The UK Turf War


Once again immigration is the topic of conversation for the UK, and as usual it hasn’t taken long for the UK press to revel in the delight of ‘scaremongering’ and ‘scapegoat’ rhetoric.

If the news is to be read literally though, it would be enough to frighten the pants off any level headed individual just going about their business; an influx of foreign workers stealing jobs and benefits, who plan to eventually take over the country for their own ends! Sounds sinister!

All of the talk, press and otherwise, does raise important questions though. Is this truth or merely scare tactics? Also, just how fair, equitable, free and humane does it all sound? It is immigration, but we are talking about people right and not merely cattle?

Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, but now that the UK has had to lift its restrictions to their job market, fears have escalated, by what seems like over-night, to a boiling point.  Should the UK nation be afraid, is there about to be a turf war?

I was nosing around the net, wondering if all the hullabaloo was in fact worth the media frenzy. What I wanted to know was whether the people of the UK really gave a damn about who from the EU might or might not take up UK residency. It didn’t take too long to stumble upon something curious.

The below text has been copied from an actual on-line petition set out on the HM Government website. Its creator, a member of the UK public, along with 153,811 signatories, seemed to obviously feel that there indeed would be a mass of Romanian, and Bulgarian immigrants desperately making their way to the shores of the UK.

“In 2014 EU restrictions are set be removed, allowing nationals of Bulgaria and Romania ‘free movement’ to the UK. The move is similar to the one that granted access to around 600,000 Polish immigrants to enter Britain over recent years.

Despite Bulgaria and Romania joining the EU in 2005 (Savvy Senorita edit – it was 2007), restrictions were put on the number who could move to Britain. However, those restrictions will be abolished in 2014 (Savvy Senorita edit – I.E now).

Once the restrictions are lifted all new comers will entitled to claim benefits, housing, child, job seekers etc. There is currently an estimated 1.5 million people seeking work within the two countries

The impact will also put pressure on housing, infrastructure, schools, and heath care. All at a time the government are cutting pensions, jobs, public services and the armed forces.

I request the government suspends the easing on these restrictions” 

I then took a look at the newspapers. There were ample comments left upon The Daily Mail and Guardian’s websites; replies to the articles telling the world about how our MPs feel or fear about immigration. In one such article, (posted in the Guardian: link below), it was claimed that David Cameron believes that the immigration levels for Romanians and Bulgarians is now reasonable enough; the responses to this article however provided a somewhat different perspective;

“We need mass immigration as a pro business policy Cameron is completely wrong.

Think about the benefits, house prises rise make home owners wealthier and Britain can remain competitive by getting cheaper labour.

We live in an increasing globalised world and we in the EU have China to compete with. He couldn’t be more wrong.

In addition without immigration we would have to spend an exorbitant amount training our own feckless and work-shy, and the price of house keeping would rocket.

The EU must not allow him or his party to get away with such inflammatory comments”.

These quotes demonstrate two very different ideas about immigration, both of which are actual opinions held by people living in the UK.

OK, so I know there maybe those out there who feel that any level of immigration is too high, and others who think that the doors of a country ought be flung wide open (each to their own); but isn’t there a happy medium?

What I mean is, can’t we talk immigration without becoming so emotive? Can’t we leave all the scapegoating, racism and the overly P.C comments behind, and focus on what could be the real issues of immigration for the UK?

I want to ask the powers that be, and the people;

Can any country allow mass immigration? Does any country have the capacity to offer that? Is it economically viable? Could they offer employment, housing, services and support (et al) to everyone that comes to, and resides in the country?

Is immigration a one way street – the people from the poorest nations moving to the richer ones? Is immigration about making money for a country or spending money? Do we all really have freedom of movement? How many people would up-sticks and re-locate to another country? Is that even possible with the economy and the lack of job opportunities? Also, EU countries differ from the UK; different languages, educational requirements, alien benefit and health care systems which not every resident will have access to.

Why is the UK immigration fears/policies subject to mass interjection from other countries? Why has it become such a contentious subject? Every country has its own ideas regarding immigration, yet, I don’t see every country being asked to explain themselves. Is UK immigration a national or international issue? Whose country is it to govern, and make those decisions about immigration? Have the UK Government merely become some middle man in all of this, without the real power to decide what happens in their own country? More importantly, does anyone care what the public think and want?

Is the UK a ‘soft touch’ for the world? Is the UK being racist in its cautious approach to immigration?

Is the UK Government trying to appease everyone, and pleasing no-one at the same time? Is immigration a way of making amends for a shady past history as ‘colonial conquerors’, do they feel guilty?

Has the UK given up on its people – do they invest enough in what resources and talent they already have? Why would the country require an extra work-force from abroad, when the UK already has those who are in need of training/re-training, educating, employment, self-employment, good wages and steady/secure jobs? In fact, can the UK Government deal with the issues/changes and problems the country already has? Are they actually taking on too much responsibility by accepting more people they won’t be able to ‘do right by’?

