Blogs by Don Flynn
For anyone concerned with the rights of migrants, the gloomiest prognosis of where we might be four days ahead of polling for the European Parliamentary and local elections was that a strong anti-immigration narrative was being injected into the public discussion by the mainstream parties and this was pointing to a landslide victory for parties demanding a clampdown on the movement of people.
The seventh annual gathering of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is currently underway in Stockholm, Sweden.
The Forum came into tentative existence back in 2006 following a decision of a ‘high level dialogue’ session of the United Nations. This had met to consider the report of the then Secretary General, Kofi Annan’s Global Commission on Migration and Development.
Immigration is not currently very popular with the voting public in the UK and indeed the citizens of most of the countries of the developed industrial world. The evidence of countless opinion polls scream out this headline fact and it is incumbent on even the greatest enthusiast of the benefits that come from the cross border movement of people to acknowledge the fact.
The fact that a party which includes the likes of William Henwood (Lenny Henry “should emigrate to a black country”) and Andre Lampitt (unsavoury views on everything from Muslims, to AIDS, slavery, Syria and forced sterilisation) amongst it candidates for the forthcoming local government election and, it appears, to be well-placed to come first in the poll for the European Parliament, ought to be seen as a powerful rejoinder to the idea that Britain is now a ‘post-racial’ society.
Two morning news items give a good idea of the way in which immigration continues to trawl across both the realities and mythologies of the British nation.