Tuesday 21 June 2016

Britain is stronger in Europe

This article concentrates on one theme - Immigration.

In Britain, as in the United States, we see British Democracy is tending to turn inwards.  With its increasing national problems such as the widening of economic disparities, it is abandoning its international interests.  Britain along with the global trend is in the middle of its worst economic stretch since the 1930’s.  The populists are decrying that such harms caused by others such as immigration, therefore, placing their ills on racial and cultural reasons. Hence, history shows with such broad backlash and worries in the background a shift to the right normally takes place. Today we see most of the Europeans going in that direction with France leading the way. Nigel Farage,leader of the UK Independence Party, in fermenting fear, is capitalising on this as much as possible in the hope that it draws him away from the cold and into mainstream politics.

During the interwar period of 1918 to 1939 financial crisis led to political polarisation and fragmentation but this time, even the austerity measures that Greece is experiencing has not steered the Greeks away from Europe.  The same for Britain, where according to Ipsos, a pollster, 49% those likely to vote for Brexit cite immigration and not so much anti-Europe or economic frustration.  What is developing is not so much as kin culture but socio-political culture laced with an Anti-drive verging on hatred.  The Brutal murder last week of Jo Cox, British Member of Parliament, is one ugly symptom.

Brexit victory, based on fear of immigrants, I am afraid will result in a divided society.  A society that will have an inexorable interest in its own cultural and religious awareness growing intolerant and extreme while advocating individual rights. This split in direction is often, enshrined in socio-culture and religion and where prejudice will reign supreme. Anti-immigration, as key to blame for subverting British democracy, will be a nationalist vote, and at best it will be right of centre.  Additionally, this broader view of racial anxiety conceivably caused by less educated 'white' competing with immigrants for jobs.  For Brexiteers to vote out citing immigration as their primary reason, immigrants will find an echo in Mr Trump's proposal to bar Muslims because some might be terrorists.

Nationalism can be an ideological danger, especially when lurking behind its primary objective of political action that can easily transcend to unrestrained power.  A glance at the political developments of right-wing nationalist parties in the last century should be enough to set alarm bells and ought to be underlined as sinister intentions.

Farag's contribution to the Immigration problem is one blunt tool policy, more suitable to cavemen, and has no place at the table of a modern multi-cultural society.    Fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different beliefs historically are some of the pillars of British Constitution. An attitude of ‘Right or wrong, this is my country’ will create a dangerous precedent in British Politics.

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