Filipino Migrant And British Pensioner Argue on UK Documentary: What are Your Thoughts on Immigration?
Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford are best known for their roles as eagle eyed sidekicks of Sir Alan Sugar in the UK version of TV show “The Apprentice”, but the duo are now also starring in another program called “Nick and Margaret: Too Many Immigrants”. The first episode of this BBC documentary style series saw five British born people with general anti immigration views paired to five immigrants, with the aim for them being to decide if they think the migrant workers are a “gain or a drain” on their home country of Great Britain.
Thirteen minutes into the first episode of the series, we meet John, a retired court clerk living just outside of London who tells of his personal experiences with migrant healthcare workers and mentions that he thinks immigration is generally a bad thing. He is paired with Filipino migrant Rommel who followed his wife to the UK thirteen years ago. They both work in the healthcare industry now.
During the segment, we get to witness John’s concerns about migrant workers not being able to communicate properly, something he says he witnessed firsthand when his mother was in hospital. Can a visit to the care home for patients with special needs that Rommel manages change John’s view on immigration? Watch for yourself:
(If the video has been removed, you can search for it again here)
SPOILER ALERT!!! If you don’t have time to watch the program right now, John doesn’t really change his mind about immigration, despite Rommel pointing out some valid facts about it later in the program. The conversation between the two ends with John mentioning he feels misunderstood about his views, while Rommel’s parting words are that he hopes John will change his opinion about the subject in the future.
The episode also followed immigrants from Poland, France and Pakistan, with the aim of it presumably being to encourage debate about immigration through the program’s unscientific approach in a format somewhere between light entertainment and serious documentary.
I must confess that I am writing this as an immigrant myself (I was born and raised in Germany before moving to Britain and am now working in Manila), but I love the idea of a global marketplace where it doesn’t matter what your nationality is and where anyone can work anywhere. There is a lot to be gained and learned from working in a different country, but it seems Britain especially is a bit of a magnet for people from all over the globe. John and Rommel also make an appearance in the second episode of the program where the same argument continues and even expands into subjects such as crime. It’s really worth watching, even if it’s just to get a snapshot of the current opinion about immigration in Britain.
What is your view on immigration? Do you think John is right to be concerned about the diminishing “Britishness” of his country? And what do you think about people coming to live in the Philippines? What do you think or expect of them?