Migrants and Citizens
Theresa May visits Al Madina Mosque

A citizen’s lament

From 5,000 miles away, I no longer recognize my country.  At first glance I thought the newspaper headlines were a joke: promises of forcing firms to publish “Foreign Workers’ Lists” too obviously fascist to be anything more than… Read More

benefit tourists1800-600

Do we need to worry about Benefit Tourists?

In a week when The Guardian attracted global attention for reporting that ‘thousand of Britons on benefits across EU’, and Philip Hammond, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, made headlines for claiming that Britain is ‘wide open’ to EU freeloaders,  immigration and welfare are… Read More


Immigration and Inequality: The Courage of Convictions

  This first appeared at Open Democracy In May 2014, the victory of UKIP (the UK Independence Party) in topping European Election polls was marred only by its evident failure to make inroads in London: its candidates there secured… Read More

numbers immigration border

Migration by numbers

Today is International Migrants’ Day.  To mark it, I could easily write you a thousand words on the injustices suffered by refugees and asylum-seekers; on the fears that have seen anti-immigration parties rise across Europe; on the everyday… Read More

low skilled california migration

Why “low skilled” migrants can be “good” migrants too

Pantomime season began early this week, set to the beat of a calypso drum. And part of the soap-opera drama of UK immigration politics – all dodgy peerages and unpaid bills this week – surely stems from the… Read More

From Far Away

One of the reasons why I’ve struggled to write in the past few months is that this has been a year of transitions. A transatlantic, transcontinental move form London to San Francisco, and a career shift from full-time… Read More

On Elections

 From 5000 miles away, the EU elections being held today seem unreal. Much like the antics of the Tea Party observed from Britain, the surge of support for UKIP and Nigel Farage plays out like a pantomime farce:… Read More


Let 500 in.  2.3 million Syrian refugees, and Britain can find room for 500.  Not any refugees, of course – only the ‘most vulnerable’; the ‘most traumatised’; the rape victims; the children who need medical support.  And on… Read More

An Apology

 Saying sorry when you’re English is habitual.  But in the last year, I’ve found myself saying sorry more often than I used to. Saying sorry to my long-time Bulgarian friend (she with the M.Phil from Cambridge).  Saying sorry… Read More

New Ideas, Old Politics and Real Progress

It wasn’t déjà vu when I turned on the radio on Sunday morning to hear Ed Miliband presenting Labour’s “new” immigration policies: more the discomfort of hearing discordant, distorted versions of new ideas sold short. Over the past… Read More


The UK migration debate: Lessons from America

(first published via Open Democracy) Liberal Britain comforts itself with the idea that, however bad things may get, it’s worse in America. The death penalty; gun control; worker’s rights; healthcare; abortion – how easy to smugly list the… Read More

A National Health Service? The Migrant Levy – and Why Citizens Should Care

Should foreigners pay to use the NHS? At first glance, it’s not so unreasonable. After all, as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt points out, it’s a National Health Service. And as the Department of Health’s consultation paper, released today,… Read More