Welcoming Afghans and other immigrants – without question

This post: circa 5,500 words, estimated reading time, excluding videos: 28 minutes.

Not a lot of immigrants

This post began as a reply to one on Facebook, after the announcement that GB News North East of England reporter Rachel Sweeney believes her region will welcome Afghan refugees

‘I would argue 20,000 is not a lot. When you look at the footage of the people who are struggling would you not just want to open your door and say come and live with me? I would.’

Well, for a start Pakistan ambassador to the UN says they don’t want them, pointing out they already have 3m Afghan refugees and they see the influx as a “terrorist threat.”


Similarly, again with GB News, Daniel Pryor, from the Adam Smith Institute, says we should take more Afghan refugees into the UK.

The idea that we don’t have space in this country, in my opinion, is clearly ridiculous

I am not unsympathetic to the plight of genuine refugees, but at the same time – over and over and over again – it is the same reason: religion and war. Often as not the conflicts are riled up and escalated by corporates and governments greedy for oil and mineral rights. Western ones especially. US ones above all others. Toss in religious extremists, and this happens, over and over again.



How many is ‘not a lot’?

Not a lot?
As the popular Clara and Dr Who exchange meme points out, it depends.

Clara: Is 4 a lot?
Dr Who: It depends on the context. Dollars? No. Murders? Yes.

Is 20,000 (Afghan) refugees a lot?

It depends on the context. Once? No. Monthly? Yes.

Forget ethnicity, refugee and asylum reasons, just pure spreadsheet focus.
Is 20,000, on top of up to perhaps 150,000* a year arriving in Kent alone, plus all the other uncounted illegal immigrants, plus the official net migration of another 313,000 a year**

Is that a lot? Yes.

*(e.g., BBC: Record 430 migrants cross English Channel in single day)

**(e.g., ONS: Migration
Statistics Quarterly Report: August 2020


How many Afghans then? And why?

20,000?
200,000?
More?
500,000?
5,000,000?
The UN suggest it’s even more, closer to 6 million-plus!

The United Nations has warned that up to half a million Afghans could flee the country by the end of the year and has called on neighbouring countries to keep their borders open.

The current crisis comes on top of the 2.2 million Afghan refugees already in neighbouring countries and 3.5 million people forced to flee their homes within Afghanistan’s borders.

BBC: Afghanistan: How many refugees are there and where will they go?

Why flee your own country?

It is important to understand the Afghans are not fleeing the UN, not fleeing Russian invasion, they are fleeing other Muslims! As I understand it, 90% of Afghans are Sunni Muslims, as are the Taliban, so what is the problem?

Well, the Taliban are hardline religious, intolerant, fanatics who are in favour of strict Sharia law. The sort of doctrine we do not want in the UK, but is growing anyway.

The Taliban, supported by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, are the same group that protected bin Ladin and other ranking members al-Qaeda. They are extremists.

The Taliban also introduced or supported punishments in line with their strict interpretation of Sharia law – such as public executions of convicted murderers and adulterers, and amputations for those found guilty of theft. …

The Taliban also banned television, music and cinema, and disapproved of girls aged 10 and over going to school. They were accused of various human rights and cultural abuses.

BBC: Who are the Taliban

Compare and contrast

Below is a video of Afghanistan from the 60’s and 70’s, one not suppressed by extremist ideology.



Squeezing them in: Do the maths

Is 20,000 a lot, spread across the country? Probably not. But 20,000 with perhaps another (official and unofficial) 450,000 or more?

It does depend on context because even the government can only guess at the true figure, and we know they will round that figure down. According to the government, even rudimentary results from the 2021 UK Census are a year away, 2023 or later for the final tally. Just in time for the lead up to the next general election. That’s gonna get spun! For now, we do not know how many people live in the country.

Anyway, using The Geographist list of UK cities by population for comparison:

312,000? Nottingham
350,000? Cardiff
361,000? Bradford
370,000? Coventry
500,000? Leicester, Edinburgh or Leeds
550,000? Sheffield or Manchester
612,000? Glasgow

The next two up at are Birmingham and London.

And that is not a “just this once” or “this past decade” that is 300,000 (to 500,000) a year, every year, since the last census.

Rounding down, the lowest government estimate is 300,000 a year. 3 million a decade. A net immigration increase of at least 7.5 million per generation! Actual figures for population growth are far higher!

