Over the years, Britain has done more to provide refuge to the dispossessed through steadfast faith in humanity, justice and fairness. Britain is a nation perfectly made for cultural diversity, exemplifying what can be achieved as a beacon of hope if we work together.

I say that because when we look at our multicultural Britain, we see people of all or no faith practise their beliefs freely. 

The progress can be attributed directly to the goodwill of the British and what is salient about most immigrants to respect the law, hard work, family values and enterprise. 

The British benevolence has been paid back manifold economically and culturally by the immigrants.

As I was not born here, talking about immigration feels uncomfortable, especially when speaking to indigenous British people. I sometimes think it’s not my place to have strong views which I don’t hold despite Britain having been my home for the past five decades and the only home for my children and grandchildren.

But to see British people and the nation I highly respect dragged into an irrational conversation about immigration means I have to say something by asking for kindness and unbiasedness when discussing the issue. 

Britain is not the only country rightly wanting to limit immigration because it is an issue for all nations and people, black or white. Being against uncontrolled immigration does not make you nasty or a racist.

Yet we must not forget immigration has become a complex issue. 

So, we must develop novel, radical, pragmatic policies by addressing the underlying reasons instead of regurgitating the same old tired ones.  

We can do both: uphold human rights and still have stronger borders.

Similarly, politicians exploiting tensions to get elected by tarnishing bona fide immigrants who have made Britain their home or vilifying genuine asylum seekers is not the answer. It is despairing and the fault of the main political parties for worsening the situation.

No country can have open borders. But the reality is that we can have a constructive grown-up debate on immigration and be compassionate. 

I am appealing to all politicians to think before they speak.