29 August 2005

Why I'm not proud to be British and we should open our borders to more immigrants.

The first point is easily dealt with. To be proud of something, don't you need some personal achievement? How can the accident of birth be an achievement?

Deep down we all know that nationalism is illogical. The crimes or achievements of the past residents of the UK hold no more responsibility or source of pride for me personally than anything else humanity has done. For instance the Nazi atrocities are a warning to us all, not just the German people. Also go back a few generations of your family tree and most will find foreign ancestors. The year 1066 is only 40 generations back for instance!

The second point, I want to start with one sentence.

"People born abroad are not inferior to people born in Britain."

I'll repeat that!

"People born abroad are not inferior to people born in Britain."

On the face of it, it seems an obvious and ridiculous thing to have to say, but the crux of those arguing against immigration rests on implying that people born abroad are inferior.

It is not something you will ever hear them say directly but my god, they leave you with no doubt that this is what they mean. Of course, quite a lot more than this can usually be read into what they say because for immigrants read black or brown skin, which is the real cause of their distress.

The next argument against immigration is 'britain is too crowded'. Which might be the case, but when the same people are calling for a rise in the birth rate it gives the game away what their true motives are!

For Britain to have a steady population we need a birth rate of 2.1 births per female. We currently have 1.7, thats 716,000 births per annum. The official net immigration is 151,000 which takes the replacement rate to 2.0, which still means a declining population and all the associated demographic problems. Why are these people not concerned about reducing the birth rate if they want to reduce the population? Indeed a lot of them argue for the birth rate to increase!

Then there is their economic argument, which makes no sense at all because most immigrants are of working age and go straight into the job market. Unlike the 716,000 births, they are not going to be a drain on our taxes! For at least 16 years and probably longer, these births will cost money.

All the data suggests those countries with the highest immigration also have the highest economic growth. For me this furore over immigration and the deliberate blurring of the boundaries with asylum is racism, pure and simple.

9 comments:

  1. STOP BEING TOLERANT OF INTOLERANCE!

    It is difficult not to agree with Mathew Parris when he argued recently in finding women wearing the veil, denying girls education and other tribal practices as female circumcision, forced and arranged marriages from abroad as offensive to western women. Such behaviour flouts western social conventions and should not be seen in the west. To read more http://www.oxfordprospect.co.uk/Multiculturalism.htm

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  2. I dislike all religion, being tolerant towards it is not the same as not criticising it!

    In Britain if people break the law, they should be punished, whatever their culture or religion. That is what I believe.

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  3. I’d just like to juxtapose your statement that:

    "People born abroad are not inferior to people born in Britain."

    With a couple of your statements from the argument about abortion:

    “…religion is an irrational belief based on faith not evidence….”

    “I believe in rational argument, since most of the anti-choice people are irrational religious nuts, thats the clincher for me!”

    So, it is clear that, as far as you are concerned, religious people are irrational nuts. And I can only assume that you consider an irrational nut to be an inferior person?

    A very quick survey of the rest of the world will show that the majority of people born abroad – 1 billion Hindus, 1 billion Muslims, 400 thousand Buddhists and 1.5 billion Christians, not to mention the adherents of smaller religions and tribal beliefs, fall into this category. So, while you may not consider them to be inferior to British people in general, you certainly consider them to be inferior to you don’t you?

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  4. No I just consider them wrong! They can change their opinion, people cannot change their race so it is totally different.

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  5. Firstly, neither of us was talking about race – we were talking about ‘people born abroad’. Please explain why you are ‘deliberately blurring the boundaries’, as you put it in your original post, to bring race into the argument.

    Secondly, the term you used to refer to religious believers was ‘irrational nuts’. If, as you say, you consider religious believers to be ‘just wrong’ am I to conclude that you apply the term ‘irrational nut’ to anyone whose opinions you disagree with or do you indeed have a particular prejudice against Hindus, Muslims etc.?

    Sorry for the previous post appearing anonymously - that was an oversight.

