How can a nation that was built on the whipped back of colonialism and imperialism so simply change its colours? Politicians abuse the invented public fears to divert attention from the real menace that is crippling Britain – the stranglehold by the super-rich and the vanishing of the wealth of the nation by the elite.
The Long Goodbye: Were migrants ever really welcomed? (Film Review)
Where to begin with one of the most powerful short films I have seen in a very long time. It took my breath away, it hurt me, it reminded me of centuries of pain suffered, it touched my very soul.
The Long Goodbye featuring the British born Riz Ahmed; actor, writer, activist, musician, a man of many talents, has now directed his efforts towards the discussion around identity, racism, Islamophobia, and belonging.
The identity of diaspora: the peoples who are born and have lived all their lives here; been educated, married, served various governmental institutions of the country they believe is their home, and have helped build and participate in its society. In the background of our minds, however, is a dark sense, a menacing feeling, an uncomfortable pain, that is neither incapacitating nor relinquishing.
The Long Goodbye, directed by Aneil Karia, is 11 minutes long and tells the dystopian story of what could happen in the UK if we follow the slow path towards Nazi Germany, where citizens and people were rounded-up, dehumanised, and killed because of their religion or their ethnicity. You do not think it can happen? Then open your eyes and look at China, Kashmir, Palestine, and Bosnia, which was in the very heart of Europe.
The Long Goodbye feels more like a documentary than fiction. It raises the issue of how far will the far-right manage to push their political and cultural agenda, to what extent will the common sense of Britain become hijacked by fascism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and all the ideological terms, that push away humanity and invite in its place discord, hatred, and dictatorship.
It is fair to say that in the last ten years, there has been a steep rise in anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and racist rhetoric discourse within Britain . It may have begun as academic, populist, political and localised. However, it is now open, institutionalised, national, and accepted forms of racism and anti-Muslim discourse is now wrapped in the garb of freedom of speech, comedy, and defending British Values.
The problem is not the symptoms that can be contained, the issue lies in the root, the seed, the foundation, and source of it all. How can a nation that was built on the whipped back of colonialism  and imperialism so simply change its colours?
The last colony was only freed in 1997 when Hong Kong went back to China. China has its own issues, but it is not for Britain to decide their fate, Britain is not the policeman of the world, nor is America for that matter . Colonialism brought English education and railroads, the patriotic rhetoric will say. But Japan was not colonised and has the best rail system in the world, China did not have an English educational system, but has grown to be a top economy in the world. The closet imperialist and colonialist will have you thinking colonialism and imperialism then, and the permission to live in Britain now most benefits the brown immigrant, while they are attended to by a hijabi dentist, brown GP, bearded pharmacist, and a Middle Eastern optician.
Britain has enjoyed the fruits of immigration, but the desire for white immigration over coloured immigration was a historical fact . The government preferred the Paddy, Aussie or Kiwi, because they will assimilate into British values more, will accept foreign policy injustices more naturally, and will not look out of place as they are the correct shade of white.
It is clear even until recently that white immigration from Poland and other Eastern European countries have become a political tool for the Brexit politicians to manipulate the public with . Politicians abuse the invented public fears to divert attention from the real menace that is crippling Britain – the stranglehold by the super-rich and the vanishing of the wealth of the nation by the elite .
Do not get me wrong, I live here, I have for most of my life, and it is not all bad. Still, I can see where the cracks are, I have researched and investigated and found the ingredient that has built the foundation, and I can see within the current construct the actual reality of what it is like to be a slightly off shade of white in this country. I may not say goodbye yet, and I may try to make a difference, maybe futile, but it is my obligation to try, and without responsibility, we are no different from those who want us out.
The fears depicted in The Long Goodbye are genuine and real, the film forecasts what may become a replay of history. This needs to be screened in every secondary school and university and its topic discussed, argued and challenged. Riz Ahmed has an album to accompany this short film, I just hope he continues on his critical path and helps further educate the masses with the position that God has blessed him with.
2. Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India By Shashi Tharoor.
3. Domestic Role Contestation, Foreign Policy, and International Relations, edited by Cristian Cantir, Juliet Kaarbo.
4. British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making of Multi-Racial Britain By Ian R.G. Spencer.