Tag Archives: Immigration

UK Net Immigration Rises 21%

Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) to/from the UK 1991-2009

統計続きになるけれど、今日の国家統計局(Office for National Statistics)の発表によると、昨年のNet Immigration(入移民超過:イギリスに来た移民数から海外へ移民した人の数を差し引いたもの)の数が23万9千人と、19万8千人だった2009年に比べ、21%増加した。イギリスへの移民数は過去5年間、50万人強と安定しているのだが、世界的経済不況で国外の雇用状況が悪化しているなか、海外に仕事を求めて出て行く人の数が減ったことが原因だそうだ。

イギリス人の海外移住が減る中、EU各国、特に「A8」と呼ばれる、2004年に新規加入した中東欧諸国8カ国(チェコ共和国、ポーランド、ハンガリー、スロバキア、スロベニア、エストニア、ラトビア、リトアニア)からの労働者が増加。その数は2009年の5千人から3万9千人に急増、その3人に2人はポーランド人だという。また、移民の3分の2はEU圏外からで、そのうち15万1千人は「new Commonwealth(新イギリス連邦)」と呼ばれる国々、特にインド、パキスタン、バングラデシュの出身。留学はイギリスに来る目的の最多を占め、昨年の外国人留学生数22万8千人のうち4分の3がEU圏外からだそう。

政府はこの入移民超過数を減らすため、Work Permit(労働ビザ)発行数の上限を設定したり、学生ビザを隠れ蓑にイギリスに働きに来る自称「学生」を根絶し留学生数を減らすために怪しげな学校への規制を強化したりと、策を講じてはいるが、海外への移民数とEUからの移民数はコントロールできないため、あまり効果はなさそうだ。



The Office for National Statistics has revealed today that net migration in the UK rose by 21% last year with 239,000 more people arriving than those leaving, from the total at 198,000 in 2009. Immigration has been stable in past five years at a little more than half a million a year, but the reason of increase in net immigration is fewer number of people are emigrating due to worldwide recession resulting in less job opportunities abroad.

While fewer British are going abroad, more EU workers have been arriving, particularly from the Eastern and Central European “A8” countries, which are 8 of 10 countries that joined the European Union in 2004 (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Its number jumped to 39,000 from 5,000 in 2009, and around 2 out of 3 of them are Polish. But Eastern Europeans are not the only ones to be blamed. Two third of the foreign migrants were from outside Europe, and 151,000 were from “new Commonwealth” countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Study was the most common reason for coming to the UK, and three-quarters came from outside the EU of 228,000 immigrant students last year.

The government has promised to reduce net migration, and the number of workers from outside the European Economic Area has been capped and bogus educational institutions have been regulated in order to crack down widespread abuse of the system to reduce foreign students. But there seems to be a little effect, as the government cannot control emigration and European workers.

In these years, I have heard many times that it is getting harder and harder for non Europeans to obtain UK visas and even you get it you will be regulated tighter than before. Some foreign workers are denied to get a work permit because total application has reached to the cap, and new visa scheme allows students to work only 10 hours a week, instead of 20 hours previously.

Often British blame on Polish and other Eastern Europeans for mass immigration, but they seem to forget the fact that their government was the one who decided not to put the cap on immigrants from A8 nations, in order to obtain cheaper labours and fullfil the request from the industries which desperately needed workforce during economic boom, whereas most of the western European countries set the limit. It’s not fair to blame the East Europeans who do nothing illegal, but they should criticise your own government! Poor Polish, and non-Europeans who have to pay the price.

My First Time at Heathrow Terminal 5


リチャード・ロジャース卿の主催するリチャード・ロジャース・パートナーシップ社(Richard Rogers Partnership)が設計し、生産設計はAviation Architects(航空建築家?)であるPascall + Watsonが担当したT5は、モダンなデザインで、広々していて、空港を覆っているガラスからは太陽光が気持ち良く降り注ぐ。このターミナルの計画は1989年に始まったのだけれど、政府の許可が下りたのは12年後の2001年。2002年9月に着工、総工費43億ポンドをかけて作られ、最先端技術が導入されたという、鳴り物入りのT5だったけれど、オープン初日から、手荷物処理システムに発生した不具合などにより手荷物取り扱いが麻痺、10日間で500以上の便が欠航になるなどのトラブルに見舞われ、出ばなをくじかれた。

