I attended the Annual Civic Service in Helston on Sunday and the service was both entertaining and thought provoking.
The theme, chosen by the new Mayor, Cllr Gillian Geer, and Reverend Daniel Reed, was ‘Love your Neighbour’ and Daniel challenged us all to put on a safety pin. Daniel’s challenge to wear a safety pin is a very simple application and a very powerful and timely one.
In recent weeks racism, both here and abroad, has reared its ugly head once more. We have not become a racist country overnight. It has always simmered away in the background of a largely tolerant Britain. However, any incident of racism or xenophobia is abhorrent and we must stand firm against it.
This is why Daniel is encouraging us to take up the simple practice of wearing a safety pin. We are doing something to show solidarity with immigrants living in the UK.
By putting a pin on, we are pledging to stand up and make a difference. It can’t just be an empty gesture. We are offering a hand of friendship and a safe place for people who may feel unwelcome and fearful.
The EU referendum exposed something that lies beneath the surface. Now is the time to deal with it ‘once and for all’.
Now that the leadership race is over we have a new Prime Minister and an opportunity to set out clearly what kind of United Kingdom we want to be.
Racism has no place here.