• Ugly Social Media

    Click on this if….

    No. Stop it.

    Gradually, I am overcoming the dramatic gastric impact of Spinning, which is a great relief to the dog and many local residents.

    However, I am increasingly annoyed by the tactics some organisations are using to garner positive social media statistics. You know the posts that I mean;

    “Like this page if you believe that a soldier who saved his platoon, sacrificing his life should be honoured while this malicious paedophile should not!”

    Seems a bit of a no-brainer.

    Then you look to see that the post originates from a page called “Lovely fluffy British folk”. Curious fellow that I am, I look at this page.

    It turns out that the page should more accurately be called;

    “Racist, xenophobic dimwits? You have found your online home.”

    Many of these ‘like-farm’ posts are using images of the military to lure people to anti-immigration or anti-muslim organisations. The implication being a polar relationship. “Military Good, Military fight Bad. Immigration Bad. Muslim Bad.”

    I thought I might take a moment to relate to you an anecdote.

    4-British-Army-Getty

    (Getty Image taken from the Independent website)

    I live adjacent to Salisbury Plain, home to Stonehenge and essentially an adventure playground for the British Army. I play golf (badly) at Tidworth Garrison Golf Club, which as the name might suggest, has strong military connections.

    Tidworth is a garrison town.

    On Tidworth high street, I went for a haircut in a busy barbers. Three barbers were working and four more customers were waiting. I’m fairly certain I was the only non-serving military man there. I was the only one not in camoflauge for a start.

    The standard cut seemed to be, “number 2 back and sides and short tidy on top please Kemal.”

    You see the barbers were all Muslim Turks. Really.

    Immigrants too. Good heavens.

    Please don’t associate images of the British military with stupidity, ignorance or prejudice. They’re way too good for that.

    Incidentally – best haircut I’ve had in ages.

  • Immigration. Stop it. Now

    immigrants

    Stop spouting uninformed nonsense about immigration and immigrants.

    I posted about this before.

    I am prompted to do so again by the horrific images currently all over the media.

    A school of thought is emerging that we have an obligation towards refugees but that economic migrants are a major problem.

    I don’t want to pontificate, so I will limit myself to a story or two.

    I married the daughter of two immigrants. Economic migrants in fact. In post-war Sicily, there simply was no work.

    My father-in-law packed a bag and worked in Germany, Switzerland and Glasgow before settling in London and becoming a postman. Hardly the Cosa Nostra is it?

    Once he had saved enough money to buy a house, he brought his wife and three daughters over. His wife and ultimately daughters got work in the local hospital.

    My wife came along in London as a little surprise. Testament to the poor quality of British television in the sixties perhaps.

    Margaret got a university degree and has never been without work.

    Britain has done well out of these particular economic migrants.

    I even got a wife out of the deal, which I’m very pleased about.

    This year, my wife’s cousin has made the move from Sicily. In post-crisis Sicily, there is simply no work.

    My cousin-in-law packed his bag, come to London and become a bus driver. He is hoping to soon have enough money to bring his wife and child over.

    The parallels are obvious.

    On the phone the other day, my cousin asked my wife why no English people drove buses in London.

    All of his colleagues are immigrants. All of them.

    I daresay that some would say that all the bus driver jobs are taken by immigrants.

    For this to be true, I would need to believe that the major bus companies are intentionally filtering out indigenous English people at interview stage.

    I really can’t see why this would be.

    We might speculate why immigrants are that much more successful in becoming bus drivers than the indigenous population.

    We might wish to look at motivations of employers and applicants.

    Anecdotally, an employer might tell you that an immigrant is more likely to be flexible, and to find a way to work.

    There are good people of all colours, creeds and nationalities. There are bad ones too.

    That a man (or woman) wants to build a good life for his family is to be admired, not feared.

    We must stop demonising immigration and immigrants.