Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
James O'Brien caller: 'I voted Remain and I want the borders to shut'
2 February 2021, 11:39
This caller cannot understand why Boris Johnson has not closed the UK borders during the pandemic, telling James O'Brien he voted Remain and believes in free movement - but even he wants border control.
A door-to-door testing blitz of 80,000 people is underway in England in an attempt to find "every single case" of the South Africa coronavirus variant.
The plans are part of urgent efforts to halt the spread of the strain after 11 cases were discovered in people with no links to travel.
James asked listeners why the Government "still" has not closed the borders despite the emergence of the new mutation and, tragically, the world's highest daily death toll.
John from Manchester commented that it was perplexing borders have not been closed post-Brexit when "right now there's never been a bigger appetite" to do so.
James agreed: "It's surreal! Every anti-racist in the country is saying it's wise. But actually we're not shutting the borders to faceless foreigners, are we? We're shutting the borders to club class business travellers and Tory donors and people who can afford to visit the Caribbean for Christmas, or people who've got second homes somewhere sunnier."
"So it was never about controlling about controlling our borders, it was always about making it harder for some people in the hope of making unhappy people happier."
The caller said the Government has got the strongest mandate of all time to close the borders - to which James surmised, "So they never wanted to close our borders or control our borders, they wanted to performatively discriminate against people in other countries."
John agreed: "This man does not believe a single thing he's says. He doesn't believe it, if he believed it, he'd have actioned it and he'd have actioned it quickly.
"I voted Remain and I'm passionate about people collaborating...I'm saying shut the borders. There's an overwhelming mandate to shut the borders. Use the means, Boris, that you've got to shut the borders otherwise what are you doing?"
James posited that it may be a "waste of time" to decipher why UK borders have not been shut during the pandemic and instead the PM may be "sitting on his hands doing naff all."
James said: "Keeping out unidentified foreigners who make a large net contribution to the country's economic health, that's a great thing, keeping out a virus that's killing us a rate no other country is currently enduring, that's controversial."