Open Generation Manifesto
Our Open Generation Manifesto is designed to make our voices heard in the immigration debate. We reject the accusation that we are apathetic on issues concerning the type of society we want to live in; we believe that diversity and difference are what make Britain a dynamic and exciting place in which to live. The aim of the manifesto is to to set out the vision of those of us who have grown up with diversity and value the contribution it makes to the richness of our society.. We, the Open Generation, want to challenge the dominant discourse that says immigrants are the enemy, and celebrate free movement in an increasingly globalised world.
We believe that the current government don’t listen to young people and what we want, and consequently we’re not encouraged to vote and engage more widely with politics. We believe that there needs to be more focus on providing platforms for us to talk about the issues surrounding migration today. We want an opportunity to have our say.
We believe that migrants contribute to our society in countless ways, and we want to talk about how this makes Britain a more diverse and interesting place to live. Within the current debate on immigration, it is repeatedly suggested that migrants are ‘benefit tourists’ who are a drain on the economy, however a study by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration published in 2013 revealed that unlike natives, immigrants actually contributed MORE to the fiscal system than they received in benefits. The report also showed that immigrants are 45% less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits. We want to push back at the fictitious and discriminatory narrative on immigration, and get people talking about how migrants contribute in a positive way.
In the run up to the May election we’ve seen how migrants have become scapegoats for all of Britain’s problems. We want this to stop, and we call for a focus on the real problems, like wealth inequality and institutional racism. We believe that scapegoating migrants erases their vital role within our society and leads to increased prejudice and discrimination.
4.We need equality and diversity in the media.
We believe that the media promotes an unfair image of migrants in Britain, and that this leads confuses voters and leads to prejudice and racism. TV shows like ‘Immigration Street’ demonise migrants and create a hostile environment for them to live in. We believe this needs to be addressed, and that there needs to be a focus in the media on rejecting negative portrayals of migrants. In order to make this a reality, there needs to be more migrants and minorities involved in the media process, both in front of and behind the camera.
We think that the recent British Government has attacked the rights of international students in the UK. Because of new economic and policy reforms, the number of overseas students choosing Britain for their education is in decline. More pressure on educational institutions to scrutinise international students has meant that they no longer feel welcome here. The Open Generation believe that international students bring richness and diversity to the classroom, which enriches the learning opportunities for everyone. The new limitations on paid employment for international students means that they now have a reduced capacity to support themselves during their studies, so only students from wealthier backgrounds are able to study here. We want to see a reduction in the excessive levels of monitoring by teachers and administrators, and a restoration of the full right of overseas students to work part-time during their courses. We also want to see a strong support system for international students who have been discriminated against by their academic institutions, and a focus on encouraging talented young people from around the world to study in the UK.
The communities that will be able to face up to all the challenges of life in the 21st century will have to call on all the resources of the imagination in order to see away through to the future. We need neighbourhoods and communities where houses exist as home for the people rather than assets to be exploited by the rich. We need public services, from schools through to health services, and social security extending to all who would otherwise be at risk of poverty and social exclusion. We need local markets and public spaces where communities can meet and intact. We need places for music, performance and art where we can tell the stories of our lives and become real to each other. We need equality, fairness and mutual respect so that we can learn to appreciate the inevitable differences which will always exist between people, and come to understand that that rather pose themselves as a threat they simply mark out the fact that there are other ways to be a human being leading a worthwhile life.
It is around these ideas that we will seek to work out the politics, the visions and the ambitions of the Open Generation. Join us!