Walking in the shoes of the oppressed and demonised – letter to the editor

There is barely a day that passes where I don’t get more angry and more ashamed in equal measure about this so-called government. Their policies are like something from a dystopian novel. 

I am a straight, white cis man, so really I have nothing to fear from their political games. However, I actually take time to get to know the targets of this vicious regime’s hate campaigns. My wife and I attended a vigil for Brianna Ghey a few weeks ago in Plymouth to pay our respects and to show support to a community who are genuinely the kindest, nicest people I have met in life. They even offered to walk us back to our car.

It was then that I realised how utterly terrified they are because of the current “culture wars”(reminiscent of the anti-gay rhetoric of the 1980s which also came from a Tory government and right wing media, section 28 anyone?). All of the lies spread by this disgusting government mean they are constantly at risk of attacks by far-right, radicalised extremists and are just utterly terrified.

I have never been scared to walk alone at night, it’s an alien concept to me because, as I said, I am a straight white male: a pure accident of birth. The realisation that this community faces something so awful daily through no fault of their own really affected me. It’s sick and wrong that they are vilified for just being themselves. 

I have also met asylum seekers, too, and it truly is humbling. One man I met had the exact same qualifications as I do. We can’t get qualified people to do my job for love nor money. The last people to apply externally and not need training in my NHS department were my wife and I back in 2016. But this man, this lovely kind and intelligent man could not apply for any of our myriad of vacancies because the Home Office barred him from work whilst being processed. He was ashamed that he had to claim benefits and could not work to look after his family or pay us back for taking him in and literally saving his life. That is not only bad for him but a massive act of national self harm.

This government chooses targets who have no voice to distract us from the wholesale industrialised fraud and corruption which is the real cause of this nation’s problems. Asylum seekers aren’t the problem, the government and its cronies are. The government and its compliant press use the language of genocide against both immigrants and Trans people to rile up the very same vulnerable British people who have had their lives ruined by this government and its policies, and who then direct that anger at the wrong targets.

This government is sick and its policy of othering and demonisation is now affecting real life  in events like the attack at the immigration hotel a few weeks ago, followed shortly by the hate crime murder of Brianna Ghey. 

This government has blood on its hands and unless we speak up and give those it wrongly demonises a voice, then we are all complicit. The Labour leadership are no better – pandering to anti-immigration and anti-trans organisations. You could barely slide a sheet of A4 paper between the policies of our far right Tory party and the supposed progressive Labour party right now.

Something has to give and we have to force Labour at very least to speak out, say it’s wrong. Evil only flourishes when good people stay silent. 

The author wished to remain anonymous but is known to the editor as bona fide.