Posts Tagged: United Kingdom

Institute of Race Relations: Asylum in the time of COVID-19

by John Grayson The appalling, overcrowded, unhygienic housing offered to some asylum seekers and their young children is putting them at especial risk of Covid-19. A refusal of insanitary accommodation leads to threats of homelessness. John Grayson of South Yorkshire Migration & Asylum Action Group investigates the reality in Leeds, Halifax and Wakefield. Helen ‘I don’t

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Migrants’ Rights Network: Byron Hamburgers: When employers fail to do right by migrant employees

What else could Byron’s have done? The social media world was awash with attempted defences of the hamburger chain after it collaborated in the arrest of 35 of its migrant workers earlier in July. Our answer is they didn’t have to go along with the shabby act of entrapment of its staff, and they could have done so much more to push back against punitive, anti-worker rules.

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Brexit proves (again) that Europe’s biggest threat was and still is nationalism and xenophobia

We speak of external threats like globalization and others like asylum seekers as threats challenging this great Post-World War 2 experiment called the European Project. While the achievements of the European Union are formidable taking into account that we’re not going after each other’s throats after 1945, there is one threat that is the greatest of them all and one we should pay more attention to: nationalism and xenophobia.

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Brexit: Stoke the fires of natonalism and you’ll get burned

After the United Kingdom decided Thursday to exit from the European Union, the question remains: why? In many respects, the answer to that question is a similar one that you hear in some European countries why such-and-such country has seen the political rise of populist anti-immigration party. Finland is a good example of the latter. The

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Migrants’ Rights Network: In this migration crisis, common humanity isn’t enough. We need to reimagine who ‘we’ are

One of the dominant features of the national discourse concerning the plight of the Calais migrants in recent weeks has been the dehumanising language applied to the men, women and children risking their lives in desperation to find lasting safety. This reached its peak with Prime Minister David Cameron referring to ‘swarms’ of migrants attempting to reach the UK and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond describing the ‘threat’ of ‘marauding’ African migrants.

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Institute of Race Relations: One nation – but whose?

Frances Webber The first of a post-election three-part series on civil liberties in the UK examines the government’s proposal to replace the Human Rights Act by a British Bill of Rights. Prime minister David Cameron was quick to don the mantle of ‘One Nation Toryism’ after his party’s election victory. But the Tories’ priorities set

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Institute of Race Relations: Why we should listen when the UN condemns the UK’s ‘extremist media’

Matt Carr Below we reproduce an article by author Matt Carr from his blog, Infernal Machine, on the current situation in the Mediterranean. British tabloid editors have never struck me as a particularly reflective and thoughtful breed of humanity, so I doubt they will be plunged into a mood of remorseful self-analysis by the very strongly-worded

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Migrants are not a burden to Finland

The letter to the editor below could be perfectly well applied to Finland. In Finland, migrants and minorities are tired of being called a burden by opportunistic politicians that want to gain with xenophobic sound bites voter attention.   Sensible Europeans know better and more of their voices are needed in the face of this

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Migrants’ Rights Network: David Cameron’s EU migration speech – what impact on migrants’ rights?

Ruth Grove-White* Today’s (28.11) speech from the Prime Minister has made a pitch for a new tough approach on EU migrant access to welfare, but it has taken us further away from the evidence-based debate on immigration that we need. Read full story here.   David Cameron’s speech on EU migration, delivered earlier Friday, was

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Do you think David Cameron should be given ‘a medal’ for immigration?

Finnish Prime Minister Alexsander Stubb continues to surprise us. This time he proposed giving the UK, or Prime Minister David Cameron, ‘a medal’ for immigration. Taking into account how Cameron sees himself threatened by the UKIP and how he’s caved in to anti-immigration and anti-EU rhetoric, the distinction proposed by Stubb is odd to say the

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Migrants’ Rights Network: Yes, migrants are net contributors, but they are also our partners in challenging inequality and injustice

Migrant Tales’ insight: Another fine essay by Don Flynn, which brings to mind recent claims by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party that migration costs the country up to 2 billion euros. The estimation is only a guess by the PS and which forget to calculate that the majority of migrants in Finland work, pay taxes and consume.

