Migrants and Citizens

A history lesson

I spent Monday in the archives. Most of the time I’m an ex-historian now, busy arguing about what should happen, not what did happen. But occasionally a day of detecting in old files brings the two together. History… Read More

What’s humanitarian?

I gave £20 to a destitute asylum seeker yesterday. An Afghan I would guess, although he had almost no English so I could not ask. It was an encounter which left me feeling hopelessly inadequate and extraordinarily angry… Read More

Africans, Arabs and Asylum (or the Daily Mail, part 2)

The second Daily Mail story is more shameful. It underlines the nasty xenophobia that pervades UK attitudes to migration and asylum. A Senegalese football team is missing in France: the Mail reports that ‘It is possible that the… Read More

The politics of strawberry-picking (or the Daily Mail, Part I)

Reading the Daily Mail is rarely good for my blood pressure. However, today there are two stories about refugees and migrants which underline the extent to which the Daily Mail’s view on refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants are propelled… Read More

You don’t beat them by joining them

Another anti-immigration speech by a Tory politician. Not much to celebrate in that: plenty to critique. David Cameron’s speech yesterday spun half-truths and persuasive populism together to cover the evident gaps in the Tory’s immigration politics. His words… Read More

Eat-in or takeway?

Today, I’ve read several stories about the government’s new shortage occupation list for overseas migrants, which will see non-EU takeaway chefs, senior care workers and sheep shearers unable to apply for visas. The British media are usually pretty happy… Read More

Call a spade a spade

Over the weekend, the Guardian published the results of a Populus poll showing that 48% of the UK population would consider supporting a new anti-immigration party committed to challenging Islamist extremism – as long as it ‘was not… Read More

Immigration and Labour

Alan Johnson’s resignation yesterday has had at least one very welcome consequence.  Ed Balls — a man described by the Tories in the Daily Mail as ‘to the right of Enoch Powell’ —  is no longer shadow Home… Read More

Doublethink, or not thinking?

Tuesday night.  French class, and we are practising the conditional:  `if I were Prime Minister, I would…’  And of course, my conversation partner comes up with the obvious: `…get rid of all the immigrants’. Depressingly predictable.  And give… Read More

Verified by Visas

The Henley Visa Restriction Index ranks countries across the world according to their citizens’ ability to cross border and enter freely into other states’ territories. Ever since a graph in the Economist based on its 2010 findings caught… Read More

The migration consensus

Today I read the Institute for Public Policy Research’s Migration Review for 2010/2011. In general, IPPR’s migration reports are carefully researched, well-balanced analyses of UK migration trends, providing a welcome antidote to the dubious statistics and rhetorical manipulation… Read More