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ON AIR: Peacekeepers, Immigration and Planes with Snakes on it

Priya Shah | 17:57 UK time, Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Today we are talking about Immigration - is the mass movement of people bringing changes to your country? Or how about peacekeeping forces: the world is still haggling over which troops should go to southern Lebanon. Are we letting the Lebanese down with these arguments and delays? And of course there is THAT film: Snakes on a Plane....

Click here to listen now. And be sure to leave your comments, and we'll read out as many as we can during the programme.

In the US, author Pat Buchanan has warned that Mexican migrants are eroding US culture and that parts of the South West will be lost to Mexico. His critics say they are doing jobs Americans just don't want to do. That they are adding to the nation's evolving culture. Similar debates are being held in Africa and Asia. And, as Romania and Bulgaria prepare to join the EU, debates rage across the continent as to how local communities will be affected by the influx of migrant workers.

Peter is Czech, and he personally felt very welcome when he was in Scotland 3 years ago. John, however is British immigrant to France, he believes that people move OUT of Britain as much as others come in - i.e. there are plenty of Brits abroad, mainly pensioners who are replaced by younger foreign workers who can contribute to the tax base in the UK. Of course there can be problems absorbing large numbers of people into a local community.

As for people who say that immigrant workers take less money than local workers, John has never seen this happen. In the UK, there is a minimum wage.

Anonymous in Glasgow

We have employed many Polish people. They happily pay £50 to the Workers Registration Scheme (a Home Office requirement presumably for statistical information). They work hard, are pleasant, and happily do the jobs that need to be done but which a lot of Scottish freeloaders think are beneath them. They pay tax & NI but rarely stay for long enough to get any benefit from them. They are truly good people who don't believe in handouts.

Nikolai is Romanian, he feels that if the EU does not allow Romanians and Bulgarians to work freely across the EU as other EU citizens do, then the EU is meaningless. Everyone should be equal. He used to think the UK, by allowing Polish workers to come freely, was a great example, so he is very disappointed they won't do the same for Romanians.

John agrees that there is a "net gain", young foreign people coming into UK (who have had their education paid for elsewhere) bringing their skills, whilst elderly Brits, who could be a drain on health services, are leaving.

Max in Singapore called in to the programme. With better lifestyles, fewer children etc, developed countries NEED immigrants. They just won't be enough workers to keep economies running (and our quality of life) otherwise.

Craig in the UK

I have recently returned from working in the US for 3 years and must admit I was surprised at the amount of migrant workers in my home town and Liverpool. I have been unable to find work since returning home in my proffession and decided to find something temporary as a stop gap to get some cash rolling in and I have found that practically impossible due to the amount of migrant people prepared to do the same job for minimum wage.

A. Toyot in the UK
Cheap migrant labour equals low inflation. Low inflation equals low interest rate. As a homeowner with a massive mortgage, I am all for it.

Jared in London

The hypocrisy of the british is astounding! They colonised the 4 corners of the globe, & make up large proportions of Aussie, NZ & Canada. There are currently nearly 1million vacancies in this country, but none of you want to pay £5 for a sandwich, so keep buying your lunch from a hardworking, poorly paid immigrant. Yes, the brits are queueing up to drive buses, sweep streets & serve food - NOT! Also, i take it all the anti-immigration types will be also calling for a UK pullout from the spanish costas?!

Tim in London

Sounds to me like a certain type of immigration is never mentioned. What about all those Australians and Kiwis? Isn't it time to chuck them back to where they are from? What good are they bringing to the British economy?

Matt in London

A day in the (miserable) life. Squeeze yourself into the over-crowded bus to be jammed into a tube carriage on the over-crowded underground. Ridiculously long queue at the over-crowded shop for lunch. Same crowded cattle truck home. Walk through the thronging masses to your local (over-crowded) pub where the bar tender can't speak English and you have to point to things to get what you want. Look forward to council tax rises to pay for the infrastructure to cope will all this.


The United Nations is still trying to put together a peace keeping force for Lebanon . First France then Italy looked set to lead it. President Bush has called for a speedy deployment of troops to shore up the ceasefire. So why is it taking so long? Who do you think is to blame? Is the world letting Lebanon down?

Nabila in France and MIke in the US began the discussion. France and US were the two main countries haggling over the original UN resolution that called for a ceasefire. US will not contribute troops and France had promised to, but will only send 200 extra engineers. Nabila was initially pleased that President Chirac had been so robust in calling for a ceasefire and making it happen. But is now disappointed that French troops will not play a major role in the actual deployment. Mike is disappointed with the French too, but feels that the US is doing all it can.

Cecilia from Italy has called in - she is happy that Italy is taking a leading role. But the force will not be without its problems, what exactly will they be able to do there? Will they have to shoot at either side? Will they be shot at? And will they be able to work together as one force? Elizabeth is British, but lives in the US, she is very disappointed with both the US and UK lack of action.

Richard, United States

the french are showing how much they are scared of upsetting iran. they were supposed to be the leaders of the un force.but then again what has history shown us about the french.

Arbibi Ashoy from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Malaysian government has pledged 1,000 troops for UN's peacekeeping force in Lebanon. Israel has voiced reservations because Malaysia does not recognise Israel. The peacekeepers are going to lebanon, not Israel, so the issue of recognising Israel should not arise as Lebanon is a sovereign country.

RK from Ramallah, Palestine

When I heard President Bush offer Lebanon 230million dollar in aid, I just wanted to laugh. I am not sure I understand his logic on this one, or anything for that matter, American bombs and weapons used by the Israeli Army are used to destroy Lebanon, and now American money is going to rebuild it?

Mansour Ahmed Mohamed of Monrovia

The United Nations Missions in the DRC should take prompt action to stop the Violence and save the suffering People of Congo from another blood bath.

We had just enough time to squeeze some snakes onto a plane. Our reporter Colin Paterson has actually seen the film. I understand he was absolutely terrified, but wouldn't ever admit it on air. We asked people outside the cinema in London what they thought - answers ranged from We love you Samuel!!! to Its the stupidest storyline ever!
People generally seem to like this "B movie", they laugh if they aren't petrified. Greg from Texas blogged about this film for 8 months - predictably he loved it. Sadly we didn't get to hear too much from him as we ran out of time.

Sandeep from US

I saw the movie this weekend. It was an unrealistic portrayal in most of the scenes. The concept was a little difficult to digest with so many loopholes in the movie. I was disappointed.


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