Friday, 4 February 2011

Britons: More Racist/Xenophobic/Bigoted/Paranoid/Ignorant* Than Anyone Else?

* delete as applicable

The latest Transatlantic Trends on Immigration report shows that Britons are easily the most fearful and ignorant of migration trends than any other country surveyed. Where the country comes out top of the survey: 65% see immigration as more of a problem than an opportunity; 59% said there were "too many immigrants" [the European average for this figure is 12%]; had the most negative views on migrants in the job market (taking jobs away from 'natives' and bringing down wages of citizens); access to health care, state schooling and social housing should be for citizens only; and 48% thought that immigration negatively affects 'British culture'. The UK also has the lowest approval for a country's government's handling of immigration matters.

The only positive thing that we could find in all the data was that at least we weren't as obviously xenophobic as the Italians, Germans, Dutch and French in ascribing increases in crime to immigrants.

In an odd footnote to the media coverage of this was the BBC's on-line content where it claims, after discussing attitudes to access to health and schools and migrants taking jobs from natives, was this: "However, nearly three quarters thought the government should allow more foreign doctors and nurses into the UK and just over half wanted more foreign care workers for the elderly." We can find this nowhere in the report, nor were there any listings of questions involving the migration of health care workers in the Methodology.

Odd! Maybe they just made it up? If it is true however, it just goes to show that the old Empire spirit is still alive: foreigners - make good servants but you wouldn't want one moving in next door to you or marrying your daughter; and maybe this is the reason the Brits are so more racist/xenophobic/bigoted/paranoid/ignorant* than everyone else.


This news comes on the day that another report, 'Coping with Destitution: Survival and livelihood strategies of refused asylum seekers living in the UK', part-funded by Oxfam and conducted by the Centre for Migration Policy Research, is published in the UK detailing the appalling conditions of destitution that refused asylum seekers have to in this country. Many face a hand-to-mouth existence, sleeping rough or stuck in an endless rut of sofa-surfing or sleeping on friends' floors. Many suffer from ill-health because of the lack of accommodation, because of a poor diet and a lack of access to healthcare. Most are in constant fear of forced return or, due to their vulnerability, of being attacked on the street or being exploited and abused. Many are emotionally and psychologically scarred already and their situations are making them much worse.

No comments: