Shack­ling de­bate no help

The Sunday Times - - OPINION - Cor­rine Bar­r­a­clough

WHEN ei­ther side of pol­i­tics kid­naps any is­sue it is un­help­ful and the great de­bate about im­mi­gra­tion is no ex­cep­tion.

At­tempt­ing to si­lence dis­cus­sion around im­mi­gra­tion is not go­ing to make the real chal­lenges mirac­u­lously dis­ap­pear.

It is im­pos­si­ble to deny an in­crease in pop­u­la­tion brings more peo­ple into lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. That’s sim­ple logic. Higher im­mi­gra­tion num­bers bring more hu­man be­ings, who need af­ford­able hous­ing and on­go­ing means to sus­tain them­selves.

Plan­ning for their ar­rival is key. You wouldn’t have 30 guests stay in your home if you only had one spare bed.

On the big­ger scale, for the com­mu­nity to con­tinue to run ef­fi­ciently, it re­quires think­ing ahead into ar­eas such as pub­lic trans­port, roads, schools, hos­pi­tals and ser­vices. Sup­plies such as wa­ter and elec­tric­ity also need to be fac­tored into longert­erm plan­ning. How­ever, every time any­one tries to have a calm and sen­si­ble con­ver­sa­tion it is de­railed with screeches of “racism”.

In a re­cent in­ter­view, US Pres­i­dent Donald Trump said: “The word ‘racist’ is used about every Repub­li­can that’s win­ning. Any time a Repub­li­can is lead­ing they take out the ‘R’ word, the ‘racist’ word. I’m not anti-im­mi­gra­tion at all. I’m all for peo­ple com­ing into the coun­try legally and peo­ple based on merit.”

If peo­ple weren’t so blinded by their ha­tred of Trump they may well find those words ring true. It is not racist to want hu­man be­ings liv­ing in the same coun­try to be able to com­mu­ni­cate in the same lan­guage and share re­spect for na­tional in­ter­ests.

And en­forc­ing a travel ban on coun­tries where ide­ol­ogy di­rectly con­flicts with our own is not racist — that is com­mon sense, too.

In short, you don’t in­vite peo­ple into your home who in­tend to trash it.

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