Friday, 17 January 2014

UKIP: Blaming Immigrants for Britains Failures

Have you noticed how editorialising journalists repeatedly tell us ‘UKIP will do well in this years European elections’? The BBC’s Sarah Montague on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme was the latest exponent of this art of talking up Nigel Farage's party. 

Not only is his relentless right wing bile not challenged by our populist media they in fact pander to it. Take the BBC for example. On New Years Day they broadcast live from Bucharest bus station where reporters disappointedly announced that the buses they had hoped to show full of Roumanian ‘benefit tourists’ bound for London to ‘sign on’, as UKIP had forecast, were nowhere to be seen! I watched dumfounded as one reporter after another, instead of hammering UKIP’s offensive, xenophobic nonsense, promised ‘We will come back tomorrow’.

Politicians at Westminster are similarly complicit. Having given up confronting UKIP's racist opinions they follow them. Guided by ill informed ‘focus groups’ fed on a diet of Daily Mail myths they attack the civic and human rights of immigrants. All three parties of big business at Westminster now vie with one another to present the most punitive anti-immigrant proposals such as prohibiting access to the NHS or welfare support.

The findings of the latest British Social Attitudes Survey released this month also made for some very unwelcome, if not altogether surprising, reading as far as people’s views on migrant workers are concerned. I do not question the surveys findings but I do reject the views held by respondents. They show the consequences that flow from a badly informed public debate fuelled by ignorance and prejudice. The Daily Mail is seldom outdone in publishing the most offensive portrayals of migrant workers and social security beneficiaries. Their thinly veiled racist 'inexactitudes' have done enormous damage and yet go largely unchallenged.

It is surely time to confront such prejudices with a rational examination of the issues. Lets start with some facts The Daily Mail and the BBC refuse to mention. Immigration is good for Britain. It benefits our economy and our society. By coming to work and live here immigrants make Britain richer as their skills and hard work improve the economy. Immigrants moreover tend to be young men and women with skills who pay far more into the UK Treasury than they take out. Moreover in Scotland the arrival of these young workers has reversed our prolonged population decline.

And UKIP’s most recent idiotic and offensive contention that immigrants are drawn to Britain by our ‘generous social security benefits’ shows just how little they know because there is no such thing as ‘generous benefits’ as anyone familiar with the £65/week you get on Income Support will testify. Second, no one comes here to ‘sign on’ they are attracted by the prospect of work only to find they are often grievously exploited by unscrupulous employers paying miserable wages when they do.

It's time to remind Nigel Farage that it wasn’t the Bulgarians who caused Britain’s financial crisis, it was the bankers. It wasn’t Romanian immigrants who caused the worst recession in 80 years, it was the rich. It wasn’t his mythical ‘benefits tourists’ who embezzled £100 billion avoiding tax. It wasn’t immigrants who introduced the bedroom tax or sold off the Royal Mail. It wasn’t immigrants who forced one million households in Scotland into fuel poverty. It wasn’t immigrants who stole ten million pounds from the public purse at Westminster with their fraudulent expenses claims and ‘second homes’ scam.
But we don’t hear UKIP or the Tories calling for the real culprits to be brought to justice, do we? 

Lets resolve to make 2014 the year we expose the real culprits and expose the lies, prejudice and racism of UKIP and their fellow travellers once and for all.

1 comment:

  1. I welcome Romanians and Bulgarians here as much as I hope the 25,000+ Britons who have moved to Romania and Bulgaria are welcomed there.

    What we need is more mature, accurate reporting and commentary in some of our media. See my deconstruction of how the Daily Mail covered the non-story of Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK from 1 January. 'Daily Mail: Trick or Truth? You Decide'