I wasn't going to post this as a blog. The day Amber Rudd appeared to be seriously suggesting we put foreign people on a register, I wrote to my Conservative MP, Caroline Ansell, to explain how I felt about it. But I decided there would be plenty of other blogs and think pieces and hot takes on this issue. Today I saw a survey suggesting that a majority of people agree with the list idea, so thought one more wouldn't hurt. And maybe I could make someone see my point.
I have frequently been at odds with your party on a range of issues and you have generally been kind to explain your own view. I'm afraid to say that rhetoric coming out of the Conservative conference in recent days has left me horrified and ashamed of my Government.
On the NHS both May and Hunt have variously suggested there are too many foreign doctors and that we should only keep them in the country until we have enough of our own. Let's ignore the fact that increasing UK doctor numbers is going to be very difficult for a Health Secretary so unpopular that a group of doctors were able to crowd fund a legal challenge. Let's ignore the fact that this language is likely to make doctors leave before we have ceased to need them. Let's side step the hard-to-ignore notion that Hunt is trying to undermine the NHS so he can privatise it.
Such treatment of people who were not born in this country is MONSTROUS. It is an appalling way to behave towards any human being, much less one who has spent their life using the skill, knowledge and training to provide a vital public service. It is an act of extraordinary arrogance and stupidity to imagine ourselves better than them, and somehow able to manage without them. Why should we even need to try?
If that were not bad enough we now have a home secretary who wishes foreigners to be placed on lists, and wishes to bully employers into hiring the local people rather than the best people. This is bigotry, Caroline, no matter what Amber Rudd says. To discriminate against people on the basis of their place of birth is prejudice and once upon a time it was illegal in this country. To use the anniversary of the battle of cable street to decide that Britain is now pro-racism us very poor indeed. Your party shames the memory of our heritage, shames the country it claims to represent and shames me. I hope it shames you too.