Many years ago I placed a poster on the staff noticeboard advertising a meeting for those who wanted to support a 'Britain for the British' group of which I, with my Dutch name, was the Chairman. The Secretary was a chap with a German name and the Treasure was a bloke of Polish extraction.
Few got the joke at first but the point, from our side at least, was clear - three European names attached to three people who couldn't be more British (Cockney, East London and West London respectively) if they tried. Yet there they were, the National Front types, making their claims that immigration was the curse of our nation.
Today I have heard the same views (from a different, sanitised, party) and heard about how it is in the national interest to restrict access - and I don't disagree that when it comes to economic migrants there is merit in this thinking, especially when it means that those whose lives are threatened or are disadvantaged.
In my reality, ever since Windrush's West Indians started arriving, there has been disapproval for those people who, 'Were coming over here and taking our jobs!' This is what I knew to be the case (as a ten year old) and it was reinforced by Powell's 'River of Blood' (and who knows, perhaps he will be proved right one day I guess) speech and the resultant (1971) Immigration Act (where access for dependent's was restricted) and it is confirmed again today by UKIP (what a fine and upstanding political party they are) and the poster below:
Nothing like the bigotry of days gone by at all:
What does the Bible have to say about it all I wonder? Leviticus 19 says:
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God."
Zechariah 7 has something to add too:“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
The presence of people from other lands has made my birthplace (London) the wonderful place it is. From the Hugenots and the Jewish settlers (Old Jewry in the city has a wonderful synagogue) through to those from other places today. All that we should ask is that whilst bringing their cultures they embrace, and live within, ours with respect and that we return the compliment.
It is to our pride and credit that we, as a nation, have sent our men to battle for the weak and oppressed and opened our arms to them.
Please do not support unfair attitudes to immigration - use your brains and hearts the way God intended.