UK population figures: (Each full step is a generation)

1960: 52m
1985: 56.5m (+4.5)
2010: 62.5m (+6)
2020: 67.5m (+5m, extrapolated to +12.5 by 2035)
2035: 73.5 (+11m by ONS estimates)

Just do the maths, by year, by generation!
Even the lowest figures are approaching the population of London, or 6 cities the size of Birmingham. 12 cities the size of Manchester.

The line between a medium and a large town is 75,000 people. That’s the population of Crewe or Carlisle.
So, every year – to stand still – we need infrastructure equivalent to 4 or five towns the size of Crewe. Hospitals, roads, rail, schools, colleges, affordable houses. Without concreting over farms, forests, green belts.

The governments own figure guesses the growth of 11.5m per generation. That is approaching the population of Greater London.

Have you heard of any plans to build a city the size of Greater London by 2035?
Heck, they aren’t even expected to finish HS2 by then!

Let’s talk about hospitals.
In our area, within a 10-mile radius (some 1.2 million people), one or more hospitals have closed, two were rebuilt (at the cost of about £350m) and offer wider corridors but fewer beds. A third was supposed to be rebuilt, but Carillion, so unfinished, and in fact falling down due to structural cracks, (more taxpayers money down the toilet). That’s twenty years with no increase in capacity.

But we can fit another 20,000 more in, no problem.

I said as much when I argued for Brexit in 2016, saying In or out EU (you) lose. I had many reasons for not trusting the EU, but for immigration, it wasn’t about who we are allowing in, but how many. About logistics. The likes of Tony Blair, or indeed this Rachel Sweeney shouting “Come on down! Let them all in!” are the same ones that would scream, “but not in our neighbour, they are dragging the value of our house down”.

Do as we say, not as we do!

Don’t you just love the woke hypocrites that bang the drum about political correctness and diversity – until they have to live near these people .

Posh Kensington residents blasted for moaning that they will have to share their luxury £2billion development with Grenfell Tower fire victims set to be re-homed in 68 flats

One woman said: “We paid a lot of money to live here, and we worked hard for it – now these people are going to come along”

The Sun, 2017: ‘WE DON’T WANT THEM HERE


LET ME IN!

No, not the refugees. Me. I’ve decided I want to move to America. But, not wanting to arrive illegally, I decide to use the channels. To be a good citizen.

There’s a point system. There are background checks. From the wrong country? You are not welcome. Too many immigrants recently from a given country? You are not welcome. If you are unskilled, you are not wanted. If you are semi-skilled, well, we don’t really need you either. Are you skilled? Who is going to vouch for you? How much money have you got to tide you over? Do you have a job to go to? The American system is even more bizarre in that it adds a lottery system for the green cards!

You get the idea.

Then you look at the situation in Kent:

Ferryload of illegal immigrants: “Hey, you made it, welcome. No passport, no travel papers, no Covid-19 vaccination. We have no idea if you are a terrorist, a bank robber, or anything. But, OK, not a problem. Let’s get you settled in a hotel while we process you,”

Single homeless veteran: “Come on now, Sir, move along. Vagrancy is a criminal offence in this country. Get a job or something.”


The hypocrisy of lobbying think tank institutes

When think-tank muppets like Daniel Pryor say we have plenty of room, what they really mean is “We can squeeze then into places like Grenfell Tower, pack ’em tight, pack ’em high, and keep them in the inner cities, away from the gated communities and detached houses of us rich folk”.

What he, people like him, people like Bezos and Branson, what politicians actually mean is “more consumers, means more money for us.” Our quality of life is irrelevant. We are irrelevant, except when it matters, e.g., during elections, or relative to business terms like acquisition cost, kpi, roi, etc.

If the UK population jumps 10%, they want their profits to jump 15% or better.
Class size increasing? Not a problem; their kids go to private schools.
Hospital waiting times are increasing? Not a problem; they have private health care.
Rent increasing? Excellent – as many of them are landlords with large portfolios.
If I let millions in, they will be grateful and vote for me in elections (*cough* Blair *cough*).

You get the idea.

If you have 10,000 people within walking distance of each of your franchises, that’s good. If you pack 15,000 into the same area, it’s so much better.


