Commenting on Ed Miliband's Labour Party political brodcast about immigration (6 March 2013), Simon Barrow, co-director of the Christian thinktank Ekklesia, said:
"Anti-immigration politics in Britain is a downward spiral of prejudice, suspicion, scapegoating, nastiness and misinformation. Mr Miliband would be extremely misguided to doorstep this territory rather than to challenge it.
"Blaming 'foreigners' and low-paid workers from other countries for domestic problems caused by austerity, inequality and injustice is deeply mistaken, and only encourages those who wish to use racist sentiments to foster division and capitalise on it politically.
"Low pay, lack of jobs, labour exploitation, housing shortages, educational disadvantage, inadequate support for communities in transition, regional inequalities and the failure to address the global problems that cause forced people movements - these are the real issues that politicians need to address, rather than dumping them at the door of a minority of people labelled and despised as 'immigrants'.
"As the main political parties enter a discreditable race to compete for anti-immigration votes, it is up to civic groups, churches, charities and those who want to work for a just and welcoming society to develop and advocate alternatives at local, national, regional and global levels."
Also from Ekklesia:
* Migration: Why a broader view is needed, by Vaughan Jones. http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/12034
* Comment: We need a positive approach to migration: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17659
* More realism needed on global migration, says think tank: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/5616