Currently I'm living in Spain. A lot of xenophobia here, by British ex-pats aimed at 'bloody foreigners coming to our (UK) shores, not integrating, taking the place over'. Said without a touch of irony, as they sit in a British bar on the edge of their mainly British housing complex where they eat their ready meals bought from UK stores. After a few months I speak better Spanish than any of them. And that's not exactly fluent.
REALLY?! I yearn for the day when everyone arguing for restricted free movement to the UK in Europe is forced to realise that that stuff goes two ways. Sure, foreigners can't move here, but you can't have your holiday home in France or retire to Spain.
Well, yea but... there's a difference between someone retiring wealthy in another country, and someone immigrating in poverty to the same country. Not to come off on the side of the racists, but it's clearly two separate cases and the responses from locals will be quite different. Sure you can't speak my language and refuse to eat my food, but you have money so bienvenido!
Eh, I think it's the same thing. One issue is having economic migrants vs rich retired people come to a country, but once they get there then the 'integration' thing is the same. "Oh, all these foreigners coming over here not speaking our language and wanting to eat all their foreign food and only see other foreign people" - the culture issue is the same for both groups. The economic arguments may be different but large groups of Brits eating marmite on the Costa del Sol has an equally damaging effect on culture and society.
I see this with retired Brits who travel the world. They hate the idea of all immigrants here, but they expect that they should be welcomed the world over.
I don't think having money makes it any better, morally. I understand tourism is an important part of the economy for many places, but it's the attitude that bugs me. It's almost imperialist - the idea that Britain is only for the British (errrrr, define please), but the world is their playground.
They go to Muslim countries and complain the booze is too expensive. They expect British levels of hygiene in food preparations, and complain about how the locals handle raw meat (whilst happy enough to eat it and tell you it was only £2!!!). They think everyone should understand English, and if they don't, they'll just talk louder. They would never THINK of 'integrating' beyond rolling their eyes as they cover their shoulders to visit an interesting religious site.
Yet they think they have an inalienable right to travel the world over, and if a country requires a visa, they are almost offended!
But heaven forfend someone wanting to improve the quality of their and their family's life should come to Britain, work damn hard, and still want to eat curry. They'll immediately roll out the 'When in Rome...!' whilst giving me handy hints on where to stay in Dubai if I want to drink.