Focus

In particular, this post is a reply to the comment below, which, at the time of writing, had 436 likes. Besides the spelling mistakes, and being factually inaccurate, he does have a point. Over the next 20 years the Muslim community in the UK is expected to increase by over 10%, to over 17% of the population. Over 12 million.

If they want to integrate, fine, if they don’t, it’s a problem. Regardless, it massively changes the culture and politics of this country (any host country) in a single generation. Cultural shifts like that rarely go smoothly.

I predict Shirea law in this country within two decades. Forced upon us by immigration, breeding large families, virtually no integration, our complacency and political correctness and naiviety in offering something for nothing! Remember, WE LET IT HAPPEN!

By “WE” I assume he (the original poster) means – or should mean – a succession of governments, not ‘we’ the general public. Politicians do not actually listen to voters.

Here, by governments, I specifically mean Tony Blair onwards, but am reminded of Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of blood’ even then warning of the consequences of mass immigration.

His speech was prompted by a local school with only one white pupil. By 2013, newspapers were reporting stories like this: Total number of schools with no white British children doubles to 84. They don’t give that figure anymore, instead, governments issue committee reports such as this: ‘Forgotten’ White working-class pupils let down by decades of neglect, MPs say

The BBC is as woke and politically correct as they come – yet by 2013 the BBC can be quoted as saying that, as revealed by the latest census, white Brits are now in a minority in London, making up just 45% of its residents.

We are a minority in our own capital. And nobody in authority seems bothered by that!


Phobia vs Islamophobia

If you have a phobia, you have an irrational fear.
If you are paranoid, you have an irrational fear.
If they really are out to get you, paranoia starts to become rational!

Absolutely, a small percentage will be hatefully racist, xenophobic, but that is true of all demographics, all religions.

Most Muslims are nice people, most extremists are not.
The terrorists that attacked the Twin Towers, the London Underground, that were responsible for the Manchester Arena bombing… they had one aim: Cause fear.
They didn’t care who got hurt: Imams, Muslim mothers with their children? Collateral damage. They died for the cause. A cause they wanted no part in.

Remember, the Afghans are fleeing other Afghans!
They are Sunni Muslims fleeing other Sunni Muslims.
The type of person ever-ready to fling the ‘Islamophobe’ slur seems incapable of considering this fact.
The refugees are not being Islamophobic, they are literally running for their lives from intolerant extremists that are suppressing and murdering them.


Slavery and true racism starts with the price tag.

For some, like many black people, the distrust is both real and utterly justified. Generationally, the wounds are still raw and run deep.

The other day, to make this point, I shared a photo of a slave shop (1865). In America, for example, a few generations back, it was legal to pop into the local market to buy a slave in the same way they might buy lamp oil. Locally, Liverpool was built on the slave trade.

And God-fearing, bible-thumping, church-going Christians were OK with that. Just as, in the past, they were more than OK with torturing, maiming, burning alive anyone they thought a witch, or who had the audacity to question or disagree with them.

Religion, government, and businesses were OK with slavery. Some still are.

Put another way, the greatest evils in history were carried out by the people that wrote the laws, not those who broke them.

Within the British empire and our commonwealth slavery was banned in 1807, sort of; officially by 1834, mostly. But if you include slavery in British India, it was only abolished in 1861.

Not in living memory, but for perspective, this was in my great grandfather’s time.

Do you think the type of people OK with this are any different than the CEOs and many other ‘leaders’ of today? You think, if that could get away with it, putting more $ in their pockets, they wouldn’t? Do you think slavery and child labour went away?

Out of sight, out of mind is all.


When political correctness and cancel culture churns into extremist hypocrisy

Ever notice how the people that are most vocal about climate change, #BLM, anti-slavery seem to be wealthy and well-educated?

Take Extinction Rebellion? They target London and the UK, which has the lowest carbon footprint in the G7, but not countries like China with the highest. They are comprised of people like actress Dame Emma Thompson, who flew from LA to protest about planes producing too much Co2. I ask you.

The people demanding we remove paintings, pull down statues, about how they offended by it all – as they wear their furs, their designer clothes, as they capture it all on their iPhones. Chatting away as they sup lattes prepared by people – often immigrants – who can barely afford their monthly rent.

Woke campaigners, sometimes with a couple of mansions and servants, all gleefully ignorant that everything they love in life is a product of modern slavery.

But let’s not upset that cart, darling. No, let’s be angry about something that happened 300 years ago. Something I am so angry about I must do something. I must be seen to be a rebel!

