Monday

Review: Immigration

Tears sprang to my eyes this weekend as I watched yet another heart-wrenching documentary exposing the plight of immigrants desperately seeking a second home in the Loire valley, preferably for less than £120,000.

Later, on Sunday night, there was another one of those TV programmes in which a well-spoken, middle aged man wanders around the provinces asking ugly people earnest questions about immigration, in response to which they say things like, “Polish bus drivers: I won’t be having it.”


I suspect that these programmes are even cheaper than Channel 4’s interminable Top 100s.

My dad once had a lodger who was seeking asylum in the UK. He was supposed to stay two weeks and ended up staying six months, while my father and stepmother refurbished the house around him, too embarrassed to ask him to leave. He seemed happy enough amid the exposed wiring and brick dust, but then as my dad pointed out, short of simulating a miniature civil war in the living room, it would have been hard to create the kind of conditions that might compel him to leave the house.

Without immigration, this election would be the most boring since records began (although things are looking up since Charles Kennedy remembered Iraq), and we would basically have nothing to eat, as I realised the other day when trying to find an English restaurant in London. There are about two, perhaps, serving a variety of offal, and the rest are jumped-up greasy spoons serving bad pasta dishes.

Some of my best friends are immigrants, man: Americans, Canadians or Australians who came over with only a backpack to their name, fleeing parental oppression, clinging precariously to the luggage rack of a Boeing 767 as the BA air hostesses snarled nastily in their general direction. Welcome, friends, welcome!

Immigration: I demand more of it. 7 out of 10.

12 Comments:

At 5:43 pm, Blogger Hated thrice said...

Immigration is such a tedious subject. I've never given two figs about nationality and patriotism even though I grew up in a midland rural shitwater where the heroin is easier to get than a pint in a pub where every drink is served warn in a tankard. The only reason that it has become an issue has little to do with campaign and more to do with the media's belief that column inches, radio and TV time have to be chocker with election bumf. This election is supposedly the most boring since 1935. But we remember what happened when the prime minister who won that one got some failed artist to sign a piece of paper.
Yes immigration is essential and for a culinary example why, look at Cuba. Fidel and US embargos have left the country devoid of variety for half a century. As a consequence Cuban food remains one of the dullest in the world. ?Quisiera pollo sin sabor¿

 
At 6:04 pm, Anonymous Alice said...

Without the endless stream of highly commited, professional and unambitious Australians and South Africans immigrants nobody would be able to get a drink on a Saturday night for love nor money. I bet Nick Griffen has never thought about that.

 
At 7:28 pm, Blogger hungbunny said...

What irritated me most about that Panorama programme was the Polish immigrant who refused to work for Indians or blacks. I thought he deserved to be beaten with a bar made from irony.

 
At 11:16 pm, Blogger Mr K said...

A bar made from irony should be constructed, and then Ironic man could go and deal out justice. And then, ironically, lead to more ironic situations. Which, because its ironic, would lead to more ironic situations....

What IS British food? I mean, honestly. I was in France, eating French food (or rather, I wasn't because I'm a vegetarian, and the only vegetarian French food is, in fact, Italian), and thinking French food was just food cooked in small portions, and also delicious. Is British food rubbishly cooked food?

Perhaps the Sunday roast. Are there any classy restaurants where you can get a classic sunday roast?

Anyways, immigration=good. Except when its the immigration of terrorists of course, which is, apparently, happening all the time. Watch out, the immigrants/terrorists/asylum seekers/gypsies/political correctness/criminal with more rights than you have is going to get you!

 
At 2:45 am, Anonymous Richard H said...

Perhaps the Sunday roast. Are there any classy restaurants where you can get a classic sunday roast?

Simpsons in the Strand.

 
At 10:46 am, Blogger UnderCrackers said...

*drools at Sunday roast suggestion*

 
At 11:02 am, Anonymous This Space for Rent said...

British food: mug of tea, fry-up, sunday roast, yorkshire pudding, cottage pie, kippers, toad in the hole, things involving suet, haggis, Guinness, welsh rarebit, welsh teacake, stew

Possibly more.

The St John restaurant near Spitafields does offal and its brethren and was voted one of the best restaurants in the world recently. Although I am yet to eat pig snout.

 
At 2:53 pm, Blogger Hated thrice said...

I love the fact that that British culinary instituion fish'n'chips orginated in Portugal. In many ways the balti (literally bucket) is the closes we have to a dish that was invented in Blighty

 
At 2:58 pm, Blogger Hated thrice said...

I wish someone teach me how to touch type. There's more typos in my last comment than my CV … Has any one eaten chicken's feet?

 
At 11:33 am, Anonymous eskimo said...

i have eaten neither pig's snout nor chicken's feet. i leave that kind of thing to foreigners. thank you, one and all, for your restaurant suggestions.

 
At 6:42 pm, Blogger petescully said...

I heard that fish'n'chips actually originated in Scotland about a century ago, but not by Scots - by a Belgian (who brought the chips of course, A Belgian invention, despite the fact that Americans call them 'French' fries) and an Italian, who replaced the customary mushy peas with battered fish. Spaghetti Bolognese, on the other hand, was invented in the UK (by Italians, though).

 
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