Blogs by Don Flynn
The clock has ticked down to the final 48 hours of this election campaign and there are still good grounds for believing that immigration is the dog that hasn’t barked in quite the way it was expected to over the course of these last few weeks.
The outcome of the meeting of EU heads of government in Brussels last Thursday has been widely criticised for the inadequacy of its response to the refugee crisis on the Mediterranean. Rather than address the most pressing question on how to arrest the escalating refugee death toll on the high seas the suspicion is that the authorities are using it is an opportunity to return to ‘Fortress Europe’ strategy which envisions the continent sealing itself from the migration pressures being generated across Africa, the Middle East and Central Asian regions.
Taken as a whole, the spread of pledges set out in the manifestos of the all-UK political parties are probably a good reflection of the state of thinking of the wider British public on immigration (Conservative, Labour, Green, Lib Dem and UKIP).
With over 700 letters sent within the first couple of days to candidates standing for Parliament, Our Vote website has given campaigners and supporters a chance to get the message across that a different and honest approach to immigration is needed if we are to remain a tolerant and open society.
There is something of a new mood gaining ground amongst many activists in migrant communities which is also extending to the people working in networks which bring them into contact with newcomers settling in the UK.
We are going to see a lot more of it during the course of the general election campaign which officially kicked off this morning, and here are some of the things which indicate to us that, as was once sung during a memorable election year, ‘things can only get better’.
Migrants are not sitting back and taking it anymore
Once a general election for people new to the UK meant keeping your head down until it was all over in the hope that life would resume its normal course. If a candidate in the constituency you lived in wanted to blame you for everything from the state of the jobs market to the declining quality of the standard British loaf you gritted your teeth and just got on with it.