T5は、ブリティッシュ・エアウェイズのみが利用するターミナルで、毎日250便以上が発着する。ターミナルには、ハロッズ、コーチ、プラダなどの高級ブランドやポール・スミス、テッド・ベイカー(Ted Baker)などのイギリスのブランド店や、手軽なチェーン系カフェから、セレブ・シェフのゴードン・ラムゼイ(最近、経営悪化が報道された)の「Plane Food」等ちゃんとした食事ができるレストランまで、ショップ飲食店100店以上がテナントとして入っており、時間つぶしにも事欠かない。

オンライン・チェックインを利用すると、待ち時間が短縮されるはずなのだが、行きは年末で利用客が多かったせいか、前日に米旅客機爆破テロ未遂事件があったせいか、理由は不明だが、「Fast Bag Drop」で荷物を預ける際、長い行列ができており、20分ほど待たされた。フライトの時間が迫って来たので、係員の誘導で半分ほど進んだ列を抜け出し、受付カウンターに連れて行ってもらったが、そうでなければ、倍の時間待たされただろう。おかげで、空港の店を見て回る時間もなく、Iris Recognition Immigration System(IRIS/虹彩認識入国システム。アイリス(虹彩)を利用した入国審査の自動化。現在、ヒースローとガトウィックで登録可)の登録もできなかった。


After almost 2 years since the opening of Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5) in March 2008, I experienced T5 for the first time few weeks ago. I tried to avoid Heatrow Airport because it is furthest from my flat among five London airports.

T5, designed by architects from the Richard Rogers Partnership and its production design was completed by aviation architects Pascall + Watson, is modern and spacious, with abundant of light coming through the glass surfaces. The design of the terminal began in 1989, but government planning permission was only granted in 2001. The construction started in September 2002, and the building cost £4.3 billion to complete. T3 equips with the latest technologies, but its opening was tainted by malfunctioning baggage system which caused a huge disruption in baggage handling and cancellations of over 500 flights over the following 10 days of its opening.

Terminal 5 is used exclusively by British Airways, and more than 250 flights leave everyday. T5 contains more than 100 shops, ranging from top brands such as Harrods, Tiffany & Co, Mulberry and Prada to British cutting edge shops like Paul Smith and Ted Baker, and restaurants, casual fast food and cafes as well as stylish dinings such as celeb chef Gordon Ramsay’s “Plane Food” (recently reported that Ramsay’s business is in crisis, including this restaurant) – so you will never get bored if you arrive at T5 early.

Online check-in is supposed to reduce waiting time, but we had to wait about 20 minutes at “Fast Bag Drop”, until someone in charge of the queue saved us and took us to the counter when the departure time was approaching – we would have had to wait even longer if we would have arrived earlier. I don’t know if it is always like that, or because it was busy time at the end of the year, or it was just the day after a Nigerian man was arrested on suspicion of terrorism. No matter what the reason is, we didn’t have any time left to look around the shops or to register with Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS), which is available at Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

On the way back, there was a long queue at the immigration counters, but luckily a counter next to our line opened and we jumped on the new short queue, so we didn’t have to wait much. Heathrow is infamous for its waiting time at Immigration (my Japanese friend had to wait for 1 hour and a half!). Next time I go to Heathrow or Gatwick, I will definitely register with IRIS.

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Robert Kusmirowski: Bunker @ Curve Art, Barbican Centre

バービカン・センターのCurve Artで開催中の、ポーランド人アーティスト・Robert Kusmirowskiの作品「Bunker(塹壕)」(9月30日〜1月10日、入場無料)を観た。1973年生まれのKusmirowskiは、戦争体験者ではないが、世界大戦や冷戦等、「過去」にこだわった作品を作り続けており、Bunkerは使われなくなった、第二次世界大戦中の塹壕を再現した作品。「Curve」という名の通り、ギャラリー全体がゆるやかにカーブしていて、先に何があるか見えないので、何が待ち構えているか分からないスリルを感じる。薄明かりの中、腐食した水道管やボイラー、錆びた発電機や古い機械類、古びた缶や食料、そしてサバイバルのための道具等の中を歩いていく。使われなくなった線路がギャラリー端から端まで貫いており、寝室やトイレ、交信室や事務室なども妙にリアルだ。年代が経っているような効果を出すため、彼の膨大なコレクションからの古い品物に加え、ゴミ捨て場や解体場等で見つけたオブジェを使用。塹壕を見学したり、写真書類等を調べて、細部にまでこだわって再現したそうだ。この空間にいると、タイムスリップし、戦時中の落ち着かない、常に死と隣り合わせの恐怖を感じ、不安になる。良くできた作品だけれど、長くいると気分が滅入る。

