Hate Britain: In­tol­er­ance makes us cheap and nasty

The New European - - Letters -

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

Fen­stan­ton

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

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