Greenock Telegraph 4th November

George Orwell wrote, in 1946, that there was a fear of immigration in the UK. “above all from the out-of-date notion that Britain is overpopulated and that more population means more unemployment”. Seventy-six years have passed, and nothing has changed. The spiteful rhetoric spewing forth from Suella Braverman, Home Secretary of the United Kingdom can only serve to fuel the sociopathic clamour of indignation that tumbles out of the mouths of the Conservative and Unionist MPs. Their hatred for vulnerable migrants is tangible and should frighten us all. Because it won’t end there. Once one minority is vilified and marginalised those that persecute them will feel the need and claim the right to turn their attention on another group and then another and that is how it builds. By dehumanising people, we create an environment where they can be treated abhorrently without repercussions. Many people are convinced that foreigners are “over here taking our jobs”. Interestingly they are ambivalent about the Scottish diaspora spread around the globe which currently numbers between twenty-eight and forty million. In Inverclyde we are currently welcoming new Scots from Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, through the vulnerable persons resettlement schemes and from Ukraine, through the Ukrainian resettlement scheme. In total this comes to three hundred and forty people. That number will and should grow to accommodate more vulnerable migrants from countries torn apart by conflict and war. I hope that in Inverclyde we can continue to find it in our hearts to extend a hand of friendship and provide sanctuary while appreciating how lucky we are to be in a position to help and how fortunate we are not be those relying on aid ourselves.