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  6. Sean, do you think the birth rate in the UK is too low. A lot of those opposing immigration want to see an increase in the birth rate, why? It makes me extremely suspicious of their motives. People use religion as a convenient label for their identity, this doesn;t mean they particularly agree with their religion's doctrine. Just look at how many Catholics practise safe sex and how many Muslims drink. These are obvious examples but there are loads of others. I doubt that the majority of people who identify themselves by their religion actually agree with its teachings (or even believe in god).

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  7. "I doubt that the majority of people who identify themselves by their religion actually agree with its teachings (or even believe in god)."

    Neil, would you be prepared to announce that through a megaphone on the streets of Karachi, Riyadh or Mexico City?

    I can’t agree with your comments about religion and identity. I have friends brought up in the Sikh, Hindu, Jain, Muslim and Christian religions and they all habitually contravene some of the basic tenets of their faiths (generally those relating to sex and intoxicants....). However, when questioned, they either accept that what they are doing is wrong and express a desire to change their behaviour in the future or they produce a justification for their behaviour based on an alternative interpretation of their religious scriptures. They never say that, actually, they are atheists who are just using Sikhism / Hinduism etc. as a convenient identity.

    Identity is a much more complex subject than you give it credit for. Just think about yourself. In this thread you state that you are not proud to be British because pride needs to be linked to some personal achievement. Yet in your biography you mention that you are a supporter of Walsall FC. I’m guessing that you don’t play for, coach or manage this team so how can you take any pleasure in its success? To do so would be, in your own terms, irrational. If a rational chap like you can sustain an identity based on such inconsistencies surely it’s possible that religious people might too? (I’d just like to point out that this isn’t a dig at your integrity as I’m sure I’m prey to similar inconsistencies myself).

    I’m afraid I’m not particularly clued-up on the economic arguments regarding our declining birth rate. I have heard fairly convincing opinions both for and against the necessity for more immigration to bolster our economy. But either way I’m not sure that short-to-medium term gain for the economy is the only criterion we should be using for making decisions about the future of British society. If it were then many Green / Socialist arguments would be ruled out immediately.

    As for preferring to see population growth brought about by an increase in the birth rate, as opposed to immigration, I would expect you, as someone who is hostile to religion, to be in favour of this. After all the majority of native Britons are sceptical about religion while the majority of immigrants tend to cleave to what you consider to be irrational and absurd religious views.

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  8. "I doubt that the majority of people who identify themselves by their religion actually agree with its teachings (or even believe in god).
    Neil, would you be prepared to announce that through a megaphone on the streets of Karachi, Riyadh or Mexico City?"

    Because of the irrationality of people's belief in religion I would probably risk my life if I did say this. Which is precisely the reason why religion needs to be crushed.

    "I can’t agree with your comments about religion and identity. I have friends brought up in the Sikh, Hindu, Jain, Muslim and Christian religions and they all habitually contravene some of the basic tenets of their faiths (generally those relating to sex and intoxicants....). However, when questioned, they either accept that what they are doing is wrong and express a desire to change their behaviour in the future or they produce a justification for their behaviour based on an alternative interpretation of their religious scriptures."

    Or they say that they don't realy believe all the bullshit coming out of the vatican. mullahs etc.

    I know loads of people who say they are protestant, catholic, muslim, sikh etc but when questioned further say they don't actually believe in god or are agnostic.

    Also of those who do say they believe, its very easy to suspect by their actions, that this is just a convenient thing to say to fit in with their peers etc... I could go on. Anyway I think you get what I saying.

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  9. I for one am proud to be British, unfortunately the problem with this is that humility is an aspect of Britishness. What a paradox eh?

    Pride doesn't need to be linked to personal achievement, this would be a complete reworking of the concept. We do not deny children the right to be proud of their parents even though they have not engineered their parent'achievements.

    I am proud to be associated with Britain through my birth and my life here, therefore I am proud to be British.

    I do agree with letting as many immigrants who want to come here do so, however they must agree not to attack the basic tenets of Britishness; tolerance, reason and freedom under the law.
    As one poster said we cannot tolerate intolerance, yet another paradox of Britishness, but one that can be overcome.

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