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Taking on the anti-immigrant brigade


9. taking on the anti Immig brigade

Volunteers reflect on the explosive Immigration debate: ‘The more the scarier’ at the Battle of Ideas festival. Speakers: Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead and co-chair of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration and Professor Bob Rowthorn, emeritus professor of Economics, University of Cambridge both argue for clamping down on immigration. In opposition, Nathalie Rothschild, commissioning editor of the online magazine spiked and organiser of the Open the Borders Campaign, along with Ceri Dingle, Director at WORLDwrite, present the case for freedom of movement for all. Young attendees at the debate add their views for this show stopping section of the programme. Highlights include Ceri Dingle arguing that the Labour Party has always been anti immigrant since it supports immigration controls and Frank Fields admission that “of course immigration controls are anti-immigrant what would be the point of having them otherwise.” The programme also questions Field’s claim to be simply reflecting the wishes of his core working class voters.

Related topics: Debates, Social Change

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Mary said:

As a ‘Westerner’ who is typically not subject to the same harsh immigration regulations as people from ‘poorer’ nations are, I also believe in open borders and freedom of movement primarily because having the opportunity to live, work, study, etc. in other countries is a source of personal enrichment. Furthermore, immigration has the potential to inspire creativity, innovation and even positive social change. Travel has educated me far more about other cultures and ways of living than anything else could. Studying outside of my home country has helped broaden my knowledge and opened me up to new ways of thinking. Most of my current friends are people I met outside of my home country. Why should ‘getting around the world’ be something subject to regulation and not a universal freedom?

Ade said:

Open borders? The answer to that question is the answer of another, which can expose racist and egoistic people: Are all people equal? Yes? Then give everyone the same rights! In today’s society people are not equal. Should we accept that? No. Who does think that inequality is the better state for the world to be in, should question his ethical views. Does economic relevance decide the worth of a life? If so, then life is no more than money. But can you buy a life? I don’t think so.

another Frank said:

I’ve not heard from such an Old Labour old racist MP like Frank Field for quite a long time. Quite unreconstructed, like watching the missing link, or at least a politician from a bygone age. The Professor is seemingly against population growth and economic growth – go figure – how conservative is that? Thank God some here stand up for freedom of movement and open borders.

faith said:

Wow Frank Field MP really is an unpleasant sanctimonious narrow minded piece of work well done for taking him on, good piece and needed saying I like the short vignettes by volunteers they really add to the debate and bring it to life

John O said:

While I am not sure I can agree fully on the pro immigration argument in the debate you report I do think it is very true that working class people are always blamed for racism yet of course they don’t make the laws which keep immigrants out and brand them as foreign or unwanted. This is a good piece of reportage and I will pass it on Thankyou