Are immigrants causing traffic jams?

Sheer and utter disbelief is what I felt when I read that Nigel Farage has blamed immigrants for his late arrival for a UKIP reception on immigration.

Yes, that’s right Farage blamed immigrants for traffic on the M4! What next? Immigrants to blame for the lack of snow this Christmas? It’s just absurd!

Some of the best motorways in Britain were designed in Germany and Italy during the First World War. Many of the cars on Britain’s roads today are German and popular for their efficiency. Not to mention the elegancy of Italian super-cars that you may catch a glimpse of here in Lincoln on a lucky day.

Blaming immigrants for traffic is probably the worst attempt I have seen at someone trying to cover up their lack of professionalism. There seems to be a very dangerous culture of blaming the outsider for almost everything. Whether it’s blaming gay marriage on floods or blaming traffic jams on immigrants, it just isn’t right.

There is wide consensus that more needs to be done in terms of integration, and especially here in Lincoln and rightly so. However, I can imagine why ethnic minority groups feel so distant from the rest of the community. The ‘blame game’ is a nasty disease that needs to be wiped out of society and has no place in the 21st century.

The one statement I hear people often say is: “Immigrants come over here and take our jobs.” My follow-up question is always: “So what is it exactly that you did before an immigrant took your job?” The reply I usually receive is: “Well not me personally, but they’re taking other people’s jobs.” Make of that what you will, but no one has taken anyone’s job unless they have physically removed them from their position. Having said that, if someone from a foreign country can come over that speaks no English, has no qualifications, and has no understanding of the culture and that person can still take someone’s job then serious questions need to be asked of that individual.

It’s easy to point the finger at others without realising the implications. Further isolating ethnic minority groups will only cause more tension. Local councils should adopt community engagement schemes in order to promote integration in communities. There is no doubt that Britain is coming out of a deep recession, but blaming immigrants is simply wrong.

Last month’s UCL report showed European Migrants pay out much more in taxes than they receive in state benefits. The report is just a glimpse of the potential benefits of immigration even with such hostile attitudes towards immigrants.