The Rise of IS (Islamic State) in Syria & Iraq has led our government to make many statements in the media about how they will confront extremism in our country – With Cameron’s pledge to bar re-entry to those fighting for IS in tatters because of ‘Human Rights’ laws, the following exchange of letters between myself and The Home Office via our local MP shows just how clueless and impotent they really are –
Over the course of the last thirty years, England has seen vast change. Unprecedented levels of immigration have changed our society in many major cities from a predominantly white, caucasian and Christian society to one where people from many different ethnic groups, religions and backgrounds are present, and where social cohesion and interaction varies.
England has benefited in the past from sensible levels of immigration, where migrants have come here to build a new life and bring up their families as part of the established community – Growing up in the seventies in Hillingdon, we saw newcomers from the Indian subcontinent, West Indies and Ugandan Asians all settle here and assimilate in to our lifestyle whilst retaining their own cultural identities.
Part of the attraction of the UK, as relayed to me by friends from this generation, was the idea of tolerance, ‘British Fair Play’, the ability to better yourself through hard work and equality in our legal system. The Ugandan Asians in particular had suffered discrimination and persecution at the hands of the dictator, Idi Amin, and thrived in an atmosphere where everyone was given equal opportunity and respect under the law.
Forty years on, their grandchildren are now facing a situation that would have seemed alien to those settling in England in the 1970’s.