We went to see “Bunker” by Polish artist Robert Kusmirowski at Curve Art in Barbican Centre (Sep 30 to Jan 10, entrance free).  Bunker is an recreation of a disused WWII era bunker. Although Kusmirowski was born in 1973 and had never experienced World War II, he obsesses with the ‘past’ and have created installations based on WWII and the following cold war. As its name suggests,  Curve Art gallery doesn’t have any straight line, and I was thrilled as I couldn’t see what was waiting ahead. In dim light, we walked through corroded pipes and boilers, rusted generators, electrical gauges and other obsolete machines as well as old cans and survival supplies. Abandoned rail track runs through entire gallery, and bedroom and toilet, communication room look very real. In order to create decay and aging effects, Kusmirowski has used found objects from his own large collection, as well as items collected from junkyards and demolition sites. He visited existed bunkers and studied documents and photography to ensure that smallest details are realistic. In the gallery, I felt as if I had been transported through time to WWII period when people were constantly facing fear of death, and it made me nervous. Bunker is well-done artwork, but it is quite creepy.

Bunkerは、200以上のイベントを企画し、ポーランドの文化をイギリスに紹介する、「POLSKA! YEAR」の一環のアート作品。「POLSKA(ポルスカ)」は、ポーランドの国名で、野原を意味するそうだ。POLSKA! YEARは、2009年春から始まって、2010年まで続く。このブログを書くにあたって、初めてこのイベントの存在を知った。そう言えば、テート・モダンで開催中の「How It Is」も、ポーランド人アーティスト・ミロスワフ・バウカの作品だった。


Bunker is a part of POLSKA! YEAR in the UK, which comprises over 200 projects presenting the most interesting achievements of Polish culture to British public. ‘Polska’ is Poland in Polish, and is derived from the word Polanie or “people of the fields.” POLSKA! YEAR started in spring 2009 and continue through 2010. I have never heard of this event until I started to do a little research about this blog entry. I guess “How It Is” by Polish artist Mirosław Bałka at Tate Modern is also a part of it as well.

Since the 2004 EU enlargement, there has been an massive influx of migration from 10 new member states of former eastern bloc to UK and Ireland, due to its liberal immigration policies and restrictive policies adopted elsewhere, and Polish is the biggest in number among others. Currently the Polish-born population in the UK is around half a million, and the total of Polish British is estimated about 1 million. Now I see many Polish grocery stores and bars (but not many restaurants), and supermarkets has a large corner of Polish foods. There is a Polish church in our neighborhood, and the area looks like a Polish town after the Sunday mess. Although east European immigration levels falling due to the recent economic downturn, but still large number of Polish are coming every year. Polish are known as a hard worker and now are a big consumer power as well, and British economy may not function without them anymore.

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BNP leader Nick Griffin @ BBC Question Time

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木曜日、BBCの討論番組「Question Time(クエスチョン・タイム)」に、極右政党のBritish National PartyBNP、英国国民党)のNick Griffin(ニック・グリフィン)党首が出演、ここ数日、メディアはこの話題でもちきりだ。Question Timeは、パネラーとして出演する政治家や有名人と会場にいる聴衆が質疑応答する、真面目な時事番組。内容が内容だけに人気番組とは言えないのだが、グリフィン党首が出演した日は、テレビを観ている人の約半数、8百万人ものイギリス人がQuestion Timeを見たそうだ。私は基本的に討論番組が嫌いなので、Mが討論番組を見ようとする度に(Mは大の討論番組好き)、リモコンを無理矢理奪ってチャンネルを変えていたのだが、今回はあんまりメディアが騒いでいるので、興味半分で見てみた。


BNPの移民排除やホロコーストの否定等の思想・主義は批判に値するけれど、イギリスメディアのBNPへの反応はちょっと過剰だ。BBCの外で行われたデモはまるで狂信者の集団だったし、Question Timeは、司会者、パネラー、会場の聴衆の反応は、集団リンチか魔女裁判のよう。質疑応答を旨とするQuestion Timeの趣旨に反し、グリフィン党首が話そうとすると誰かしらの横やりが入り、答えにならない。彼の言ったことに対して論理的に反論するならまだしも、話もさせないなら、呼んだ意味がないではないか。民主主義を強く信じるイギリス人が、自分たちの気に入らないことには「言論の自由」の制限を正当化する。それじゃあ、彼らの理論で「社会の安定のため」に言論の自由を制限をする中国やイラン等と一緒じゃないの?

