Brexit has them baying, the extreme right of the British Conservative party, and the even further-right from UKIP and the EDL and the others. They love it – the assertion of political and legal power of migrants – the UK has, in Tom Wolfe’s phrase, gone back to blood.
It’s all about where you’re from.
Irene Clennell, a Singaporean woman married to a British man for 27 years, with British children and grandchildren, having spent many years in the UK, was deported yesterday. Why? She spent too long in Singapore during that time (looking after her parents).
A country so obsessed with its own historical exceptionalism fulfils its own vision of itself by rejecting the modern world, and getting down to what it really wants to do – scapegoat and victimise others, to make up for the shortcomings in its own national standing. I don’t blame the everyday people for this – they are victims of a neoliberal system which does not care for their wellbeing. And once you have a large mass of the population in that state, they are easy to manipulate with faulty reasoning and bad ideas – you take them back to blood. You say, why is your life so bad? Well, the immigrants, of course. Not the system, no, no.
So, lives are torn apart, families separated, an entire nation poisons its present with unattainable dreams of its future.
The wish is to say: If only those at the top would take some responsibility and stand firm against this tide of hatred and confusion. Some are, like Michael Heseltine, for example. But the important thing is to not act as though we are powerless against the elite and the powerful. Yes, they can manage information in a way to benefit them – and yes, those everyday people who have gone back to blood need to take responsibility – but so do we. Every deportation, and every headline is a threat.