It seems that the immigration debate has been building up a greater head of steam this year – all the bluster of the election along with the sad and worrying crises we have seen in the Mediterranean and the port of Calais. Murderous high profile violence such as the massacre in Tunisia adds to the confusion and anger.
The news story overnight of migrants ‘storming’ the Channel Tunnel generates warlike imagery that only heightens our sense of fear and defensiveness, as we imagine brown skinned foreigners streaming through the tunnel claiming benefits, abusing the NHS and forming sex gangs.
We’re caught in a difficult position. We want to have compassion on those in difficult situations but we see the strain with which our public services are already under – not to mention how we hate the thought of being taken advantage of by those who need no asylum but just want to live an economically more advantageous life. We could debate the various approaches the Home Office could take but I honestly think even with the best ideas at our borders and in our legislation would barely be a sticking plaster solution.
We live in a huge and glorious world rammed with incredible opportunities and resources. Yet what we reap in terms of immigration concerns is only the result of generations of selfish and greedy foreign policy. We have exploited the riches of Africa and Asia, turned brothers against one another, and now complain when these damaged continents overflow with people desperate for a bit of what we took from them. Globalisation and technological advances mean the whole world can look on as we flaunt our gadgets, cars and entertainment.
The problems that occur from people wishing to move from one country to another cannot be solved in this generation. A stand against migration now is only going to condemn your own grandchildren to face increased tensions and issues. If we wish to make our own country a better place then we have to start by addressing our superiority complex and begin to understand that we must help others to prosper and thrive. Only when we seriously attend to our foreign policy, radically turn it upside down and treat our fellow human with respect and love will we begin to see the a reduction in the numbers trying to get into the UK. Except by then, we’ll recognise the humanity in our fellow humans and be hungry to exchange our lives, culture and opportunities with our brothers and sisters from all over the world!