Immigration: A toxic issue until Britain faces up to its colonial past- David Wearing

Immigration will remain a toxic issue until Britain faces up to its colonial past- David Wearing

Emmanuel Macron has condemned France’s behaviour in Algeria. Until Britain is similarly honest about its history, we will still think in terms of “us” and “them”.

Both Ukip and Theresa May trumpeted their anti-immigrant credentials yesterday, with fresh and not-so-fresh policies for the election. Hostility to foreigners is now an established theme in the UK’s political discourse, partly because it has deep cultural roots. But there may be something we can learn from Emmanuel Macron about how this problem can be addressed.   

Marine Le Pen’s defeat in the presidential election was a moment for relief, but hardly celebration. It remains the case that one in three votes was cast for an apologist for France’s role in the Holocaust, and there is no reason to imagine an overly sharp distinction with the other two thirds.   No one who voted for Macron in the second round after supporting the brazenly Islamophobic François Fillon in the first, for example, could possibly be described as an anti-racist. And if Macron strengthens big business at the expense of the working and middle class, then the forms of alienation that help to fuel the far right are certain to increase.    Read more:

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Comments

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On May 12, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    “Above all, we need to dismantle the hard boundaries between “us” and “them” if a progressive politics, or just a politics of basic decency, is ever to be revived.”
    ~ Well said, David Wearing. This also applies to us here in the US.

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