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Interesting? Frightening?

(113 Posts)
Granny23 Wed 27-Dec-17 09:19:11

Having suffered a visit to our small local town in Central Scotland, from the EDL to protest that 'our' Syrian Refugees had been given brand new houses by the Council, followed by a major Orange Lodge march/parade which shut down the whole town for a whole day, this 'take' on the far right really resonates. Ethnic Nationalism as opposed to the civic Nationalism of the SNP?

vampirequeen Wed 27-Dec-17 11:41:15

I find ethic nationalism very scary. They seem to attract some of the worst people and are quite happy to spread lies and misrepresented half truths if it forwards their cause. They play on (sadly) endemic xenophobia and mistrust of 'the other' and don't care who gets mentally or physically hurt in the process.

NfkDumpling Wed 27-Dec-17 13:26:33

Quite so Vampire.

Luckygirl Wed 27-Dec-17 15:10:45

One of the big mistakes that the EU made was incorporating countries so much poorer than the majority and then instituting freedom of movement between all EU countries - a laudable policy but one that did not foresee the inevitable "vacuum" effect of folk from poor countries being sucked into a flood of their compatriots seeking a better life, for which no-one can blame them. The backlash has been a resurfacing of xenophobia and fear in the richer countries of losing their standard of living by being "over-run."
For me it is an example of he EU lacking clarity of thought.

Luckygirl Wed 27-Dec-17 15:12:56

I hope it is clear from my post above that I find this resurfacing of racism and xenophobia entirely revolting; but I also find it pitiful that those in charge in the EU cannot think ahead, and lack judgement.

NotTooOld Wed 27-Dec-17 15:40:50

Well said, Luckygirl.

vampirequeen Wed 27-Dec-17 15:56:35

Sadly we have been a xenophobic country for generations. The Victorians brought this to a pinnacle as they expanded the Empire. Add to that the jingoism engendered during WWI and you have the perfect mix to fix xenophobia and a sense of 'us' and 'them' into the popular consciousness. From that point on it was passed from generation to generation through education, Empire Day celebrations and social attitudes. Even the Churches had a hand in it with their missionaries and orphanages that raised money from white society with exotic images and 'the noble savage'.

Those of us who no longer believe that we are better than any on else are facing an uphill struggle against these ingrained beliefs. But it is a struggle we must maintain. Children are not born racist but learn to be so.

WilmaKnickersfit Wed 27-Dec-17 16:26:57

Only the UK Ireland and Sweden did not put restrictions on the the free movement of the people when the Eastern European countries joined the EU. Most countries have a seven year restriction on these migrants making any claim on the public purse. I don't know about Ireland and Sweden, but the UK government massively underestimated the number of migrants from the countries in question. Jack Straw made this clear several years ago. When David Cameron tried to renegotiate the UK's position within the EU last year, he had the opportunity to do something about the current migrant situation, but for some reason he did not pursue this aspect of the discussions, focusing instead on the Child Benefit aspect. He is widely regarded as missing a trick then.

Unfortunately this has handed ammunition on a plate to the nationalistic far right in this country. Even though the information used by the far right is not accurate and is quite easily disproved, the correct information is not what some people want to hear.

I liken these people to the image of the red neck Americans. The truth does not really matter to them. Quite frankly this scares the pants off me - far more than the threat of Putin or Kim Jong UN - because it has the potential to spread violence like wild fire and it's in our back yard. The whole thing brings back memories of the race riots of the 80s.

Luckygirl Wed 27-Dec-17 16:59:25

It is a frightening situation and one that concerns me for the GC - they are subliminally picking up poor values in what they hear; even though I have absolute faith in their parents instilling the right values.

Luckygirl Wed 27-Dec-17 17:05:38

I understood that the obligatory free movement of people has been an EU principle since 2011.

Jalima1108 Wed 27-Dec-17 20:08:22

Great Britain was not the only European country to build empires, although to read some threads you could be led to believe that we were!

Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Belgium - although South America threw off the yoke of Spain and Portugal, other countries increased theirs and there was a surge of European imperialism in the later 19th century.

Jalima1108 Wed 27-Dec-17 20:10:55

sorry, that was a sidetrack to the OP but it is a misleading point which is often made to portray the British as more xenophobic than other nations - which I do not believe we are.

It is wrong and very sad that this is happening, but this trend seems to be Europe-wide sadly.

paddyann Wed 27-Dec-17 20:14:50

Great Britain is just an Island Jalima ,its inhabited by 3 nations ...the UNION was signed by just TWO nations ,The English sadly are more xenophobic ..or it seems since Brexit with a massive rise in racist crimes.That hasn't happened in Scotland ...I'm very pleased to point out.

Jalima1108 Wed 27-Dec-17 20:25:56

Well, I don't know about that as I have not come across any but I will take your word for it.

I am glad you say that Scotland is not now xenophobic to the extent of hate crimes (although I can remember some which made the news in the past) - but I must just point out that the Scots took an active part in building the British Empire as it then was - now the Commonwealth of which so many countries are happy to be part and which other countries who were never part of the Empire wish to join.

These very few hateful people should be stopped and it should not be assumed that, because they are vociferous, the English are hate-filled xenophobes like them.

Jalima1108 Wed 27-Dec-17 20:33:40

A leading Glasgow-based charity which helps immigrants and refugees across Scotland says racist attacks are not uncommon in the city, as five are arrested for an alleged firework attack on a refugee in Springburn.

Robina Qureshi, who runs Positive Action for Housing, says attacks on refugees often go unreported and believes many are in denial about the true extent of the problem in the city.

I cannot comment on Orange marches as I think are a peculiarity of Scotland and N Ireland or where there are populations of Scots and Northern Irish such as Liverpool.

Please do not tar the English with the brush of the EDL just as we would not assume that the Scots are racist or bigoted on religious grounds because of the actions of a few.

WilmaKnickersfit Wed 27-Dec-17 21:00:55

Luckygirl from the very beginning, at the heart of the European Union sit four key principles: the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour.

These four freedoms were enshrined in the 1957 Treaty of Rome and reinforced in the 1986 Single European Act, the 1992 Maastricht Treaty and the 2007 Lisbon Treaty.

However, free movement of labour or people does not automatically mean access to the public purse in every country. Far from it. You can move to any EU country to work or live, but you can't just arrive and apply for public housing, benefits, health care etc. Every EU member state decided at the time of the legislation I've mentioned above what its own laws would be to deal with this kind of thing. The member states can't just change these laws at a later date. What can and does happen is that when candidate states complete the accession process meaning there is to be an enlargement of the EU, the existing EU member states can decide to treat people from those candidate states in a different way to existing member states. This is where the UK cocked up in 2004.

I don't mean to teach you how to suck eggs, so apologies if I have given too much information.

mcem Wed 27-Dec-17 21:02:56

Orange marches are a west coast phenomenon - not Scotland-wide.
I have never witnessed one and would not choose to!
Equally I am not aware of any increase in racist attacks locally but that may be linked to the fact that this area voted overwhelmingly to stay in EU.
As far as I know, Scotland has welcomed a disproportionate number of refugees.
When I see some of the 'national' headlines in msm I really am glad to live in this tolerant corner!

Luckygirl Wed 27-Dec-17 21:43:43

No at all Wilma - all information is useful.

People do not however move to another country simply to tap into their benefit/health system, but for a better standard of living in general and better job opportunities. This inevitably leads to a transfer of people from poorer to richer countries and the unfortunate potential for a backlash from the indigenous population.

I do not think the EU is clear about what its aims are and it just bumbles along with romantic ideas of harmony, not realising that it is initiating the exact opposite.

varian Wed 27-Dec-17 22:38:43

Orange Lodge marches are a symptom of the sectarianism which is fostered by religious apartheid in schools. NI suffers particularly from this, but it is also endemic in some parts of Scotland.

mostlyharmless Wed 27-Dec-17 23:01:47

I just can't see immigration being reduced easily. Over the last twenty or thirty years, people travel overseas far more than previous generations. People work abroad more, holiday abroad more, study abroad more, buy property abroad more. Employers recruit from around the world. People are more likely to meet partners from different countries online or in person than in the past. Family links mean we are increasingly connected to different cultures.

The world has shrunk. We have instant telephone connections worldwide, news from around the globe is broadcast instantly. The internet means we read news and opinions from all over the world.

I just can't see this being reversed in the near future whatever immigration restrictions are imposed. Economic migrants and families or friends will put pressure on the rules and quotas to travel, study, live and work where they want to.

Granny23 Wed 27-Dec-17 23:40:39

My point about the EDL and Orange carry-ons were that these were people who had come up from England and across from NI to spout their hatred in a small town in central (not the west) of Scotland, which generally votes SNP, voted to stay in the EU and whose people have (with a couple of vociferous exceptions) gone to great lengths to welcome our Syrian refugee families.

There has been no problem here with the influx of Polish incomers, probably because we are used to Poles because many were billeted locally during the war, married local lassies and raised their families here. There were 4 children with Scottish accents and Polish Surnames in my class at Primary School.

I do not know about the situation in England but from reading reports of violent attacks and racial abuse, it appears that the main targets are immigrants with dark skins and their British born descendants. These people have nothing to do with the EU's free movement laws, as most have migrated from the Commonwealth Countries, but rabid Right Wing Brexiteers seem to expect that they will all be banished as soon as Brexit takes effect. I cannot claim that there are no racist incidents locally as we have a few of our own indigenous hiedbangers , but then most black faces round here belong to students, doctors, nurses, restaurateurs and shopkeepers - valuable and respected members of the community.

