Thursday, 7 March 2013

Immigrants, work and the deer cull


The most depressing thing I’ve heard in a long while came in a tweet or email read out by a Radio 5 Live presenter – in response to an item on managing deer population someone had commented that we need a “human cull”. And the presenter read this out with want sounded like (but might not have been) approval.

Which humans this respondent wanted to cull wasn’t clear – maybe every tenth person, perhaps just the disabled, the sick or the lame? Rather than think for a brief second about what they were saying, someone had pinged out a comment about killing a load of people because he’d decided there were too many. I guess it was a joke!

But then I listened to a debate – well more an exchange of sound bites – between John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw and Graham Evans, Conservative MP for Weaver Vale. The subject was immigration and the two Northern MPs were in agreement on much of the discussion – there were too many immigrants, they were taking the jobs of British people and something should have been done earlier. Both MPs were adamant that there wasn’t the slightest hint of racism in what they were saying but equally keen to stress the idea that immigrants were taking British jobs, filling up British schools and costing a fortune in British hospitals.

Whatever the case about immigration – too much, too little, the wrong sort, the right sort – to blame our levels of unemployment and problems in our public services on folk who’ve arrived here from the other side of the world so as to work is what we expect from the BNP not the Labour and Conservative parties. Not only is it untrue but it’s wrong and dangerous as well.

The immigration debate has descended into a "who can be most damning of immigrants without actually being racist" contest. Currently the Labour Party is winning.


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