Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Nick Robinson's documentary on immigration

On the whole I found Nick Robinson's documentary on immigration rather lightweight.

However there are two statements that need to be challenged.

Right at the start of the programme he said "We are a nation of immigrants" and later said "Britain has a long history of migration".

Recently I read A House Unlocked by Penelope Lively.  It is a history of her family home, a Lutyensesque house in the west country.  But it is also a social history of the United Kingdom during the twentieth century.

On page 203 Penelope Lively talks about the arrival here of refugees during the Second World War and says:  "Unemployment was high; this country was already overpopulated and did not have a tradition of immigration".

Nick Robinson tells us we have a long tradition of immigration and indeed we are a nation of immigrants, Penelope Lively says we had no tradition of immigration until the Second World War.

Who is one to believe?

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