その後のメディアの反応も、グリフィン党首やBNPを鬼畜扱い。メディアが、どんなに彼やBNPが悪党かを声高に語ろうとする度、なんだか押し付けがましく感じる。メディアに教えていただかなくても、BNPの言い分を聞いて何が正しいか正しいか判断する脳みそを私も持っている。メディアの意図が人々のBNPの支持を弱めようとするのであれば、残念ながらあまり効果が上がっていない気がする。人は「弱いものいじめ」に拒否感を感じるものだ。あんまり叩かれすぎると、逆に同情心を煽ることもある。テレグラフ紙によると、Question Timeの後の調査で、3分の2はBNPには絶対投票しないと答えているものの、5人に1人はBNPに投票する可能性があると答えた。メディアは、BBCが出演を許したことが理由だと言っているが、BBCが責められるとすれば、グリフィン党首の出演を許したことではなく、ヒステリックな対応を控え、グリフィン党首の発言に対して冷静に反論するよう、議論をコントロールすべきだったことだと思う。またメディアも、グリフィン党首を大々的に取り上げ過ぎだ。メディアがわーわーと騒ぐから、今まで関心のなかった人まで、BNPに注目するようになったんだと思う。


何より、不況下とは言え、政府や野党を含む既存の政党が、不況の影響を深刻に受けている貧困層の不安を汲み取って、政策に反映しないことが一番の問題なのだ。BNPの支持が伸びているのは、他の政党が彼らの不満に対して何もできないから。Question Timeでも労働党保守党自由民主党(Liberal Democrats)のイギリス3大政党の政治家も出演、偉そうなこと言っていたが、結局彼らが人々が納得する解決策を示せないから、BNPに票が流れるんじゃないのかな。

Nick Griffin, a leader of far-right British National Party (BNP), made his first appearance in BBC’s Question Time on last Thursday, and this has caused a huge media sensation in UK. Question Time is a topical debate television program, and the show typically features politicians as well as other public figures who answer questions put to them by the audience. Question Time is not the most popular program in UK, due to the serious nature of the show, but the day’s show with Mr. Griffin attracted almost 8 million viewers, about a half of people who were watching TV at the time of the day. I hate to watch a debate, and I snatch a remote every time M starts to watch a debate program (M loves debate) and change the channel. But because of the media constantly talking about the program, I watched Question Time for the first time from a curiosity.

Though BNP is not represented in Parliament, but recently has gained popularity and holds two European Parliament seats won in June 2009, as well as several local council seats. There is a big criticism against BBC’s decision to feature Griffin that it may increase racial attacks, but BBC explains that BNP is a legal political party and has a certain level of support among people, therefore, “they should have the right to be heard, be challenged, and for the public who take part in Question Time and the viewers to make up their own minds about the views of the BNP. It’s not for the BBC to censor and say they can’t be on.”

Though BNP’s remarks in elimination of immigrants and denial of holocaust must be criticized, the media and some people’s response before and after the show has gone a bit overboard. Demonstration outside BBC studio acted like a fanatic religious cult group. Panels, host, and audience  in the show were acting like a lynch mob and Question Time became like a witch-hunt. Opposed to the purpose of the show, every time Griffin started to talk, anyone interrupted and he couldn’t finish whatever he tried to say. If they didn’t let him talk, what’s the point of inviting him to the show?? People should have logically refuted what Griffin said, instead of acting all hysterical. British should keep up their values in freedom of speech, and I totally agree with BBC’s decision – if you limit freedom of speech because they don’t agree with BNP, then what is the difference with oppressive countries like China or Iran that British love to criticize?? These countries use the same logic to limit freedom of speech in order to “maintain social stability.”