Will there be a mass exodus from one country to another? Will the Romanians and Bulgarians swamp the UK, and take over the country? Why do people live in fear of immigrants stripping the country bare? Immigration is nothing new for the UK; it has always been multi-cultural and accepted people from far and wide, why then is the country now so angst ridden?

Is immigration a good business and economic policy? Is it investment and profit? Is it more people claiming benefits and abusing the system, sending money back to their families in Romania or Bulgaria? Is it escalation of crime? Is is merely public cynicism and distrust? Is it greed and shady dealings? Is it appeasement or enlightenment?

I personally feel the UK cannot close the doors to immigration, but there are certain discrepancies with how the UK handles the subject. I don’t doubt that UK immigration and policies per se are being vetoed or strangled by the EU. I question though, who benefits from all the upper echelons (in the UK and EU), wrangling amongst themselves because of their own agendas? Well, it isn’t the people they are supposed to represent and that is for certain.

I believe immigration has become a convenient red herring in many ways, an issue placed before the public to distract from the real issues on the table, the real failure of those in charge.

With or without immigration, the UK still has serious issues; how is the Government going to convince the UK public that they can do what they say they will? When all the scapegoating and smoke screens have gone, what is left? A Government who doesn’t really know what they really stand for, and which way to turn in any crisis without squabbling like children.

I wonder, when there is nothing to fight over, what remains to fight for?

I will leave you with a quote (another reply) to that article in The Guardian (I mentioned earlier in this post: link below);            

“The UK is not concentrating on “job building” it is penny wise and pound foolish, driving wages down to a minimum base and sitting complacently on a million unemployed and millions under-employed. We have so many things that need replacing and repairing, upgrading and restoring here, but the governments we have seem happy to suck up to businesses who cream profits off-shore and let the citizens scrabble around in the mire for part-time low paid work.

We have work that needs doing, but lack the courage to invest in our people to improve the quality of life for everyone”.

Check out the article at: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/27/cameron-romania-bulgaria-immigration-reasonable

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This Is Controversial


Controversially the UK is once again defending their rights to control their own boarders against mounting pressure to conform to the wishes of the EU.

This time the EU are arguing that the UK have no right to limit the rights of Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who wish to go to the UK to; work, to be housed, to have access to education, benefits and health care services.

Under EU law the UK is obliged to restrict its restrictions on immigration; the doors of the UK should not have to be prized open by all who wish to go and live there.

However there are restrictions currently in place; 29 million Romanian and Bulgarian workers have not been granted free access to live and work within the UK. These restrictions are due to expire in 2014, and now the renewal of this immigration policy is under debate; should controls against these workers wanting to go to the UK be continued or scraped??

Well, the UK Government, and a portion of the public aren’t so sure they should open the doors to the UK that wide, quite so soon. PR campaigns are even being considered by the UK Government to dissuade people from wanting to go to the UK to live and work.

There is a fear that millions of migrant workers will flood into the UK, this has prompted deep concerns for the country.

However, this is not a new argument though. It is one that has been raging in many formats since the beginning of the EU and even before that. It seems that the UK have always been rebuked for their ‘closed’ attitude toward welcoming foreign workers. Yet, since history was first documented people have come to live in the UK as migrant workers; in essence it is nothing new for the UK.

So what makes this situation different?

What is the truth behind all these restrictions, and why is it that people want to see them continue???

Why are the UK Government, and a portion of the UK public against opening the ‘flood gates’ (so to speak) to the whole of the EU???

Well immigration is, as always, a complex topic littered with speculation. The speculation concerns the exact numbers of immigrant workers who will decide to come to the UK. People wonder what this influx of immigration will bring about for the UK; how will it affect the economy and society at this moment in time.

There is a fear too; that the UK will flounder as a consequence of mass immigration. A fear that also expressing concerns over large scale immigration from one country to another would result in condemnation, and misinterpretation.

With David Cameron talking about a referendum relating to how the UK public view the UK’s future in the EU; it is perhaps quite pertinent that these new immigration arguments correspond with claims over EU manipulation and control.

Everyone is wondering just how far the UK are willing to push their individual idea about immigration. Will stand alone or merely just concede to what the EU want in the end?

So, we are now getting to the point of the real controversy; racism.

A word so often applied when immigration is discussed, and likely to be labelled upon anyone raising their voices against unregulated immigration.

Yet, race or being prejudiced against people isn’t necessarily the reason the UK are voicing opposition towards immigration. It isn’t immigration they are against per se, but the unrestricted version of this, one without controls. At the end of the day we are all subject to controls when we travel or go to live in another country; none of us are completely free to wander as we wish. So, removing controls or being told to remove the controls could be seen as unknown territory. There is always a chance that with any proposed changes to any policies, there will be unseen consequences or outcomes. In reaction to change these unknown elements are thought through thoroughly and discussed, before anything new is ever implemented.

