Its always fascinating to be told what we want or how we think by out of touch, arrogant party politicians or indeed anyone else who claims to know our mind. This morning on Radio 4 the task fell to the MP for Berwick, Anne-Marie Trevelyan speaking, surprise surprise about Europe. The need for Politicans to get to grips with basic psychology if they are ever to go beyond the safety and security of their own cosy worldview, is vital. Of course Ms Trevelyan may not wish to do so! She claims that the British people want to control their own borders, or in reality what she means is that the British people want to ask people like her to control our borders. In the run up to a referendum or election, telling people what they want is at best unhelpful. The fact is that Ms Trevelyan knows almost nothing about the British people apart from the few she has spoken to. In the last 24 hours I had an email from a friend wanting help to advise him as his daughter and new son in law are attempting to grapple with our borders. His email went:
“Sorry to trouble you but this is a personal request for any contacts you may have that possess expertise with regard to UK immigration. My daughter and American son-in-law are wanting to return to live in the UK but are finding the current UK immigration requirements something of a quagmire. I am looking for access to information/advice to help us through this process. Willing to pay for the necessary expertise of course. Any advice very welcome.”
So for my friend at least, stopping immigrants from entering the UK is not the issue that the MP for Berwick suggests it is. Its a bit like housing, I recognise that housing the 1-3 Million people who are inadequately housed is vital. On the other hand many people including at least one person who often reads my blogs would argue that building homes in their area has been a bad experience. Others believe that the view from their home matters more than anything else, and woe betide anyone who wants to live in a house that spoils that view. What we need are leaders who listen, learn and who demonstrate that there are a myriad of views on many of the big issues, just as there is on the trivia of where speed humps are installed (etc). I don’t want to be told what I want or think. I may be alone in that, but Anne-Marie Trevelyan, reminds me of the worst kind of party politician.