I wonder how it feels to believe that immigration is the cause of societies problems?

by Rhyley Douglas

Rhyley specialises in political and social psychology

From the outside looking in; being a part of the ‘politically informed’, able to see that immigration isn’t the cause of the problems causing such anger, knowing that the likes of Nigel Farage and the ‘Vote Leave’ camp have abused and used immigration as a scapegoat for political gain, knowing they’re playing on base human fears and engineered prejudices.

Reading about and listening to political figures and ‘ordinary people’ alike talk about the problems immigration is causing, while knowing that it simply isn’t true, or at the very least not anywhere near to the extent that people claim.

It is easy for those of us not informed by the mainstream media, those of us not a part of the misinformed, apathetic and basically oppressed, it’s easy to sit back and be well aware about the nefarious practices and abhorrent vitriolic lies and spin.

It’s easy to rebuke their claims and discuss the truth of it all. Unfortunately, it’s also become easy to criticise those fooled and convinced by the lies, whether knowingly or not, whether intentionally or not.

Knowing that it’s all lies, being on the outside is actually easy, trying to put oneself in the shoes of those which believe in the lies, that’s something we have, arguably and something which is open to debate, failed miserably at.

Having spent time with such people, it has opened my eyes to the struggles which lie ahead in trying to either convince people, that, basically, they’re wrong or putting them on a path of discovery towards the true causes of societies many, many problems.

Imagine having the view, an engineered and oppressed view of immigration, a lot of what Nigel Farage, Vote Leave and the mainstream media says would make sense. That is, if one has never been told otherwise, taught how to think critically, has been relentlessly misinformed with highly effective propaganda for years upon years, has generally been distracted by popular culture, generally been apathetic and generally just tried to get on in life, if one isn’t aware of the mainstream media’s true agenda.

For those of us aware of the truth, it’s hard to imagine what that would be like.

What one has to consider is the complexity of human opinion, beliefs and views. The human mind is extremely malleable, but it’s also prone to defensive stubbornness. Nobody likes to be told they’re wrong, no one really likes to find out they’re wrong, even if they discover it for themselves.

One can believe in ones open mindedness, but cognitive bias and dissonance, not being taught to be open minded, not having the self-esteem to be of the mindset that it’s okay to be wrong. After all, it happens to all of us, no one can expect to be right all the time or expect to know something without external input or without external influence.

Fear: we all experience it. It is something which has been seized upon by rulers time and time again …and again and again…

The blend of human fear, relentless propaganda, under and inadequate education, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, the minds general stubbornness and manufactured self-esteem issues. These and many more characteristics, situations, techniques, etc., combine to create an almost perfect recipe for oppression.

I don’t blame those that believe in immigration being the cause, I don’t blame the oppressed – I blame the oppressors.

Simply telling people that they’re wrong doesn’t work, regardless of the evidence and soundly reasoned and valid arguments that one may make. Especially while the oppressors continue on relentlessly with none of the mainstream, not even our beloved and supposedly independent and impartial BBC, having reported on the ‘truth’, or at least an alternative view, surrounding immigration.

Imagine associating with a group, imagine ‘fitting in’ and then an outsider from your group trying to persuade you to think otherwise, it doesn’t work like that, unfortunately, not usually at least.

Imagine having a view that you believe in strongly, have discussed with people similar to you, have had this view for some time and have had this view justified by what you discuss with people you associate with, justified by what you see and read time and again… then imagine being told that, actually, you’re wrong, your views and beliefs are wrong and you should change what you think and believe.

It’s hard to imagine it, maybe a shift over time, but to do so quickly, in their shoes, I certainly struggle to imagine it.

The dilemma then is… what to do about it?

We can’t just say or do nothing, we can’t not raise awareness to, discuss, write and talk about the truth.

I don’t have the answer, I don’t think there is a single answer or a simple solution, but I do think it is possible and I do think it’s something we need to consider before we can move forwards and make any progress with enlightening and informing people of the truth or of any alternative ideas and views.

This isn’t a criticism of those ‘to the left’ or those ‘politically informed’, I have ideas, as I’m sure we all do, but they’re draft initial ideas and by no means concrete. Right now I’m (trying to be) as open minded as I can be, as to whether or not this is something we do have to consider and then what we could do in moving forwards.

