When did almost 53% of our society become so nauseatingly narrow minded? At what point did we start to justify prejudice, when did we start discriminating against our neighbours and friends and why has Racism become the norm? We need to ask ourselves why intolerance and deep rooted suspicion of the ‘other’ has become the cornerstone of British Politics in recent months?
Our elected representatives are fighting like feral animals, pointing fingers, crying lies upon lies and hurling insults. Is it just me, or has the entire EU Referendum debate brought to the fore what is base about our polity?
If you want know why I’m asking such a tirade of questions, look no further than Nigel Farage’s unveiling of the ‘Breaking Point’ campaign poster. When Michael Gove told Andrew Marr he ‘shuddered’ at UKIP’s Brexit propaganda, he can’t undo it now, can he? You cannot justify the blatant absence of any white faces on the borders of Europe (Slovenia, 2015).
Farage’s stance is starkly reminiscent of Nazi Propaganda branded about in the 1930’s, he is absolutely opposed to the free movement of people, and justifies his argument in the most barbaric way possible, by making a mockery of the refugee crisis.
Undoubtedly since the hail of the Brexit campaigns and its counterpart ‘Bremain’, we have become ever more divided. Whichever margin of the debate you support, or even if you’re simply sitting on the fence, praying for a miracle that will guide you on June 23, our society has become deeply suspicious and paranoid.
In the face of what is set to be the most important and far-reaching decision we will make in years to come, why is the debate focusing on immigration? Why has the far-right been allowed to grasp the agenda.
It is far more noticeable, less than 24 hours away from the Referendum Vote that we are now living in a climate of hatred and cynicism, one that we have built! Doesn’t anyone else think that we’ve gone too far?
I apologise if I offend, but I just don’t buy the ‘English as a persecuted minority’ argument, one echoing Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood speech’. Why are Brexiteer’s trying to con us with phrases like ‘Make Britain Great Again’? I’m sorry, but I didn’t receive the memo to say that we’ve lost our greatness in the first place!
After watching a recent BBC Documentary, ‘The Immigration Question’ presented by Mishal Husain, I feel like I need to respond.
I say this with the greatest respect to Mrs Chowles who is going to have to wait 15 years for a Council house to accommodate the needs of her disabled husband, but Brexit is not a silver bullet! Clacton, despite having unemployment above the national average, has relatively little immigrant influx compared to other cities in the South of England, it actually houses few people who were born outside the United Kingdom.
Where the problems truly lie
The truth of the matter is, that core issues with the NHS, housing, unemployment, social security and education can’t and won’t disappear overnight. They will be present on June 23 when we vote, and regardless of which way we decide to vote, we will wake up to these issues once again on June 24.
Unfortunately, Mrs Chowles’ determination to vote Brexit, and others also motivated by the same concerns, will undoubtedly realise that their legitimate concerns, have never been the fault of immigrants, rather the failure of successive governments to provide sufficient funding and resources to these areas.
If the NHS is stretched, why can’t we give them more money, more Doctors and more Nurses, don’t scrap the bursaries! If we don’t have enough homes and Council houses, then why aren’t we building more? If there aren’t enough jobs, are you sure you’re looking properly?
Eastern European immigrants are being exploited by British businesses who abuse their work ethic for low pay, don’t insult immigrants for a problem that doesn’t lie with them. These issues have little to do with our membership of the EU and more to do with the fact that during the 2015 general election, the majority of us, voted in a Conservative Government to run our country.
Immigration has never been, and will never be the problem. As a second generation British national, I am greatly offended by the divisive tactics used to scaremonger our society. In the face of threats like home-grown terrorism and climate change we should not delude ourselves that standing isolated is standing strong.
Unity is the bedrock of British success and progress; standing united with Europe is the only chance we have to fight the threats we face today. We all know deep down, that Brexit flies in the face of British values, values that countless generations before us have fought tooth and nail for. Why should we dishonour them now?
Don’t be impressed by nostalgia and notions of exceptionalism, let’s show men like Farage that we don’t need to succumb to prejudice and discrimination, that we can build a better future with tolerance, respect and unity, one hopefully within the EU.