Right, I’ve been back in the UK since Monday but have yet to manage to post anything on here largely because I have some thoughts on a range of issues but can’t really find any focus. I shall therefore address them here individually but briefly.
The day before I flew to Spain I attended a wedding, all pretty standard fare until one of the speeches. The father of the bride was sadly deceased so his surviving brother got up to say a few words, but he actually rambles on for ages about his family history. The essential story is that his parents were Jewish and they fled to the UK during the war to escape Nazi persecution (he took around 15 minutes to say this) and that when they entered the UK his father had to prove he could work to support his family, and luckily he had a trade and was let into the country.
Now, for the punch line: ‘However, nowadays anybody can come into the UK and be welcomed with open arms.’ At this point, one individual actually cheered the anti-immigrant sentiment, whilst the rest of us sat in a rather stunned silence that the punch line to his story was a cheap, inaccurate shot at immigrants and had little to do with the wedding.
A stranger on my table muttered ‘He must be a Mail reader’. So I wasn’t alone in seeing the irony of an immigrant to the UK bashing immigrants to the UK. The whole point of his story seems to support more open borders, not less. For what kind of country would reject a person fleeing the holocaust on the grounds that they might not have a worthwhile trade? Surely a country that accepts those fleeing persecution irrespective of trade or financial circumstances is a civilised and great one?
The myth that immigrants arrive in the UK to open arms and wads of cash is so pervasive that it is actually believed by immigrants.
Mail readers constantly whinge about the loss of ‘British identity’ or the invasion of foreign culture, yet the Costa Del Sol was a virtual home away from home. Streets lined with British pubs showing UK soaps, a pub chain called ‘Heatherspoons’ and countless ex-pats wondering around reading British papers etc.
Now, the Spanish may not be massive fans of this, but at the same time, they make huge amounts of money out of tourists and ex-pats, so this is just a consequence of globalisation. People are allowed to move; Mail readers are allowed to retire to sunnier climes, others are allowed to move to the UK because they believe they have better prospects here (or perhaps because they have heard they myth that they’ll be showered with benefits). Mail readers should just get over it.
A person was thumbing through a copy of the Daily Mail in my company and started telling me wasn’t it terrible that a family got x amounts of benefits and that they never worked and so on. I merely replied that the Daily Mail was a terrible newspaper and that I wouldn’t believe anything published in it without properly looking into the matter. ‘Oh, she replied, I know that, I only buy it for the crosswords’.
Right, I am sick of people saying something along these lines: ‘I only buy it for the sport’, ‘I don’t really believe everything I read in the papers, I only buy them as a bit of fun’ etc. If you really do only buy the Daily Mail for the crosswords then do not under any circumstance tell me about how terrible immigrants are because of an article you have just read in that newspaper. If you really only buy it for the crossword, then save money and paper and just buy a book of crosswords.
If the BNP incorporated crosswords into their pamphlets would you make an effort to get hold of them? Would you sit there and tut-tut aloud to those around you about the evils of black people, before qualifying that you only really read the pamphlets for the crossword?
If you are a Daily Mail reader, don’t try and hide behind excuses, just admit you like to be scared, angered and misinformed on a daily basis. Embrace your own racism and ignorance, don’t shy away from it. I might at least grudgingly respect you for your honesty then if nothing else.
As I arrived at various airports I was disgusted by the treatment I received as a white, British person. I was consistently asked to provide my passport to people, those people would then look at the passport and compare the photo to my face, as if there were some kind of border controls in place. I was outraged to think that as an indigenous white person I was subjected to these checks whereas presumably beyond the wall next to me dirty foreigners were arriving to be greeted with free cars, huge sums of money and directions to their free houses. Presumably they must even use some kind of special, glamorous red-carpet airport that us Brits are not allowed in, because I certainly didn’t see any of the above at the airport I landed in.
I’m not sure what was more relaxing, the holiday or simply the break from the world that the Daily Mail tries to convince us we’re inhabiting.
I’ll try and post something decent soon, once I have got the will power to log onto the Mail website. In the meantime, many happy returns to the Daily Quail who has just turned 1 years old.