Thursday, 6 August 2015

If We Can't Blame Immigration, Who Can We blame?

Image credit: ClkerFreeVectorImages
The Calais migrant situation has been a recurring story on the news over the past few weeks; basically, the number of migrants looking to illegally enter the UK (via numerous cross-channel transport routes that connect Britain to France) has been high recently.

Whenever certain news outlets run a story related to the situation, it’s quite funny seeing all the outraged comments from people after they’ve read a sensationalised article.

But I find the lack of compassion in the comments section quite astounding:


That's a human being we're talking about. The majority of these migrants are seeking asylum because they’re fleeing a country where they have no basic human rights. Yet they’re being treated like pesky vermin.

statistics -uk-asylum-seekers-2015-image
                                       Image source: BBC
People should really question the validity of everything they read. I’m not talking about reputable news outlets, I’m taking about gossip newspapers that try to report on current affairs.

Why do people accept things at face-value, instead of looking at the situation deeper and educating themselves properly? At the very least, they should be able to recognise biased and irresponsible journalism. Go to the Daily Mail for the guilty pleasure articles/comments/pictures of celebs…don’t rely on it for unbiased reporting on serious issues.

At least one person can see sense:

Read original article: "Essex Builder finds suspected immigrant sleeping in the back of his car" -
Daily Mail, 02/08/2015

But look how many red arrows that comment got. I guess us compassionate folks are in the minority.

We’re compassionate, not because we’re leftie mugs, but because we are acutely aware of the suffering in the world and we don’t discriminate with who we extend our sympathies to, no matter what their race or creed. We also know there is more to the story than: "illegal immigrant wants to enter the country to take advantage of our benefits system!"

I guess it’s to be expected in a culture that shows a disproportionate amount of sympathy to animals compared to other human beings. I mean, just look at the whole Cecil the lion situation: now, I’m not saying hunting for sport is right and animals deserve kindness too… but a little perspective people!


Why is a lion with African origins being shown more compassion than a human being who also has African origins? I think it is partly rooted in racism. I can’t be the only person who finds that weird and disconcerting.

Sure, just like the kids in Gola trackies down at the job centre every week who have little desire to find a job, or MPs who are fiddling their expenses, there are always people looking to cheat the system and get a free ride.

But believe it or not, not every person seeking asylum or wanting to emigrate to the UK is looking to do that - it’s the prospect of starting a new life that’s attractive, not the benefits system, which probably isn’t as generous as you think it is and isn’t open to asylum seekers or people who have just arrived, anyway.

It’s also pretty funny to see snobbish folks from a similar ethnic background to mine being so anti-immigration and pro-UKIP…it’s like, you do realise your parents, or at least their parents, were immigrants right? If they hadn’t made the smart move to move to the West when immigration was being welcomed, we could very easily be in these migrants’ shoes, hoping for a better life in a country with more opportunities and freedoms.

So pipe down. We got lucky that we were born into this country. That's all it was. Luck. So stop acting indignant when desperate people are looking for the same kind of opportunities. 

A lot of people looking to emigrate here are actually bright, competent and hard-working. They want to work, often taking the menial jobs that nobody wants, even if it’s just a start. They have a lot to offer this country and its economy. And again, if you do your research and look at statistics, you’ll see they have indeed made a contribution.

Furthermore, if you look at other areas that the government has been pilfering money on, helping someone out who is fleeing a war-torn country doesn’t seem so bad. People on the dole don't seem so bad either, some of whom actually deserve to be on welfare due to their circumstances.

Let’s take a look at some official stats to see which costs the UK government more: welfare spending...or something like tax avoidance?

Job Seeker’s Allowance: £4.9 billion
Tax Evasion/Avoidance: £85 billion

Meanwhile, EU migrants contribute £20 billion to the UK economy, with non-EU migrants contributing £5 billion.

uk-government-spending-imageSo, for the uninformed, tax cheats are costing the UK government more than benefits cheats. Yet the way it’s reported in the news, you would think it’s the other way round.

In my research, I had a lot more trouble getting a figure for tax avoidance than for benefit fraud. It’s like potentially vulnerable and displaced people are being used as scapegoats to shift the attention from other problems in the country…problems caused by rich and influential people. Which isn’t right.

I get the outrage to an extent: the middle and working class often get the short straw when it comes to austerity measures. I also think it angers people when there are vulnerable English or British people who aren’t getting the help they need. But that's a problem with bureaucracy, don’t blame it on people who are getting help.

Generally, I think people need to shift their pattern of thinking: while they’re getting up and going to work every morning, and subsequently paying their taxes before they even see their paycheck, instead of thinking about the people who aren’t working when they are, think about the people who aren’t paying their taxes... even though they are. They only focus on the work-shy, instead of the tax-avoiders, because that's what they’ve been conditioned to think about via mainstream media.

Talking about the government and politics really makes my head hurt. It’s so exhausting forming and voicing your opinion on such complex issues. However, I felt compelled to do so, when people aren’t recognising glaring inconsistencies in media reporting. How can people be so ignorant yet voice their opinion so confidently?

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