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Institute of Race Relations: Language testing of asylum claimants – a flawed approach

By Aisha Maniar Following a critical Supreme Court judgment on the Home Office’s use of controversial language analysis tests to determine the nationality of asylum seekers, Aisha Maniar asks: why does the government insist on using these tests? Read orginal posting here.   Language is a crucial element of the identity of each and every one

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Migrants’ Rights Network: Court of Appeal rules against challenge to lawfulness of family immigration rules

Migrant Tales’ insight: The drama and pain continues in the United Kingdom after this unfair ruling… ________________ The long-awaited judgment of the Court of Appeal in the case ‘MM’ on the matter of the lawfulness of the UK immigration rules setting income levels for the sponsorship of non-EEA family members was made public this morning. 

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Migrants’ Rights Network: #MigrantsContribute! promises an active campaign to advance positive arguments for migrants

Migrant Tales insight: Another excellent posting by Migrants’ Rights Network on how immigrant communities challenge politicians who spread lies and reinforce prejudices about migrants. We need such a campaign in Finland.  Writes Don Flynn: #MigrantsContribute! is a social media-style name for a campaign that aims to bust into the mainstream with its core message that, far

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What would you see if you looked in Jussi Halla-aho’s eyes?

Plans to give the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* a facelift and turn it into a mainstream party took another step in that direction when the new chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformist (ECR) group of the European parliament, MEP Syed Kamall, was satisfied with PS MEP Jussi Halla-aho’s explanation for his conviction for ethnic agitation. What else

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Financial Times: Finnish and Danish MEPs “with criminal records” join Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s group

While some speculated that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and the Danish People’s Party (DPP), both with MEPs with criminal records, would be given the cold shoulder by UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group,  the opposite happened, writes the Financial Times.  The two MEPs with criminal records are PS MEP Jussi Halla-aho

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Migrants’ Rights Network: Is a new Immigration Bill to be announced in the Queen’s Speech?

Migrant Tales insight: Events in the United Kingdom resemble a self-fulfilling prophesy for white English and an ever-worsening and ever-hostile place for migrants and visible minorities. The treatment and approach to immigration of Prime Minister David Cameron’s government is shameful. It reveals more cowardice than sound judgement. The worst matter in the United Kingdom isn’t

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The EU elections are a call for migrants and minorities to raise their voices and take charge of their future in an ever-hostile Europe

What does the election victory of anti-EU and anti-immigration parties reveal for the future of the EU, immigrants and minorities in Europe? The bad news is that matters will get worse before they improve, even if these parties didn’t get a clear mandate in the EU elections. Writes the Guardian:”But not by as much as

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Anti-immigration Europe: The fruits you harvest depend on the seed you plant

In many respects, Europe looks like a region that is running scared with a notable part of its population seeking to support populist, anti-immigration and even neo-Nazi parties that offer no credible solutions to issues like rising unemployment, poverty and estrangement from our political institutions.  If students from a small town in Eastern Finland did

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Pew Research Center survey: Anti-immigration and anti-minority sentiment runs high before Euro elections

Pew Research Center, a Washington-based “fact tank,” reveals in a survey just before the European parliamentary elections on May 22-25 that anti-immigration and anti-minority sentiment runs  in countries like Poland, Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy and Greece. Euro MEP candidates like Jussi Halla-aho and Juho Eerola of the PS have used anti-immigration sentiment to attract

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Are politicians like Jussi Halla-aho and parties like the PS racist?

Jay Smooth offered in early March some good points on how to spot a racist by sticking to the that-sounded-racist conversation as opposed to they-are-racist conversation. The former conversation allows you to focus on what the person said and why what they said is unacceptable. The other one will take your focus away from the issue.  Keeping

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Announcement: 1001Nights | UK tour 2014

TOMORROW NIGHT I SHALL TELL YOU SOMETHING STRANGER AND EVEN MORE AMAZING… A FAMILY SHOW FOR AGES 6+ 1001 Nights collects together some of the greatest folk tales ever told. Here they are re-imagined by Shahrazad – a lively young girl who, torn between her old home in the East and her new life in Britain,

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Institute of Race Relations: UKIP – legitimised by the media?

MT insight: UKIP’s Nigel Farage and Perussuomalaiset party’s Timo Soini are close ideological allies. The only difference between these two politicians in the cultural and national context. If Farage lived in Finland he’d speak like Soini and vice versa. Thus to understand the PS you would have to understand the UKIP.  _________________ John Grayson examines

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What can the PS mutate to if the political conditions are right?

