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BBC1's Asylum programmes - your views please!

Discussion in 'TV Show Forum' started by PoochJD, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi,

    Did anyone else watch any, some or all of the Asylum-Seeker programmes that were on BBC1 yesterday (Wednesday 23rd July)?

    I found them to be very interesting, but incredibly disturbing. I wasn't disturbed by the actual issues of why people seek asylum in Britain, but for the facts that so many people simply seemed to be incredibly inhuman about even considering the thought of letting people seek asylum in the UK at all, regardless of the asylum-seekers background.

    The panel who were against letting anyone in, for asylum, in the "You The Judge" debate, were incredibly insensitive, and to a lesser degree, incredibly racist as well. It seemed to me, that these middle-class, old-aged men (and one or two women as well) were happy to trot out the same old argument that we're an island and so we should just ban all asylum seekers and immigrants to our country, and let some other country(ies) deal with them. How terrible! :eek: :mad: :eek:

    Okay, so this is what I think:

    Firstly, I have no problem with asylum seekers, at all. I think that if someone has genuinely needed to flee their country because they fear for their life (or their families), then they should be allowed in to the UK.

    Secondly, we need (as a country) to distinguish between asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. The two sets of people, are completely different.

    Thirdly, the government are the problem here! :lesson: The money exists to help people, whether it be those already living in the UK, or those looking to seek asylum here. The problem is not the adylum seekers themselves, it's the mismanagement by government...

    to a) do anything to stop illegal immigrants;

    to b) keep tabs on asylum seekers whilst their applications are processed

    to c) shorten the time applications take, from the time an asylum-seeker first arrives in the UK, to the time their application is actually reviewed

    to d) sort out where the funding and help is going.

    It's like everything else in the country, the government have messed-up on: the money is there to build more hospitals, more schools, train more nurses, and stamp out crime, but it's being dealt with in the wrong ways.

    Also, I find it wonderfully hypocritical how government staff can claim that asylum seekers are bad people, because the asylum seeker goes to work illegally, and yet the government says to them: "Hey, welcome to our country. You can stay here whilst we sort out your application, and check whether we think you have a legitimate reason for seeking asylum, but you can't work here, you can't get any benefits, and we won't give you any help to gain accomodation or funding to feed and clothe yourself for the next six to twelve months, or however long our current backlog is!" Not to mention, that that comes from a government who promise so much, yet deliver so little!

    Tony Blair promised more schools. He hasn't delivered on that.

    He promised to make education the envy of the world. He's failed on that.

    He promised to be hard on crime. Criminals now get lesser sentences than ever before.

    He promised to listen to the peoplr, and act for the people. So when the whole country said "Don't go to war with Iraq", the stupid bugger simply shrugs his shoulders, kisses George Bush's behind, and says to the British public "You're all idiots. You don't know the facts. We're going to war anyway!".

    Now, the prat is trying to say that there was a reason to go to war, because of Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Is there a single shred of evidence? Is there buggery?! :D

    Why should an asylum-seeker follow the rules and the laws of not looking for a job to feed, clothe and home themselves, when the same rule-making government are happy to just totally do whatever the hell it like, regardless of what anyone in the rest of the country says?!

    Anyone else care to comment?

    Pooch
     
  2. rhoamish

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    I think the distinction needs to be between 'economic migrants' and 'asylum seekers' (as opposed to 'illegal immigrants').

    I think our asylum laws are too lax, and our economic migrant laws are too tough. We should be more open to people who apply from outside the UK and who want to come to this country to work, and less open to people who turn up on our doorstep and expect a job or support. Asylum is a completely different issue: if I was persecuted, I'd expect another country to at least let me in.

    As to 'why do they come all the way across Europe?' (not quoting anyone in particular, but it seemed to be a common question on the programme): Europe ought to have a cohesive policy. I think anyone applying for asylum in the EC should be dealt wth centrally, and successful applicants should be divided evenly between countries (not with a knife or anything: there should be a quota system for each EU country).

    I'd agree with your comments about Blair, though: he's all hot air and religious dogma. If I hear him say the word 'evil' one more time...
     
