Old market square with tourist in Wroclaw, Poland

Wroclaw, Poland

In the wake of the Windrush scandal, the UK government should publicly and pro-actively make the case for immigration and a culture of openness and inclusion, Edge Hill University’s Dr James Renton has stated.

James, who is the Academic Advisor on MONITOR, a ground-breaking bi-monthly publication sharing global intelligence on racism, made the comments in response to an article in the latest issue.

Mayor of Polish city Wroclaw Rafał Dutkiewicz’ article explains how the city is leading the way in welcoming immigrants, and experiencing an upturn in its economy and employment figures as a result.

Dr James Renton

Dr James Renton

Dr Renton, Reader in History said: “It is a profound irony that in the midst of the Brexit quagmire, in which anti-East European racism played no small part, a Polish city is leading the way in welcoming immigrants. Wroclaw is showing itself to be an economic powerhouse, in which immigrants play a critical role.

“Government can define the tenor of public understandings of immigration. The Mayor of Wroclaw is doing what UK governments should have done from the start of the freedom of movement: pro-actively and very publicly making the case for immigration and a culture of openness and inclusion, supported by concrete social policies.

“Instead, the current UK government is now reeling from the consequences of its ‘hostile environment’ policy. The Windrush generation affair has laid bare three things: the human cost of this policy, its irrationality, and that many people in the UK are appalled. It is time for a sea-change.”

James thinks that UK towns and cities could benefit from a similar model. He said: “Now that city administrations are starting to have more power with metro mayors in Liverpool, Greater Manchester and elsewhere, there is the potential to take an independent line, promoting immigration like they are doing in Wroclaw.”

A multimedia magazine, MONITOR is open access, and aims to be the go-to source for research-based public debate on racism. It brings together NGOs, museums, and policymakers with academics to showcase the latest research and initiatives around the globe.

This, its second issue, also includes:

  • Swedish NGO ‘Order of the Teaspoon’ showcasing Sweden’s first role-play App designed to help teachers and teenagers confront racism.
  • Podcast interview on the latest research on racism in European football with Pavel Brunssen, co-organiser of the Berlin event, ‘The Beautiful Game?’
  • The artwork of Alessandra Ragioneri in advance of her exhibition at the European nomadic biennial, Manifesta 12, in Palermo, Sicily; and an illustration by Damiano Restivo
  • Articles and videos on: high-profile Australian Senator Jim Nolan & the denial of racism; ‘The Far-Right Czeching in?’- the 2018 presidential election; contemporary Christianity & whiteness; & the experience of researching racism and the Far-Right, from the US to Europe