First the dry part: a reminder when considering immigration into your country to also think about emigration of your fellow countrymen out of it. In the UK, for instance, people are very aware of the record numbers of people flowing into the country but this may have come as quite a surprise to many:

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest 591,000 people migrated to the UK in 2006 while some 400,000 people moved overseas. Because so many people emigrated the rate of population growth has been the lowest for three years. Just over half of those leaving were British, according to the annual report on long-term migration trends.

And now for the juicy part, a little bit of pointed commentary from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in The Independent. This woman says it so well…

[W]hereas white Britons moving elsewhere are considered boldly enterprising and imaginative, Indians and Poles ( the largest groups currently migrating legally into Britain) are described as invidious job bandits and multicultural hooligans…

Right-wing newspapers that punish incomers for daring to cross borders and seek the good life here, positively push the English middle-classes out to do the same. Ooh where shall we head off to? So many places, so many choices. Cape Town? Great lifestyle, excellent views, cheap servants. Nerja in the hills of Andalusia? Good pubs and crass villas? Maybe Ljubljana? Cheap, with grand properties – though you would have to put up with Slovenes for neighbours.

It sooooo true. Here in Spain, the British community is infamous for their little seaside colonies where they never learn more than three words in Spanish and export as much of British life with them as is possible (including exceedingly boorish drunken behavior that does get them a fantastic reputation). She quotes a radio interview with a family from Essex who were all moving to sunny Spain. To do what?

“Get away from the Pakis,” said one. “Try stuff and one day open an English pub.” Another confessed they were skint and wanted to make more dosh. No, they didn’t speak Spanish: “You don’t need to, we’ll be like, in the English area.”

Looking for economic opportunities and not giving a crap about the culture of the new country or their assimilation into it! And they take the piss out of Americans for not getting irony. Ha!

Advertisements