ONE have asked me to sign the pledge below which I am happy to do:
Ending extreme poverty is in our hands. Together, we can make sure it is virtually eliminated by 2030. In the next 5 years, we need to build support for the poorest countries, especially through investments in agriculture, healthcare and access to energy, and to make governments and businesses transparent and accountable. As a representative of the [British] people, I will make sure we keep our promises in the fight against extreme poverty, and help ensure that our laws make it easier for the world’s poor to lift themselves out of poverty.
As part of our campaigning for a fairer society here we must not forget the appalling levels of poverty in other countries. Sometimes on the doorstep when talking to voters I hear the view that foreign aid should be cut and that immigration should be stopped, a view which I find short sighted, contradictory and frankly offensive. Fortunately it is also a view that is simple to challenge.
There is are reasons that people want to come to live in this country and almost all migrants come here to have a better quality of life, to earn money or to escape persecution. Many of them come as a result of direct recruitment campaigns by us to fill posts that we need.
It is quite simple, unless we support other countries to get rid of extreme poverty and oppression, then not only will be doing a disservice to humanity we will be increasing the need for people to migrate. Supporting other countries is not a nice-to-do, it is a must do.