Is this reaction racism at play, or merely politics – manoeuvring to achieve the best deal? 

Racism regarding UK immigration controls cannot be fully proven, unless you are willing to consider the rhetoric of any UK National party; which I AM NOT GOING TO, AS THEY TALK ABSOLUTE NONSENSE.

The UK might be be criticised as a country selfishly looking after its own business or interests, by denying loosening its immigration controls. The UK could be seen as ignoring the needs and rights of other EU countries and their people. Yet, there are fears in the UK that with added pressures to take more migrant workers, the UK economy will crash into obscurity, and financial ruin will follow.

How can such a tiny island stay afloat?

The UK is currently suffering cuts to its health, education and public service budgets (including the police force and teachers). The economy isn’t flush; there are hundreds of thousands homeless upon the streets, 3 million people are unemployed and more being made redundant weekly it seems; people are basically struggling to pay their way and put food on the table. In fact figures show that as long ago as 2008/2009 13.5 million people were actually living below the low income threshold – which is under £300 a week (according to poverty.org.uk).

In truth the UK doesn’t have endless resources, available land for new homes, and unlimited access to services, plenty of money or jobs for everyone. It doesn’t have enough of those things for the citizens it already has. The UK needs improving for sure, and overloading it with more weight it cannot carry won’t help.

So why would anyone want to come to an already struggling country to work and live?

If people want to leave their own countries en masse in favour of any other EU country, then surely the issue is with their country of origin??? Surely that should be addressed by the EU, as there must be something fundamentally amiss in that country? Something which is failing their citizens, and forcing them to feel they have to leave to seek a better life elsewhere in the EU?

Should the UK or any other country feel obliged to take in immigrant workers from other EU countries???

Is it the UK or any other countries responsibility to do so?????

Might seem controversial to ask these questions, and yet, this is what people are saying behind closed doors. 

I don’t claim to have any of the answers – have you?

The UK has plenty of issues that need to be addressed, so, I ask again; what can the UK offer to any people from any other country, when it has so many issues of its own?

If people leave their home countries in search of a better life, that is fine and totally expected; but what better life do people expect to find in the UK?? What freedoms, incentives and privileges do other countries think the UK has to offer them that their country of origin doesn’t??

Resettling in any country where people can gain access to public services, jobs, a benefit system, a criminal prosecution service, to education, to better housing and to health care; has to be a good thing and appealing. The UK like many EU countries has all of these on offer for its citizens.

BUT,  not every country does, or if they do, these services aren’t always to the same standard as they might be in the UK.

So maybe it is these things that offers hope to people who wish to go to the UK to live??

Yet, now maybe not the best time to move anywhere within the EU, as things aren’t as good in every country as perhaps they once were. Consequently, many countries it maybe considering their own needs first, and not considering allowing more people into their countries. At this moment in time, in this economic climate, surely that is quite normal, sensible and healthy?!

Perhaps it is a case of sustain and redevelop what you already have??? Don’t gamble and don’t risk any more  or face upsetting the fine balance and making things worse for those already living in the country???

Caution around immigration is not only on the UK’s mind, so to see the UK as the enemy on this is unfair.

Other countries have far more stringent immigration policies than the UK, yet, they are not deemed to be doing anything wrong. These countries also consider their own interests, business and economy first and foremost; yet, they aren’t being called selfish and being reprimanded for not helping.

Perhaps now is not the right time to consider being lax over immigration??????????

Yet, no country could deny the benefits they have received from this either, and no one should feel they can’t re-locate to em-better their lives.

So, to sum up then; immigration has always been an issue. It is controversial topic and a tough policy to get right. It is on every countries mind, and in every countries interest to allow and also to ‘vet’. Yet, now it is ever more becoming a thorn in countries and Governments sides – to do is to be damned and to not do is to be damned.

So what are the options????

OPINIONS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

I was just wondering what you think about immigration????

Has any country got immigration policy right????

Can there ever be a balance achieved???

Is it wrong and selfish to limit immigration???

Are the UK xenophobic????  

Alternatively; is the UK in control their own country, or is it the EU in control?

Why can’t the UK call its own shots??  

Why does the EU insist in ‘putting their fingers’ in the UK’s pie?? Reprimanding the UK for looking after itself, just exactly like other EU countries do.

YOU TELL ME……………….

Check out links below from UK media for further reading on this topic:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9835068/50000-children-overseas-getting-child-benefit-and-tax-credit-Treasury-admits.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/romanian-beggars-flooding-london-7675625.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8707490/Gang-of-Romanian-gipsy-squatters-targeted-several-houses.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/more-women-forced-into-slavery-after-change-to-immigration-law-8478998.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9840059/Why-Poles-love-coming-to-Britain.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_Kingdom_since_1922

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_immigration_in_the_United_Kingdom