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Friday, 20 March 2015

Is migration the Election issue? A Harecourt conversation

Last evening I attended a "conversation" (rather than an election hustings) at Harecourt United Reformed Church with support from Ekklesia think-tank and other agencies, including Housing Justice. The event saw the launch of a report on migration from Rev Vaughan Jones. I have prepared a story using Storify,com which gives you a flavour of the event.

The Ekklesia report draws on Rev Jones' long experience of migration issues - "Migration and the 2015 election: reframing the terms of the debate".


"Both migration and elections are about choices – including, for many who wish to see a more just, peaceful and sustainable world – confronting what is often a depressing lack of palatable options provided by current thinking and vested interests. This paper by Vaughan Jones is about the relationship between migration (usually talked about as ‘immigration’, a one-dimensional term that itself betrays a particular way of looking at the matter) and the 2015 General Election. Its aim is to examine the people and concerns behind migration debates, and to point towards fresh perspectives that challenge deep-seated assumptions: assumptions that lead to less than humane policies and prescriptions, and which mostly ignore the larger geo-political realities impacting people movements. For the fundamental question is one that very few ask: “is migration really the issue?” Or is it a convenient way of avoiding other crucial global and local issues with which politicians find it difficult to engage? One route into these complex and vital concerns is provided by the role and perspective of churches and Christians – as influencers in public moral debate, and as diaspora communities themselves. The way they (alongside other civic groups) press for positive change, challenge widespread misperceptions, display hospitality and hold to a much larger vision can make a significant difference."