Sub Editor of Naked Politics
“So the Daily Prophet exists to tell people what they want to hear, does it?” said Hermione scathingly.
Rita sat up straight again, her eyebrows raised, and drained her glass of Firewhiskey.
“The Prophet exists to sell itself, you silly girl,” she said coldly.’
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
The UK has just come out of a recession, and whenever there is a problem, people need someone to blame.
And so, just as the Third Reich in Germany sought to blame the ills of a nation on the Jews, so the rhetoric of the English media (and I’ll say ‘English’, because Wales and Scotland have both felt the boot of English imperialism, and are therefore more welcoming of other minorities; their media reflects this) swung towards blaming immigrants for the state of the British economy.
Daily, we are bombarded with alarmist headlines from the press (the Daily Mail and the Express being particularly guilty parties), about immigrants coming here to threaten our ‘way of life’ and so on. The murky waters of the English media have been xenophobic and racist since its inception, but still the sheer hypocrisy of these reports never fails to amaze.
Above is a map. The shaded countries are those which England/Great Britain has gone to war on. At some point Britain has burned, raped and looted in of these countries.
IMMIGRANTS come HERE to threaten OUR way of life?
This is country which is responsible for so many of the ills in the world today. The country which smashed the infrastructure of Africa and turned advanced and sophisticated civilisations into blood-soaked food baskets for Britain, and then merrily skipped away when it was no longer economically profitable.
This is the country which transported millions of humans in misery and pain, reducing them to belongings, only ‘freeing’ them when it became more economically sound to press gang them into indentured service or forced labour instead.
It goes on and on. And this is the country which is whining about people coming to work and contribute to the economy?
Britain historically has not been averse to foreigners coming here. William the Conqueror, the bastard of Normandy, invaded in 1066, and after his son married a princess from the deposed Saxon line, England settled in quite comfortably under Norman leadership.
After Elizabeth I died childless, James Stuart, King of Scots, came in to rule England. James I gave peaceful decades to England and under the Stuarts, the parliamentary settlement coalesced into something resembling the two party system of government that we have today.
A short while after that, parliament invited William III (who was Dutch) and his wife Mary II to invade England, depose the bunglingly inept James II, and seize the throne. After they died childless and Queen Anne (the last Stuart monarch) did too, parliament again invited a foreigner to occupy the throne and rule the Kingdom: the German children of James I’s granddaughter Princess Sophia, the Dowager Electress of Hanover. This confirmed parliament’s ascendancy over the monarchy, and created the modern system of cabinet government led by a Prime Minister.
More recently, the British Empire under the helm of Queen-Empress Victoria (daughter of a German mother and a German(ish) father – Victoria’s own Prince Consort was also German), encouraged all of the peoples of the Empire to feel as one, a family, looking up to Britain the motherland. It created a mirage of Britain being the promised land. That persists today, which is part of the reason why people all over the world still aspire to get here.
‘Why do they have to come here?’ People whine, ‘What’s wrong with settling in France?’ Most of the immigrants come from former British colonies, such as Eritrea. Those who didn’t still learned English because of the fact that the Empire set it as the default language for the world. England is a more attractive destination than France or Germany as they can speak English, and not Français or Deutsch.
After the World Wars, Britain actively recruited in the colonies, particularly in Jamaica, drawing people from there to come to Britain and help to rebuild the country after a war which tore the world apart. This is why there is a large population of people of Caribbean descent in the UK today.
Britain is built off of the backs of those who we would now term as immigrants. It is also built off of the fire and blood that it dealt out the world over. Therefore it is hypocritical in the extreme for the media to muddy the waters of political debate and chase sales by feeding into people’s latent fears of the ‘other’, and playing the blame game with immigrants.