‘So where do you stand on Immigration?’ Said a fat man wearing a purple rosette, standing on my doorstep.
‘Uhm, not really sure.’ I replied. ‘Do you mean my immigration?’
He looked me up and down, with a sneer from his moustache. thrown in for good measure. ‘You’re obviously not an immigrant,’ he said with little grace.
‘How’s that?’ I replied.
‘Well you’re white aren’t you. Quite well spoken for a bloke with tattoos.’ He paused as if sending me a deep, meaningful, Freudian compliment. ‘So where do you stand?’
‘Where do you stand?’ I said.
He puffed his chest out, I imagined that a button on his mustard coloured suit was about to pop. ‘Out of control isn’t it’ He said. ‘About time we brought it under control.’ I bent to my doorstep and picked up a mustard coloured button and handed it to him.
I looked at his shiney brown brogues, with their strangely punched holes; back at him. ‘I think that if someone needs help, then if we have the means we should offer help.’ I said.
‘But what if they’re not British? Not entitled.’
‘So we should only offer help to people, if they’re ..... ‘entitled’?’
‘Stands to reason doesn’t it.’
‘Hang on a minute.’ I said and walked back into my house. I returned with a newspaper, showed him the picture of dead women and children floating in the Mediterranean sea. He regarded it a moment, looked up as another button popped. ‘Are they entitled?’ I asked.
‘Course not.’ He said. ‘They’re not British are they, there’s only so much to go round.’ He seemed to reconsider. ‘Well we could send a ship I suppose, take them back where they came from.’
I looked at the pictures again. There were live people in them too, with looks of horror and fear and shock on their faces. ‘I didn’t know you could tell a person’s nationality while they’re floating face down in the sea.’ I said.
‘Look.’ He said. ‘If we help them, they’ll all want to come, won’t they.’
‘Human nature.’ I replied.
He eyed me suspiciously. ‘So you would let them all come?’
‘Have you ever been out of this country?’ I said.
‘Of course, I’ve been to the south of France many times.’
‘Imagine.’ I said. ‘You and your family live on a planet, that has vast wealth and resources, but you live on a part of the planet that has little or none of that. Where murderous regimes hound you and your family, where you worry on the one hand about being able to feed your children and on the other that in the dead of night someone may come and snatch your daughters and you would never see them again. Would you leave, at any cost?’
‘Of course I would.’ He said. ‘We’re British aren’t we?’
‘Would you get into a rubber dinghy and take your chances, regardless of the dangers, on the off chance that you might find a better life for your family?’
‘Yes.’ He looked down at his feet and back at me. Another button popped. He looked sideways and changed the subject. ‘So what are your politics?’ He said.