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Grantham Journal column: Racism or free speech?

By Dr Gillian Sutherland

Peter Clawson.
Peter Clawson.

Racism in all its forms is, of course, one of the ugliest and most vile of human failings, but also I believe, by accident or design, too often misunderstood.

Sometimes I’m not even sure myself what is racist and what is free speech, so here are a few questions which need clearing up in my own mind.

Firstly, if our country is so highly populated already that its infrastructure is bursting at the seams, are we wrong to impose temporary curbs on immigration, even from the EU? Against the rules? If other European member states can get away with it, why can’t we?

Maybe we could allow those who genuinely want to come here and be British, to join us, but temporarily ban those simply aiming to recreate a new ‘home from home’ to suit themselves at the expense of our cherished traditional way of life.

As long as we don’t exploit them by making them slave for less than the legal minimum wage as some employers do now, that would be okay by us, wouldn’t it?

That’s common sense in my book. However, on a more personal level a number of other problems have been bothering me. I have many friends who have made Britain their home with the best intentions and have done just that.

Just like Olympic champion Mo Farah and others like him they are more than welcome, but unfortunately too many others with extremist views have managed to sneak in under the radar, bent on destroying the way of life I was brought up to believe was the best in the world.

Yes, I am unashamedly patriotic, although I know some unpalatable drawbacks have come to light in recent years, even in Grantham. But am I really racist to want these terrorist monsters to be banished from these shores forever?


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