The origin of xenophobia.

We are at a precarious point in human history.

For the first time ever, the previous privilege of travelling the world is not simply afforded to those of ‘honoured’ backgrounds. Anyone can go abroad. Anyone, at any time, can choose to vacate their lives for a week or two and jet off into the sunshine.

In the past, the working class could only dream of escaping these islands. Spain was simply the place that got battered in the 1930s. Ireland was where the pesky locals refused to be Anglicised. The South of France was no nearer than the South of Australia.

Today the vast majority of people flock to these destinations – mainly to Spain…. and mainly for a British piss up with, well, other British people. In truth, the only foreign people we see are those on daytime telly programmes attempting to express themselves in an English language that is not native to them.

****


“I went to Spain.”
“There were loads of English people.”
“The Spain people cleaned up after me and served me food. One of them had a lisp and kept saying he had a grassy arse.”
  

  
I doubt anyone would argue that the above phrases are common place in jet-setters’ memoirs – especially the first time you see them when they return.
But it is in these phrases that lies the problem. To the many, going abroad merely teaches the following:

“I went to Spain.”
= I went to the whole of Spain. This is what the entirety of their nation looks like. The holiday complex is the epitome of Spain. Every village has a giant water slide and sells ashtrays with penises on them.

“There were loads of English people.”
= Everyone in Spain (and therefore in any nation around the world) is full of English people. We bring in 100% of their income. They would be a third-world country without our fine Sterling.

“The Spain people cleaned up after me and served me food. One of them had a lisp and kept saying he had a grassy arse.”
= Spanish people are essentially servants. Their sole purpose in life is to clean and serve. They do this with a smile and enjoy it. The only language they speak is crappy English – and they struggle with that!

∴ = Foreigners are stupid. England is superior.

****

Then, a foreign person tries to make a life for him/herself in these islands.
The following thoughts occur:


“They don’t seem to be English.”
“They don’t seem to want to clean for me and serve me cheap lager.”
“They don’t speak that crappy English which I could laugh at.”
“Where’s Mr Lispy McGrassy-arse?”
 

followed later by….

“Who the f*ck do they think they are?!?”
“Do they not know their place?!?”
“Go home, alien. You’re not wanted.”

Does xenophobia stem from ignorance? Yes.
Does it stem from hatred? Yes.
But does it not, and perhaps in the first instance, stem from a feeling bred of these islands that the world owes the British?
That the 98% of the world should be grateful for being colonised?
That Britain singlehandedly won the World War and therefore owns the world?
That the Empire is as affluent and honoured as ever?

One might say that same mindset was born first in Wales.
West Wales; a popular destination to many working class English folk in the 18th-20th centuries who would only then see of us a nation of servants making a living by cleaning and a people who struggle to put a sentence together in English.
No thought was spared then that over 90% of the world’s population did not speak English fluently…. and neither are the same thoughts spared now.
 

****

I suppose it’s unfair to claim that the people with these views are located mainly in impoverished areas (like myself) who are let down persistently by Westminster overlords.
“At least they’re ENGLISH overlords!”

It’s unfair to say that these are the people voting for Ukip thinking the party will sort out these scary foreigners but at the same time ignoring the rest of their tax-avoiding plans.
“What’s manifesto mean?”

It’s unfair to assume that these are the same people who were happy to see us leave the EU so those Spanish people can go back to being too thick to speak English but clever enough to make a bed and put a swan made from hand-towels on my bed.
“Brexit means Brexit.”

Whether you like it or not, if you’re British this is how you’re viewed by the rest of the world. Perhaps people with these views can too be convicted of ignorance, but the stereotype rings true for the British people they see.
One more reason I’m WELSH NOT BRITISH.

🙂

One thought on “The origin of xenophobia.

  1. Regarding Brexit, there’s been a huge misunderstanding.
    British people seem to think that the EU did not exist before them.
    They tend to forget what unites the six founding members – it’s not just about money.
    Unlike the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux (Belgium, Netherland and Luxembourg) have experienced fascism. Theses countries had to endure the rule of Nazism.
    British people always come up with that old joke (not funny anymore I’m afraid) « don’t mention the war ».
    That’s precisely what unites the core members of the EU – a common shameful past that they do not want to see again.
    The EU existed without the UK. And it may well continue to exist without the UK.
    That’s unfortunate but I think this is something that British people should seriously start to consider:/

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