Review: ImmigrationTears 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.