BNP support NOT linked to immigration

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jan/13/immigration-british-society-biggest-problem

just skimmed it - it quotes Katwala. It's unsurprising and probably universal - first reaction to difficult times is to blame the (perceived) Other. It saves having to confront difficult questions of what the real (internal) problems might be, by positing an age-old external threat (and it's also the glue for the primary way in which the political world is ordered - by discrete states). And you could say similarly on the micro-level of individual people's lives too - much easier to blame the outside world than to undertake the difficult task of changing oneself*.

It's understandable, but totally fucked and at the root of so much that's bad (on both micro and macro levels).

* I've been feeling particularly assaulted by other people's passive-aggressiveness/disavowed anger lately!
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
So anyone who isn't convinced that immigration is an unalloyed good for everyone already living here is obviously a terrible ignorant xenophobe?

[much easier to blame the outside world than to undertake the difficult task of changing oneself

What if the outside world is changing in ways that you aren't entirely happy with? It's your duty as a good citizen to get with the programme and suck it up?
 

Patrick Swayze

I'm trying to shut up
wasn't the non white british figure closer to 20% in the recent census...? definitely used to be around 10...

wikipedia's got england's white british population at 79.8%, with the british average being pulled up to 82% by the inclusion of wales, scotland and n. ireland.


I think that potentially 70-80% feel uneasy about immigration in general due to scaremongering about overpopulation/languages spoken in schools (because being surrounded by different languages and cultures is so bad for your education) but few of them have any specific ideas about what they'd do in response to it and certainly don't harbour any genuine malice toward immigrants, so it would take and extreme event to make them vote further right than the conservatives.

that's what the BNP are basically hoping for, some sort of cataclysmic event that can be spun with a race angle. I wonder how the riots affected their popularity?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
wasn't the non white british figure closer to 20% in the recent census...? definitely used to be around 10...

If 20% is correct then that shows how much immigration has increased over the last decade or so, since it means people born here to immigrant families are outnumbered by people born abroad.

(because being surrounded by different languages and cultures is so bad for your education)

OTOH, it can be hard to teach when half the class has no idea what the teacher is saying...of course the answer to that is to provide classroom assistants to help the kids get up to speed with their English. But that costs money, and if there's one thing Mr. and Mrs. Dailymailreader hate, it's public money being spent on immigrants, because it's 'unfair'. Never mind that a quid spent helping a Bengali or Somali kid learn reasonable English is going to benefit the economy by a far greater amount down the line - that's not the point.

One of life's little ironies that people who make the most noise about immigrants' failure to integrate are often the ones who baulk at the idea of the state actually trying to help them integrate - even if that ends up being completely self-defeating from an economic (never mind social) POV.
 

Patrick Swayze

I'm trying to shut up
If 20% is correct then that shows how much immigration has increased over the last decade or so, since it means people born here to immigrant families are outnumbered by people born abroad.



OTOH, it can be hard to teach when half the class has no idea what the teacher is saying...of course the answer to that is to provide classroom assistants to help the kids get up to speed with their English. But that costs money, and if there's one thing Mr. and Mrs. Dailymailreader hate, it's public money being spent on immigrants, because it's 'unfair'. Never mind that a quid spent helping a Bengali or Somali kid learn reasonable English is going to benefit the economy by a far greater amount down the line - that's not the point.

One of life's little ironies that people who make the most noise about immigrants' failure to integrate are often the ones who baulk at the idea of the state actually trying to help them integrate - even if that ends up being completely self-defeating from an economic (never mind social) POV.

maybe when the native language is far removed from english. I grew up abroad speaking english at home and learned german just by being immersed in it i.e. through friends, their parents, classmates... everyday life. I definitely think that the difficulty is exaggerated.

having said that if you move here at say 7 or 8 with no english capability it's a different situation.
 

rubberdingyrapids

Well-known member
I think that potentially 70-80% feel uneasy about immigration in general due to scaremongering about overpopulation/languages spoken in schools (because being surrounded by different languages and cultures is so bad for your education) but few of them have any specific ideas about what they'd do in response to it and certainly don't harbour any genuine malice toward immigrants, so it would take and extreme event to make them vote further right than the conservatives.

