What’s the greatest issue facing the UK?

I’ve always been under the impression that as time moves on, so will society. Racism, sexism, homophobia and all those other horrid prejudices will become less and less prevalent until finally we will live in a society which accepts everyone for who they are.

Yeah, I know, what an idiot!

I recently clicked on a link to a story on the Norwich Evening News website and was faced with a pop-up question (which also comes up on their EDP site too).

edp

Well… none of those things actually. At least not in the way they mean. Here are the ones I would click, and why.

Immigration. If I chose this option, the assumption would be that I’m worried about all those bloody foreigners coming into our country. I do think immigration is a big issue, but not for that reason. Unfortunately people seem to be using immigration as a vague backdrop for their racist opinions. Starting a rant with “Immigration’s the problem…” and ending it with “…ban the Burka!” is becoming far too commonplace. Luckily no-one on my Facebook or Twitter has shared the BNP’s ‘Ban the Burka’ photo yet (if they did I would immediately let them know how unacceptable it is and delete them) but it is a photo I am seeing more and more of. Who are we to dictate how people look? Perhaps these people think that North Korea’s sanctioned hairstyles are a good thing? Oh wait, they’re Asian so probably not.

The Economy. More often than not our economic problems are blamed on benefit scroungers and immigrants. Occasionally someone will blame the bankers or the government too. I think that’s a bit of a cop out though. The problem is our backwards thinking society. You don’t get something for nothing, right? But why? Maybe if we all gave a little more without wanting something in return there’d be less of a mess. And I don’t mean giving financially, I’m on about time. I’m well into Roller Derby, a sport which runs entirely on volunteering. We all give up our time to run it – referees and other officials, coaches, admin – none of them get paid. Everything works better if we pull together so maybe, if everyone stopped being so fucking selfish we’d all be a bit happier. Don’t even get me started on how materialistic we’ve all become. And YES I include myself in that. It makes me sick when I think about how much stuff I have, and even sicker when I think about how I’d feel if one day it all disappeared.

Unemployment. For me this is a two part issue. I’ve been in a situation before where I thought I’d be unemployed forever. I just could not get a job. But then I was only applying for one type of job. I never even considered things like cleaning or factory work as a viable option. I was above all that. And that attitude is so common in this country, not among those commonly portrayed as ‘benefit scroungers’ but among the more middle class section of the population. Those of us with an alright education, stable family background and lots of friends. These are the people who need to be pushed into work and made to take the jobs they don’t want to do. The second part of the unemployment issue are those people without an education, a support network or any employment history. These people need help to get trained and qualified and have some valuable work experience so they can get into paid work, which is what most of them want to do anyway.

Europe. See Immigration. The only thing anyone ever says about Europe – immigration.

racist

You might see a common theme among all my hastily tapped out thoughts there. What do I think is the greatest issue facing the UK?

Prejudice. I see it every day, and people aren’t even ashamed of it any more. They are against Eastern Europeans, Asians, Muslims, LGBT, women, men, the unemployed and even people who look like they fall into one of those categories. I’m sick of it.

So if you are prejudice against anyone, fine, be that way. I’m not going to try to tell you how to think. But don’t think I won’t be saying a massive ‘Fuck You’ if you behave that way around me.

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