If you thought that it was just our friends at the Daily Mail who were pushing immigration to the top of political agenda in Britain, then take a look at the latest article from the ‘liberal’ Guardian’s Nick Cohen.
In what is a comment piece about David Cronenberg's new film Eastern Promises (a movie about how globalization has brought throat cutting Kurds and human trafficing Russians to the UK capital), pro-war lefty Nick Cohen writes under the headline Why 'Ryanair migrants' make the UK uneasy:
The middle class, which was once delighted to have cheap Polish plumbers, now thinks that foreigners will be competing for its jobs. The working class - white, black and brown - has never liked that, and is as suspicious as ever of new immigrants. Everyone is frightened about Islamist attacks, including those who say they aren't.
The article is printed as Poland’s next prime minister to be, Donald Tusk, lands in London to thank all the Poles – around 3 out of 4 in the UK – who voted for his more liberal approach to Polish politics in the recent elections here. His message domestically has been ‘toleration’. Well, maybe he ain’t going to get much of it from London’s media folk.
Cohen’s article begins with a strange line for a writer who has been lecturing his old friends on the liberal left for being too soft on (Islamo)fascism:
If the BNP had been given a camera crew, it couldn't have produced a more revolting depiction of immigrant life in London than David Cronenberg's film Eastern Promises... The British barely feature in their own capital. Apart from Anna, a second-generation Russian, they are minor characters: police officers who examine mutilated corpses or passers-by who run for cover when Chechen assassins storm a public baths. Whether as victims or victimisers, Cronenberg's London is a city of foreigners...
After saying this, he goes on to point out the obvious: since when has a film by Cronenberg – much as I love his work – been about reality? His films are about a hyper-reality, where the camera explores his obsession with the connection between violence and sex.
But never mind – Cohen’s comment article throws all kinds of London’s new immigrants into the paranoid mix.
For instance, he seems to think that ‘Islamists’ equals ‘immigrants’ – ignoring the fact that the only people to cause al-Qaeada type carnage in the UK were second or third generation, born in British. Britain’s recent immigration policy has nothing to do with it.
Cohen also seems to think that the ,’working class - white, black and brown...is as suspicious as ever of new immigrants...’ – meaning both the ‘Polish plumber’ and weird beard Islamists.
Cohen is so typical of much the liberal left he riles against, seeing the working class as a pogrom waiting to happen.
Cohen is the author of ‘What’s Left?’ – and with him as part of ‘the Left’, I think he has a point. Lefties being suspicious of the working class is sooo very 2007.
The give away to the article is the title, of course – ‘Ryanair migrants’. Not many jihad seeking migrants hop on a no-frills airline to come to Britain: Cohen is referring to Poles and other ‘New Europeans’.
‘Ryanair’ has become synonymous in these people’s minds, not for easy, casual travel – something you would think they would be pleased about – enabling the masses to travel from all parts of Europe, quickly and affordably – but as harbringers of a break down of social cohesion, as well as scaring the environmentalists stupid with size 12 ‘carbon footprints’.
Such is the confusion of modern day politics in Britain: the rightwing fear the free flow of people as much as they welcome the free flow of capital; and their friends on the liberal left fear the free flow of anything and everyone, and are hunkering down in their parochial, localist bunkers, wishing the modern world would just go away.
A little more self confidence from what’s left of both left and right about the effects of globalization would be welcome in the UK. Instead, Little Englanders are turning into a rainbow coalition - Blue, Pink and Green.
Tory sparks race row over Enoch Powell speech gaffe, Times online, Nov 4