Thursday, 12 March 2015

Ethnic minorities under attack from UKIP

First the DUP came after those who are LGBT.

Now UKIP come after those not born in the UK.


Nigel Farage the leader of UKIP has say he would scrap most of the race relation laws in this country. The laws that protect ethnic minority workers. These laws are in place to protect the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) population from unscrupulous employers, and yes the minority ethnic does cover white non-British with certain provisos.

One of those provisos of course is that EU citizens have the freedom to work in any other EU member state. That applies equally to Poles wanting to work here, British people wanting to run a taverna in Greece or German wives of British MEPs wanting to work as their husband's secretary.

Nigel Farage tries to say in his defence that the nation is colour blind, and that so is his party. Yet as I point out above while the vast majority of the country may well now be colour blind there are still racists in our nation, just as there are homophobes, misogynists and people who would at the drop of a hat start to use what they feel is their superiority over a minority grouping in the workplace or provision of services.

In Northern Ireland recently we have seen the DUP launch a challenge to allow an exemption to the equality act placing Christians outside having to give equal provision of goods, facilities and services to LGB people. Now we have UKIP also wanting to take apart the equality legislation to allow racists, who sadly do exist in our nation, to prohibit non-UK nationals from employment.

A large number of non-UK born employees in this country are the spouses of UK citizens, just like Mrs Farage. Because we are an eclectic mix. It is part of what 40 years of being European has resulted in. We are no longer confined by red tape to looking for work and education to the UK, many of us take the opportunity to work or study elsewhere and many of those fall in love and marry someone of a different nationality. If that other nationality is also within the EU there is no need for that person to take up citizenship in their spouses nation as the right to reside is part of what being European allows.

I do recall the days I got the first bus from Bathgate into Edinburgh for work. There were a great number of Poles on that bus with me. They got off at Broxburn to start a 7:30 shift processing chickens. There were very few Scottish accents getting of that bus at that time to join the chicken processors. More recently Northern Ireland's DUP health minister has spoken highly of the non-UK nursing staff who attended to his wife in the unpopular overnight shifts while she was recovering from her two strokes.

We tread a dangerous slope if we think we don't need protections for any sector of our society, especially those seen as minorities. Yes the majority may be fair and transparent in their dealings but there are some who would take that opportunity to discriminate and it they that such laws were brought in to prevent harming others they view as different.

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