Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants: How Nick Clegg And The Liberal Democrats Got It Right

The second election debate of the leaders of the three major political parties in the United Kingdom has once more highlighted the deficiencies of essential ingredients urgently needed in the British politics and leadership. The evaluation of the leaders’ responses-especially that of the clueless Cameron and brainless Brown-to questions posed to them especially that on immigration shows that they are very far from the reality and never in touch with the pace, thinking and plights of the British voters. They were very cosmetic, kept repeating themselves, bickering amongst themselves like kids struggling over a chunk of meat and at the end of the day succeeded in exhibiting high level of ignorance, idiocy and characters of Machiavellian politicians desperate to deceive and win an election by all means. They are still living in the winter wonderland and there is no doubt that it would be business as usual if any of them are elected. They have nothing to offer. Their main preoccupation is to say what the voters want to hear and then do whatever they have in mind once in Number 10. It is therefore imperative that voters look before leaping to achieve that change we are clamouring for. Giving chance to a new party and a new face would surely introduce the reform urgently needed in British politics.

As an immigrant, I was very much interested in the question of immigration and so was glued to the television like a fanatic when the three leaders were answering questions on the issue. I am sure, I was not the only one who tuned in to watch this epoch making event. In fact, over 9 million viewers tuned in to watch the debate in various channels. The Labour Party was represented by Gordon Brown, the incumbent Prime Minister who was once described by Jeremy Clarkson of the Top Gear as a ‘one-eyed Scottish idiot’. In fact his response during the debate nearly made me to completely agree with Clarkson for Brown’s response was more of a mantra being repeated by a blind fanatical idiot. There was no air of originality at all in his speech. He kept saying same thing over and over again and bored a hell out of the audience and viewers. One of the people in the audience ended up yawning like a hungry angry lion. David Cameron of the Conservative Party fared no better. In fact, for once he was in complete agreement with Gordon Brown and the Labour Party on how to address the immigration issue especially as it concerns the illegal immigrants already here in the UK. The only person who made a sense to the public was the leader of the Liberal Democrats who facing the camera uttered what has been adjudged as the most painful truth in the history of the British democracy. He deviated from tradition and using his common sense filled with air of originality said something that eventually portrayed him as a man you can trust with your vote.

I do not intend to beat about the bush over this issue. I would therefore go straight to the point. The debate took place in Bristol and the question came from a young black lady. She wanted to know what the parties intend to do to fix the immigration problem of the nation which is already at an alarming and embarrassing level. The first to reply was the clueless Cameron. He completely objected to any idea of amnesty for the illegal immigrants already here in the UK and added that if he becomes the Prime Minister, he would put in place a cap on number of people that would be allowed to come into this country yearly. When asked the number he intends to allow in the country yearly, he failed to answer and his failure is not because he has no answer to it. He could have said 10,000, 20,000 or even 50,000 but the fact is that capping immigration is the worst way to solve an immigration issue. We are in a new era of globalisation to the extent that the world is already a small village. There are skills elsewhere that are highly needed in the UK but which are not in the UK presently. The only way to get those skills is through immigration. But if you cap the number of people that could come in here yearly and all of a sudden there is an urgent need for an oncologist somewhere in Wales what would you do? It would be madness to say no because saving lives is more important than capping immigration. Besides, the fact that European Union countries are free to come in and live and work in the UK makes meaningless any plan to cap immigration. Immigration is evolving and it demands dynamic leadership to face it squarely; Gordon Brown and David Cameron are obviously the two people who cannot do it. Nick Clegg has got a clue and could do something. In fact, David Cameron is wrong with his idea of capping the immigration and his being wrong is a sign that he has nothing to offer; only lies and deceit just to win the election. He is desperate and could say anything to confuse the electorates in order to get their votes.

Gordon Brown also repeated same mantra as David Cameron. It seems same person lectured both of them before they came out to face the audience to exhibit their ignorance and stupidity. Anyway, I was happy to see the two men agreeing on one thing for the first time and that brings me to another issue; how could such brainless and clueless men lead the United Kingdom of the 21st century when they do not have a working platform on how to solve the most pressing and urgent problem facing the nation they want to lead; the immigration problem. Gordon Brown is fiercely against the legalisation of illegal immigrants already here in the UK and his reason which was also cited by David Cameron is because such an exercise is a push factor for illegal immigration. Really? If Brown and Cameron do not know what the push factors for illegal immigration are, then it is high time we hired a toddler from an Early Years Centre to tell them that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is one of them just as the west-including UK-condoning of investments in the UK by corrupt African leaders is another. The west knows that the money these corrupt leaders are investing is looted from the commonwealth of their countries.

