Is Immigration a key to British Success?
When I write about Zuri in 2200 BC some might see me as starry eyed about prehistory. In truth, that pagan world fits my perspective because I see religion as an ill in the world. To counter this accusation, I do show Zuri in my forthcoming book as deeply troubled by the appearance of the Beaker People. The Amesbury Archer was one of them. She was right to be troubled because they started the warrior culture which demeaned women. No more so than later religion, of course. The Beaker People also introduced stuff, tooled leather, copper, bronze and gold. The Rolex, Apple and mega companies are a direct consequence. I know that Zuri never posed the question is immigration a key to British success but, more to the point, did she actually hate immigrants?
The Impact of Change
In Zuri’s millenia farming started when people brought in cattle and husbandry skills. The land up the River Avon, which I call Avonlands, offered three advantages to this new way of life; grass, grass and grass. The cattle thrived and the tribe prospered but would this have happened without new people, without immigrants? After farming, the Beaker People brought in metal and associated skills. Could we have thrived without copper, bronze and iron? The key perhaps is how many people came in with these new ideas or processes. If it involved small numbers then they might have integrated easily and without impact on the indigenous people. There was, after all, lots of land available in those days.
The New Immigration
Times have changed. In Zuri’s time, rumour amongst traders about how well tribes were doing must have been commonplace. It appears that cattle farmers in the Paris Basin were short of land. They heard how good it was here and moved, lock, stock and barrel. It was all that grass in those wonderful water meadows. Now, all over the world people have instant access to reports of available jobs in settled peaceful communities, and so they move.
It is now really topical to ask the question ‘is immigration a key to British success?’. A few months ago in Cornwall I saw vacancies highlighted in practically every hostelry, cafe and restuarant I used. Also, care workers are in short supply and I am getting older! Unlike in Zuri’s time, these immigrants are needed because the work is generally unskilled. The indigenous population, that’s us, no longer want to do it. We all want a degree or an apprenticeship and a relatively clean job. The question suddenly changes; is there any alternative to immigration?
Yes Ken, our genes have come from distant lands but of course once Zuri and her tribe settled here and developed a culture they would start to become more precious about who they shared it with and how it would affect their lives. Also traders would probably have come and gone on a regular basis along the Western Sea Ways. This must have given them so much to ponder over. I think it would be more about the rate of change, as over a long period it would be less impacting on them. Rapid change frightens people even now and not just the elderly.
You are right Susan, our genes come from distant lands but they were all in the same pool over the Ice Age. The Europeans are us and we are them, no matter what changes took place