Friday 2 December 2016

It's not racist to want to control national borders

It's hysterical to suggest the English have turned xenophobic and anti-immigrant

Published 23/10/2016 | 02:30

Vexed questions: Polls reveal that 60pc of first and second-generation migrants want to see immigration reduced Photo: AP Photo/Amel Emric
Vexed questions: Polls reveal that 60pc of first and second-generation migrants want to see immigration reduced Photo: AP Photo/Amel Emric

There have been some pretty mad articles written recently by Irish journalists about Brexit, but palm goes to Kathy Sheridan of The Irish Times.

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Her first illustration of why she believes the Leavers are moving "ever closer to a religious movement, as authoritarian, fanatical and swivel-eyed as any rogue cleric", was the tale of a Conservative councillor in a Surrey suburb who launched a petition to make supporting EU membership an act of treason. She said nothing about his suspension by his local party leader - who described the petition as "crass" and "stupid" - or its withdrawal.

In The Guardian, Eimear McBride, winner of the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, said the Brexit vote had turned its back on a union "forged to overcome the rank, jingoistic nationalism that wreaked such havoc across the continent and the world in the 20th century" and failed to give priority to maintaining the peace in Northern Ireland - "a web of hope… carelessly, thoughtlessly jeopardised by a handful of bloviating careerists unashamed to found fear and division in British society in order to achieve their personal ambitions".

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