Then there was my mother. She was born in Oldham, Lancashaire. Her dad was born in Dublin and fought in the the cavalry in World War One. His health was ruined by exposure to poison gas. Both were immigrants. Both were proud of their ancestry, but also proud of their efforts to preserve democracy. My Grnadfather was from a fmily of staunch Irish republicans, but as an intelligent man, viewed the expansionist ambitions of Germany as a threat to the world.
So my family has very strong immagrant connections. I consider myself to be a Londoner and an Englishman. I support the English football team and the English cricket team. By the Norman Tebbit test, I am English. My dad was very definately Australian. My Grandfather was most definately Irish. Both made a huge contribution to this country.
What has this got to do with the price of fish? Well I was disgusted to see that our local Conservative GLA candidate, Councillor Dan Thomas, has taken to twitter to insult them and the millions of other people who have chosen to make the UK their home in the last century. Mr Thomas posted the following tweet
Mr Thomas implied that people such as my father and my grandfather are something to be feared. Twitter is a very blunt instrument and Thomas has insulted all manner of people. Polish and Czech fighter pilots who settled here after the battle of Britain. Asian Ugandans who have built businesess after being depaort d with nothing from Uganda. All of the magnificent staff in the NHS who were not born here, but keep the service running.
Mr Thomas is not English. He was born in Wales. He moved to London because he believed his career prospects were better. Good luck to him, I have no problem with immigrants from anywhere. Mr Thomas likes to consider himself British, which is a great thing to be. However he really should think his views through to their logical conclusion. When my Grandfather joined the British army, Ireland was part of the UK. Independence came later. If the UK goes for the Brexit option, it is not inconcievable that Wales will decide to remain in the EU and turn its back on the UK. Mr Thomas may be faced with the choice between having a Welsh EU passport or an English non EU passport. The logical conclusion for many of Brexit is that the UK will cease to exists and Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will quit the Union and become independent EU members.
My Grandfather found himself on the end of much anti Irish prejudice following Irish Independence. Mr Thomas is totally wrong to stir up antipathy of migrants on Twitter. It insults all manner of har working people in London and most of our ancestors. If he has aspirations to be a serious politician, he should think through his tweets. Otherwise he runs the risk of not only being offensive, but also of being exposed as a hypocrite.