I am not alone in blaming the west for this. Professor Joseph Stiglitz, a former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist in the World Bank and a Nobel Laureate in Economics painted a picture in his book, ‘Globalization And Its Discontent’, to concur with me when he noted that “The issue of the moral responsibility of the creditors was particularly apparent in the case of cold war loans. When the IMF and World Bank lent money to the Democratic Republic of Congo's notorious ruler Mobutu, they knew (or should have known) that most of the money would not go to help that country's poor people, but rather would be used to enrich Mobutu. It was money paid to ensure that this corrupt leader would keep his country aligned with the West”. This is exactly what happens in Africa today. The west give these corrupt African leaders billions in aid, not to help the poor masses but to enrich the corrupt leaders in order for them to be loyal to them. Here it is apparent that the west in a bid to please corrupt African leaders end up impoverishing millions of the masses who in turn would look for a way by all means to run away from the condition orchestrated by the west. The end result of this is illegal immigration. One is therefore 100% right to say that corruption being condoned by the west is the main push factor for illegal immigration. In addition, the suffocation of the African and Asian Economy by the IMF especially with her imposition of loan conditions and economic models that does not suit the continents is another reason. It is therefore a sign of stupidity and naivety to say that amnesty is a push factor for illegal immigration. The fact that African and Asian leaders could loot the wealth of their country and invest them here in Europe and America, is the main reason illegal immigrants come here on daily basis. The money looted and stashed here by these corrupt Asian and African leaders could have built industries that could have gainfully employed these illegal immigrants or even give them a decent free education which is a step out of life of perpetual poverty. Therefore for Brown and Cameron to look the British voters in the face and tell them lies upon lies is a sign of what they would do to them in the next five years. They would continue to lie ad infinitum! They cannot be trusted and we do not need another mene mene tekel upharsin to know that this is a time for change; a real change.

The question of immigration is a big problem facing this nation today and an urgent and decisive action should and must be taken to nip the problem on the bud. It is not time for pretence or currying the favour of the voters to win their votes. It is a shame that Brown and Cameron, being intent on deceiving us did not get that message. Fortunately Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats got the message very well and spoke like a man, a politician of repute and somebody to be trusted with the future of this nation. He is a man to be trusted and that is why the United Kingdom would be safe if they entrust their votes and future into his hand instead of that of the clueless Conservatives and brainless Labour.

According to the finding of a recent report commissioned by the Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and undertaken by the London School of Economics, there are about 750,000 illegal immigrants living in the UK; that is just a peanut compared to about 12 million living in the United States. Most of the illegal immigrants living in the UK work either with genuine or fake identities and pay taxes as well as contribute towards the National Insurance scheme. Most of them do not claim any form of state benefit because that could be a step towards early detection and deportation. They often live underground and avoid all forms of contact with the police. They cannot report to the police when robbed, raped, cheated or assaulted because that could lead to their deportation. Also, when they see crime being committed they are powerless to do anything because that could land them into trouble. Therefore, they have to live like men in stone ages; living in perpetual fear, squalor, poverty, ill health, hunger and anxiety. The weak and lily-livered ones among them would eventually join the crime syndicates and gangs to commit various crimes including selling of illegal drugs and banned substances. The ugliest part is that most of them go scot-free because since they are not documented, it would be difficult to get them to face the law; they have no identity and the state does not know about their existence or whereabouts. Also, some of them especially those in handiwork sector like handymen pay no tax and this cost Her Majesty’s Custom and Revenue billions of pounds in loss of income yearly. These are the people we should target by documenting them, taking them out of the criminal gangs and syndicates and putting them into the hands of the taxman.

This idea makes more sense because the cost of deporting them would be very heavy on the already tired-looking and epileptic economy of this country. There are about 750,000 of them and going by the present rate of deportation by the Home Office which they claimed is about 60,000 yearly at the cost of 11,000 for each person, it would take about 34 years to deport all of them and that would be at the cost of about 9 billion pounds. But, if they are documented and allowed to work and pay tax Her Majesty would surely gain by manifold. This is exactly the argument of the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg and it makes every sense on earth. This is called solving a problem and not waving it away with a back hand or sweeping it under the carpet. Brown and Cameron are evading the problem and I am wondering what type of Prime Ministers they would make in this time that demands an urgent action on this issue. It is only Nick Clegg who has a concrete answer and solution to the question.

It is true that amnesty would hurt the ego of some of us. It would make these illegals equal to us in status by converting their status from that of slave workers to legal workers. Whatever is the case, the fact remains that it is high time this issue is settled once and for all. The brainless Labour is introducing the National ID Card to stem the tide; that is very stupid and foolish. That money should be diverted towards providing more Border Police presence in the borders of the United Kingdom to stop them at the point of entry. I think the Labour is very desperate to cling to power just as the Conservatives are mad to taste the power once again after the power was snatched away from them about 13 years ago. But the idea of playing on the emotions and intelligence of the voters is very insulting, a bad politics, irresponsible politicking, very Machiavellian and therefore completely unacceptable. That is exactly what Brown and Cameron are doing. The voters are entitled to the truth; no matter how painful it may sound and no matter whose Ox would be gored. That simple and painful truth is exactly what Nick Clegg told us in the second debate and that is exactly what is demanded of a good leader and leadership.

I am not trying to encourage or support illegal immigration; I am only being frank and that is why I am approaching this issue from a holistic and candid point of view. In tackling this issue, it is pertinent to realise that we are dealing with human beings who evolved or were created in the same image as us and therefore should look at them first as human beings and then as human beings who broke the law. Illegal immigration is breaking the law and those who break the law should be punished and that is why even a conditional amnesty would be fair on them; conditional amnesty in the sense of paying back something to get that privilege. I would come to that in detail in another article but it would take the form of giving them something like initial 10 year visa on the condition that they must pay a fine or do a community service. They could be made to pay a fine of 5,000. This fine must be paid at once or by instalment. If, however the illegal immigrants choose an option of community service, they must do any community service of their choice for above 1000 hours. At the end of the 10 years, if they are able to live with all the conditions without breaking any law, being law-abiding, showing sincere respect to the Queen and the nation and learning English language and culture, they should then be put into the path to citizenship.

I will talk about this in detail in my next article.

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