Friday, 13 July 2007

Second Class Citizens

In the Daily Mail, I read that Keith Best, head of the Immigration Advisory Service (and former Tory MP), considers that immigrants are better citizens than the native-born British. To be exact, he said:
These people have actively sought British citizenship because they want to make a contribution to the UK.
Now, that's not really true, is it? I doubt very much that people in the third world, or indeed, in Japan, France, America, or anywhere else in the first world that sends us immigrants, wake up in the morning and think, "well, what I really need to do today is go and make Britain a better place". Not least because the third world, from where most of our immigrants are drawn, has more than enough problems of its own for would-be philanthropists to be getting on with. Dreamy-eyed liberal gap-year students may want to go to Africa to help the benighted natives; I don't think the reverse is true.

Rather, they are of course here for - wait for it - the money! This country has it, their countries don't, and they can make a lot more of it here, doing even the most menial task, than they could in comparatively high status jobs back home. British citizenship simply serves to cement immigrants in the UK, so that they can keep on getting the money without any risk of deportation.
I am not sure how many people born in this country have the same commitment.
Does he have any evidence to back up his claim that we don't give a damn? Or is he just making unsubstantiated allegations?
The tests for citizenship are greater than they have ever been.
According to a woman I spoke to who had actually taken the test, one of the more challenging questions was 'Where is York?'.
We are now turning immigrants into better citizens than people born with a British passport.
Again, does he have any evidence to back up this assertion? Leaving aside Muslim fundamentalists, and other assorted nutters, who admittedly constitute an extreme case, what about, say, Somali immigrants? Only 12% of those actually have a job at all, which leaves 88%, more or less, who are scrounging off the native taxpayer. Are they "better citizens" than those who pay for their food, clothing, housing, their children's education? Or what about the disproportionate number of criminals who are immigrants or of immigrant stock? Is it a mark of being a good citizen that one has a criminal record?

Well, Mr Best may very well think it is. Because according to Wikipedia, which, while not perfect, is generally pretty accurate, Mr Best is himself the proud holder of a criminal record, obtained in 1987 on account of his involvement in share-cheating. Although his four month prison sentence was quashed after he had spent five days behind bars, there is nothing to indicate that the conviction itself was ever overturned. To my mind, not only does this criminality cast doubt on Best's own reliability, but it puts the judgement of those at the Immigration Advisory Service who were responsible for appointing him into question. Not that this should astound anyone, of course.

Besides Keith Best's own dubious antecedents, there is the fact that the IAS is publicly-funded. In addition to the fact that I don't really think public money should go to pay the salary of a convicted fraudster, I would also agree with Sir Andrew Green of Migration Watch and Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers' Alliance, who ask why the British taxpayer should pay money to an organisation whose head proceeds to insult them in this manner. Well, I suppose there is at least precedent for this. Personally, though, I can't see why the government gives money to the IAS at all, regardless of who leads it, or what they say.

Hat-tip: David Vance at ATW

1 comment:

DumbJon said...

Keith Best involved in fraud ? The K Best ? Surely not - I have it on good authority that Mr K W Best is a fine, upstanding citizen, who would never submit multiple applications for BT shares using variations on the same name.

Yep, stupid as well as crooked, and also proof for my theory that the best way for a Conservative to be rehabilitated is to come out as a Liberal. From crook to concerned activist in one easy step.