The ploy of those behind the immigration agenda have largely succeeded, there’s no denying that, regardless of what the result of the referendum is.

This has happened despite our knowledge of austerity and other Tory policies (and New Labour for that matter) being the real cause, despite our knowledge of the net contribution which immigrants make to the UK treasury, which could have been used to build hospitals and train health professionals. Despite our knowledge of the vital jobs and contributions which immigrants make in such a wide variety of our lives, especially in our beloved NHS.

Despite the knowledge that this contribution could have been used to create jobs, build schools and houses, build without interfering with the green belt. Despite our knowledge of more land being used for horses than for houses and at least as much land for golf courses as for houses!

Despite our knowledge of the ever growing shift of ever more wealth and power to a minuscule minority of those already with the most, from the vast majority with the least.

Despite our knowledge of Tory cuts to policies concerning integration, despite our knowledge that the relentless propaganda and the engineered culture it’s created causing divides and preventing integration, despite our knowledge that lots of us don’t integrate with one another for many different reasons other than ethnicity/culture – age, class, location, hobbies and interests etc., despite our knowledge of what our foreign policies are causing.

We have all the answers, the opposing arguments and evidence to completely dismiss, discredit and invalidate the immigration argument. Despite all of this, immigration remains the number one concern for the majority and it remains a cause of great anger to many people.

Their views (manipulated views) aren’t just wrong, but they’re being distracted from the real causes, their anger is purposefully being misplaced and deflected.

Thinking rationally, it’s ridiculous that this has happened despite all of the evidence and truths. With the modern digital world we live in, where anyone with a device of some sort and an internet connection can get things out there, it’s absurd that such blatant oppression can and does happen, can and does happen with much more than just immigration.

To get back to my initial thoughts and point; how must it feel for those with such views, to be told they’re wrong, that they’ve been manipulated, that they should be against the people they currently support? How do we put ourselves in their position and how do we reach out to them without insulting or being derogatory or arrogant?

I appreciate that people won’t feel as though they’ve been any of those things, which I would agree that people haven’t for the most part – I would say that I possibly have within this article, I do appreciate that, but I’m trying to get a point across – but just as with the truth about immigration, the truth of whether or not people have been derogatory and so on, it’s irrelevant if those people have perceived it in such a way.

If we consider that we haven’t been derogatory, if we consider that we’re not perceived as derogatory, if we accept that… which may very likely be the truth and I’m open minded to accept that, but… why else haven’t we been able to reach people?

Why have we, essentially, failed?

Yes, I’ve already said about the blend of oppression and feeling as part of a group and so on, but ultimately we’ve had the tools, the resources and the knowledge to have been able to show people that which we’re aware of, so why have we failed to do so?

For those wondering, this isn’t an attack on Jeremy Corbyn, I believe his efforts have been exceptionally admirable under the circumstances and he has positioned himself in the best way possible following on from the referendum, I think he’s given himself a huge opportunity and I’m proud of his efforts and endeavours!

This is about those of us aware of the truth about immigration, but it’s not an attack. This isn’t an attack on us supporters of Corbyn, of those ‘politically informed’, this isn’t an attack, this is an opportunity to assess how we’ve done, what we could have done and what we can learn to take forwards.

I believe in people, I believe those currently oppressed can change and become aware, but we have to think about why the immigration issue has been able to grow to such an extent and why we’ve not been able to give people the information they need to be able to come to their own conclusions, rather than the oppressed and manipulated conclusions that the eurosceptic Tories and the likes of Farage have engineered.

With regards to the ‘group’ and ‘fitting in’ phenomena; we are in the same group as those currently angry about immigration, we’re angry about the same things – housing, the NHS, jobs, cost of living, schools, public services and so on. We differ by what we believe is the cause and if we can reach out to those angry and combine a focus on what people are really angry about, with informing people about the cause being the Tories and shifting the wrongful blame and attention away from immigration; we can all be a part of the same group, all ‘fit in’ together.

We can free people from their oppression and with the recent increase in political engagement and the sheer level of anger out there, we can combine and work together to oppose the Tories and try to bring about the changes that are desperately desperately needed.

