Bring on the immigrants

Rwanda is not the answer

Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

Certain factions of Britain’s ruling party would prefer that there were no immigrants in the UK. Under Teresa May’s short lived leadership, the race to create a ‘hostile environment’ was stepped up. Anti immigrant sentiment was a major factor in winning over LEAVE voters in 2016. With Priti Patel now at the helm, the UK’s policies regarding immigrants have taken an incredibly ugly and inhumane turn. Despite legal challenges and condemnation from the European court of human rights, Patel is determined to go ahead with the deportation of refugees to Rwanda. One civil servant has indirectly compared the current home secretary to Adolf Hitler.

Post War Britain would never have thrived without the contribution of immigrants. Without the millions of soldiers drafted from colonies, Britain never would have been a significant military power. Net migration to the UK has been falling since March 2015. The country has suffered as a result.

This weekend I had first hand experience of just what a contribution immigrants make to the country. On Saturday afternoon, the person I care the most about started getting chest pains. By Sunday morning, she could barely move or speak. I thought she was going to have a heart attack.

At 10:30 am I called an ambulance. We were taken to the nearest accident and emergency department where we remained for over 12 hours, coming home at 3:30am.

With one exception, every single person who helped us was an immigrant. There is a shortage of ambulance drivers in London, and we had to wait for an hour and a half. During that time we received a call from John, at the London ambulance service. John asked several questions to assess the patient’s condition and keep us calm. He was from Australia. The paramedics were both excellent. One was English, the other was Filipino. He had come to the UK from Australia, with his girlfriend who is also Filipino, and also working as a paramedic here.

Our stay in the A&E department traversed three shifts and staff changeovers. The first doctor was Middle Eastern, the first group of nurses and phlebotomists who looked after us were all African, Caribbean or Filipino. They all went out of their way, staying until after the end of their ten hour shifts to ensure that we were properly taken care of. The next doctor was Indian. New nurses came on to the new shift, they were also all Filipino and African. When their shift ended at midnight, the third round of staff came on. The third doctor was Pakistani, and once again, all of the nurses were African, Caribbean or Filipino. Food and drinks were served by Africans and Asians. When we were sent home at 3am, the security staff who showed me where the phone was located were all African (I had to call a cab). There were no cabs available. My wife could barely walk, her heart rate was still seriously elevated. A lone black cab was crawling along the kerb. I ran towards it and signalled for it to stop. The driver, who was clearly at the end of his shift, agreed to take us home. I don’t think we would have made it on the bus. The taxi driver was Nigerian.

There were some English and Scottish staff at the hospital as well, and they all did an amazing job. The vast majority of the staff were immigrants. The type of people who the current UK government is desperate to keep out or expel.

The NHS has been facing mounting staff shortages for years. By 2018, two years after the Brexit referendum, 5000 EU workers had left the NHS. Brexit also contributed to a decreasing number of paramedics in the UK, as workers returned to their countries of origin in Europe. In March this year, there were over 110,000 unfilled vacancies in England for doctors and nurses.

Beyond the NHS, hostile environment policies and the pig headed determination to ‘get Brexit done’ has damaged the hospitality industry, food production and farming, and several other sectors. All of this has made life for British people harder and Britain weaker. Anti immigration policies such as those pursued by the British government are based on an idiotic and xenophobic sentiment which ignores the contribution that immigrants have made to Britain.

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