Reluctant Refuge: The Story of Asylum in Britain by Edie Friedman
Refugees and asylum seekers are amongst the most vulnerable and disempowered people in the world. In Britain, they are also the most vilified. Anti-asylum media campaigns have exercised enormous influence on government policy and political discourse, resulting in the belief that we are sinking under the weight of refugees clambering onto our island. The facts show otherwise: two-thirds of the world's refugees are in the Middle East and Africa. Britain's hardening stance means that the numbers entering now are negligible and steadily declining. "Reluctant Refuge" attempts to show how current attitudes reflect a centuries-old tradition of ambivalence towards the world's dispossessed, fuelled by economic protectionism and the perceived need to maintain social cohesion. Woven throughout are the voices of asylum seekers and refugees, illuminating the uncertain and often challenging future they face in Britain.