im starting to think that though not preferable, malice was at least easier to take the measure of. what i see now is a lot more veiled, and a lot more repressed, as people think they arent allowed to say anything vaguely negative (though tbh this has obvious benefits) so you end up with this awkward air of people just being disengenuous or passive aggressive and sending down their real feelings about non-english groups to their unconscious. so they might not say anything outright hateful but the reservations are massive. im sure i dont need to tell anyone in london that people dont tend to mix by and large.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Thing is, I think most of the worthwhile, cogent arguments both in favour of immigration and against it are socio-economic, but very often it's arguments about culture that people get really worked up about. The Right tends to worry about the dilution of indigenous culture and evoke images of an alien bogeyman coming here with the express intention of banning Christmas, while very often the Left's none too helpful response is to label anyone who isn't unambiguously enthusiastic about unlimited immigration a massive racist - regardless of whether their reservations are to do with culture/'race' or not.

people think they arent allowed to say anything vaguely negative (though tbh this has obvious benefits) so you end up with this awkward air of people just being disengenuous or passive aggressive and sending down their real feelings about non-english groups to their unconscious.

I guess what you're talking about is people who are loosely liberal/centrist but not socialists per se - people who think Tony Blair basically did an OK job apart from the whole Iraq thing - but who would rather be thought of as being on the left than on the right - something like that? Then the sense of "not being allowed to say anything" comes precisely from the Left having equated even the desire to have open debate around immigration, let alone actually opposing it, with racism.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
So anyone who isn't convinced that immigration is an unalloyed good for everyone already living here is obviously a terrible ignorant xenophobe?

Not my point although yes, anti-immigration discourses are pretty much always fascist, given that the very concept of immigration stems from restrictions upon the free movement of people, their basic freedoms subjugated to an international system of states designed to include/exclude on an arbitrary basis (birth). Mass net immigration results from huge imbalances of wealth within the world, largely precipitated by what happened a couple of centuries back. So yep, as a discourse anti-immigration is pretty ignorant.

While the discourse is ignorant, why individual people (and more pointedly, lots of people who lack power within their own country) buy into it is obviously way more complex and based upon other factors such as fear and resignation - people are usually encouraged towards anti-immigration by the ruling class (insofar as it can get away with it without lapsing into crude racism - though obviously that doesn't stop some tories), as it diverts attention from the class politics going on within the country itself. So it's not ignorance, but just that it's generally easier to believe the threat is outside rather than fight forces perpetuating inequality inside the country (which obv usually starts with the government), because to take on the latter fight seems doomed to failure. But that means that nothing changes, and intolerance and racism are perpetuated.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
im starting to think that though not preferable, malice was at least easier to take the measure of. what i see now is a lot more veiled, and a lot more repressed, as people think they arent allowed to say anything vaguely negative (though tbh this has obvious benefits) so you end up with this awkward air of people just being disengenuous or passive aggressive and sending down their real feelings about non-english groups to their unconscious. so they might not say anything outright hateful but the reservations are massive. im sure i dont need to tell anyone in london that people dont tend to mix by and large.

but those are only their 'real feelings' because of the way in which the Other is constructed by society as a whole. what is often being repressed to an even greater extent are the feelings people who lack power in any particular country have towards those who hold power in that country (who are themselves constructing the powerless as another Other i.e. 'chavs' or any number of linked codified images/terms, in a racialised manner). Divide and rule.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Not my point although yes, anti-immigration discourses are pretty much always fascist, given that the very concept of immigration stems from restrictions upon the free movement of people, their basic freedoms subjugated to an international system of states designed to include/exclude on an arbitrary basis (birth).

So the only non-fascist position to take is to support the global abolition of borders and the entire concept of the nation-state? I mean, fair enough if that is your position, but I wonder if it's not a bit of an abuse of the term 'fascist'. For one thing, it would define pretty much every country in the world as 'fascist'.

And down to what level do you oppose restrictions on the free movement of people? Would you be happy with the street you live on becoming a motorway? Or with a bunch of people you've never met before setting up camp in your garden, or your living room?