The media response after airing the show were pretty obnoxious too. The louder the media screaming how evil BNP and Griffin are, the more they sound condescending – I can think what is right or wrong based on what BNP say with my own brain, and they don’t have to ‘teach’ me what I should believe. Unfortunately media intention to weaken the support for BNP by attacking harshly doesn’t seem to work out well, I am afraid. People don’t like ‘bullying’ and may feel sympathetic to Griffin, the victim of the attack, no matter how his ideology is. According to the article of the Telegraph, one in five ‘would consider voting BNP’ after Nick Griffin Question Time appearance, though two-thirds said they would not consider voting for the party “under any circumstances”. Media thinks it is a fault of BBC that allowed him in the show, but if BBC has to be blamed, it would be the way they made the show look like public bullying and failed to control the debate to be more civilized. Also it is media’s fault to give Griffin too much attention – people who previously didn’t care about BNP started to pay attention, as a result, this media coverage is helping BNP to have more public support (there are always someone want to go against the mainstream).

I am an ‘immigrant’ myself and I don’t agree BNP’s ideology, but I understand why some people sympathize with BNP. Journalists can talk ideal, because their jobs are not under threat by immigrants and they don’t live in public housing or in the deprived area. The immigration issues don’t affect the journalists but the working class or people under poverty, who have to compete with immigrants in many ways. I don’t think they support BNP because they are all racists but they are just overwhelmed by the rapid change in their society, due to the massive immigration in recent years. They think immigrants unfairly receive cheap public housing and social welfare including health care, paid by British payers. They are also fearful that the British culture and values are being destroyed by the immigrants who can’t speak basic English and don’t bother themselves to integrate with British society but just scream about their ‘rights.’ It makes me upset that these ‘close-minded’ immigrants give a bad name to other hard-working immigrants who give a respect to the land where you are granted to live and make every effort to blend in with the British society. It is true that immigrants who are willing to do dirty jobs with cheaper pay contribute the British economy (for me the idea itself is discriminatory to see immigrants convenient cheap labors), but for most common people, your own life is more important than the public interest, from which they don’t feel like getting benefit.

The real offender of the rise of far-right BNP is the government and politicians of major political parties who cannot understand people’s dissatisfaction and fear and cannot make a policy to ease their worries, especially about immigration. There were politicians from the three major political parties (Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats)) in the Question Time but they failed to give us any reasonable solution, but just accusing how racist Griffin was. For some people, BNP is the only party to understand them and try to do something about it. Just bashing BNP and telling us how bad racism is don’t solve anything.

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I got my Permanent Residence Card!

Permanent Residence Card

11ヶ月もの苦しく長い待ち時間の後、ようやくイギリスのPermanent Residence Card(永住者カード)を受け取った。EEA (欧州経済領域/European Economic Area)出身者の家族として、イギリスに5年間連続で住むと、permanent residence (PR/永住権)を申請できる。永住者カードはパスポートに貼られ(個人情報保護のため、黒塗りで見苦しくなってすみません)、10年間有効(なぜ「永住」カードと呼ぶのか不明)。イギリスでは、Home Office(内務省)の管轄のUK Border Agencyは、EEA出身者の家族として、イギリスに永住する権利を持つ非EEA出身者に、申請から6ヶ月以内に永住者カードを発行しなければいけないと、Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006により定められている。でも、現実は義務にはほど遠い。イギリスのイミグレーションに関する掲示板には、長期間待たされている申請者の不満と怒りが溢れている。パスポートを提出しないといけないので、待っている間は、お互いの家族のところへも行けず、海外へのバケーションもお預け。あんまり悪口を言い過ぎてPRを取り返されたら怖いので、文句はこの辺にしておこう。

After waiting for almost 11 months, finally I received my UK Permanent Residence Card!!! As a family member of an EEA (European Economic Area) national and have lived in UK for a continuous period of five years, I could apply for permanent residence (PR). The permanent residence card is issued on my passport (sorry for the black masks on some personal information), and is valid for 10 years (why it is called ‘permanent’??). In the UK, the Secretary of State (Home Office/UK Border Agency) “must issue a person who is not an EEA national who has a permanent right of residence under regulation 15 with a permanent residence card no later than six months after the date on which an application for a permanent residence card and proof that the person has such a right is submitted to the Secretary of State”, under Regulation 18 (2) of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006. Well, the reality is far from that. The UK immigration information boards are full of anger applicants waiting far more than 6 months. During the waiting, we couldn’t visit our families nor go to vacation in the sun, no city breaks abroad, as I had to submit my passport!!! Maybe I shouldn’t talk bad too much, because I don’t want my brand-new PR to be confiscated.

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