The Immigration Issue. Of course it is now emerging its right-wing head now in a big way since Brexit closely followed by Mr. Trump's inauguration speech.
You know most of the arguments, the truths or lies about Angela Merkel having "let too many immigrants in" or that Britain had to control its own borders as immigration was the big issue in Britain giving it some kind of reason to get out of the EU. That now the right wing leaders in France and Holland and German feel emboldened to publicly meet - no shame here anymore. So, I have no need to reiterate these here.
But what is important to understand is this: immigrants whose establishment in whichever country in Europe or America might well be just as discriminatory about modern immigrants. It has always been a surprise to me to find that well-established immigrant families in the UK, say from the East, the Middle East or even just Eastern Europe, Poland, whatever, can often be the harbingers of the "stop the immigrants" message permeating throughout the fabric of our societies in Europe now.
About ten years' ago, in Holland, a Dutch lady - of Polish origin having immigrated about twenty years before that (so around the eighties) stated to me that "...the Polish immigrants now entering Holland were different to herself ..." and that "...they should be stopped". I was astounded. But, hey, we are entitled to our opinions aren't we? I was immensely amused, or perhaps bemused, when a Pakistani origin young woman joined UKIP a few years' ago. It was both sad and hilarious to see her defend UKIP's stance on controlling immigration. Of course, I am fully aware that UKIP is not only about controlling immigration, it is really about allowing the unleashing of overt prejudice on our streets which includes being violent - by word or by physical gesture - to anyone who doesn't fit a narrow profile of who should be in Britain and it actively promoted the hate messages in the right wing media of the UK - which is utterly out of order, doesn't have to quote true facts and gets away with hate messages against foreigners as their reason for being. She, however, was out of her depth; she was allowed into the party but she didn't last long because, even to her own sense of pride, it became horribly clear that she couldn't defend the indefensible without making recourse to her own family's history. That, er, she wasn't the ideal profile for UKIP. Embarrassingly uncomfortable. But what does that matter? Nigel Farrage got away with outright lies in the presentation of the photographs, the messages and the full backing of the media and even the likes of the highest echelons of Conservative government (Gove and Boris). And he is a modern day hero in the UK.
Most recently, today, in fact, in an article from the Guardian, in a lovely village in the south of England, on being asked what he thought about the Remain and Leave positions on Brexit - a long time immigrant - an Iraqi in fact, stated that there were far too many immigrants in the UK, that it was too small a country and that Poland and Germany were much larger and they could take them instead.
I can laugh. I can cry. What I can recognise through personal experience, search for real facts and, hopefully, some wisdom in my increasing years is that the notion of discrimination and prejudice, national or racial, is not something limited to a narrow band of people. It affects all of us. The real issues in the US and in Europe today are not about whether the right wing parties have a point, but about the fact that the control of world power, which includes creating wars and protecting assets to hold or preserve or create difference balances of power, also create refugees and economic migrants. The by-products of the way of the world in its aggressive progression are ignored by the right wing parties. Not even the more balanced political parties seem to be prepared to face the public with the truth. When it is convenient for political parties to allow the overt display of immigrant blaming for the economic issues that are actually the fault of both bad government, bad and deregulated banking and finance regulations, as well as the residual carnage of war, then they do so. It is an old tactic of war, of control and of scapegoating and divide and rule - since time immemorial, I think. Facts are left unquoted, opinion and presentation of issues is spooned up as fact and so we go on.
But, the last laugh is on all of us. White, yellow, black, olive..... irrespective of our origins, irrespective of the fact that we have done well out of the time when we could be an immigrant and prosper, we will be capable of seeing the later immigrants as the problem, rather than the by product of war and control and/or the ongoing world momentum of migration which always builds economic wealth. The United States itself, never mind the UK and other countries in Europe has been built on the economic wealth-creating exercises of immigrants coming to work and prosper. They do not use up the wealth which makes the health services, public services etc. because they are young, strong and committed to build a good life; they create that very wealth.
But, hey, what do facts matter? Long live the myth eh? The more things change, the more they stay the same. And history repeats itself only when we have not learned our lessons. Have you ever read "The Diary of Ann Frank"?