Language is powerful. Words can influence, shape the debate and create thought. And that’s why politicians have a responsibility to society to use their words in a constructive manner. Yet, I have been dismayed by the political rhetoric over the last few days. Where policies are mentioned, that would marginalise people, divide communities.
My grandparents were immigrants. My grandad arrived in England, in 1930s. He first worked in London, helping to construct part of the London Underground. Building our infrastructure. He then moved to Coventry, where he was employed by Daimler car company, which during World War II changed to making military vehicles. He was working in the factory in 1940 when it was bombed & destroyed by German Lufwaffe. During the war, at night he was a voluntary fire watcher. He worked for Daimler until the 1950s and then became a publican until 1970s. My grandad helped build the British economy. His son, my dad, became a teacher, first a science teacher and then eventually a head teacher. He taught generations of children who became doctors, teachers, nurses…who all contribute to the British economy and British society.
There will be similar stories to mine. I am the grandaughter of migrants. Migrants who have contributed to the British economy, our society. And it’s positive. We don’t hear enough of the positives. And that’s what politicians should be doing. Change the conversation,change the debate and you can change attitudes and perceptions. It’s time we concentrated on the positive acknowledge the issues, but find solutions.
Politicians have a civic duty to build cohesion in communities.