Awale Olad Jan 26, 2015 Comments: 1
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg enjoyed a short-term bounce in opinion polls after his initial performance at the 2010 leadership debates. "Cleggmania", a definition attributed to his jump in popularity, quickly fizzled out when he was found out to be a "progressive on immigration". The Green Party is now under the spotlight on their migration policy after enjoying a recent surge in support.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett was pressed by Andrew Neil on BBC Sunday Politics about her party’s position to "open doors" migration policy. According to the Greens' website the main medium-term policy goal is to "progressively reduce UK immigration controls" and the need to pursue an agenda which will "achieve greater equity" between the UK and non-Western countries. Their manifesto is yet to be launched but judging by the nature of the attacks on Bennett and the Green Party, we’re in for a long-haul of rather simplistic scrutiny of their policy.
Jan Brulc Jan 19, 2015
TEDxEastEnd is all about building a community of like-minded people who believe that ideas can change the world. This year more than 450 participants will come to Oval Space in East London to hear 23 speakers talk about their vision for a global society.
MRN has been involved in organising TEDxEastEnd from the very beginning in 2010. We started with an idea that a progressive debate should look at all aspects of movement in the modern society. If people move, what else moves and what needs to be put in place to manage the frictions and nurture development?
Don Flynn Jan 12, 2015 Comments: 1
The record of both Labour and Coalition governments show that restrictive immigration policies don’t achieve the set objectives, though they do make life much harder for migrants. This blog looks at two recent papers, explaining why this happens, and setting out some ideas on what alternative policies might look like.
The public debate on immigration often resembles a fight between a couple of heavyweight sluggers well into the later rounds of their bout, battered and staggering around, but neither able to land the knockout blow on the other.
Awale Olad Jan 9, 2015 Comments: 1
Post-David Cameron leadership favourites George Osborne, current Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Home Secretary Theresa May, are at each-other’s throats over the future of student migration in the UK.
May wants to reduce the cohort of international students further by expelling foreign graduates from the UK on completion of their studies. Her announcement on 22 December was allowed to linger over the Christmas period and New Year without any interventions from top Tories in Government. The Liberal Democrats naturally objected to the proposals while the Labour Party offered a carefully worded response that could be interpreted as ‘sitting on the fence’.
Don Flynn Jan 5, 2015 Comments: 2
When someone gets around to writing the history of the UK immigration debate, there is a good chance that they will come to see 2014 as the year when things began to turn around and, eventually, tack off in a progressive direction.
Okay, against this sunny optimism are opinion polls which continue to show a large majority in favour of reducing migration levels. A major objection to receiving newcomers – that we are a small island with a finite amount of space – seems still to be firmly in place as a reason why so many people want to see less movement across borders.  But other anti-immigrant arguments have fallen by the wayside during the past year.  Politicians who want to argue that immigration is responsible for the British unemployment levels have been set back by the fact that the total volume of people in work over the past year has increased whilst net inward migration here continued to be strongly positive. 
Maryam Pasha Dec 22, 2014
As a presenting partner, it gives us great pleasure to announce TEDxEastEnd 2015 - an annual event exploring the relationship between economy, culture, technology, society and borders.
One of my favorite things to do over the holidays is to catch-up on all the TED Talks that I’ve wanted to watch over the year, but just couldn’t find the time for. Back in 2011 when Jan and I were discussing a theme for the first TEDxEastEnd we had no idea how much interest there would be - both from speakers and participants - in the idea of “society beyond borders”. Four years later we are about to hold our 4th sold-out event on 24 January 2015 with over 20 speakers and performers all exploring the idea of ‘society beyond borders’ from all different angles - including: economics, mathematics, satellite technology, gender, health, migration, coding, etc. There are still a few tickets let for TEDxEastEnd 2015, you can get them online here:
Awale Olad Dec 22, 2014 Comments: 1
It seems that 2014 will end with yet more news on immigration. This time it involves the Home Secretary, Theresa May, and her push to change the immigration rules in order to require that all international students graduating at UK universities leave the country on completion of their course.
MRN closed the year a full 12 months ago with an account of a ‘rag, tag and bobtail’ Parliamentary debate on immigration which took place in Westminster Hall.
Don Flynn Dec 22, 2014
2015 will be a testing year for anyone who is working on migration; but test away.
