Immigration is centre-stage in the media again, following UKIPs gains at the recent local and European elections.
As usual, the right-wing media are attempting to whip up hysteria, talking about “all these immigrants” coming over here, when we haven’t got the infrastructure to cope etc. Petty nationalism as its very worst.
Why don’t these people ever concentrate on the benefits immigration can bring?
Remember the mini-series Jesus of Nazareth with Robert Powell in the title role?
Or less cerebrally, The Muppet Show?
Imagine the high street without the influence of Jewish immigrant Michael Marks (one half of Marks & Spencer).
The music of Handel, who came to Britain from Germany, has enriched our culture.
Kazuo Ishiguro moved with his family from Japan aged 5, and was recently hailed as one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
Indian born scupltor Anish Kapoor made a lasting contribution to Britain by designing the ArcellorMittal Orbit tower for the London 2012 Olympic park.
Then there’s the case of my grandfather, who came to these shores just after WWII from what was then Czechoslovakia seeking a better life. Maybe not as famous as the above, but worked hard all his life, raised a family, and integrated into the society of his adopted home, as have many others just like him.
And that’s without even considering our moral obligation to look after those people who come here seeking asylum from oppressive regimes elsewhere in the world.
Let's not think of these people as "immigrants", let's think of them as fellow human beings who should all be welcomed into our country without fear of hatred or persecution.