At the time of writing, the House of Commons is considering amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill.

This was introduced by the Home Secretary in March 2023 with the words: “It will allow us to stop the boats that are bringing tens of thousands to our shores in flagrant breach of both our laws and the will of the British people.”

I have issues with this statement. By putting the boats ahead of people, we dehumanise the people coming to our shores in this dangerous way. Secondly, please, not in my name. We cannot claim this is the will of all British people.

I realise the issue of immigration is difficult and if there was a humane and simple solution it would have been found.

I also acknowledge that some people trying to reach Britain will be economic migrants, but not all.

Even that begs the question: “Why should I enjoy the economic benefits of living in the UK and deny them to other people who just didn’t happen to be born here?”

I also wonder about the benefits of detention. Yes if we have migrants in detention centres we know where they are, but at what human and economic cost?

Would it be better to let asylum seekers work while their claims are being processed and so contribute to the economy?

Get unlimited access to the Helensburgh Advertiser's online content:

Perhaps the fact that I ask such questions shows so much naivety that it is obvious I am not a politician.

It may not surprise you that, as a Christian, I begin my day with reading the Bible and prayer.

This morning the passage was from Matthew 25: 31 – 46.

It is the parable of the judging of the nations. The king separates the nations to his right and left and commends those on his right for their humanity. Indeed for their care of himself.

They ask when had they tended to the king. The king replies, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Likewise when he condemns those on his left for being inhumane, he says, ‘Just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

I truly believe that how we treat one human being reflects how we think of all humanity, and I hope and pray we can find a humane and simple way to help those who come to this land by whatever means they travel.