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VOTE REMAIN: WHY IMMIGRATION IS NOT THE ISSUE.

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Let’s be clear about something, once and for all:

Immigration is good.

Immigrants add billions to the economy, enrich our cultural life and create plural, diverse, mixed communities. This blended model of society is one which I, and the overwhelming majority of my friends like the idea of. However, there are many that fear the idea of people with differently coloured skin, or those who have different values, beliefs and rituals. They harken back to a virtual society, one which never actually existed: one which is white, English and superior. These people are the white flighters from our cities and towns.

The world is changing. Global demographics show that the populations of Africa, Asia and South America will be doubling during the next century, whereas the traditionally white territories of Europe and North America will flatline, with a total global population reaching then plateauing at 11bn (Prof Hans Rosling) by 2100. It is no reason to be scared. This is an entirely sustainable figure. We have the space, the jobs and the resources.

By 2100, we will see mixed communities, blended families, pluralism, real secularism and freedom of faith and belief. Or we can choose to hurtle down the abyss into the dark space of fear, hate and where communties build walls not bridges, and turn on one another. Neighbour against neighbour, brother against brother. This era in which we are now living is merely the messy transition where people reluctant and resistant to change, those who are scared of change, make a noise. It is the death throes of a bygone era. And God save us from making the same mistakes the people before us have made. The world needs fixing.

But change is coming nonetheless. On the shores of Europe we have refugees fleeing rape, death, war, destruction and devastation – lest we EVER dare forget that the mandate and installation of the Assad crime family in Syria was a British and Western program of work. We put these maniacal murderous dictators in the first place. It is as a result of Western policies of war and invasion that sees the Middle East in flames, families dead and societies destroyed.

We have an obligation to house refugees. And 90% of people arriving are exactly that: refugees.

The arguments are well recited:

1. The UK is full
• No, it really isn’t, we are 90% empty. There is plenty of space. We’ve been made to believe that the UK looks like rush hour in London. It doesn’t.

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Britain is almost entirely empty space. Owned by the crown and the nobility. Paid by UK taxes and the Common Agricultural Policy to keep their land empty. It’s a terrible scam. The Empty Homes Agency says we have over 800,000 empty houses in the UK, and we have over 200,000 empty readily convertible commercial premises. That’s over 1 million empty homes. Empty today. Did you know just giving up a handful of golf courses or less than 0.5% of our empty national space would resolve our housing crisis for the coming generations?

2. We don’t have the infrastructure
• Then let’s build it. This is jobs, growth and great for the economy. We cannot allow our persistent underinvestment and mismanagement of our country to get in the way. Time to change things.

3. Immigration is a drain on the economy
• No, in fact they add billions to the exchequer. Tens of billions. They pay more taxes and take less benefits. At a time when we have a record structural deficit and an ageing population, we desperately need inward migration.

4. Immigrants cause wage compression and harm job prospects for Brits
• Actually, no they don’t. But this takes some working out.
• Jonathan Portes, Danny Blanchflower & Shadforth have researched this at length and say immigration doesn’t compress wages.
• Prof Andri Chassamboulli: illegal immigration boosts employment for natives
• Economic professors say immigration increases services, boosting employment.

The simple fact is that inward migration is needed and is hugely beneficial. The resistance to it is based on fear and prejudice. This is not to belittle the genuine fears. We can answer each and every one of those questions. However, it’s a bit like being scared of flying. It’s an irrational, very emotional but very real and very visceral fear.

This is precisely why the likes of Britain First, Pegida, EDL, BNP, UKIP and other racist and far right groups at home and across Europe want Britain to leave the EU. It is an opportunity to act as bulwarks against a Muslim invasion, the watering down of white communities and mixing of the races. It’s why Michael Gove leading the campaign believes Tommy Robinson from the EDL (now leader of Pegida) isn’t an extremist; why he lead the Trojan Horse scandal against Muslims; why he reformed British education to make it Kafkaseque, Anglo-oriented and less about black and minority interests at home and overseas. It’s about time we told these people that we reject this. It is utter nonsense. We don’t want our children growing up in this dystopian world.

It’s a trick called the Fastest Gun In The West. Whilst you are worrying about immigration you missed the fact that Brexit and voting Leave will cripple our economy (according to the consesus of economic experts, the UK Treasury, the Bank of England and IMF) and drive the poorest into abject poverty. Council estates will become post industrial ghettos. They will be the first to lose out and to be hit the hardest when the bottom drops out of the economy and working class jobs are lost. Poor white communities, black and ethnic minorities. Muslims. And hence the absurdity that it is precisely these working poor communities who are being targeted by the far right and largely falling for the rhetoric… they’re coming for your jobs… your homes.. be scared of Johnny Foreigner.

I will certainly agree that this is the decision of a lifetime. Do we choose the old ways of racism and fear, the politics of prejudice. Or do we choose a new tomorrow, of multi-cultural communities, of a new economics, of a better system of coexistence and working with others.

Destiny is calling.

#VoteRemain

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This entry was posted on 22/06/2016 by in Diversity, UK Politics and tagged , , , , , , , .

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Mo Ansar

Musician | Lead singer with Solomon | Broadcaster | Political Commentator | Activist

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