Myths and stereotypes reinforce each other. The myth sets out the story, the stereotype fits in the characters. It was said, for instance, that the post-war “influx” of West Indian and Asian immigrants to this country was due to “push-and-pull” factors. Poverty pushed us out of out countries, and prosperity pulled us into Britain. Hence the stereotype that we were lazy, feckless people who were on the make. But what wasn’t said was that it was colonialism that both impoverished us and enriched Britain. So that when, after the war, Britain needed all the labour it could lay its hands on for the reconstruction of a war-damaged economy, it turned to the reserves of labour that it had piled up in the colonies. That’s why it passed the Nationality Act of 1948 making us colonials British nationals. (Equally, when, after 1962, it did not need that labour, it brought in a series of restrictive and racist immigration acts.) Quite simply we came to Britain (and not to Germany for instance) because we were occupied by Britain. Colonialism and immigration are part of the same continuum – we are here because you were there.