Okay this is coming up in discussion more and more where I am and I'm interested in getting a wider sample of opinion and experience.
Right now in Britain there is a shift towards the BNP. A political party who's motto of "Britain First" seems far too easily twisted to a racist set of policies. In fact I think of them as the British version of the KKK. A less active history (I think) and less overt but no less racist in their views.
The thing is, is that I can see some of their views as correct and have recently found myself defending them to the more "liberal" thinkers (read people with the opposite bias) and attacking their extremes with those who support them.
Now I'm not really interested in a fight over how racist or not racist certain points of view are. Such circular thinking has only ended up in the current stalemate and under such it seems the extremes are getting more support.
What I am interested in is what level of such "racism" is a sensible guard.
Sounds like a backdoor to full racist views? Well if you have no control on immigrants, assylum seekers and such then you may very well end up with large problems. Of course the market should hold up as there would be as sharp an increase in demand as there would be an influx of people so it should keep the job situation fairly stables (other factors supporting that is) and ther is no race, creed or colour of people that are lazy good for nothing lay abouts. We are all equal (ish).
So at present there is this "agreement" in Europe that assylum seekers are supposed to stop in the first safe country, doesn't happen. Apparently the thinking is that places like France will send them back and so they will skip coutries and come to good old blighty cause we won't turn them away. Some see this as noble and others as foolish.
There is a brilliant piece of propaganda work going on in Britain too where every immigrant who gets a shiny car and a new house is splashed across the news like the Queen had been assassinated but those cases where they live in squallar or are turned back seem to disappear in the news of Beckhams latest perfume choice.
So whilst politicians either make a career on immigration and assylum seekers, most treat it like boils. Something you don't talk about unless you really have to and then you are awkward and speak in hushed tones and carefully chosen words.
Anyhow before that gets all too embroiled in detail (yawn), an example. Possibly a contentious one but one I reckon gets to the underlying issues that people stomp around.
Say you have a beautiful city centre. It has won awards for it's wonderful choice of structures and good use of green spaces. Now you have an increasing population who wish to have a Mosque built. The design they want is like white stone with a golden roof (okay so it's a stereotype but I'm not particularly knowledgable on Mosque designs). Now if this was a new lesiure centre you'd just tell them no (barring backhanders) but this is now a minority you are dealing with and it's religion. You may be told that in their country all Mosques have a traditional design and so it must be of this design. That's fine... as a starting point but what about 'this is not that country, this is not that style of city and you will make the design more in keeping with the surroundings or you will not get planning permission"?
According to one person I argued this with such an approach is uncompromising and unfair as we should allow people to keep their traditions. To some extent I agree but also I see the impact of this. If all incoming traditions are allowed virtually unhindered then what happens to the present tradition? It is changed. What about the incoming tradition? Should that not flex? If so then by how much? Why do people seem to skim over such things?
I did suggest, in a rather technical discussion about proportional representation, that it would be good if the BNP get representation in the Houses of Parliment. I'd reckon that many of the BNP votes are protest votes designed to highlight issues. If these people could see that having an effect then they may not feel the need to protest again. Also say you have a 3-4% presence of BNP in the government. In all the really important issues you've got 96-97% ther who are members of the more middle ground parties so the BNP will not be able to steam roller some racist law into effect as some panicing people think. Also on the contentious issues like say Mosque design, you will have some people who are seemingly not afraid to represent those who resent such new and foreign things sprouting in their city and who don't want them and be damned to being hospitable!
Personally I think that the doormat of Britain needs to have 'Welcome' written in slightly smaller letters. If that means listening to those who'd rather it read 'Closed' then so be it. Better that than continue without ever facing the questions of who should you look after first and foremost and what degree of 'Me casa et su casa" we should employ. I'm sure that even the most liberal of people would object if I, upon visiting their home, set myself up an upside down cross and started to sacrifice a goat then and there no matter how neat I was about it!
Perhaps it is a case of 'Not In My Back Yard' (aka NIMBY)?
Regardless of what people think to such people who think that immigrants are a curse, they do exist and they do get a vote. To try and ignore such a proportion of the community seems folly. It's almost like we're engaged in some international popularity contest or something. We shouldn't ignore these people but neither should we become Jingoistic.
(Oh and the thinking here may be patchy. I'm very tired. Please ask for clarification if certain sections make no sense. Ta.)
[PS. Sorry for the long post Mom. Hope it was worth it ]