February 12, 2005

MIGRATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS

MIGRATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS

Perhaps the migration policies enunciated by Mr Michael Howard as a campaign strategy and which as now foisted a new direction on a much more liberal Labour party signals the possibility of the extreme stance of the British National Party one day becoming relevant in this civilized nation. The truism of the write up of The Independent on Monday, 17th February may by then become the ranting of the minority. Nazi Germany must have thought it was a civilized nation doing its best for its people. That Britons owned this beautiful island is not in doubt but that this empire has nothing to do with the dislocated Third world populace scavenging the earth is a question that those who do not want immigrants( except the selected few) here must answer. But unfortunately the history of Britainís and indeed Europe economic success is linked inexorably with these unwanted people.

Europe cannot run away from the skeleton in its cupboard. The unwanted immigrants are offspring of the slaves in whose trade this economic fortress was built. The trade financed the industrial revolution that has now made Britain a world power. The failed nations of Africa were the creation of British Empire which was let off when the Empire was through with them. Where would Britain be if its people were articles of trade for 300 years and colonised for another 100 years?

In todays globalize world the Third world is a coerced partner in an unequal partnership. A mere market to keep the Empire strong. The IMF continues to use the Third World as guinea pigs for its ill conceived economic experiments and multinationals like Shell continue to arrogantly declare billions in profit while their host communities in the Third world continues to face environmental degradation caused by their activities. While one appreciates initiatives such as Davos and that of Mr Gordon Brown but I dare say it would take more than 70 million dollars daily to feed the over 70 million population of Nigeria alone who are living below poverty line.

It is easy to point to the incompetence and corruption of African leaders but they are the product of the weak institutions (or lack of them) left by the colonialists. How reasonabe is it to expect viable institutions to evolve in the hurried arrangement put in place by the empire when she had no more use for the colonies?

I am not saying that Britain should open its doors to all the desperate poor of the Third world but maybe if the empire would recognise her complicity in the predicament of these rejected of the world it would stop treating them like scum. If the empire would right the wrong of the past by making its commonwealth habitable then it would not have to contend with the desperate seeking to eat from the crumbs that fell off her table.


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