DAY in, day out, we hear about the dire shortages of doctors, nurses, ambulance and lorry drivers etc, with no qualified workers to fill the gaps.

At the same time we see daily, pictures of desperate refugees from war-torn areas arriving on our shores, only to be herded like cattle into an old, derelict army barracks until Priti Patel and co work out how to get rid of them.

The fact that these folk have fled for their lives from a situation that we can barely imagine does not preclude there being fully qualified personnel among them who could fill these vacancies, at least while we have this dire need of workers in so many fields and while their asylum claims are being processed. They could be housed, meanwhile, in some of the many unoccupied homes the MOD owns around the country and at least be treated with dignity as valuable human beings.

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Of course, they are “foreigners” and as such, not fit to treat Great British patients etc. Better to let our desperately ill lie in corridors untreated and our supermarket shelves lie empty than descend to that level.

Instead of these parochial, exceptionalist attitudes, how about a bit of joined-up thinking that combines self-interest, pragmatism and compassion, or is that too much to expect of a Tory government?

P Davidson