Well all right then, UK

Am I just reading the wrong papers or is the UK becoming aggressive to foreigners to a scary degree? Whatever the truth, certainly reports such as the hostile treatment of Trenton Oldfield (whatever you think of him or his actions is irrelevant, what is relevant is that he was treated like scum), David McIsaac and the vindictive anti-immigrants rhetoric that floats across the pond from the UK has left me with the impression that the country’s government has become seriously hostile to immigrants.

One result in my mind has been interesting to observe. I’m on track for a degree in a sought-after field in the next two or three years. My husband is a professional in accounting with years’ experience. Our kids will be independent relatively soon, so we would consider other places to settle, bringing with us our ability to earn well, pay taxes and support employment in whatever community we go to live. Speculating about the future, I keep shying away from any dreams of considering a life in the UK. You can say all you want that it’s just the freeloading kind of immigrant you don’t welcome, when I open my mouth somewhere whoever is with me will know I’m a foreigner. They won’t know I’ve paid my dues in time and money to gain an EU passport, integrate with society here, pay what taxes were asked of me, contributed as and when I could. Those things are not written on my forehead. Instead, I’d be vulnerable to some half-wit only absorbing the hatred stirred up by politicians eager for a fear-inspired vote their way, doing me or my kids physical or mental harm because we’re filthy foreigners out to steal their jobs.

All right then, UK, if that’s what you want, I’ll take whatever I could have contributed to a town within your borders and rather give it to a place where I’m welcomed and treated on merit, not on the basis of where I was born. Probably in practice most people are more clued in than the politicos, but it’s still interesting to see in this immigrant the effect of the hate-talk on my thinking.

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2 thoughts on “Well all right then, UK

  1. I wish it were just the Uk, but Ireland is slowly going this way too. It’s a depressing thought it’s more government led in the UK. I have found that the official systems in Ireland work far better. However, on the ground, bigotry is much greater in Ireland in my experience. By looking at me, people immediately put me in the foreign/asylum seeker/benefit sponger category. Which is far from true. Like you, I have paid taxes and contributed every way I can since I first got here and earned mt citizenship, yet one look is all it takes. I don’t even have to open my mouth 😦 I really despair for the world most times. I actually stopped reading newspapers a long time ago and have limited my exposure to news channels because I don’t need all that negativity.

    I was hoping to transfer to the UK because I have always felt more “invisile” there, in a good way. But you have me doubting it now….

    1. Well, I have no idea what things are like in everyday life in the UK, and suspect that in most areas people will be very welcoming and accepting. In the case of the American teacher in Scotland, it’s his community that was outraged over his treatment and stood behind him, while it was immigration which treated him like scum.

      I think the UK government is panicking over the upcoming election, seeing the increase in popularity of UKIP and trying to win over that demographic by catering to their racist fears. My expressed sentiments up here I must confess are what I feel like on a bad day. I think the best thing to do is to go explore a specific place where one is considering settling, as once you have EU citizenship (for which we pay high dues in both time and money, so we bloody deserve it) you don’t have to deal with that anti-immigrant kind of attitude in officialdom, and can focus on the people around you. In that case, as I said, it’s about a specfic area and attitudes prevalent there.

      We have also experienced a lot more racism in day to day life, from ordinary people, in Ireland, while it seems in the UK the discrimination comes from the politicians and the policies they’re pushing through. It comes down to doing your best to find a place where people are not scared witless (doesn’t so much hatred stem from fear?) and are for the most part reasonably intelligent, and settling in such surroundings.

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