"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Hanif Kureishi: The migrant has no face, status or story

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/30/hanif-kureishi-migrant-immigration-1

'The immigrant has become a contemporary passion in Europe, the vacant point around which ideals clash. Easily available as a token, existing everywhere and nowhere, he is talked about constantly. But in the current public conversation, this figure has not only migrated from one country to another, he has migrated from reality to the collective imagination where he has been transformed into a terrible fiction.

'Whether he or she – and I will call the immigrant he, while being aware that he is stripped of colour, gender and character – the immigrant has been made into something resembling an alien. He is an example of the undead, who will invade, colonise and contaminate, a figure we can never quite digest or vomit. If the 20th century was replete with uncanny, semi-fictional figures who invaded the lives of the decent, upright and hard-working – the pure – this character is rehaunting us in the guise of the immigrant. He is both a familiar, insidious figure, and a new edition of an old idea expressed with refreshed and forceful rhetoric...'

'... It is impossible to speak up for the immigrant or, more importantly, hear him speak for himself, since everyone, including the most reasonable and sensitive, has made up their mind that the immigrant is everywhere now, and he is too much of a problem. There is, of course, always good reason to be suspicious of agreement: there is nothing more coercive and stupid than consensus, and it is through consensus that inequality is concealed.'

Well worth a read.

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