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To wonder if it's possible to have an open and Frank discussion in UK about immigration

(181 Posts)
DoeEyedNear Sat 25-Jul-15 18:55:55

And not have it shut down by people saying it's racist to discuss immigration. Not just here but in the press any mention of immigration and any debate is shut down with "can't say that it's racist"

YeOldeTrout Sat 25-Jul-15 18:59:01

As long as we use the UN definition that race = nationality then no, It's not possible, by definition.

Mistigri Sat 25-Jul-15 19:02:16

It's difficult to have a rational discussion about it, because what most people think they know (usually along the lines of "Britain is the ultimate destination of all illegal immigrants attempting to get into Europe) is factually so wrong that any sensible debate is impossible.

BIWI Sat 25-Jul-15 19:03:15

I think you'll find that there was plenty of debate about immigration (here and in the media) before the election.

Why do you want to discuss it? What do you want to say?

JennyOnTheBlocks Sat 25-Jul-15 19:04:58

most of the debates i've seen/heard about immigration have been invaded by racist comments though, so have you got something different to say?

Wideopenspace Sat 25-Jul-15 19:06:37

Perfectly possible if no one involved in the discussion holds racist views..

JassyRadlett Sat 25-Jul-15 19:06:40

I've never, ever seen a discussion where people say you can't talk about immigration because it's racist.

I've seen plenty of discussions about immigration where people have said racist things rather than talking about the issue in a reasoned way.

Nolim Sat 25-Jul-15 19:09:11

As other posters i hae never heard "you cannot say that, it is racist" in a discussion about immigration.

And i am an immigrant.

BIWI Sat 25-Jul-15 19:12:06

Usually people who say 'you can't talk about immigration without being called racist' are the ones who are making racist comments

DoeEyedNear Sat 25-Jul-15 19:16:26

Wow this escalated quickly!

I harbour no racist views so you can put the pitchforks down. I am however concerned about the Calais situation and the impact on a)the people living in shit conditions and the fact people are dying daily in their attempts to get to the UK and the blasé attitude towards this in the popular press b) what is so special about the UK that they are willing to risk their lives to get here and c) do we have the capacity and infrastructure to cope with huge numbers of people moving to the UK.

Mainly though I'm astounded at the attitude of the French to the Calais situation - or rather the attitude that is put over in the press.

FenellaFellorick Sat 25-Jul-15 19:16:50

It's perfectly possible if participants stick to policy issues and avoid being racist.
What you find however is people want to "talk about immigration" and say racist, ignorant and offensive things.

pointythings Sat 25-Jul-15 19:17:01

I don't think so. Considering neither our government nor our press seem to be able to manage it, why should we do any better?

FenellaFellorick Sat 25-Jul-15 19:18:42

Nobody's within 10 feet of a pitchfork.
Everyone is talking quite reasonably about how and why discussions about immigration become heated.

Wideopenspace Sat 25-Jul-15 19:18:54

Doe in what way did it 'escalate'?

Moreisnnogedag Sat 25-Jul-15 19:20:14

I'm always dubious about the actual numbers involved but then I'm an immigrant myself. What I love are comments about all the benefits illegal immigrants claim hmm.

FenellaFellorick Sat 25-Jul-15 19:22:15

Oh yes. That one is always coming up.
And they won't be told.
No matter how simply you put it.
There was one the other week.
Couldn't have got it through her head if you'd used a chisel.

Wideopenspace Sat 25-Jul-15 19:23:27

I'm not engaging with this until the OP explains why she seems keen for this thread to 'escalate'.

So there <blows raspberry>

Moreisnnogedag Sat 25-Jul-15 19:23:34

doe I always think that if someone is willing to die to get here, you should realise how utterly shit their situation must be. People think immigrants come here because it's cushy but I feel that it shows how crap the alternatives are iyswim.

BIWI Sat 25-Jul-15 19:27:45

Is there really a blasé attitude to it in the popular press? (I don't know because I don't read the red tops, just a broadsheet). What I've read makes it pretty clear how awful the conditions are that they live in - which also makes it pretty obvious how desperate these people must be.

Not quite sure what you mean about capacity and infrastructure - that's heading rapidly into dangerous territory if you're not careful. Think Enoch Powell and his 'rivers of blood' speech.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 25-Jul-15 19:30:34

I harbour no racist views so you can put the pitchforks down. <places pitchfork carefully down>

I think it is possible to discuss immigration. I would like to discuss it from the point of colonialism, neo-colonialism, the devastation of the majority world by the US and the West. The debt crisis, interference by banks and the IMF in countries' affairs, forcing mono-culture and crippling economic measures while letting despots accumulate military power. We could discuss the 'divide and conquer' policies, the slave trade, the climate change which is now happening. And, US/UK warmongering. That's a start.

LakeOfDreams Sat 25-Jul-15 19:32:01

I think you need to be specific when talking about immigration. People lump EU migration, non-EU immigrants and illegal immigrants into one conversation and these are all different types of immigration.

My husband is a non EU immigrant. I met him while I was working in the African country he lived. We eventually decided to make a life over here. In order to get him a visa We probably spent in excess of £3000 and there were lots of stipulations attached to his visa about what he can and can't do over here. There is also a financial requirement I had to meet to sponsor him, which meant I had to earn just under £20000 a year to prove I could support him. This whole process took us more than a year of struggling and living thousands of miles apart. My husband found a job straight away working in a rubbish tip, not his dream but a job and he has worked very hard since he has been here.

I think a lot of people in this country forget how fortunate we are, it says an awful lot about the state of the world that we live in the many men and women are regularly not only risking their own lives but the lives of their children to get to this country.

Nolim Sat 25-Jul-15 19:33:16

People lump EU migration, non-EU immigrants and illegal immigrants into one conversation and these are all different types of immigration.


ghostyslovesheep Sat 25-Jul-15 19:34:40

oh course it's possible - but it doesn't happen because people can't get past the headlines and it always comes down to 'we are overcrowded' 'we can't afford it' and it never really looks at the benefits of immigration

and people say things like 'we need a points system' - when we have one

and they confuse immigrants with illegal immigrants and asylum seekers

and talk about rapists being allowed to stay because they had a cat

I think it would be possible if we stuck to facts - but people don't

JennyOnTheBlocks Sat 25-Jul-15 19:36:36

i'm shocked, saddened and have the disgusting feeling of helplessness when i see news footage of people running after lorries and trying to jump on the back, in the vain hope they'll get into another country to find peace and wellbeing

the two men who clung onto the landing gear of a 'plane, hoping to get to Britain, but died and fell onto the rooves of London buildings..I was sickened to my stomach that someone is so desparate to travel away from their current home, and yet more sickened when I saw a woman on the TV news, remarking 'what if they had landed in the STREET'. I mean, heaven forbid the normal everyday people should see what lengths they've been to sad

but that's refugees and unlawful entry, isn't it?

immigration is different...isn't it?

GiddyOnZackHunt Sat 25-Jul-15 19:36:45

There are people all over the world risking their lives to get somewhere less awful. Mexicans dying on the US border, people from many different African countries crossing the Sahara and the Med.
Some of them will desperately want to come to the UK. They might have friends or family here, speak English, see us as a bastion of stability etc. They see this as one last hurdle in an epic voyage.

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