Africa & Beyond

Obama’s Victory and British Immigration

Barack Obama’s victory scored a rebuke on the cultural foundations of our own immigration policy. Here immigration is seen as a means of bringing people as fillers for vacancies of jobs we don’t do. That is a reason why our public discourse on immigration always borders on controlling or easing it. Whereas what we need are fundamentally new coordinates of perception on what immigration is. Like in America, immigration should be about welcoming all sorts of people and offering them freedom, opportunities and goodwill to develop and to flourish. We don’t need a system where immigrants are expected to know their place and stay there; we need one that makes it normal for an immigrant (legal or illegal) to take on any job, even the so-called ‘our jobs’ and beat us at it hands down. We have a system where immigrants are required to fit in and be made into our image and likeness, yet the one we need should make it commonplace for immigrants to spread their wings, revitalise the boringly staunch meaning of Britishness and be adventurous with its scope. We don’t need the current points system of Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) that would only grant people who are already well to do or the expatriates the right to work and live here; what we need is Highly Desperate Migrants Programme(HDMP). That fire to achieve otherwise called unquenchable motivation or radioactivity applied to an environment of freedom and equal opportunity for all is what sparked from rag-to-riches, from brink-to-peak classic American stories of which Obama’s victory is another addition. These stories transformed the US from colony to superpower. There is no reason why the UK too should not be a vast anthology of such audacious and inspiring stories.

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