Anorak

Anorak | Hi Noon

Hi Noon

by | 1st, September 2005

‘IF some of the residents of what was New Orleans want to seek refuge in Britain, should we let them come in?

‘It’s my chapathi and I’ll say what I want to’

We’ve not yet been faced with this dilemma, and boatloads of Americans clad in voluminous plaid shorts have yet to arrive at Dover and claim refuge and even asylum.

In any case, would we have room for them if they did? According to the Mail, “1.2m migrants have been let in my Labour”.

Eighty per cent of the country’s population growth since 1997 to last year has been a direct result of immigration. And, says the paper, this surge does not include those who “sneak in” illegally every year, nor Big Brother’s Makosi.

And then there are those who, like Makosi, overstay their visas. And if you doubt it was easy to do, you can read the Mail’s “UK visa rules are the softest” piece. The Mail has it that Britain’s visa regime is the “most relaxed in the Western world”. And, in case you’re confused, the Mail doesn’t see this as something that should be celebrated.

It duly hears from Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, a pressure group which has produced the Mail’s headline figure. He says the problem is not only the numbers of new arrivals but what they do after they’ve arrived.

“The failure to integrate our immigrant communities has brought us to a crisis in community relations,” says he. “With immigration on the present scale it is impossible to achieve effective immigration.”

But hold the passports. The initial comment was on the number of migrants, those who work and study here before returning home. They are the itinerant workers who travel from one area to another in search of work.

The immigration issue is something besides, dealing with people who leave their home country to settle permanently in this one.

But while the Mail blurs the two things to create a shocking headline, the point about integration is pertinent.

And it’s one that “Britain’s curry king” Sir Gulam Noon wants to comment on. The multi-millionaire, Indian-born Muslim tells the Sun that immigrants should make an effort to adapt to the British way of life.

“We are relative newcomers in the UK to a community with a long tradition of liberal democracy,” says he. “If immigrants do not like that, the answer is, ‘Go back to wherever you regard as your own country, leave us in peace’.”

To many, such words are every bit as tasty as one of Noon’s dishes. But to Inayat Bungawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, they are only “partly right”.

He says Noon “forgets that most Muslims are already British. They are not immigrants, they were born here.”

Which gives them as much right as the next discontented Mail reader to stay here and moan about the place…’



Posted: 1st, September 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink