Monday, 3 November 2014

BBC on top form

From the BBC:

Germany is now the world's second most popular destination - after the US - for immigrants. And they are arriving in the hundreds of thousands...

And they are being welcomed with open arms - by the government at least - because Germany has a significant skills gap, and a worryingly low birth rate.

"Immigrants are on average younger and the German population is on average older, so immigrants are welcome," says Dr Ingrid Tucci, from the German Institute for Economic Research. "It's important to attract students and highly qualified people. So the government is making it easier for them, trying to invest and put a culture of welcome in place."

That sounds like a fair summary, even twenty years ago the Germans - bureaucracy and people alike - struck me as pretty even handed vis-a-vis immigrants from first world countries (German bureaucrats treat everybody like shit, foreigners and natives alike), but what's this..?

Private papers recently published by the German news website Spiegel Online reveal Chancellor Kohl told then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1982 that he wanted to halve the number of Turks living in Germany. They did not, he said, "integrate well".

Today they are an established community. Stroll through the Berlin district of Neukoln and you pass hundreds of businesses run by their children and grandchildren.

In the window of one of the restaurants here, a large chunk of roasting meat turns slowly on a spit. Inside, a woman with a headscarf sips tea from a glass in front of a counter stacked with kebabs and and flatbreads ready for the lunchtime rush.

The BBC is merrily conflating "established" with "integrated", methinks.

If you can spot 'their' areas a mile off, then Kohl has been completely vindicated.

See also Northern Ireland: both loyalists and republicans are clearly "established" but you can hardly describe the two communities as "integrated".


Bayard said...

"The BBC is merrily conflating "established" with "integrated", methinks."

No, it wants you to do that. It's just giving you the opportunity.

The Stigler said...

Not sure it's entirely about "spotting their areas".

If you've been to Southall, it's very Indian, mostly Sikh and Hindu, with lots of signs of it (shops selling Indian sweets, saris, etc) but I never feel like I'm in a particularly different culture.

Bayard said...

"I never feel like I'm in a particularly different culture."

Makes me feel I'm in a different country, though, it's the smell of curry and the sound of Hindipop that does it.