Monday, May 3, 2010

Immigration and the English

Q- When is it racist to discuss immigration? A- When the immigrants are the English.

Therefore, when Settler Watch campaigned in the 90s against wealthy English 'white settlers' buying up homes in various desirable rural parts of Scotland, they were branded 'racist'. Maybe SW were racist. I doubt it but... anyway, it's suddenly become acceptable for everybody from New Labour to the usual English Nazis to list immigration as a 'concern'. So, wealthy and mostly middle-aged Sasannaich are allowed to push up house-prices in rural Scotland but mostly poor and hard-working Europeans or Asians are not allowed to work for a living here?

To paraphrase Iain Moireasdan on a Gaelic election debate a few years ago, 'the English drive German cars, watch American programs on Japanese made televisions, drink French or Belgian beer, eat Indian, Italian or Chinese food yet are suspicious of foreigners'. You could add to that an Arabic patron saint, Germanic royal family and clothes made in Asian sweatshops.

Yet despite England being subsumed in foreign identity, many are convinced that 'multi-culturalism doesn't work' though neglect to look at their own family tree. Tabloids scream about immigrants taking homes. However, when the figures are analysed, you find out that they include anyone that wasn't born in the UK and stretches back to the middle of last century (see Straight Statistics 'Who's living in my social housing?').

Then when you think some more, you realise that those dreaded immigrants include your pal's Spanish girlfriend or your other pal who was born abroad to Scots parents but has lived here since infancy. It also includes those thousands of Eastern Europeans who come here to pick our veg an clean our toilets. The figures in the Daily Mail/Express/Star etc don't tell you though that most also go home again.They also don't list the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Prince Philip or Terry Wogan who presumably are acceptable to the Daily Mail but who are nevertheless FOREIGN.

As to indigenous British culture - whatever it is or was.... Tescos have done more to destroy the 'traditional' life of English towns than any group of Muslims, Poles or Scots. The English also don't seem to mind the benefits that come with globalisation. The same globalisation that gives them cheap clothes in Primark and uncomplicated access to Spanish holiday homes and beaches also means that some FOREIGNERS have the right to come here. Duh!

Finally, if anyone is actually dumb enough to think that stopping or limiting immigration would be good then they should remember that for the likes of the Daily Mail, Lord Pearson and UKIP, the BnP, the Tories etc that immigrants are only one part of their agenda. Next comes the gays. Then the travellers. Then the single mums and unmarried parents. Then the unemployed. Then the trade-unionists. Then the 'bloated' devolved 'regions'. Then the leftie teachers. Then the atheists...

Aye, first they came for the Communists....

PS- Though i haven't heard of any Settler Watch activity for years, the Daily Express still likes to trot them out to scare its readers in case any of them might be tempted to vote SNP.


naldo said...

Totally agree with your analysis of the real drivers of "concern about immigration" - it's generally a mix of bigotry and ignorance.

But i think your post underestimates the positive impact of English immigration into the highlands and islands of Scotland.

For the first time in my life, populations in these wonderful places have started to increase, Gaelic language is being taught as a first language in many primary schools and job opportunities in renewable energy and toutisim are on the up.

A lot of that is down to English people giving up on the rat race and seeking a more fulfilling way to spend their cash than on another new Chelsea tractor.

My job's taken me to the heelans and Skye a lot lately and i've been super impressed by what i've seen and heard. Honest.

What does "tocasaid" mean byrraway?

Mac an t-Srònaich said...

Aye, true you canny tar everyone with the same brush. The English folk we meet in the Highlands or in the posh parts of Edinburgh are usually not representative of England, but of the middle/upper classes.

So, plenty of yah accents in the New Town and Marchmont but few if any in Niddrie or Saughton.

The 'White Settler' issue as i see it is more about the class of person as there are many ordinary English folk who do make postive contributions and who don't just run up the St George Cross (as happened in Ardnamurchan) or buy and ruin auld pubs like the Glenuig Inn.

Tocasaid is a hogshead barrel btw - pronounced 'tohk-a-satch'.

Slàn agus saor Alba.