Thursday 23rd June
I wrote a few days ago that Remain will win. I was full of confidence, feeling that the mood was swinging back to commonsense, but of course that confidence could be sorely misplaced. The polls (all we really have to go on) could be totally wrong and Remain win easily, but I am amazed but not really surprised at the level of discontent there is among so many of the people at large. They are blaming Immigration for the fact that for the last 6 or so years wages have not kept pace with inflation, for the NHS struggling with a ‘winter crisis’ all year round, with the shortage of Doctors and School places – when all of these problems were made in Britain and caused by Tory cuts. But the Leave campaign (run almost exclusively by those same Tories) has been very clever at laying all our troubles at the feet of Johnny Foreigner.
“Take back control of our Borders” scream the headlines. Well, yes – but coming through Stansted there is barely any border control, and though we have 7700 miles of coastline we have just three small boats trying to stop any possible illegal entrants. And if occasionally refugees are found in the back of lorries, then how many get through unsearched? Exiting Europe will have no effect on the number of illegal over-staying visa holders or ‘tourists’ who simply do not go home. For every legal Immigrant there are maybe as many ‘illegals’ – I used to know two Australian waitresses who had overstayed their visas by years, and no-one came to deport them. And as for the argument about wages being depressed here, this is more the fault of unscrupulous bosses who often pay below the minimum wage or have staff on zero-hours contracts, than European Migrants, who mostly work hard and pay their taxes.
I remember a song by McGuinness Flint, back in the early 70’s “Be International” which extolled the virtues of joining together with others to solve the World’s problems, where has that optimism gone?. With the popularity of UKIP, the FN in France and Trump in America we are seeing a dangerous rise in far-right anti-foreigner views; I am just amazed that anyone falls for it anymore.