Do you feel welcome in this country?


I remember as a child driving through London and reading signs in pubs saying ‘NO BLACKS, NO IRISH’. I knew I was partly Irish as I would stay with my Irish granny, but I could not work out why I was not allowed in these places. Had I done something wrong?

Well, as an adult I know that I had done nothing wrong. I did not ask to be born. I did not ask to be brought in to this world with Irish heritage. But as a child, I just felt excluded. Why as human beings do we create these barriers? What do we fear? I believe barriers are put up to make one feel safe. We have physical barriers – our homes and the barrier is the locked door. Or we have psychological barriers – we are part of a group and you are excluded. The exclusion is normally because we do not know you and so do not trust you, moreover we fear how you could affect us. In the 21st Century what is wrong with this perspective?

The politicians have been discussing it and it is an emotive topic. I am concerned that the language will become xenophobic. And if it does, where does it stop? Will you kick me out because I’ve got some Irish blood in me from a time back in our family history? What about the Jewish community that have made their home in this country following escape from persecution? Where will it stop?

The issue of immigration has resulted because of national boundaries. Borders are a human construct. We have created slightly different rules and cultures within these borders. However, the planet does not think about these borders and to be honest, it does not care. I believe, we have got our priorities wrong. We are moving towards a planet of 9 billion people, if we can not learn to co-operate then the natural laws of the planet will reduce our species. Just think! The dinosaurs were able to stay on this planet longer than this……And we believe reptiles have smaller brains. Why are homo sapiens uber-confident?