Hate Britain: Intolerance makes us cheap and nasty
To coin a loaded phrase, it really does feel like this country is at breaking point. Our Home Office demonises the most desperate people in the world in search of cheap political point-scoring for a future Tory leadership election.
Instead of thanking the EU nationals who have propped up our health service for years and paid their taxes while doing so, we demand they register and pay us £65 for the privilege.
Our newspapers foment outrage against people they disagree with and the upshot is a gang of grinning men surrounding a female Remainer MP on her way into work and screaming “fascist” at her while the police look away.
Social media is a unfiltered cesspit of disinformation and abuse which cheapens us every single moment of every single day.
It is vital now that we pause and reboot our national conversation. We feel inches away from a tragedy or civil disorder or both. Sarah Wallace Edinburgh
The obscene treatment meted out to Anna Soubry outside the Houses of Parliament is an excellent example of what Freud called ‘transference’. In fact, it is those Leavers who are the nationalist fascists and it is their behaviour which is reminiscent of the Nazis of the 1930s. Martin Richardson
I’m not a great fan of Owen Jones. However I take my hat off to him after having watched the footage in which he is hassled by rabid Leave supporters.
Sadly this in my experience is not an uncommon issue and like Owen, I too have been accused of treason repeatedly, along with the all-time classics “snowflake” and “libtard”. Remarkably, I doubt these people see the irony in their statements since their arguments are usually overly emotional and hardly worthy of any intellectual awards.
I won’t stoop to suggesting that this reflects the behaviour of the entire Leave camp. Many Leave campaigners I’ve encountered have been polite and courteous. Also, let’s be honest, not all Remainers have been perfect in their behaviour either. But I will say Owen’s experience is not as rare as some might suggest. Paul Stevens Southampton
The island of Sicily has given refuge to 400,000 refugees fleeing from war and famine in North Africa. Greece and her islands have give refuge to more than one million refugees fleeing from a devastated Syria, Iraq and from Arab states suffering the terrors of ISIS.
Italy and Greece have limited financial resources with which to provide safe havens for these desperate people.
Ironically the UK, which played a significant role in destabilising the nations from which these refugees are now fleeing, has done nothing to assist Sicily, Italy or Greece. Indeed the UK is walking away from our neighbours and is leaving them to deal with this problem.
The UK is even threatening to refuse to pay our outstanding and historic debts and commitments entered into by our governments.
In recent weeks a few small boats carrying 200 refugees have landed on the south coast of England. This is declared as a national crisis and we are to deploy the Royal Navy to stop these ‘illegals’ coming to our country. What sort of nation have we become? Martin Deighton Woodbridge For EU citizens and their families living in the UK to have to pay £65 to secure the rights they already have to stay here beggars belief. It is deeply insulting to ask those who make such a major contribution to our economy and society to pay for the apparent ongoing privilege.
Adding insult to injury, it should be remembered that this is also a group of individuals who were not even given the opportunity to vote in the EU referendum and decide the future of the country in which they live.
What we continue to forget is the value of EU citizens to the UK economy. Those from the EU living in the UK contribute substantially more than they cost, adding to Exchequer coffers and easing the tax burden on other taxpayers. Those from the EU contribute £2,300 more each per year in net terms than the average UK adult to the Exchequer.
Over their lifetime they pay in £78,000 more than they take out in public services and benefits, while the UK citizen’s net average contribution is zero.
This is because most of those from the EU arrive fully educated, and many leave before the costs of retirement start to weigh on the public finances. Taxes will therefore inevitably have to rise if we bring in curbs on those from the EU.
Alex Orr Edinburgh