their crate selling the big issue? Or the musicians that go around on the weekend evenings serenading people who are sitting at outside cafe and bar tables, or just having a cigarette in the doorway of a pub. I can’t say I ”love” them. They are just people who live here.

    Seriously though. I can see that few people on PP want to go down this route when discussing immigration issues.
    Certainly not Earwicga for example.

    Maybe I shouldn’t watch that ”Unreported World” programme.
    Two weeks ago it was about women in Nigeria getting trafficed to work as prostitutes in Italy.
    They were quite keen to go. It was going to be a bit of an adventure. The programme spoke to some families of these young women. They all had a family member in Europe somewhere – and they weren’t too concerned about the prostitution route.
    The women going were given a ceremony by a witch doctor which put a spell on them, which would mean that they couldn’t run away once in Italy, and that they would pay back the tens of thousands of euros that they would owe for being trafficked.
    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/articles/profile-jenny-kleeman

    Our cities are full of people who have come from very damaged societies in Asia and Africa, and a simplistic ”I love migrants” approcah doesn’t work for me.

  30. Boyo — on 17th April, 2011 at 2:02 pm  

    Yes, perhaps my observation was simplistic, up to a point. Certainly the rise of Islamism among some 2nd generation Asian Muslims appears to be a version of modernity – in response to the parochialism of their parents. But again, these are much the minority. Most seem perfectly well integrated, up to a point. And there, for me, is the rub.

    I work with a 21 year old lad who, apart from not eating pork or drinking, is every bit the Lancashire lad. So far so good, yet he refers to himself as Pakistani (ok, so Jewish folk might do the same) but discussing culture with someone I heard him say – well it’s tough because England doesn’t have one, does it. Yet he would never say that of Pakistan. Multiculturalism has apparently been so successful that even transparently British people with a Muslim identity are incapable of seeing themselves as actually British and prefer to regard themselves instead as foreigners. Can you imagine an American behaving the same way?

  31. damon — on 17th April, 2011 at 8:08 pm  

    It makes me laugh to think what the likes of Cameron and Daily Mail Tory types think if they ever actually spend time in the most diverse areas of our cities.
    To go to the job centre in Hackney where people are signing on, or in the waiting areas for council services for housing and council tax benifit offices.
    Where you see the poorer end of the multi-cultural society.

    In that link to the BBC five live programme I did several posts up, the first caller was a woman who worked in an inner city GP surgery. She said that their workload had been put under strain in recent years, by numbers, and by the need for translators.
    Someone came back and said it was great that new immigrants signed on with GPs, as that was the first step to integration into society, and seeing a GP regularly was the be welcomed as it was the way to keep a healthy society.
    Which basicly ignored the GP’s secretary’s point.

    A following caller was a smart young Asian lawyer, who gave the Mehdi Hasan kind of line of being somewhat exasperated by this subject being aired again, asking just what was the big deal. His parents had come from Pakistan and his father was just a hard working manual worker. ”So what?” he asked. His children had done very well and were greatly contributing to British society.
    Which I’m sure is true, but it tends to shut down debate to talk like that.

    The ”good immigration/bad immigration” idea is an interesting one. And is hugely contentious. To say that there was ”too much” means what exactly? To many of whom?
    I would guess that they mean, for example, the poorer less educated people from Africa. The people who now make up majorities (or near majorities) in certain wards of particular boroughs. The Peckham and Camberwell areas of south London have big Nigerian populations for example.
    And I have never understood how there became such a community. There wasn’t an open invitation for workers like there had been for people from the Caribbean for the Windrush generation, but Africans now outnumber people of Caribbean origin.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_groups_in_London#Nigerians

    It is said that many of the people from West Africa are over qualified for the jobs that they actually do.
    They are completely overrepresented in the security industry for example. Manning security huts at building sites and warehouses.
    Victims of racism … or victims of their own countrymen, who have produced so many fake documents that employers in the UK are reluctant to accept documents showing qualifications gained in Africa?

  32. douglas clark — on 17th April, 2011 at 10:45 pm  

    Well, you’ve spelled out the issues.

    What do you think the answers are?

  33. Boyo — on 18th April, 2011 at 5:31 am  

    “And I have never understood how there became such a community.”

    On the whole, I think that can be put down to Labour’s crude attempt at social engineering – their open door immigration policy.

    This is something I am still trying to get my head around, but I think for a largely managerial party that had lost confidence in its own beliefs (socialism, for example) this was something of an ideological totem

    - the idea that the Tories resistance to immigration was “bad” = racist
    - that multiculturalism was per se “good”, and the more cultures therefore the better
    - that their working class base (largely white) had betrayed them (!!!!!!!) by turning to Thatcher over council houses, etc
    - that economically more cheap labour meant a more dynamic economy

    They pursued it with an ideological vigour that mirrors the Coalition’s attack on the public sector and although I think it is too early to tell the outcome (although I would emphasise it is NOT really relevant to the “integrating Islam” meme, which relates to much earlier policy decisions), personally I feel in a way it did for the UK’s sense of cohesion what Thatch’s council house sell-off did to the WWC – helped detach people from their culture and added to a sense of alienation.