Favourite Christmas song?  No-brainer for me. Judy Garland’s ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ captures my mood at this time of the year. Plaintive, battered by disappointment (you have to watch Meet me in St Louis for the context) but strangely and even absurdly hopeful that things will turn out alright in the end.
Don Flynn Dec 15, 2014 Comments: 1
In a speech today Labour leader Ed Miliband said his party will make it a criminal offence for employers to undercut wages of workers by exploiting migrants. But if he is serious about wanting to fight low wages and exploitation Mr Miliband should forget exaggerated claims about migration and force open the books of poverty pay companies!
Ed Miliband today announced plans for a new law to stop the exploitation of workers, which leads to workers’ wages and conditions being undercut. Speaking in Great Yarmouth, he said that the next Labour government would introduce rules to tackle the impact of immigration on the economy, social security system and the communities. 
Don Flynn Dec 15, 2014
Need a good book to get you through the holiday season or one to use as a Christmas stocking filler for your migration obsessed friends? Here’s a list of books on migration passed around the MRN office in 2014.
Here’s a few notes on the most interesting of the books I’ve been looking through this past year. This year’s list is organised by topics, rather than as last year's more straightforward “Top 5 picks”. That felt more appropriate given a high number of excellent new books and the broad scope of subjects covered. But if you happen to be short of time, do not despair, there's a “Best book of 2014” recommendation at the end of this blog. Happy reading!
Clara Dublanc Dec 3, 2014
Open Generation, a MRN project working with young voters, is looking for young creative outspoken individuals to become the Voices of our Generation to speak up ahead of the next National elections in May 2015.
We are worried that values that promote diversity, freedom of movement and multiculturalism are being eroded and that we are becoming a less open society. We want to defend a society that defines itself beyond national borders, where differences are considered essential to our community and being extraordinary is an advantage. We are tired of being fed fear of foreigners and differences; only by being open we can improve our lives. We are looking for open-minded people that want to speak up and tell our political class what is the society we want to live in!
Ruth Grove-White Nov 28, 2014 Comments: 2
Today's speech from the Prime Minister has made a pitch for a new tough approach on EU migrant access to welfare, but it has taken us further away from the evidence-based debate on immigration that we need.
David Cameron's speech on EU migration, delivered earlier today, was as hotly awaited as any political speech in recent months. In the wake of two recent UKIP wins in by-elections and in the run-up to the May 2015 General Election, the Conservatives were widely expected to punch back with a bold statement which laid out what a Tory government would push for in terms of EU immigration reform.
Don Flynn Nov 24, 2014 Comments: 1
The thinktank British Future created a stir last week with the publication of its new book, How to talk about immigration.
It is clear that, given the current febrile state of the public mood, a lot of damage can be done by talking about immigration in ways that are insensitive to many people’s anxieties. Times are exceptionally hard for so many people - wage earners in particular are feeling the squeeze of an economy which has blocked off any rise in their living standards for most of a decade. Commonsense, that age-old foe of critical thinking, tells citizens that immigration must have something to do with this unhappy state of affairs. If there is good evidence which shows that this is not the case then we have to find the best way to get this across to the people who would benefit from knowing the true facts.
Awale Olad Nov 21, 2014
Lots happened this week in the dizzying world of immigration and British and American politics. Here’s my brief round-up of the goings-on this week.
UKIP’s 271st target seat becomes second Tory casualty Is Nigel Farage and his people’s army, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), about to storm 10 Downing Street? A highly unlikely scenario but the bruising win in Rochester and Strood that Tory defector Mark Reckless delivered on David Cameron yesterday is piling unimaginable pressure on the Prime Minister with threats of more defections haunting him.
Momtaz Rahman Nov 17, 2014
Two Immigration Act Workshops organised by MRN and ILPA with a large number of migrant community groups raised widespread concerns about local service providers in our communities being at the heart of immigration enforcement. MRN has teamed up with RAMFEL to hold a public meeting to discuss how we can come together to address the discrimination and community tensions which loom ahead.
Last Wednesday MRN launched the Migrant Manifesto for the Our Vote Campaign at the inspiring Black Chronicles exhibition at Rivington Place. Of the six calls in the Migrant Manifesto, Call 5 is to end the hostile environment created by immigration enforcement. The Immigration Act is a key piece of recent legislation which bring a new layer to the usual centrally Home Office pushed immigration enforcement (in the form of raids or Go Home Vans) to a disturbing decentralised immigration enforcement programme which places local service providers in our communities at the heart of immigration enforcement.