Friday, 5 December 2008

only here for the cash?

This is a bit schmaltzy but it gets the point across.

I am lucky...I guess.

The point of this post is to discuss the evils of racism. Today on the Stephen Nolan Show, a radio phone in show, which really works on the basis of shock journalism, received a call from a lady, whose opening remark was, "I'm not racist", but then began to lam bast a Filipino nurse she encountered in a NI hospital for having the audacity to speak her own language to a fellow Filipino nurse.

She even wrote to the hospital management to complain, where she was advised it is a breach of a person's human rights to demand they don't speak their own language. Yet she persisted with comments like "they are only here to earn money" as opposed to our local nursing angels who work for free, who doesn't work for the money?

One thing that is ignored, non-EU nationals working in the UK have no right to state benefits for 5 years (this includes statutory maternity pay), yet they must pay tax and national insurance like everyone else. The overseas workers in the NHS keep the system alive, the contribute to the diversity of its workforce and often bring skills, aptitude and standards of care "local" nurses couldn't begin to understand. They spend years at a time away from family and friends. Our health care system actively recruited nurses from the Philippines because successive governments failed to invest in the education of local people, have devalued the role of nursing in our society and the other biggy...people here prefer to sit on their ass and claim benefits than actually contribute to our society.

The caller went on to say that no-one from outside the EU should be allowed to work as a nurse in the UK, undermining her own argument, that her niece who is completing nursing training in Northern Ireland was likely to be unable to secure permanent employment due to a shortage of vacancies. So why would be OK to accept EU nurses if we don't have enough vacancies for UK trained nurses...could it be that the EU is mostly white? So no to the Filipinos but yes to the Spanish, Portuguese or Lithuanians?

We must be vigilant to the subtleties of racism, it seeps into your pores unnoticed. Someone entering the UK with a permanent leave to remain visa, for example nurses from Philippines, can apply to become a UK citizen after 5 years by the process of naturalisation. This involves attending a citizenship ceremony where they must swear allegiance to HM The Queen, which i have included below.

Oath of allegiance
I (name) swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law.


Affirmation of allegiance
I (name) do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law.


Pledge
I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.

You can listen to the show again here.

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