That may sound hyperbolic but really there's a whole spectrum of territory types that extends from 'country' at one extreme down to 'house' (or even 'bedroom') at the other. All territories are defined as areas where a certain class of people have the privilege - by whatever virtue, arbitrary or otherwise - of living there, while another class of people - everyone else - does not.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
So the only non-fascist position to take is to support the global abolition of borders and the entire concept of the nation-state? I mean, fair enough if that is your position, but I wonder if it's not a bit of an abuse of the term 'fascist'. For one thing, it would define pretty much every country in the world as 'fascist'.

And down to what level do you oppose restrictions on the free movement of people? Would you be happy with the street you live on becoming a motorway? Or with a bunch of people you've never met before setting up camp in your garden, or your living room?

That may sound hyperbolic but really there's a whole spectrum of territory types that extends from 'country' at one extreme down to 'house' (or even 'bedroom') at the other. All territories are defined as areas where a certain class of people have the privilege - by whatever virtue, arbitrary or otherwise - of living there, while another class of people - everyone else - does not.

I don't know if fascism is the right word, tbh, not too interested in the semantics of it.
The nation-state system, insofar as it means borders are not open, is inherently based upon arbitrary inclusion and exclusion, in a way that asserts that some people have superior rights to others (access to resources of myriad kinds), for no reason other than 'birthright'. That seems pretty fascistic to me, but if another word fits better, that's fine by me too. So my position is as you say, yes. How could it be otherwise for anyone, if commitment to human rights is anything more than empty talk* (of course, restoring equality of riches between different areas of the world would be preferable to anything, but as that is not going to happen, then...)?

(*and all of us are guilty of this in various situations all the time, I know I am, that's the struggle of life, to make our principles and actions meet, and to make our principles coherent with each other)

I don't oppose free movement of people. Whether or not I'd 'like' it, in the sense of it causing me some discomfort, is kind of irrelevant - making a better world will involve discomfort to those of us born into comparative luxury. There's no way to oppose free movement of people without supporting a system that upholds basic inequality. I know you don't mean to, and I'm being mischievous here rather than anything else, but even in questioning it in the above, you risk sounding like a Tory campaign advert: "Or with a bunch of people you've never met before setting up camp in your garden, or your living room?" People want to move to Britain (in a net sense) because it's a rich country, and that relative richness is mostly founded upon theft, war, slavery and general immorality, not any kind of superiority to the people who live in poorer nations.

As to your last point, I see what you're saying, but really the point is that people don't want to move to my house much, cos it's an average house (within local standards). People do want to move to Britain though, because as a country it is not average, it is rich beyond the dreams of most people in this world.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Is it considered a basic human right to live wherever you like?

That's an interesting question. I'd say yes, in any meaningful system of human rights. At least as far as territories go.

Of course, the UN exists only as an agglomeration of states, and therefore is in thrall to nation-state logic. So it says:

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

But of course the UN (represented as it is by the rich and powerful in each country) has a vested interest in maintaining inequality between nations, in the sense of keeping 'too many' poor people from moving to rich countries. Which the rich people in poor countries acquiesce to for various reasons.

Of course, I haven't even mentioned the lopsided immigration rules that privilege people from certain countries (with all the racialised elements that this implies) with easier access to Britain (or any other rich country for that matter). Immigrants are not all made equal (which of course is countered by both the right and the centre-left by sick-making appeal to 'economic benefit'. While of course tacitly accepting that shitloads of 'illegal' immigrants are required to make their services run smoothly, and then stigmatising these very same people by branding them 'illegal').

There's nowt (or very little) more political than immigration, come to think of it.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Rather than pretending that we can accommodate the whole world, wouldn't it be better if the UK and other rich countries devoted a far higher proportion of their GDP to sustainable, progressive foreign aid to help developing countries actually develop? I mean, not just to become colossal pools of cheap outsourced labour for the food and goods we require, but actually to develop the kind of social infrastructures we enjoy.