But not against the products they use, the companies they support, or countries that might be offended (and by offended I mean throw them into a cockroach-infested dungeon).

Modern slavery (links):

Liverpool Museum: Modern slavery? Transatlantic slavery? What’s the difference?

Time magazine: “It Was As if We Weren’t Human.” Inside the Modern Slave Trade Trapping African Migrants. The trade in human beings thrives on the road to Europe.

ExtremeTech: Report: China Sells Minorities Into ‘Forced Labor’ to Benefit Apple, Foxconn, Others. That Apple, yes. They – and many other big companies – are well known for making big statements about cleaning up their supply chain, and doing little else.

ABC news: Apple, Nike and other major companies implicated in Muslim forced labour in China

Guardian: One in 200 people is a slave. Why? Slavery affects more than 40 million people worldwide – more than at any other time in history


A conflicting opinion does not make you istobic!

I just made that word up -ist + -phobic = #Istobic

I am not racist, I do not have a problem with any ethnicity, but I am not a fan of religion – any religion, and the more intolerant the religion, the less I like it. I am no more Islamophobic than I am ecclesiophobic or atheophobic*. That said, the problem, as well as brain-washing and indoctrination, is intolerance and an unwillingness to integrate in any meaningful way.
*(People who are terrified of atheists in case they challenge their faith!)

You do think Mercy Muroki is being ‘istobic’ when she says in a report on Facebook that I don’t want to see children getting indoctrinated with extremist ideologies.

A Muslim head teacher is facing jail for continuing to run an illegal Islamic private school despite being convicted of running the school out of a run-down building back in September 2019.

Ofsted, the schools inspector, found material at the school encouraging parents to hit their children if they did not pray, materials saying a woman had no right to deny sex to her husband.

Unsurprisingly, inspectors also found that the school had no plan in place to promote British values, something that ALL schools have a legal duty to actively promote.

But what worries me is the complete lack of power to actually do anything about it!

Ofsted has flagged almost 300 suspected illegal schools since 2016, and estimate that up to 6000 are taught in them.

And most of the illegal FAITH schools are Islamic.

Despite this, only a few prosecutions have ever been made.

GB News (extract): “if they get caught, it’s a slap on the wrist”

Just to be absolutely clear, like Mercy above, I am not suggesting that Islam as a (generic) faith is evil, or that all Muslims beat the Quran and Islam into their children, BUT some do, and when people (whether authorities or other Muslims) turn a blind eye to it, because nobody wants smearing with istobic, well, it is a problem. It tells the extremists and radicals that it is OK. Beating your kid is OK, as long as you are beating the Quran into them, because that is the will of Allah. Allah is great; Islam is a peaceful religion. And I will beat that truth into you.

Replace Allah with God, Quran with Holy Bible and plenty enough Irish Catholics of a certain age will be nodding in understanding.

(I do have issues with child abuse, yes).

The point is this: If you know it is wrong, if you know anyone else would be prosecuted, but you refuse to act for fear of offending, then you are as guilty as you are compliant. Equally, you are a complete hypocrite and an istobic because you are biased against all ethnicities, religions and faiths but this one!


Othering and intolerance

This positive bias toward Islam and Muslims by police, by authorities, by government, by apologists is ‘othering’. Us and them. Or, worse, them and everyone else in the country. The message we constantly seem to be getting in this country is this: “Gingers, the Irish (but not Travellers), Poles, Blacks, Jews, Hindu, the English, all the rest, no problem. Just don’t offend the Muslims.”

That sounds awful, but time and time again, in government reports, usually adding ‘lessons will be learnt’, there is a line, in small print, saying we failed them because we were unwilling to offend this community. Most clear in most people’s mind in the UK will be the blatant ‘hands-off’ and dismissive approach by police and social services in places like Rotherham and Rochdale where Asian paedophile grooming gangs were left unmolested by authorities. Something that cannot be said of their many, many victims.

Clearly, it is a cultural thing. Muslims like ’em young. Let’s not offend. Let’s not draw attention to this. The dirty bastards!

Huzzah for inflammatory comments and racism!

