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  • Aisha Rasheed

It was the best of times...

 

 

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only".

In my view these are the most profound words of Charles Dickens, in The Tale of Two Cities, which truely resonates current times. Unfortunately, these words remain as applicable today as they did when first published in 1859.

For some of us these are the best of times, for some these are the worst of times. Times of extreme despair poverty and darkness. Despite such extreme despair, poverty and economic hardship, these are not the only reasons for global migration. There is extraordinary global migration taking place across the globe for number of reasons. Economically motivated refugee migration is much more limited than politicians claim in their rhetoric. Refugee migration is less than 0.3% of global population internationally. Majority of migrants move legally to different countries. Contrary to common belief most migration takes place between developed nations as economically stable and edcucated people wish to explore other cultures and settle in different parts of the world, sometimes for the simplest reason of falling in love and marrying a person from a different country. Only affluent and educated generally have a choice of legal migration unlike common perception that all foreigners cross the channel on small boats.

There is a very significant factor which politicians don’t wish to publicise which dictates migration. This is the need for labour in developing countries. Need for labour due to shortage of trained workers have been increasing year on year in developed countries due to rise in elderly population and decline in youth. Global migration has been encouraged and generated either directly or indirectly by an acute need of labour by the developing world. New migrants to the country not only fill the gaps in shortage occupations but also provide cheap labour to businesses thereby increasing their profits. It is the financial gain to businesses in the capitalist society which has been actively encouraging global migration, not the poverty in developing countries. (This blog is inspired by an Article in the Guardian - "Everything politicians tell you about immigration is wrong. This is how it actually works", Hein de Haas)

 





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