It’s not racism – it’s frustration

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
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If you didn’t set limits on your spending every month, the chances are you would soon find that your finances were way out of control.

Without a check and balance on hot Doritos in our house, my daughter would happily munch her way through ten packets a week and don’t even get me started on the regulations that I have had to put in place when it comes to gadget usage.

My point is that we are all human and temptation without restraint or restriction is impossible to resist for many.

It’s the same with immigration; if you were offered the promise of an infinitely better life, in another country, without constraint, wouldn’t you grab it with both hands?

Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, refuses to admit that his government let in too many people, too fast, from eastern Europe and still insists today that it has had a “net benefit” on the UK.

He misses the point though, as his predecessor, Gordon Brown did when confronted by a woman in Blackburn; he labelled her a ‘bigot,’ for merely expressing her genuine concern.

Most people in this country are not racists and most people are not against immigration and the benefits that it brings - After all we are all immigrants in one shape or another – It has been the speed and volume of immigration which has worried so many and the huge effects that it has had on society which has caused so much consternation.

It’s the main reason why so many people voted to leave the EU in this city; It’s not racism, it’s frustration.

Peterborough and the surrounding area has borne the brunt of this seismic shift in population and continues to cope with the aftermath of it today, as our public services creak under the weight of numbers.

That pressure caused many of our hospitals to cry for help last week and I saw first-hand, after an impromptu trip to casualty, just how overstretched and overworked our incredible health professionals are.

I received fantastic care in the city hospital, amidst a hazy blur of nurses, consultants and doctors, who seemed to be constantly racing up and down corridors, flitting from one patient to another, in packed waiting rooms that refused to empty.

The sheer volume of people that they were treating was astonishing, but never did I witness anything other than complete professionalism and compassion.

Peterborough MP, Stewart Jackson, called on Jeremy Corbyn, to apologise for “the record levels of immigration” and its impact on public services in the city, during the Labour leader’s visit to Peterborough this week.

Kettle, pot, black any-one?

Stewart’s government has hardly got a handle on the issue in the last six years, with targets constantly missed and numbers increasing.

The fact is politicians from all sides are guilty of creating a problem that didn’t need to exist. With proper planning and a little bit of common sense most of the troubles associated with immigration could have been averted.

Many, like Mr Jackson, think that Brexit will be a panacea for all our ills but if it is handled in the same cack-handed and ill-considered manner then god help us all.

It won’t be doctor’s appointments and school places that you will be worrying about, it will be whether you can afford a loaf of bread or a pint of milk.