I do that a lot, sorry. There’s a mischievous streak in me that likes trolling stupid and reactionary people. The type that gets inflamed without reading to the end of the paragraph. If you follow Ackadia you’ll realise it’s not that I’m biased, more that I don’t like anyone particularly. I have trust issues and am deeply cynical. I don’t trust people, I don’t trust media, I don’t trust universities to be impartial, I certainly don’t trust governments, and I absolutely do not trust religion.

The net of this paranoia is, well, I don’t trust them, so if they say, “Muslims bad”, I look for counterarguments and hidden biases. All that stuff in Rochdale was real; it was sick as it was nasty. And yes, the police protected the perpetrators for fear of offending. But that’s not the whole story. Because the mainstream media at the time didn’t want the whole truth, it does not sell as well, they wanted a treated version of the truth. I have written about this before. The press is not your friend!

So, here’s a different truth to ponder:

Waqas Tufail, (2015), Rotherham, Rochdale, and the Racialised Threat of the ‘Muslim Grooming Gang’, International Journal for Crime Justice and Social Democracy 4(3), DOI:10.5204/ijcjsd.v4i3.249, Leeds Beckett University

The point of Dr Tufail’s paper is that press, dampened down all the stories of equally depraved white paedophile rings, and focused on THIS NEWS. This, in turn, demonises Muslims in the public, making them warier, more likely to be targetted by racists, less likely to integrate. So, if you came here looking for racist material and stopped a few paragraphs earlier, that’s on you. You found what you were looking for. The truth didn’t matter, only the truth you wanted to find. So, I’m wasting my breath as you aren’t reading this!

 

Thus and furthermore, the problem is not (say) Muslims, it is extremists, and the problem is not simply the extremists, but their apologists.

The Charlie Hebdo case is a good example. To raise awareness of a rising problem they perceived, they did that infamous front cover. Contentious? Certainly. Inflammatory? Clearly. But did it justify a murderous rampage?
Here the problem was not the murder, it was the response of the Muslim communities around the world – from recollection, around 60% of Muslims thought it was justified. (i.e. Hebdo had it coming, we’d have done the same).

Statistics are easy to manipulate, so who asked and why etc., but the fact a teacher is hiding in Batley, feared for his life, because he mentioned the Charlie Hebdo case in class

Post a photo mocking atheists and we will laugh at you.

Post a photo mocking Jesus and Catholics may offer to pray for you.

Post a photo mocking the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and most will laugh with you, at them. Quite possibly including themselves.
(Yes, amazingly it is a real religion or cult).

Post a photo of the cover of that Charlie Hebdo cover, or anything perceived to insult Islam…


Grammar and intolerance

If they are so strong in their faith, why get angry? Doubt? Righteous rage? Or brain-washing?
But it’s not that simple either, the problem is grammar and vocabulary.

Take language like ‘English’. Few people can painstakingly translate 7th century ‘English’. Nor easily can read or translate 14th century English. Even in my lifetime English language has changed so much I could sob some days!

Consider how many times the Bible (supposedly the literal word of God) has been rewritten, reinterpreted by ‘men of god’. By Men, then.

“Let us eat gran.”

The problem with religion, with zealots, with extremists, is they can take a sentence (like that above) from scriptures and say, “It is the word of God. It MUST be obeyed.”

Now, seen in modern eyes, that’s missing a comma, it’s the grandchildren telling their nanna it’s time to eat.

“Let us eat, gran.” Obviously

“Let us eat gran.” If you read that as a literal command, it’s a problem.

“Let us eat gran.” See, language changes over time, gran could have meant grain, or a forgotten recipe (pancakes say).

Now, if you are of a particular mindset, you will rush the throw some -ist or -phobic slur at me. I remind you that fanatics arise in every sector: from politics to game and product ‘fanbois’ to religion. People have been murdered over game loot, another was killed over a Twitter handle (Swatted).

My point isn’t that immigrants are the problem (apart from logistically) it’s that a tiny minority are. They don’t want to change, they want a world in their image. In the case of Muslims, extremists are not simply a problem for ‘us’ but every one that is not them. The Afghans running like hell from Afghanistan are Muslims running from Muslims… Let that sink in.

In the news today – as I write this – ISIS-K terrorists attacked Taliban terrorists and anyone else that got in the way. Isis affiliate is prime suspect for Kabul airport suicide bombing. It’s almost ironic, extremists killing other extremists because one thinks to other is too soft-hearted.