To conclude: Why, despite what we’re aware of and the evidence we have on our side, has immigration become the main concern of the majority?

Why, despite what we know, do people still believe the cause, of what they’re angry about, is immigration?

Have we been able to put ourselves in the oppressed shoes and considered how they feel, think and view things? How they view us.. ?

What could we possibly consider, assess and question before we move forwards?

Is all of this something you’ve already read about and discussed? If so, please enlighten me, please share links and your thoughts, I’m open minded to any and all suggestions…

Thank you

I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts!

If you wish to contribute a similar piece covering contemporary economic and political events or left wing politics in general. Please contact James Clark at:@jclarkpoleconjclark.jc96@gmail.com


8 thoughts on “I wonder how it feels to believe that immigration is the cause of societies problems?

  1. You ask a lot of questions – but I find your style very difficult to read. You need to edit this – it comes over as incoherent. I think the questions are important, but I’m not sure whether you can “free people from their oppression”, only create opportunities for them to do it themselves. See Augusto Boal’s work.


    1. Hi Janet,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I did originally feel that it was at least coherent enough for it to not to be considered as incoherent.

      I am ill and am on medication which does make it difficult to write. I have to write as I would speak, meaning my writing is only of ‘first draft’ quality. I am therefore unable to edit my articles, but because I prefer to start debates, I did originally think it useful writing in a way as though it is that I am speaking.

      I feared that any attempts at editing would have made it much more incoherent and because I wanted to spark conversations, I originally thought it would be good to write it as I would speak it. I originally thought it would be a change from the articles in the mainstream and in alternative media that do often read as though written by the same person with the same style.

      I am unable to edit my writing as I cannot process how better to say something once I have written it, which does mean, as you can probably tell with this reply, that the my article when considered on the whole is incoherent. I do repeat myself so as to ensure I do at least get my point across in enough of a way so as to make people consider or make it as though I am starting a conversation or raising a question or point for the reader to consider. So even though on the whole the article lacks quality and coherence, there were hopefully parts that were coherent and that were coherent enough to make people consider and start discussions.

      I have no doubt that I am probably repeating myself now and although I have written a lot, I still probably haven’t been able to get my genuine thoughts across.

      It would appear in this reply that I am struggling even more than usual. This is possibly due to a lack of confidence in what I am saying, I feel that you are correct about my incoherence and the stress of this, not at you but at the thought that it would be best that I didn’t write anymore if my writing is incoherent – is making my ability to articulate and communicate thoughts more difficult.

      With regards to your comment about giving people the opportunity to think for themselves – I completely agree and this is actually what I meant to say, but was unable to succinctly present it as such.

      I have been contemplating whether or not to contribute anymore articles and I think your analysis that my work is incoherent has confirmed that I should no longer write.

      I decided to contribute to this blog because of that which is stated on the about page with regards to accepting submissions from different people with different writing abilities and because of other articles on here written by people in similar situations to myself.

      However, if my style is too difficult to read and is incoherent, then I feel I shouldn’t contribute anymore.

      Thank you for your comment Janet, I apologise for the quality, style and lack of coherence of my article and of this reply. I wish you all the best and would like to add that I hope you consider taking my place and contributing to this excellent site, the current editor, James, is a remarkably kind, patient and understanding individual and I’m sure he would welcome your contribution.

      So please consider contacting James about writing something regarding one of my articles or of anything on your mind or that you are interested in politically, his details are at the bottom of my article and on the about page, I hope to read something of yours very soon.

      Regards, Rhyley


      1. Hi Rhyley – thanks for getting back to me. I’m sorry that my comments have put you off writing. I only meant to get you to read over what you write and cut it, so that it makes sense and is easy to read. Writing ‘as if it was you speaking’ doesn’t work too well unless you’re script-writing a play or film. Do you have access to grammar lessons, from basic sentence structure and punctuation to the art of precis? It would improve your writing a lot. Thanks for the suggestion re: getting in touch with James. I’ll have a think about it.


    2. (I can’t seem to see a reply button to your latest reply, hopefully replying here will work and you’ll see it to reply again, I hope.)

