It would be hard to remain unmoved by the words of Rhianna Berry following her visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau (Spalding Guardian, March 10).
The death camp is a memorial to hatred and bigotry, the willingness to believe that whole races and types of people are less than human, and deserve to be treated as such.
I believe that Rhianna is also justified in making connections to the situation in which we find ourselves in Lincolnshire today.
Many Brexit campaigners are cynically trading on a widespread mood of xenophobia, fired up by often bogus stories in the right-wing press.
They have no intention of discussing the economic challenges facing this country if we leave the EU, the risk to hard-won employment rights and environmental improvements which have taken place thanks to the EU, or the near-certainty that Brexit would mean the break-up of the United Kingdom.
Their mantras are simple and vague: ‘Bring back control from Brussels’, and ‘Take back control of our borders’.
But reading between the lines, we can deduce that the former means something like, ‘Give us back the freedom to take away workers’ rights and ignore climate change’; the latter, ‘Let’s pull up the drawbridge and pretend the rest of Europe is nothing to do with us.’
The EU is desperately in need of reform, we all know that, and most of Europe’s leaders know it but, at this moment, it’s the best option we have to ensure that the UK continues to play a meaningful and responsible part on the world stage.
So, however we choose to vote on June 23, let’s do it for the right reasons, rather than allowing the whole referendum debate to be side-tracked by the battle for the future leadership of the Tory party, or sterile discussions about how many languages you can hear spoken in Spalding town centre. As a nation, we’re better than that.