  34. Kismet Hardy — on 18th April, 2011 at 6:19 am  

    Bring back all the ex-pats in places like Spain and Turkey demanding jacket potatoes and beans on the menu and refusing to speak a word of ‘foreign’, and kick out all the foreigners here who refuse to speak a word of English. I daresay the latter numbers will be dwarved by the Brits lording it up abroad

  35. damon — on 18th April, 2011 at 9:50 am  

    …. but I think for a largely managerial party that had lost confidence in its own beliefs (socialism, for example) this was something of an ideological totem.

    That is an interesting idea. Whether you can prove it or not though is difficult.

    Kismet Hardy, do you mean people like our dear Andrew Lloyd Webber, who lives in Spain part of the year but admits he can’t speak a word of Spanish? He has too much going on in his mind to study it he says.

    If people on PP were more forthcoming on this, I would ask does it matter where people come from to Britain. New future immigrants I mean.

    We can see that Pakistan is a basket case. Does it matter that people from Karachi still come to Britain for example?
    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/episode-guide/series-2011/episode-4

    In the last 60 years the population of Karachi has risen from 300,000 to nearly 20 million. The pressure for homes, water and food – compounded by high levels of unemployment – has lead to furious conflict between the rival ethnic groups, with around 1300 people killed in gangland violence last year.
    Most of Pakistan’s ethnic groups – including Pashtuns, Mohajirs, Sindhis and Baluch – live in segregated neighbourhoods in Karachi with each area ruled by criminal gangs.
    While shootings occur all over the city, Lyari district is especially violent because different ethnic groups are engaged in a struggle for territory from which they control extortion rackets and the drugs trade.

    On another PP thread last year, the level of drug taking in Indian Punjab was higlighted.
    Should it matter if people from Punjab are still coming to England? Many must have been involved with drug taking if those statistics were to be believed.

    I think the answer has to be no, because otherwise we wouldn’t have an asylum policy, but I can’t forget the figure that 9 out of the 27 teenagers killed in gun and knife crime in London in 2007 were of Congolese origin. Some had come to Britain with their asylum seeking parents as young children.

  36. Niels Christensen — on 18th April, 2011 at 5:21 pm  

    From Nishma link

    ‘I know a woman who works illegally for a Indian family as a maid. She came on a holiday visa, and hasn’t left the country. Everything she earns, she sends back home to her children in India. From the money she earns (a mere £20/day), her children gain a decent education. She misses them terribly, hates the job, and finds the UK horrifically cold. She doesn’t want to be here, but she’s given up a few years of her life in order to make sure her children never have to’

    What has Mehdi Hasan done in this case. Nothing. Hasan and most of the left love to discuss the ideological aspects of immigration politics, but real politics no. And what should be done in this case ?
    The woman in case isn’t really an immigrant, she doesn’t pay tax, she doesn’t really add something to the society, of course she helps the – in case – indian family to secure way of living like in India, without living there.
    The problem is of course that this example is one small reason why the ‘welfare society’ is being slowly eroded.
    I don’t give shit for Hasan or Labour, what have they done in cases like this the last 12 years. Nada.

  37. Boyo — on 18th April, 2011 at 7:14 pm  

    “That is an interesting idea. Whether you can prove it or not though is difficult.”

    True, but here’s a something to start with…

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/Ex-Government-Adviser-Andrew-Neather-Says-Mass-Immigration-To-UK-Was-Deliberate/Article/200910415414170

  38. Boyo — on 18th April, 2011 at 7:24 pm  

    “I daresay the latter numbers will be dwarved by the Brits lording it up abroad.”

    No doubt, but speaking as an expat myself (one who sadly cannot afford to lounge and can speak the language, more or less) these are quite different things – most Brits abroad for eg are well passed laying down roots (quite the opposite) and have come not to work but to rest. The economic, demographic and cultural impact can therefore be presumed to be negligible, although admittedly the immigrants to the UK are invariably a superior lot on the whole.

  39. Kismet Hardy — on 18th April, 2011 at 8:34 pm  

    Yeah, I did think that. I guess the problem isn’t ‘they come over here, they take our jobs’ anymore (I doubt the average unmployed WWC really believes he’d be a surgeon if only that damn Dr Patel wern’t here today), but more a case of ‘they come over here, take our dole’. So in that instance, I’ll put my hands up Boyo…

  40. damon — on 18th April, 2011 at 11:34 pm  

    Boyo, Andrew Neather wasn’t happy with the way that story was taken up.
    He seemed to say what he said, then retract it somewhat.

    I wonder if Dave Cameron will be joining with the ‘Justice for Smiley Culture’ campaign, along with Jody McIntyre …..

    Thirty years after the Brixton riots, a cultural intifada continues.

    http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/04/11/thirty-years-after-the-brixton-riots-a-cultural-intifada-continues/

    …. and Lee Jasper:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=205955556093198&set=a.205952619426825.51174.198910790131008&type=1&theater

    This kind of ethnic minority ”justice politics” comes with the territory of the multi-cultural society.

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