  3. Cheese Police

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    I haven't seen the programme, but I broadly agree with your points about immigration. Let's face it: unless you can trace your ancestry back to the original Britons then you descend from immigrants, be they Angles, Saxons, Danes, Romans, Normans, Irish, West Indians, Pakistanis, Jews, Chinese, Greeks et al... People have a funny habit of turning up somewhere and then declaring that they want to see no more immigration, that somehow this will change the 'character' of the country. Vive la difference. As a legal immigrant in 3 different countries I've been on the whole extremely well received, but I couldn't imagine the trauma of entering a western country as an illegal immigrant (with a different skin colour/religion etc).

    I don't, however, agree with your point about Tony Blair listening to the people. We elect politicians to rule and make decisions on our behalf - a country the size of the UK, with its interventionist foreign policy, cannot be run by referendum, and frankly I prefer it that way. With the influence of the tabloids and our patchy education system we would end up with some pretty illiberal domestic laws, and a feeble foreign policy. The majority of Britons would vote for a return to capital punishment for instance.

    Switzerland has a more direct system of democracy, which works well for it on one level (the people are very clued-up and involved in the political decisions - constantly fine-tuning their clever social/fiscal/environmental laws), but because of regional imbalances( there are more conservative German-speakers than the comparatively liberal Italian and French-speakers) on major decisions they tend to prefer their isolationism. Switzerland has virtually no foreign policy other than making damn sure not to ruffle the feathers of any of the 3rd world dictators who fill its numbered accounts. I would suggest that direct democracy would not work in Britain.

    Remember, as Tony Blair has said a number of times, you get your chance to elect another party to rule every 4 years, and he's staked his reputation and career on the decisions he took (something that the oleaginous Chirac and Berlusconi would never do). I admire him for his steadfastness, but I agree that some of the squirming and back-pedalling is not very edifying.
     
  4. Iam

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    My two penny worth - a Europe wide assylum policy is all very well, but migrants won't stay in the EU country they're assigned to. The immigrants arriving here come thru half a dozen EU countries to reach the UK (remember Sangatte), which is why you'll often hear politicians saying they should apply for assylum in the first EU country they reach.

    For many migrants the UK is a destination of choice ... they'll quote English language as one incentive to want to come here, another is a nice large black economy, but I've also heard them complain of racism in other EU countries (worse than here, I suppose), & there are foreign communities here already.

    I remember the way the Somalis (as genuine a set of assylum seekers as could be imagined) coming to the EU getting on for 20 years ago, & recall all the EU countries having quotas to take. Having got their Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian etc citizenships many are coming here now (legally, as EU citizens) for the above reasons, & others.

    If we're unhappy about being (supposedly) swamped with assylum seekers, then imo we should invest in foreign aid, so there's less assylum seekers in the first place & also crack down on the black economy here - no more cash in hand jobs etc. to deter the economic migrants.
     
  5. pointon

    pointon
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    Britain's Asylum laws are amongst the strictest in the world, it's just that the Government is inept at enforcing them in a manner that stops economic migrants and illegal immigrants and instead makes it harder for genuine asylum seekers to gain persmission to stay as refugees.

    Many asylum seekers aren't given a choice as to where they end up, as many pay everything they have to a 'courier' who simply smuggles them to wherever they can, often Britain.

    The scapegoating of asylum seekers by the British media and the willingness to follow like sheep (as usual) of the xenophobic and thoroughly ignorant British masses makes me feel ashamed.

    The inability of our slow and muddling government to root out the true problems of the system and find the real advantage-takers just pisses me off.

    Our refugee 'problem' is absurdly small when compared with that of some third world countries such as Pakistan and many African nations, that take in the majority of the world's refugees alone.
     
  6. chard

    chard
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    few people would refuse help for asylum seekers....however, the vast majority of those flooding into this country now are definately NOT asylum seekers. They have no right to access in this country and we should be limiting to those that are adding to this country and not taking from it which most illegal immigrants do.

    The old stories that we need them to pay the pensions of our growing popultation if just as bogus - who will pay THEIR pensions when they get older ? We should severely restrict entry into this country, at present we take in more than any other industrialised nation in the world , including America. Enough, help yes....soft touch , No !

    Is this racist no ! I am not advocating discriminating agaisnt any particular race - I would also allow in the small number of genuine refugees, from whereever - although I woul dreject applicants from Afghanistan and Iraq and Kosovo, on the basis that we have improved the conditions in those countries and surely we should encourage those people to return to rebuild their nations ?
     

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