Life is clearly pretty fucking tough in many parts of the world if earning a couple of quid an hour as an illegal labourer and living in someone's shed in Newham is preferable. A much more progressive approach would be to try to tackle the huge inequalities that exist between different parts of the world. Of course that's a pretty tall order.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
OK, so the UN guarantees "freedom of residence" within - though not across - national borders. But that assumes that when someone wants so move to a new area, the incomer can financially afford the area and the area can logistically afford the incomer. I mean, in theory it's my inalienable human right to live in a penthouse apartment in Kensington, right?

Edit: you're right about the status of illegal immigrants, and I've read some very persuasive arguments lately for a wholesale amnesty for people living illegally in the UK. Deporting them en masse would be unthinkably inhumane and also totally impractical, maintaining the status quo basically ensures the immiseration and exploitation of hundreds of thousands of people while granting citizenship would hugely benefit them and wider society as well.

And at the other end of the extreme, the insanity that is the housing market in London - and by extension the whole of the south-east - is fuelled in large part by the 'right' sort of immigrants, i.e ultra-wealthy foreigners who treat the UK as a virtual tax haven thanks to our 'business-friendly' tax laws (and the extremely lax enforcement of the laws even as they exist).
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Rather than pretending that we can accommodate the whole world, wouldn't it be better if the UK and other rich countries devoted a far higher proportion of their GDP to sustainable, progressive foreign aid to help developing countries actually develop? I mean, not just to become colossal pools of cheap outsourced labour for the food and goods we require, but actually to develop the kind of social infrastructures we enjoy.

Life is clearly pretty fucking tough in many parts of the world if earning a couple of quid an hour as an illegal labourer and living in someone's shed in Newham is preferable. A much more progressive approach would be to try to tackle the huge inequalities that exist between different parts of the world. Of course that's a pretty tall order.

Sure, I agree that this is what should happen (think I said that above, if only in passing). But it will never happen - the lack of wealth transfer is not mere oversight and lack of planning, but purposeful policy to keep the 'developing world' impoverished. Or rather, just impoverished enough to provide the slave labour Western capitalism require to expand its profits.

To say that massive wealth transfer would be a more 'progressive' approach suggests that we are considering two solutions to the same problem, rather than (as is actually the case) one problem and one measure to leaven the consequences of an ongoing Western political refusal to solve that problem (although problem is of course not really the word), a refusal that will never change.

'International development' as a whole is a fraud, as it maintains power relations just as they are and very rarely empowers (of course there are exceptions, and by god i want to work for one of those exceptions!) people in any meaningful way. Why would it, since most of the money that goes into it comes from powerful people in the West? See dependency theory and lots of other bodies of theory, no doubt. The West has no interest in the 'developing' world other than as "colossal pools of cheap outsourced labour for the food and goods we require", whatever the PR spin. It stands to lose too much.

So, as long as the world is hugely unequal, people will be, as you say, desperate to come to richer countries, risking their lives in countless cases. As a result, the human rights to free movement assumes an importance which one can barely quantify. If the area outside the compound is going to be kept as a desert, then we can at least try to wedge the compound door open (look, it's late, I can't think of any good metaphors-or-whatever-they-are!!)
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
OK, so the UN guarantees "freedom of residence" within - though not across - national borders. But that assumes that when someone wants so move to a new area, the incomer can financially afford the area and the area can logistically afford the newcomer. I mean, in theory it's my inalienable human right to live in a penthouse apartment in Kensington, right?

I don't think that's really the point, is it. We're talking about the rights of everyone to a basic standard of living and self-determination, not the right of everyone to a luxury penthouse.

As to the very current political question of whether it is your inalienable right to be housed within the area in which your kids go to school and you have lived all your life, rather than being shipped off to the other end of the country, an intimately related argument but one for another thread. Depends whether you believe in ghettoes or not..
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
About development: yeah, I was keen to stress a hypothetical kind of development that actually benefits ordinary people in poor countries, rather than being a way of facilitating cosy deals between their elites and our elites.