If you didn’t know, it was only a few centuries ago that the Catholic church ruthlessly controlled our lives. Minutely. You can only marry with the churches blessing, only ‘make out’ on the day(s) they allowed, and in the manner they permitted. Anything else was lustful, it was sin. Was against the law.


Faith, or control?

I am an unrepentant and cynical atheist, but here’s how I see religion.

Preacher: “We are the religion of love and peace.

Couple#1: “Can we marry, make many babies, and raise them as good [insert faith]”

Preacher: “You are blessed, my children. Have at it.”

Couple#2: “Can we marry, please?”

Preacher: “You are the same sex! SINNER! YOU WILL BURN IN HELL’S FIRE! You must be put to death lest your sick perversions taint others. Deviant!”

Couple#2: “But you are the religion of love and peace. You said so!”

Preacher: “WE MAKE THE RULES. YOU OBEY THEM, WITHOUT QUESTION!”

And there you have it.

It also comes down to this:

Many of you may remember Stan Boardman’s joke about “The Germans Bombed Our Chippy”. It happened, 80 years ago. Terrifying at the time, but 30, 40 years on, it was something to joke about. It was a different time, different people. Hiroshima, that was different, not to be joked about, but still, we move on.

Only some don’t. They hold on to the hate, the anger, the rage. And pass it on down the line. If you are an avid fantasy reader you will probably know of the Warhammer Dwarves and their ‘Book of Grudges’. Once a grudge, a slight or betrayal is entered, it is set. It can never be forgiven. Never forgotten. It must be avenged. Maybe not so in the Book of Grudges, but it real life it can be a thousand years later and people are still at each other’s throats. The original enmity was forgottens countless centuries back, all that remains is an unquenchable hatred of your foe, passed down father to son. This must be avenged!

That is what radicalisation is.


Brittanica on ISIS/ISIL:

ISIL began to assume some governmental functions in the areas under its control, such as collecting taxes and organizing basic services. Policing, education, and health care were carried out in accordance with its hard-line interpretation of Islamic law. Yet witness accounts and the group’s own propaganda indicated that ISIL continued to rely on extreme violence against civilians to enforce its edicts and to ensure the compliance of the populace: public executions, amputations, and lashings were routine, and the corpses of the executed were often displayed to the public as a warning against disobedience. There were also widespread reports of sexual violence carried out by ISIL, including forced marriages and sex slavery.

Brittanica: Expansion and declaration of a caliphate

They rose to power because people of a similar faith let them. A minority enforcing their will on an entire country.

At which point the people of a similar faith learn the hard way that extremists are not of a similar faith at all and now it’s too late to speak up! It took just a week for Afghanistan to fall to extremists. Daesh similarly swept through the middle-East like a raging, destructive fire. All it took was one person with a match.

Then, another lunatic comes along and says, “Call yourself an extremist? You are soft. Hold my beer, I’ll show you a real terrorist!”.

If you want a more academic view: A Multidimensional Analysis of Religious Extremism


Because #Brexit

Obviously, I’m old, I’m white, I voted for Brexit, therefore, I’m ‘gammon’, I’m a racist, an Islamophobe, I’m xenophobic. If only we had only stayed in the EU. If only we’d Remained. Better in that out, right. EU countries are more tolerant.

Well, that is the spin, isn’t it? But it is true?

Reminding you that this Afghan crisis was caused by the US pulling out just 2,500 soldiers.

Nearby Tajikistan is taking 100,000 refugees
The UK is taking 20,000
America is only taking 10,000
Australia, 3,000
Austria: none
Switzerland: none
France: none (?)
Turkey: none
Pakistan: None, (but already have 3m)

You get the idea.



Side note: It should be noted

I’ve had it up to ‘here’ with the woke crowd and ranting ‘Remoaners’, whose unwilling to think, to reason, but quick to lash our with shouts of ‘xenophobe’, ‘gammon’ and ‘answering the dog whistle’. (Making a distinction from all the people that voted remain and accepted the referendum result, whether they liked it or not).

Firstly, they don’t know me, so to claim they know my thoughts is hubris and or stupidity.

Secondly, I am exceptionally intelligent and stupid people annoy me. Opinionated but educated stupid people annoy me even more. You know the type. “I went to Oxford; I’m right, you’re wrong”.
University, I’ve found, and particularly socio-political and education-orientated courses, like to stamp their twisted version of the truth on people, if they can.

