HollieMcNish | A poem about immigration, based on a guy I used to have to listen to when I worked in a clothes shop.


He said “those god damn Pakistanis and their goddamn corner shops
Built a shop on every corner took our British workers jobs”
He said “those goddamn Chinese and their goddamn china shops”
I told him they’re from Vietnam but he doesn’t give a toss
I ask him what was there before that damn Japan mans shop
He looks at me and dreams a scene of British workers jobs
Of full time full employment before the goddamn boats all came
Where everybody went to work for full time every day
“A British Business stood their first” he claims “before the Irish came
Now British people lost their jobs and bloody Turkish are there to blame”
I ask him how he knows that fact
he said “because it’s true”
I ask him how he knows that fact
he said “he read it in the news”
“Every time a Somalian comes here they take a job from us
The mathematics one from one, from us to them it just adds up”
He bites his cake he sips is brew and says again “he knows the spot
The goddamn Caribbeans came and now good folk here don’t have jobs”
I ask him what was there before the goddamn Persian curtain shop
I show him architectures plans of empty goddamn plots of land
I show him the historic maps
A bit of sand, a barren land
There was no goddamn shop before those Pakistanis came and planned
I’m sick of crappy mathematics
Cos I love a bit of sums
I spent three years into economics
And I geek out over calculus
And when I meet these paper claims
That one of every new that came
Takes away ones daily wage
I desperately want to scream
“Your maths is stuck in primary”
Cos some who comes here also spend
And some who comes here also lend
And some who comes here also tend
To set up work which employs them
And all your balance sheets and trends
They work with numbers not with men
And all this goddamn heated talk
Ignores the trade the Polish brought
Ignores the men they gave work to
Not plumbing jobs but further too
Ignores the guys they buy stock from
Accountants, builders, on and on
And I know it’s nice to have someone
To blame our lack of jobs upon
But immigrations not that plain
Despite the sums inside your brain
Is one for one, is him or you
is if he goes, they’ll employ you
Cos sometimes one that comes makes two
And sometimes one can add three more
And sometimes two times two is much much more
Than four
And most times immigrants bring more
Than minuses.