Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Our Future Free from Racism

2014 has been a great year for Scotland, and one where we have celebrated and embraced diversity. Over the summer 71 teams from 53 members of the Commonwealth came together in Glasgow for the best ever Commonwealth Games, which saw sports successes alongside cultural celebrations.

It is quite right that Glasgow, where we made the pioneering decision to grant Nelson Mandela the Freedom of the City and James McCune Smith studied at the University of Glasgow, who was the first African American to receive a university medical degree, celebrated diversity at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. We all came together for that anthem of universal brotherhood – Freedom Come All Ye, as sung by the South African singer Pumeza.

As people embrace diversity, it is disappointing to hear the hostile political rhetoric coming from certain political parties. There has been the terrible spectre of the ‘Go Home’ vans and the use of dangerous and inflamatory language from senior politicians such as ‘swamped’ and ‘inundated’ to describe immigration.

The two Westminster parties are fighting each other to out-UKIP UKIP. Politicians of all political persuasion have a responsibility to ensure that they don’t succumb to the temptation of populism for cheap political gain.

I am the proud son of immigrants, and am pleased that the Government I am part of and the party I represent believes that migrants from across the world have made outstanding contributions to Scotland and will always be welcome to our country.

It is vital that we all stand united in defiance of racism, and the St. Andrew’s Day rally is an integral part of this country’s anti-racism effort. I would like to say to all the elements who wish to divide us and cause hatred – you will never be welcome to Scotland, not now, not ever. No Pasaran.

Humza Yousaf
Minster for External Affairs and International Development

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