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Obsessing Over the 'Other'
by Bruce Bawer
Now that it's 2014, the gates of the U.K. are wide open for immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria, way over at the other end of the European Union. Some Brits are concerned: will the newcomers flood the labor market? Or the welfare offices? Or both?
For Britain's leftist establishment, however, the question is a different one. As the Guardian put it the other day: "Now that Romanian and Bulgarian citizens are able to move to the UK to seek work, an alliance of Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrats has warned that politicians' anti-Roma rhetoric is already inflaming community tensions. Has this debate helped those planning to migrate to the UK feel welcome?"
To make them feel welcome or not to make them feel welcome: this is the question? For many on the European left, yep, it most assuredly is. "Are we welcoming enough?" "Will they have a good impression of us?" We're dealing here with people who feel what may be fairly described as a compulsion to act like store greeters – only instead of hovering in the doorway of a Walmart they're standing, figuratively speaking, at the airport arrivals gate, welcoming all and sundry to the sceptred isle. Indeed, on New Year's Day, at least two of these dimwits were literally out there welcoming the newcomers to dear old Blighty: Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz, a Labour MP, and Mark Reckless (ha!), a Tory MP, actually dragged themselves to Luton Airport to shake the hands of arriving Bulgarians and Romanians and buy them coffee. Embarrassing.
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