Thursday, November 05, 2009

A couple of weeks ago poor ol Jack Straw was put on the spot at that contraversial infamous Question Time when Nick Griffin was "given a voice" when he was questioned on whether he thought Labour's immigration policies which had allegedly encouraged mass immigration had paved the way for far right parties such as the BNP. After a subsequent chat with my flatmates on the subject, and feeling partly inspired by the unusual amount of genuine passion from some of the politicians and especially inspired by the fact that one of my friends is facing possible and likely deportation as of this weekend despite having lived in this country for almost a year, I find myself remembering that I do love talking about politics almost as much as I love talking about God and religion, especially when the politics in question involves UK immigration policy.

Unsurprisingly I don't have stereotypical British views on the matter. Being a Scot (where we don't seem to have population problems apart from the occasional lack of), of immigrant stock myself and with a passion and love for anyone vaguely international. And while I do realise that we can't let everyone into the country I do think we go a bit overboard on the matter. Pet frustrations include:

- Government or Press making ridiculous claims supposedly based on accurate stats which have usually been blown out of proportion or taken from a very biased sample since when did population graphs follow a constant gradient

- The home office allowing people to stay in the country for months or even years, settle down, make friends, sometimes find family, a life... and then suddenly deport them without even the slightest warning!

It's such a vicious cycle - we have a press that perpetuates a fear of people "coming in to steal our jobs", the people demand things of the government who then tighten the already rigid system but people are desperate so do crazy things to slip through the system which makes the press go crazy and the cycle continues...

Where is the compassion!? We don't ever seem to put the shoe on the other foot. Think about the fact that so many people are coming from difficult or destitute situations. We don't even try to imagine what it'd be like if it were us having to escape some crazy dictator or war or famine in the UK and having the doors closed to us wherever we try to escape to or being treated like unwanted cattle. Why can't policy be shaped around compassion and not just around what's practical?! Then again... I guess we don't live in a world like that.

Rant over.

I'd be interested to hear what other folk think...

1 comment:

Eilidh said...

It's interesting you use the word compassion in there, Dish, when we've just recently witnessed the release of the only man convicted in connection with the Lockerbie bombings on COMPASSIONATE grounds.

Lots of people have opinions about what happened on Question Time, esp. that the BBC set the whole thing up and it was unfair on Griffin. At the end of the day though, this country is home to people from all backgrounds and ethnicities, and I'm proud to be a white girl in a country that accepts all races and colours.

We do perhaps have some immigration issues, but we can't go about chucking people out who, like you say, have lived here for an extended period of time, have made friends and lives for themselves here.