Is the UK losing the will to welcome the world? 

Around the world we are watching many politicians gaining popularity by dividing us – by feeding fear and hate. WOMAD, our world music festival, was established to celebrate the richness and magic of all our cultural differences and clearly demonstrate the stupidity of racism.
The right to travel for work, for education and even for pleasure is increasingly being restricted and often along racial and religious lines. It is alarming, that our UK festival would now have real problems bringing artists into this country who no longer want to come to the UK because of the difficulty, cost and delays with visas, along with the new fear that they will not be welcomed.

WOMAD Festival 2018 by Garry Jones

There have been, and continue to be, good people within the Foreign Office who try to help us every year, but the warnings are becoming clearer, if we want a country which is open to people with ideas, traditions, food and culture different from our own we have to change the current visa processes and costs and find ways to turn back the growing anti-foreigner tide.

Berlin in the thirties is the subject of my holiday reading. It’s quite disturbing to see the ease with which a populist movement can put up barriers while feeding fear and distrust.

Musicians travel for a living and almost everywhere I have travelled I have been met with a welcome, with kindness and with generosity. Do we really want a white breaded, Brexited flatland? A country that is losing the will to welcome the world?

– Peter Gabriel

Further reading in The Guardian