      Thank you again for your comment, I apologise that I made you feel that you have caused my decision to not write, it was more a confirmation of my thoughts already and not because of your comment specifically.

      Before ill health and medication my writing, English and grammar was of a high standard. Taking lessons will unfortunately not help and also it isn’t a possibility at the moment – I’m mostly house bound I’m afraid.

      I do consider exactly what it is I want to say before I begin to write and make notes as structure points to follow, I do plan prior to writing. However, once I ‘get going’ I just have to get out as much as I can before I become too mentally fatigued and drained. I have tried to write in stages, tried to write one day and then revisit it the next day when I’m recharged – as it were, but I am unable to figure out what I should or shouldn’t take out, I am unable to think about what the reader may perceive or think from each point – whether or not the reader will have understood from a sentence or two or whether I need to keep the sentences where I repeat myself to ensure the reader doesn’t misunderstand or doesn’t misinterpret or doesn’t make any assumptions and suchlike.

      In real life, previously on forums and over emails talking with friends – people often used to either make certain assumptions or would require clarification or whatever if I didn’t repeat myself to get my points across in the most appropriate way.

      This has led me to writing in the way I write and I am unable to change it or improve it.

      Plus, because I feel that, because of my work and study history, I sometimes have something different to offer, I sometimes am able to look at and think about things in a way that I don’t see being written about or discussed (despite reading dozens and dozens of articles from various media and sites and so on) – even though my writing isn’t up to scratch, in terms of quality or style or overall level of coherence, I did feel because I felt there were certain things missing from articles and discussions – that I should forget about/not worry about the quality of my writing and instead concentrate on just getting certain things out there for people to discuss and consider.

      I had hoped that my articles would inspire other more competent and proficient writers to write about the same or similar things that I had wrote about, but in a much better way.

      Like with this article for example – I feel that most of the articles written about immigration don’t consider what it must feel like for those that do believe that immigration is the problem that the mainstream media and Tories etc. claim it to be.

      Most articles talk about the racist and xenophobic nature of how immigration has been presented and though they do often try to say that they’re talking about the media and campaign groups and not the ‘ordinary individuals’ that believe it – those writers are somewhat labelling ordinary people in such a way by association or are in some way not considering it from those ordinary people’s viewpoint.

      Obviously not all of the 17 million voted to leave because they’re anti-immigration, but a large majority will have and I don’t feel that writers have addressed or considered all of this from their view – not in terms of having the same view or supporting an anti-immigration view, but considering the psychology of why they have such views, considering what it is I’ve said about with ‘in-group’ and so on within the article.

      Apologies I’m doing it again – being verbose and repetitively rambling.

      Anyway, I think my point is that it isn’t possible for me to ‘improve’ or ‘change’ how I write and also my point is to say that I was hoping it wouldn’t have mattered as long as people/readers could at least take away some things from my writing and then discuss it, consider it and hopefully other better writers could then write about it.

      In this article in particular there are a few things I’ve already mentioned in this reply that I don’t think have been considered and written about and one of the key things in this article is what I’ve written about how ‘we all don’t integrate for many reasons other than ethnicity and culture’ – this was something I didn’t think had been addressed and yet it was something that those against immigration do often talk about.

      Those against immigration, after hearing about the positives (which I’ve mentioned in the article) do sometimes accept these arguments but then reply by saying things like – “it doesn’t matter about all that when immigrants don’t then integrate”. So my paragraph about integration I think, regardless of the quality of my article, is something people can consider when they’re talking to those against immigration.

      It’s the same with the paragraph where I talk about as much land being used for golf courses as for houses when those against immigration say that we’re overpopulated or that we don’t have any land for houses and so on.

      Although my writing is terrible, I hoped that there would at least be some parts that were useful for people and I merely wished to get certain things out there that I felt were missing from debates and discussions.

      However, I can see now that my failings in grammar, in my linguistic ability and to succinctly articulate thoughts is too much of a problem and that the actual points I raise, no matter how good or missing from debates or whatever, are irrelevant due to my inability to be coherent.

      I sincerely hope that you do contact James and I really hope to be reading articles by yourself shortly. Please Janet?

      Regards, Rhyley


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