Tuesday, September 26, 2006



I watched the television news tonight and was ashamed to be British for the first time in a long time! The coverage of the expansion of the EU bringing in Romania and Bulgaria showed how xenophobic some people can be, it is my belief that the majority of people do not feel as the scary woman with the wild hair that they interviewed.

I am reading the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist and I am still on the first chapter but the view of 'these foreigners stealing our jobs' is echoed in this book from some of the characters. If I was a betting woman I would bet that by the end of the book the characters are more or less against this view (NO posts telling me the end!). The unemployment rate in the UK is at it's lowest for generations, the interest rates are stable and the minimum wage, parental leave and flexible working have not been the industry killers the Tories would have had us believe.

Yet some people still think in terms of 'foreigners stealing our jobs', this is the sentiment that upsets me, the idea that some people say this with an undercurrent of racism, some say it with real fear, remembering the Tory days where unemployment was a curse on this country. This is not the case anymore, I challenge anyone with this view to provide the evidence to support it, I doubt I will get it, but I give the challenge anyway. Think about it seriously and if you still think that way leave a comment tell me why, start a debate and take part!


Rayleen Kelly said...

I have been advised since writing this to not say that I am ashamed of being British because it won't win me votes. Tough, I am not trying to win votes an influence people here I am telling you my views!

I think that there are legitimate concerns re immigration but the sentiment I have trouble with is that these foreigners are stealing our jobs. THEY ARE NOT! Unemployment is at record levels in this country and that is with 400,000 Polish immigrant workers, where is the proof for this sentiment?

Rayleen Kelly said...

(sorry hit the wrong button for moderation!)

As a fellow Labour supporter...two tips. 1) Saying, in public, that you're ashamed to be British (for whatever reason) is never going to chime with the electorate and will lose you votes. People don't want to be represented by someone who is ashamed of this country. 2) People have legitimate fears about immigration. We can't stick out heads in the sand and tell everyone who is worried that they're a xenophobe. These people are worried, not racist, they're looking for reassurance - give them that, don't insult them or tell them they're stupid.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Oh yeah and I can't see anywhere in this post that I have said that ANYONE is stupid, all views are excepted here and I am asking for an explanation of these views.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Since writing the last two comments I have edited the post to better reflect my feelings. I still am ashamed by the racism that does exist in this country and when the television presents it as an accurate and broad view it upsets me, my grandparents were Irish immigrants to Scotland and I am proud of that fact.

Praguetory said...

That's the edited version!? Forget official unemployment, there are eight million economically inactive UK adults. That is a national disgrace. A friend of mine with a young child says that he figures that he needs a takehome income of £18,000 before it's worthwhile for him to go to work at all. In many industries, you will not get that (this has been aggravated by immigration). The country's resources are over-stretched. Your challenge should be to get UK adults off benefits and into work.

Glass House said...

Sorry. I didnt mean to cause offence.

My point was put by the PM in his conference speech - that the public will forgive a wrong decision, but they won't forgive those who don't make a decision at all.

It seem to me that people are worried about immigration and that the correct response would be to talk to them any then do something about that fear - not (however tempting it might be) just say they're wrong and refuse to do anything different.

Rayleen Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rayleen Kelly said...

In response to the economically inactive, I know that this is a challenge, no one has suggested that it is not, but the point here is that some think that 400,000 out of a total of 28.97 million! (What is that as a percentage? 0.0071%) is a problem for the Labour market.

Surely this is nonsense?

Praguetory said...

The figure of 400,000 is palpably wrong as it is based on "voluntary worker registration". Also 400,000 is more than a percent of your other figure so your arithmetic is wrong, too. It is because of Labour policies that so many British adults are economically active and the ones who are working have to work so hard.


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