In order to understand what a party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) are, look at how it rose to become Finland’s third-largest party in parliament in less than ten years. The growth of the anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam PS has been impressive to say the least, rising from 5 MPs in the 2007 parliamentary elections

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Finland and Europe must not be lured into populism and xenophobia

Denials by party leaders like Timo Soini that the Perussuomalaiset (PS) isn’t a xenophobic party, and the meek response of Finland’s mainstream parties to such a threat, speak volumes of the present state of this country. Who helped the political careers of xenophobes like Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari and others? Soini and the PS.  Why

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Racism in Finland: The media is part of the problem

A party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS), which has capitalized politically on xenophobia and racism, claims that the Finnish media picks on it unfairly. The fact is, however, that the PS could have never achieved what it did in the April 2011 election without the help of the media, which gave its racists inflated respectability and

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How tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat reinforce our prejudices against immigrants and refugees

Tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat have a lot to learn about fairness, which is the cornerstone of all good news reporting. But tabloids aren’t interested in fairness but in sensationalism. A story by Ilta-Sanomat is headlined: ”Two Somalis use [fake] Yemeni passports to travel to Finland.”  Even if the story suggests that these Somalis are committing a crime

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Migrants’ Rights Network: Immigration is an important factor in Conservative rise in the polls

MT comment: Solid analysis by Awale Olad on what role the anti-immigrant message will play in the polls and upcoming elections in the United Kingdom. The delicate balancing act involves anti-immigration rhetoric, which could be ignited by the government’s Immigration Bill, and scaring away those votes it needs to capture, according to Olad.    With

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UK study links hate crime with far right EDL

A study in the UK finds that members of the far right English Defense League (EDL) were linked to a third of the abuses against Muslims last year. Almost two in every three cases of anti-Muslim incidents go unreported in the UK, according to Teesside University’s Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies.  Read full report

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Should Finns trust the police?

“…when the laws have ceased to be executed, as this can only come from the corruption of the republic, the state is already lost.” Montesquieu (1689-1755) A survey by T-Media reveals that Finns trust the most the police, educational and justice system and the least the media, EU and employer’s associations. Of those surveyed, 69%

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How ideologically alike is the PS with the UKIP and BNP?

The recent local election victory of the anti-EU and anti-immigration UKIP of Britain is a good example of what Finland experienced with the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) in April 2011. While the United Kingdom and Finland are vastly different countries, the knee-jerk reaction of the ruling parties to right-wing populism and rhetoric is strikingly

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Migrants’ Rights Network: EU Free Movement Under Threat

Stewart Jackson’s Ten Minute Rule motion to curb EU free movement rights passed the first hurdle on its way to becoming law. Let’s hope no one in government seriously considers it as official policy. Conservative MP Stewart Jackson continues his campaign against “barking mad” European Union law which supports the free movement of people across

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Timo Soini on racism: See no evil, hear no evil

It is surprising how a politician like Timo Soini of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party can argue anything he wants on television about immigrants and visible minorities. His objection to positive discrimination on a debate on MTV3 Wednesday is a case in point.  Migrant Tales has  written in the past about colorblind racism, which is one of the most common

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James and Jussi out of control

As the municipal elections of October near, Perussuomalaiset (PS) MPs, James Hirvisaari and Jussi Halla-aho, are doing everything possible to bolster the sagging popularity of the right-wing populist party. It’s unclear, however, if they are attempting to stir up support for the Suomen Sisu wing of the party or for the PS. In their usual style,

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Go for the values and weaknesses of a group if you aim to destroy their self-esteem

How would you go about destroying the self-esteem of a group? If you were an anti-immigration politician, certainly you’d target the group’s values (religion) and exploit your racist arguments by pointing the finger at their most vulnerable weaknesses, like high unemployment.  Prejudice and racism are diehard social ills because they take generations to wear off.

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Migrant Rights’ Network of the UK: The Elephant in the Workplace – Why it’s time we talked about migration and labour exploitation

        Dr Sam Scott* Certainly, it is rare for evidence of worker mistreatment to come to the fore but this does not mean, in our opinion, that it is ipso facto rare. Partly, the challenge is one of identifying workplace exploitation and persuading victims to come forward with evidence. Partly, it is about how

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