Minister warns on racism: Must do better

Minister warns on racism: Must do better

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is right to warn about the opportunity protests against direct provision centres offer those who would hijack genuine concern to whip up anti-immigrant, anti-asylum seeker sentiment.

We are a nation of immigrants and we, of all nations, should have an understanding off the vulnerability of those forced to leave their home country to try to build a new life.

However, Mr Flanagan should also recognise the role the Government, in power in one guise or another for almost a decade, has played in this shameful episode. Its failure, so abject it is hard to think it accidental, to provide for refugees in a better way exacerbates the scandal.

Warehousing refugees by the hundred in a remote hotel, where there is little prospect of building a new life even if work was readily available, is unlikely to end successfully. The stultifying inertia around social housing provision throws even more fuel on the fire.

Immigration is a growing fact of life and by not preparing better for that inevitability we play straight into the hands of those racists Mr Flanagan has rightly warned about.

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