Ian Dunt skriver på nyhetsbloggen politics.co.uk om en undersökning om hur invandrare i Storbritannien upplever den närmast hysteriska, ofta obehagligt aggressiva brittiska hetsen mot invandrare och invandring. Att det är politiker som går i spetsen för detta – på jakt efter röster – gör inte saken bättre.
Once upon a time, things were more positive. Even now, the majority still feel they belong in the UK and are well integrated into society. As one said:
”I’ve been here for 25 years. And I feel this is home for me. I feel 100% British. And I feel I’m happy I took the decision to stay in this country. I have three children who are doing very well. So I feel this is a country of opportunities, where everyone who wants to work hard can achieve.”
But 63% of respondents said the debate on immigration exerts an influence on their sense of belonging. Most migrants aren’t even comfortable calling it a debate. A debate involves two sides talking. They feel they are just being shouted at. Only 12% of all articles on immigration actually bother to quote an immigrant. Less than four per cent of respondents felt politicians or the media represented migrants in an accurate way.
Dunt hittar en liten glimt av hopp:
There is a glimmer of hope. The anger is directed at politicians and the media. But the coverage has not yet had an overwhelming effect on migrants’ daily life in their community or the way they see their neighbours. Fifty-six per cent said the debate had no effect on their relationship with the British public – although 44% said it did. This broadly tallies with polling showing anti-immigrant views to be most popular where there are the fewest immigrants. Despite the noise, on the streets this remains a mostly good-tempered country.
But how long will it withstand the brazen irresponsibility of the political class and the media? MPs are united – almost to a man – in never saying a single positive word about immigrants. Every day the press grows ever more accusatory and hateful in its coverage. Migrants themselves are frozen out, turned into the other – a workshy, benefit-claiming parasite who is simultaneously taking all the best jobs. Ukip consciously conducts its debate in base terms, whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment in order to serve its political programme.
If we continue down this road, they will pit our communities against one another. The immigration debate, and the manner in which it is being conducted, is doing us terrible damage.