So how do you feel about immigrants now?
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So how do you feel about immigrants now?

SO how do you feel about the immigrants now?

How do the look-after-our-own brigade, the little Ireland crew, feel now as they watch the Filipino nurses and the Pakistani doctors and cleaners going in to work?

How do all those who, for the love of their country, can manage a few pints and the waving of a flag feel now as someone born somewhere else helps to save the lives of their loved ones?

Do you think they’ll ever realise that just being born somewhere is not an achievement?

And what of you over there in the UK?

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How do you Brexit loving, taking-our-country-back people feel now?

How do you feel about the immigrants that staff the NHS?

Are you sorting it out in your mind by some kind of system whereby there are good immigrants and bad ones? Is that working for you?

And as you clap for the nurses and doctors and change your social media profile to an NHS-supporting symbol do you ever think about the incoherence of doing that whilst voting for Conservative governments that consistently undermine and dismantle that very NHS?

A Conservative Party that opposed the actual setting up of the NHS?

How do you feel about your support for a Prime Minister who in 2017 gleefully voted against giving those very same nurses a pay rise? Alongside Matt Hancock, Michael Gove, Priti Patel, and all 10 DUP MPs.

I ask, not because these are wild opinions of mine you can counter with facts, but because these are the facts, these are the truths.

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Indeed, the full amendment those Tories cheeringly voted against was ‘end cuts to the police and the fire service; commend the response of the emergency services to the recent terrorist attacks and to the Grenfell Tower fire; call on the Government to recruit more police officers and fire fighters; and further call on the Government to end the public sector pay cap and give the emergency and public services a fair pay rise’.

Look out the window and you can see the immigrants going to work in the hospitals.

Look up the list of those who voted against the nurses and look at the history of the Conservative Party back to the foundation of the NHS up until this day.

And then think about your clapping and your social media symbols and your lit candles and compare it with your voting preferences and your love of Brexit and your lazy hostility to those in your country who don’t look or dress or pray like you.

And I ask that not as an Irishman but on behalf of all those decent and kind and caring British people bewildered as to the nature of their own country.

Its not something I ever really write about but in these extraordinary times I ask too because for nine years I worked for the NHS.

I worked all the shifts and the long hours and those nights when you can barely throw yourself into bed as the morning light comes into the room.

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I worked in an NHS that for all of its mismanagement and human failings worked without prejudice against wallet, skin, political belief or faith.

To say I worked for the NHS remains one of the proudest things I can ever say about myself.

And because I need to support a family I work to this day, in this country, in that same nursing job amongst these beloved hills and lanes and I have done that job, all told, for nearly thirty years now. It doesn’t make me special.

Believe me it doesn’t. It doesn’t make me particularly gifted or kind or anything above anyone else. I don’t have any special qualities.

What it does make me though is someone who’s employment attracts an enormous amount of easy platitudes and sentimentality.

And I can see why. Because platitudes and sentimentality are easier than thinking deeply about something and acting accordingly.

If you are anti-immigrant or voting in favour of those who diminish the job of care then I hope you can understand how your clapping and praise might sound just that little bit hollow.

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These are truly tough days and simply as human beings we are all in this together.

But incoherent thinking is still incoherent, prejudice is still prejudice, racism is still racism, and the Tories are still Tories.

As sure as I hope every single one of us gets through this those are just the facts.