Shelley Poole is the author of Lily White, a novel set in 2043, in a future where Britain has deported most immigrants and become extremely isolationist.
Russell Phillips: What prompted you to write Lily White? Were you concerned that the BNP or a similar party might gain real political power?
Shelley Poole: When I started writing Lily White, there was a rash of news coverage about the far-right gaining political ground. At the same time, politicians from the mainstream parties were trying to out-tough each other on the subject of immigration, whilst also oversimplifying the debate. For example, when was the last time you heard a politician seriously talking about the differences between political and economic, illegal and legal, EU and non-EU immigration, and the real advantages and disadvantages to our society, economy, etc.? I certainly do not claim to have all the answers, but it struck me that with all the rhetoric, we are at risk of forgetting that immigrants are people. I was inspired to write because if I’m still around in 2043, I do not want to live in a Britain that resembles that of Lily White.