In the week when John McDonnell MP hosts a discussion in parliament to brief MPs on the impact of the immigration bill, this sane intervention in the immigration debate from Pat McFadden MP. (Yay for great MPs doing good work!)
“Opinion polls show high levels of public concern about immigration and some politicians have mirrored the concerns. But leadership is not just about mirroring fears or joining the rush to resist change – it is also about explaining change and arguing for the opportunities the future holds.”
His argument is simple, clear and honest. He’s honest about the opportunities and pitfalls of change, but quite rightly asks: “What kind of country do we want to be?”
I would add that this goes beyond immigration. When it comes to the (ideological, let’s face it) cuts being visited on the poor, the disabled and the more vulnerable in society, the lack of investment in housing, the fact that so many are underemployed, the scapegoating of immigrants, the poor, people on benefits and the trashing of those who try to speak up for them, like the Trussell Trust, concerned with the growing numbers of people using foodbanks in this country, then the question is even more salient. Why is it only on immigration that politicians scramble to “get it”? What kind of country do we want to be? And who belongs in it?