Shazia Mirza in New Statesman:
Hate and lies are all the rage. Everyone’s at it. “Obama is the founder of ISIS!” and everyone believes the Trump. “We’re at breaking point” – look, here’s a poster of lots of brown men that look just like your dad, cousin and brother. If you vote out, all these scavengers that come over here for the good life, they’ll be gone in the morning.Hate is fashionable. It’s flourishing in the comments section of the Daily Mail, Facebook, and this morning I saw some photographs on Twitter of Madonna’s cellulite with the comment: “I thought grandma had died of AIDS.”When people are unhappy, discontent and disillusioned with their own life, they want someone to blame. Once we blamed Yoko Ono. Now we blame refugees. They caused Brexit; they are destroying the NHS, housing, transport, and education. They can’t seem to do any good or make any valuable contribution.
Well, some people might be surprised to hear that Syrian refugees are not coming to Britain for the food, weather and £65.45 a week, which couldn’t even get you a night out at the cinema. They’re not coming because they want to find Harry Potter, drink tea and watch drunk people rolling down every high street looking for their teeth on a Friday night. No. These people want to live. When I was a teacher, I taught in some very challenging schools where a lot of the children had difficult and unstable parents. But no matter how awful their parents, the child always wanted to remain with them. They would rather be with their own volatile parent than with a kind, caring stranger. Refugees would love to remain in their homeland. The place they know and where their family life has been. But they are forced to leave out of desperation.