Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 348

This Be The Worse

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 25 novembre 2014

unescoIn his latest thought-provoking blog, Robin Chater – Secretary-General of the Federation of International Employers – argues that the manipulation of patriotic feelings is leading to the demise of the UK economy. There is a pamphlet published by UNESCO on my bookshelf dating from 1953. It contains probably the best explanation I have ever come across about why people discriminate. “The Roots of Prejudice” by Professor Arnold Rose explains that the incitement to prejudice is essentially a rational reaction to a world where demand for opportunities outstrips supply. If you are a white male and you can persuade your employer to consider females and non-white job applicants as inherently inferior then your own chances of securing a desired job are immediately increased.In the current wave of apparent hatred for foreigners spreading across Europe it can be so easily seen how those with limited life chances will always be the best hunting ground for nationalist causes. The reason huge sections of society support limitations on immigration is seldom due to pure xenophobia – but because they are being led to believe by right wing political parties that foreigners primarily threaten the jobs, houses and welfare benefits of native blue and lower white collar workers. Such parties take what is essentially a good human quality – patriotism – and pervert it by providing a new way to express the feeling of love for one’s country – the rejection of those who “threaten” it from outside.Of course, few large employers welcome tight immigration restrictions. But this is not necessarily because corporate entities are egalitarian or really believe in the principle of “equal opportunities” as a moral cause. The dislike of quotas and other curbs on foreign workers is largely a wish to maximize the supply of available talent. In fact, from my own experience it often pays to move against the tide of popular prejudice – as so many of the most suitable applications that cross my desk are from the very groups that have traditionally experienced the greatest discrimination.What I fear most is that the awakening of “gut patriotism” is giving rise to a broader rejection of all things foreign – including membership of international organizations. In an increasingly interconnected world, problems in other countries will not go away because a country isolates itself – the problems will simply spread more easily because they are not being resolved through global initiatives. Moreover, leaving free market associations like the European Union will make the departing state less attractive for trade and investment – thus impoverishing those who reside there.My greatest dismay is reserved for the UK. There can be few doubts that at the general (national) election next May the first nails will be put into the coffin of Britain’s EU membership and the campaign of misinformation about immigration will finally triumph. The poet Philip Larkin once advised in his poem ‘This Be The Verse’…
“Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
But I would end the poem rather unpoetically with ….. “And take with you all your hard-earned wealth”.


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