Thursday, May 06, 2004

This is England?

I don’t think I have ever been more ashamed to be English. I have just finished watching Dispatches : Keep Them Out on Channel 4. Basically it follows the campaign of a group of Lee-on-the-Solent residents seeking to prevent the planned asylum processing centre opening at a disused naval property in the town.

I have never heard such absurd and ridiculous reasoning. I’d repeat some of it but it would just make me seethe even more.

The racism was so palpable, so close to the surface, with so little effort taken to disguise it.

As the narrator summarised, it might very well be that far from this country being overwhelmed with asylum seekers, it is far more likely that it will be overrun with fear, stupid irrational, illogical, ill-founded, prejudiced fear.

One interviewee (sporting a tee-shirt stating No Asylum in the UK, which he suspected people thought was racist because of the red, white and blue colour-scheme), professed the opinions that all asylum seekers should just be killed because they “all” believe that would take them to a better place. When questioned as to what religion “all” asylum seekers subscribed to, he stated that he took them all to be Muslim. He did at least have the grace to accept that he might be wrong in that view; as he put it “that’s the problem about being racist..errr..prejudiced…I could be wrong”.

Well I suppose that’s the first step to recovery at least…

Frankly if this is the England that we’re supposed to be protecting, then I actually wish their stupid and ridiculous claims of us being overwhelmed by other cultures, was actually a realistic proposition.

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