Forty per cent of people think British culture is undermined by multiculturalism and that migrants do not properly integrate, according to a new survey, conducted by ICM and 60 citizens’ panels, carried out on behalf of the thinktank British Future and the anti-racism group Hope Not Hate over the past two years. The report reflects widespread frustration at the government’s handling of immigration; only 15% of respondents felt ministers have managed it competently and fairly.
More than a quarter of people believe MPs never tell the truth about immigration and half the population wanted to see a reduction in the numbers of low-skilled workers coming into Britain from the EU. “The lack of trust we found in the government to manage immigration is quite shocking,” said Jill Rutter, the director of strategy for British Future. “People want to have their voices heard on the choices we make, and to hold their leaders to account on their promises.”(BBC September 17, 2018)
One could write a similar piece about many Western countries, where people feel overwhelmed by the number of immigrants. The interests of the businesses, who want cheap labour, are opposed to those of the man in the street. Some of the latter are jobless, feel they cannot live on the incomes immigrants receive, and see a way of life changing without their being consulted. The businesses win every time. Of course, many immigrants are temporary, arriving in Britain to make a good wage for a while and then returning home, an ever-moving population. The most important point is that country needs them – nurses, doctors, plumbers, electricians etc for those jobs which are ever vacant and hard to fill. heartfelt thank-you to them!
But, liberal though I am on most things, on multiculturalism I just don’t get it. I like the improvement in British cuisine, and rely on skilled immigrants to keep a roof over our heads. But I admit to being skeptical about the people who go on about multi-culturalism. What really is it and what are the real, hard benefits? Do they outweigh the social upheavals and right-wing politics they have spawned? Is the recreation of a Peshawar street market in a poor part of Manchester that valuable an addition to the country, colourful though it might be? I would like to understand.