Tomorrow is the referendum voting day. As the ‘Leave’ campaign doubled down on immigration, last week, having lost the arguments on the economy, citizenship, sovereignty, and peace, I planned to write a final piece on immigration, arguing that it can’t and shouldn’t be stopped, and that the Left (and decent) arguments are that we should build houses, reform the housing market, build schools, empower teachers, make higher education free, re-establish skills training, establish and enforce a minimum wage and reset the balance of power in the work place so that Unions i.e. workers can regulate employment conditions again. We need people to come here to work, and we should be proud that we have built a society that refugees want to come to, so that they can be safe.
And then Jo Cox was assassinated.
I leave it to others to speak for me.
This piece by Alex Massie, A Day of Infamy talks, in balanced terms of the role of that the Brexit campaigners play in legitimising the anger and the ‘othering’ of the Remain campaign, especially those like Jo Cox who spent her life campaigning against global poverty and for refugee rights, most recently Syrian refugee rights.
This from Chris Dillow, talks about the economics and the descent to blatant racism and marks his journey from diffident remainer to full on anti-brexit, for him it’s about the society we want to build. He notes the crass anti-intellectualism of Michael Gove’s, “We’ve had enough of experts.” He concludes,
It has become a matter of decency versus barbarism.
This at Left Foot Forward examines the current immigration statistics pointing out that only a minority of those arriving in the UK are job seekers, and that not all of those will be EU citizens. Even immigration is an issue where evidence is useful in a debate.
We all bear some responsibility in legitimising the othering of immigrants; it has to stop. UKIP and their fellow travellers must be opposed, not listened to. We need, in the words of John Major,
A bit less understanding and bit more condemnation!
We can start by voting to remain.
This article first appeared at http://blog.davelevy.info/2016/06/22/decency-vs-barbarism/ and contains hyperlinks
Image Credit: @flickr CC Katy Maclelland 2012 BY-NC-ND