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Letters

Hypocrisy over immigration

Dear Editors

The perpetual media discussion about immigration, conveniently forgets the countless numbers of people who have migrated from the British Isles (including Ireland when it was part of the British Isles) over the  past 400 years. When one considers for example that the current population of the Republic of Ireland is some seven million approximately, while the current Irish descendant population in the USA alone is estimated to be around seventy million (to say nothing of the Irish descendants in the other former  “black" countries of Canada/New Zealand/Australia/South Africa, etc, etc), the hypocrisy of the anti-immigrant debate becomes evident. The same applies to the so called "white British" historical emigration to "black" countries around the world. The white British descendant population in East and South Africa, Oceania, North and South America etc runs into countless dozens of millions.

Further this debate ignores the fact that Britain was built exclusively on the profits generated by slavery and the pillaging of its colonies. Prior to the 16th century
England was an impoverished backwater – even Christopher Columbus when he was trawling the Royal Courts of Europe to fund his New World adventure, never considered asking the English Court for assistance, as England was the Haiti of Europe at the time.
 
Anti-immigrant types need to acquaint themselves with their own history. Many of them fail to even appreciate that they themselves are recent arrivals in the British Isles – their Anglo-Saxon invader ancestors were not here when the Romans with their British based African regiments, were building Hadrian's Wall.

The immigration debate needs to have these facts discussed.

Lalu Hanuman, Barbados

Reply:
We get your point, even if there is some exaggeration. For instance, the population of the Republic of Ireland is about 4 million not 7 million. And the wealth of British capitalism was not built “exclusively” on the profits of slavery and the pillaging of its colonies. This was certainly a key factor in the original accumulation of capital to start capitalism going, but after that the main source of profits was – and still is – the unpaid labour of the working class in Britain –

Editors.