I have noticed a change since Brexit became part of our language with zenophobia being accepted as a valid point of view for many. I have also noticed, mainly in the comments after articles in National Newspapers, extreme hate-speak being directed at the Scots, Irish and to a lesser extent, the Welsh. Seems that many in England want rid of us too.

Morgana Thu 28-Dec-17 00:03:19

Some of the newspapers have racist headlines on a VERY regular basis. It is very worrying. I fear that when we struggle to balance the economy post Br exit, the immigrants will be blamed. Remember those 'rivers of blood'? I have two mixed race G.C. I am terrified of what might happen to them in the future.

WilmaKnickersfit Thu 28-Dec-17 01:32:59

Oh I agree with you Luckygirl about the reason why workers from poorer countries move to the richer ones. That's happened for thousands of years. But if the UK government had put in place the kind of restrictions as most of the other EU countries (Ireland and Sweden are the other 2 countries which did not) on the people who could move here after 2004 from the new Eastern European member countries, we may not have experienced the huge influx since 1994 from the new Eastern European members. The appeal of the UK would have been much less. The government couldn't do anything about the economic migrants coming to the UK from existing EU countries, but it could have introduced a major change to those from countries that joined the EU from 2004.

I don't agree with you though about the EU lacking clarity of thought because of the process a new country has to follow before it becomes a member.

From the Europa website

The process of joining the EU (accession) broadly consists of 3 stages:
1. When a country is ready it becomes an official candidate for membership – but this does not necessarily mean that formal negotiations have been opened.
2. The candidate moves on to formal membership negotiations, a process that involves the adoption of established EU law, preparations to be in a position to properly apply and enforce it and implementation of judicial, administrative, economic and other reforms necessary for the country to meet the conditions for joining, known as accession criteria.
3. When the negotiations and accompanying reforms have been completed to the satisfaction of both sides, the country can join the EU.

The EU does not just let any country join. All member countries have to agree at the start AND at the end of the process. Can't see Russia ever being allowed in! grin But more to the point, do you remember that sensational headline last year that 70 million Turkish people could soon come to the UK? During the referendum campaign the Vote Leave campaign announced immigration projections based on Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Serbia joining the EU in 2020. Albania and Macedonia haven't even started any negotiations and the other countries have barely started the process. Then Penny Mordaunt (Defence Minister at the time) said that the UK would not be able to prevent Turkey from joining. She was wrong because each member state can use its veto at both the first and the third stage of the process. The second stage takes years, even decades.

For example, Turkey applied to join the EU in 1987, but it was 10 years before it was even accepted as a candidate and it didn't start negotiations until 2005. There's 35 chapters (areas of negotiation) to be completed by each candidate. Turkey has only completed one chapter (Science and Research - completed in 2006). Fourteen other chapters were started, but in 2006 the EU decided until Turkey changed its position on several crucial policies towards Cyprus, no further negotiations would take place. This is because the policies in question concern matters relevant to those 4 basic EU freedoms. David Cameron remarked that it would be the year 3000 before Turkey could be eligible to join the EU. Very few people know about the accession process, so the Vote Leave campaign could get away with this scaremongering about immigration. Of course, this was not about nationality, but religion because Turkey is predominantly Muslim and the other countries have a large percentage of Muslims.

The problem with the EU is its size and bureaucracy now makes progress on any issue a lengthy process, but I would rather be leading the process of reform from the inside of the organisation than be outside the club.

WilmaKnickersfit Thu 28-Dec-17 02:04:52

As a Scot I can confirm that racism is alive and well in Scotland, but the circumstances are different to England. It has a small population, so from an economic growth perspective Scotland needs more economic migration than the rest of the UK. Research by the Scottish government does indicate that people in Scotland are generally more welcoming of migrants than most other parts of the UK. Of course that does not mean there's no attacks on migrants, but people who are different have always been targets. Despite this, the information also suggest that just like the rest of the UK, in Scotland the majority want to see an overall reduction in migration. A sizeable minority has concerns about the impact of migration on the labour market in Scotland. So there's a conflict between Scotland needing to grow its workforce and the population wanting to reduce immigration. It's all about perception. The truth is that you can go to places all over Scotland and not see any ethnic minority people, or virtually none. They mainly live in the larger towns and cities because that's where the work is. Yet people will talk about immigration as if they are surrounded by migrants.

vampirequeen Thu 28-Dec-17 07:56:06

Jalima1108....I didn't feel the need to talk about other empires as the OP and thread was about the UK.