THE BLOG

I Still Believe In The British Value Of An Open And Welcoming Britain

26/06/2017 12:20

I admit it, I don't care about immigration. For me it's not an issue that even comes close to my political priorities. I love immigration, I think it's wonderful and creates magic across the globe. Globalisation has it's problems and wider issues but ultimately it's brought the world closer together quite literally. If you're an open minded individual who doesn't lock themselves away desperately trying to ignore the rest of the world then you'll know exactly what I mean.

I absolutely despise the boring, compassionless narrative from papers like The Sun, The Daily Mail & Express and their minions such as Katie Hopkins. Why? Because I'm aware of the facts, I know my history and I bask in the glory of multiculturalism which has apparently 'failed'. Take yourself to Camden Market and experience the range of items you can buy, the music you hear, the smell of all the different foods, speak to stall holders and market goers, it's an incredibly fulfilling experience.

We are currently in the midst of negotiations on leaving the European Union, the whole premise of Brexit was based around Immigration and the age old sound bite of 'take back control'. You often hear Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson and other pound shop villains talking up Churchill for a variety of reasons with Farage declaring him his hero and begging Donald Trump to return the bust of Churchill to the Oval Office, which he did. I'm not sure if they're entirely sure of Churchill's earlier work on an open Britain as an MP.

The importance of immigration is increasingly clear as we head into this black hole of Brexit and we see the huge drop in EU nurses applying to work in the NHS as staff vacate in vast numbers causing a spiralling staffing crisis. The farmer who voted leave and spoke on BBC Radio 2 about how he faces the loss of his business if he can't recruit enough EU workers just confirms the reality of Brexit. When just over half of UK voters chose to leave the EU it sent a message that Britain is not a welcoming nation and I'm certain the huge increase in hate crime following the referendum helped verified that message.

We have these shock stories of migrants jumping the line for housing, getting 18 bedroom houses for free, ruining the NHS and all being thieves. The reality is the vast majority of those stories are either complete nonsense to stir up hatred and division or rare cases hence why they make the papers. In the General Election, Paul Nuttall of UKIP wouldn't shut up about 'integration' but the narrative of papers like the Mail and the Express who demonise and exploit anyone and anything particular immigrants are one of the key players in ensuring communities are suspicious, divided and angry at each other.

There has been an constant attack on empathy and compassion over history, it's viewed as a weakness that we can't afford. Even when it comes to those who seek asylum from war, torture and death, we are fed stories that inflame hate, raise suspicion and desensitise us from the facts and realities around asylum the suspicion and even hatred remains. Whilst there is, rightly, praise for Mo Farah, who is an immigrant, alongside that praise that narrative against immigrants in every and anyway possible is fanning the flames of hatred. It makes very little sense.

Do I believe that immigrants are taking all our jobs? No. Why? Because they aren't. Do I believe that immigrants are putting immense pressure on our NHS? No. Why? Because they aren't. The facts are there, in black and white. The vast majority of immigrants in the country are our neighbours, friends and family, they are in Britain because they want to be here and love the country. There is a tiny minority of people be them British, immigrants or otherwise who commit crime and want to hurt other human beings, crime is global and it happens everywhere by all kinds of people. To believe otherwise is wrong.

There is a bunch of people, again a minority, that think patriotism is about being militant and British to the bone. The fact is we are all children of immigration, we all have and will continue to benefit from immigration. It's a British value dating back to before the Victorian era that Britain was open to all. We need to look to history to learn lessons, we need to use fact to govern and we need to open our minds. If you are wondering why there is a lack of jobs in your area or are looking for someone to blame for the downfall of the NHS you might want to look slightly closer to home, specifically those who are currently in power.

Comments

CONVERSATIONS