|Picture from Stop Funding Hate|
Lists of foreigners
Lists of foreign born people
living and working alongside
those not on lists
Lists of children sitting alongside
children not on lists
Lists to be sent in to government
Lists of names, addresses that can
pass from official to official
from department to department
so that what starts out as 'information'
drifts into ways of saying to those
on the lists that they should have less
they should have no guarantees of the
right to work or live alongside or amongst
those not on the lists
And when it comes to a time when
those who want to say that hard times
are not the fault of people in government
and not the fault of those who own and control
the lists are ready and waiting
Look who's on the lists, they'll say
The lists say it all, they'll say
The British right wing press (or more appropriately far right press in my opinion, but the scale is completely different here from what I am used to) is something that have bothered me a long time now. I don't read these papers myself, but I cannot avoid their headlines as they stare me in the face every time I visit a shop. In Sweden these types of papers would be online only, and you would have to actively search for them. I do not want censorship, but I can't agree with the argument "well, just don't read them then", as they are everywhere. It was particularly bad in the period up to the Brexit referendum last year, but it is still going on, and it is actually taking its toll on me now. When I see them I feel like I don't belong here and I don't want to be here anymore. Quite a few would probably cheer and say that is great news, just leave then. That is exactly how they want anyone without a British passport to feel. I know there are many, many people who don't think this way, but I'm finding myself thinking, more and more often, how many of them will be left in a couple of months' time, in two years' time?
I have heard so many times, if I discuss the current climate with people, that I am not the one they mean. I am British to them, they say. I work here, I have a degree, I speak English fluently, I know the culture, I fit in. I know it is meant to make me feel better but it really doesn't. There is a whole other half of me that is something else. That is a whole different culture, another language, memories filled with emotions that I want share and that explain who I am, all of which I worry that I will have to deny to keep fitting in. It isn't worth it.
It also makes you think long and hard about why you are not the one they mean and whom exactly they do mean. Is it the colour of my skin? Is it my accent? How I dress? My religion? If I get ill, and if I had kids, wouldn't I and them be clogging up the NHS and the over crowded schools too? How do I myself look at immigrants, here and in Sweden?
If anything good has come of this it is that I have learnt something about racism I would have otherwise been too privileged to experience. I have become more tolerant, more open minded and more humble.
The headline below I saw the other day and it made me smile actually. I thought about the crisis in Sweden with the lack of low skilled jobs and the large amount of people without qualifications who desperately need these jobs. If they were in employment, regardless of their nationality, I think even the far right papers would be pleased. I thought there is still some hope at, I shouldn't say home, as this is my home currently, but at my other home, my also home.
Here, I do feel pessimistic. Sometimes I think people will chill out a bit when Brexit has properly taken place, and Britain is "in control of its borders", the argument for Brexit I have heard the most. But if things get tough, the economy suffers, instead of JSA you have to pick strawberries, the isolation doesn't turn out to be very nice, then who will get the blame? All the people they mean, and all the people they don't mean. The lists have already started.
|It is worth noting as well that employment overall is high in Britain.|