Thirdly, my degree is in forensic psychology. So, an academic understanding of othering, racism, cognitive biases, diversity, in and out-groups, and intersectionality.

Fourthly, again, they don’t know me. So when they start talking about Brexit and immigration, they are stereotyping me – us – with how they see the world.
You don’t see the world as it is, you see it as you are.

In their narrow minds, if you comment on immigration you are the thug waving bacon in the face of the Muslim girl alone on the bus. You are the skinhead with the swastika tattoo on their forehead. You are one step away from joining the KKK. You are the ignoramus offering a Muslim ham salad for tea because you are out of halal meals. And, to compound the ignorance, peel the ham off and hand the offending meal back saying “It’s fine to eat now.” (True story).
Such people, ever ready to abuse, are incapable of seeing beyond their own bigotry!

For myself, and hopefully, for you, it’s never like that. I see immigration and migration as it is, as it has always been: wonderful and terrible by degrees.

Humanity or at least civilisation spread – presumably from the Indus valley – to every part of the world, and with it came art, literature, culture, science. But also greed, lust, hate, power.

Religion and war walk hand in hand with power and wealth. They are inseparable. History repeats itself, empire by empire. Rising and falling. Because people who have enough want more, and people who have it all are still not satisfied. Every time you move the luxury bar, you settle into the new normal. How much is too much?

Even in fantasies such as Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels, you read of the upheaval brought by waves of immigration. New to your culture, unwilling to learn, let go, change or share. Differences settled with swords, guns, bombs.

So, you are British? Engish? You know, like you can trace your ancestors back 120 generations. The Roman invasions passed your family by. The Vikings too. As did the Norse invasion. As did every migration wave in the past 1,000 years. Wave after wave of immigrants going back tens of thousands of years.

Fifthly, nationality.

Me? I am proudly British. To the core! I do not want these foreigners here! Except, well, bit of a problem with that, really. I don’t know my full history, but tall blonde suggests Scandinavian genes. More recently, my great grandmother and grandmother came to the UK (via Ireland and Wales) from France, escaping religious persecution, or so I’m told. My more immediate family are or were Scottish, Irish (Southern), Canadian and Australian. I only really remain in the UK because of health reasons. Also, my passport is Canadian, so there’s that.

My aunty – who has lived here for over 60 years – had to fight tooth and nail to avoid deportation by the home office. She too is a filthy foreigner. Unwanted, unwelcome.
“Yes, I know you have lived here since you were a baby, paid tax all this time, but, see, now you are entitled to a pension and so we’d like you to go, please. No. By the way, we are letting about 20,000 immigrants into the country. Can they have your stuff?”

Stories like this are common: Guardian (2018) ‘I felt like dirt’: disabled Canadian woman told to leave UK after 44 years. “Margaret O’Brien’s treatment by Home Office suggests scandal goes beyond Windrush generation.”

If you search you will find many more stories like hers. Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians, Gurkhas, the Windrush victims. All pushed out by a callous and uncaring Home Office that – curiously – welcomes mass immigration for more ethnic minorities. Except, as with London, as a group, they are no longer the minority.

Lastly, culturally.
Again, I’m British, a proud supporter of Brexit. I’m as English as pie and chips! Again, the ‘Remoaners’ would have you believe, that’s me being a xenophobic Nationalist. Besides the fact that I’m not entirely English (I have dual nationality), I’m old. I do not recognise this world anymore. Not the weather, not the people. I remember the hippy generation. That was my culture. The 70s rock and disco. Walking to the library to do research. Asking a neighbour if we could borrow their phone – because most houses didn’t even have a landline back then. I can recall helping on the farm at a time when farms still had ploughhorses, almost.

Me and Lucky, back in the early 80s
Herb, Farmer with a scythe

When some young Londoner or Cambridge PPE academic declares I (or you) are ‘Islamophobic’ and culturally ignorant (besides the fact I’m not), they fail to grasp that they are culturally generations apart from me, from ‘boomers’.

I understand technology, was a computer consultant, owned and ran few IT companies in the past, but my daughter still had to laugh at me and tell me a ‘meme’ is a ‘meem‘ and not a ‘me me‘. I can design and program apps and games for a smartphone, but neither have nor want one. Cultural differences.


Related Links

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Feature image shows abandoned life jackets in Syria. Posted by jdblack on Pixabay

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