About penthouse apartments: luxury is relative. I live in a fairly modest studio flat but the upwards 'luxury gap' (if you will) between here and an actual Kensington penthouse is much smaller than the downwards gap towards, I dunno, a slum in Sao Paulo or whatever. I'm not sure where I'm going with this except to say that when you declare that such-and-such a standard of living is the bare minimum a human being can decently live with while such-and-such a standard of living is in the realms of MTV Cribs cloud-cuckoo-land nonsense, those standards are wholly contingent on the ambient levels of wealth and development that you're accustomed to. A couple of hundred years ago - scratch that, a hundred years ago - you were posh if you had running water.

About people being forced out of their homes, gentrification and so on: yes, this is a huge problem and largely a consequence of the lamentable lack of social housing in the UK and the total deregulation of the private rental market. And the presence of a super-rich elite, both native and foreign. It's a horrible, horrible problem but then an Englishman's home is his castle and if he wants to buy up a dozen castles and rent them out to the highest bidder then who are you to say he can't? Sigh.

About ghettoes: I dunno what you mean by 'believe in', I mean of course they exist but they're not really a good thing, are they? Someone mentioned upthread that London isn't really all that mixed, it's "multicultural" in that people from all over the world live there but they tend by and large to form self-sustaining communities. I spend a lot of time in east Oxford as my girlfriend lives there and interestingly I'd say it's a lot more genuinely mixed than much of London - you see a lot of interracial couples with mixed-race kids, there doesn't seem to be ghettoisation as such. Perhaps it's just because it's a far smaller city so there simply isn't the space for ethnic neighbourhoods to acquire critical mass like they do in London.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Absolutely, I think we're in agreement on this. All I was insisting upon is that the immigration 'problem' only makes sense as a result of this. With equally rich countries, immigration becomes a peripheral issue, because it is rarely net (to any great degree) in one direction. I see that immigration laws are something that public pressure can have some effect upon (in order to at least make them more humane), but as for pressuring for proper overseas aid for billions of people...how to do that? It would require everyone to change their lives.

Yes yes, but you're collapsing into an 'everything is relative' zone there (or would if you continued along that line of argument). I think it's clear, in 2013, that as 'we' (the West) can provide clean water and food to live to everyone on the planet, 'we' should (or rather, facilitate it happening by giving shitloads of money - obv as above, this won't happen). Same as it's a disgrace (this is not strong enough a word) that in 2013 children in the UK are going hungry because of ideological 'austerity'. The massive problem after this is that the form of hyper-capitalism we have relies upon slavery however. To abolish slavery in the developing world (and here) would only result from a different world. The consumer world we have now is founded on slavery, simple as, as well as the denial of that slavery.


Think we're talking about several different questions at once now (prob my fault).
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/21/i-agree-with-churchill-shirkers-tax I agree with this, pretty much. Except to go further and to say you have to open the whole subject of private property up to debate. It's ideological, not objective - of course, proponents of capitalism will insist to the end that it is objective. But it was ever thus. As to the question, I'm no-one with any power, but you shouldn't be able to have twelve castles. No-one should. There should be a limit on the wealth any one person can have. Hardly radical, but in the current climate it's painted as such. And in terms of rich people buying to let, you could cap the number of houses they'd allowed to do this with, and improve rental laws in favour of the renter.Things can be done on a smaller scale, because unfortunately overturning an entire ideology with which 99 per cent of people are indoctrinated from birth (I certainly was, though thankfully my dad had some 'radical' views too) would take years of mass therapy (which is depressing)

Ah, I meant 'you' as in 'one' (this ambiguity has prob caused more arguments than almost anything else in the English language!). Pretty much agree with all that, just making the point that by shipping ex-council tenants out of London, the Tories are intent on making ghettoes a la France. Only thing I'd say - while mixed families are a barometer, the sexualisation of race can be one of the most fucked up things ever, so I'd be more interested in mixed friendship groups/community groups (and properly mixed, in class too). Actually, in both cases it depends to what extent racism is admitted as a real entity within the couple/group. Which is to say, the number of cases I've seen where this is not true, and where power dynamics based upon societal racism are played out and totally disavowed, is too high to count.

Are we talking Cowley Road btw (that's the area I know), or further east? Totally agree that a lot of hot air is spoken about how mixed London is. Obv some pockets are, but the amount of segregation in other (most?) areas is off the chart.
 
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