The Church around the country is leading the fight against mean and small-minded immigration policy.
I am relying on anecdote here. It’s just that so many of my Christian friends, when they aren’t staffing the food bank rota, are helping Iranians and Syrians and Afghans fill out forms, make appeals and try to start a new life in the UK. They also inviting them to their homes, teaching them English and being their friends.
Where are the politicians? Crowding into the cellar. Where are the newspapers? Foaming at the mouth for the most part. I don’t see too many opinion-formers telling us that the inward flow of young, keen, hardworking people is a great gift to us, a resource better than discovering a reservoir of shale oil under the entire North of England.
These good people are going to pay my pension and keep the health service running for me. Of course we have to observe the lifeboat principle – if you try too much, too fast, you sink.
But that can’t be that hard given the fact we are entirely surrounded by an impassable watery border, we have coped even with 300,000 new people a year, and our population would be shrinking and ageing if we didn’t open our doors. We have a big lifeboat and it isn’t full. In the year 2000 the foreign-born population of the UK was 4%. By 2010 it was 8%.Well done us.