Monday, 18 February 2013

Talking about immigration

It has become an established meme of the political right that 'we are not allowed to discuss immigration' but of course nothing could be further from the truth. The papers are filled daily with their thoughts on the subject, and in the most unpleasant of terms. Actually, what is virtually undiscussed in not the international mobility of labour but that of capital (as discussed in the book, pp 106-107). Somehow there seems to be the idea that the latter is 'just' inevitable globalization and that it can proceed without any movements of population, which are deemed to be a 'problem'.

I will post in more detail about this soon, but for now I wanted to share a thought-provoking article written by James Koranyi, a brilliant young historian at Durham University, who is an expert on the cultural history of Eastern and South-eastern Europe, in which he discusses the longstanding British historical fascination with and and fear of Romania, in particular (and linking with the horsemeat scandal, discussed in my last post).

To see an example of what he means by the demonization of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, have a look at this recent piece in the Daily Mail. Look particularly at the pictures, which, frankly, reminded me of the cartoons in Der Sturmer, the Nazi propaganda leaflet.

Also worth reading is this piece in today's Guardian newspaper, looking at contrasting attitudes to Indian and Romanian immigration.

As I say, more to follow - but I was struck by the coincidence of timing of these three pieces, so wanted to share them whilst they are still fresh.

1 comment:

  1. Now that Clegg has fired the starting gun and the race to the bottom has begun, perhaps it's time for some detailed analysis of the issues involved.
    Looking forward to your next post.
    ceejay

    ReplyDelete