Please don’t vote UKIP

  

Yes, it’s another one of those anti-UKIP blog posts telling you all the same stuff again. No doubt it’ll either be ignored (written, as it is, on a blog which has fewer readers than the Lib Dems now have voters), ridiculed or the subject of a police complaint.

I want to start with a bit of background, though. If there’s one thing UKIP are good at it is pointing the finger at it critics and saying that they are clearly art of the “liberal elite establishment” and are “out of touch with the British public” (or if, like me, they live in Scotland, they are “dangerous Scottish nationalists”).

Here’s why I am none of those things.

I was born in an RAF hospital in, what was then, West Germany, to parents who both proudly served with the RAF (and I am also proud of them for doing so). From the ages of 2-11 I lived in East Tilbury, a small town in the parliamentary constituency of Thurrock, one of UKIP’s main targets and the place they chose to launch their manifesto. My parents did rather well during the Thatcher era and even took advantage of her right to buy scheme with the council house we lived in. I went to a boys’ grammar school, something UKIP are keen to bring back into the education system.

When I was 11 we moved to West Malling, in another UKIP target seat, Tonbridge and Malling. I moved on to a higher education college (which is now a university) in Canterbury where I met the woman I would marry and have three children with. Through her I also became another type of person UKIP rather like, a Christian.

Myself and my wife have worked hard through the years to raise a family and pay the bills. My longest period of unemployment in over 20 years is a week and I have had jobs such as washing dishes in a hotel kitchen, working in various shops, lab technician on an inland oilfield, trainee estate agent (I was awful) and have found my place now as a customer service coach at a wealth management company. I have worked some horrible jobs rather than go unemployed and have spent the last 12 years in the financial services industry, an industry Nigel Farage knows all about.

I, too, am thoroughly disaffected by the main three parties and, after being a Labour and Lib Dem member earlier in my life, have recently joined a party on the fringes, away from the establishment. The Scottish Greens. Yes, they campaigned for a yes vote in the independence referendum, but I didn’t. I have no strong views one way or the other on the matter and, being English, am certainly not a nationalist.

I now live, obviously in Scotland. Specifically, I live in UKIP’s main target north of the border, Falkirk, frequented by their larger than life MEP David Coburn.

The point of all of that life history? Well, it’s my way of saying that not only am I not a member of any liberal elite establishment, not only am I not totally out of touch with working people in Britain (with me being one), but I am virtually UKIP’s target audience. I’ve lived most of my life in three of their target seats, have worked hard all my life, I am a Christian and I am proud of my family’s ties to the armed forces.

Yet, I totally oppose almost everything they stand for.

You see, they say they are standing up for the working man and woman, but many of their leadership are from that same elite that they claim to oppose.

They have valid arguments about the EU. It is full of petty bureaucracy and unelected decision makers. However, it has also been a force for peace in a post WWII world, it has opened up trade between EU countries and the chance for all EU citizens, including Britons, to seek new opportunities in other countries. The EU badly needs to change, but to leave it rather than be central to its improvement is horrible short sighted and insular.

They say that they stand  for Christian values, yet seem to be very muddled on what those values are. They talk about fighting people trafficking by, you’ve guessed it, leaving the EU. They talk about putting advisers into foodbanks with no clear strategy on actually ending the need for foodbanks. They talk about freedom to worship, yet I manage along to Church once or more a week totally unhindered (unlike millions around the world). They talk about breaking a dependency on benefits without addressing the issue of those who will always be dependent on them through no fault of their own. 

Most importantly, for a party who claims to be proud of our Judeo-Christian heritage, they don’t speak of the one thing Jesus put at the heart of his teachings. The one thing Paul tells is is the most important gift. Love.

UKIP’s success is not built on love. It is not built on moving forward together, for the common good. It is not built on looking out for the weakest in society. It is not built on one body, working together for a common aim. No, their success is built on fear and hatred.

Their argument on the EU is concentrated on immigration. This is a cause for concern for many, but it’s been greatly caused by the type of rhetoric and language used by UKIP in their campaigning. They talk about immigrants coming over for benefits, despite migrants claiming less in benefits per head than UK citizens. They talk about health tourism, something there is no evidence for. They talk about a strain on public services, services their taxes go towards paying for. They put up posters with fingers pointing at you, telling you that migrants are after your job. They claim to have nothing against migrants themselves, but attract people to the party who want to “send them all home”. Fear of the unknown, tribalism and xenophobia are the staple of UKIP’s tactics.

They find different groups and demonise them, attack them, ridicule them, tell anyone who’ll listen that they are the enemy, the cause of all our ills. Migrants (especially Eastern Europeans), lefties, the BBC, the EU, asylum seekers, Muslims, Scotland (especially the SNP), Greens, pollsters are all out to curb our freedoms, steal our money, shut down debate. Only UKIP can save us!

Divide and conquer. It’s worked well for many and now UKIP are taking advantage. All the while they act as the plucky outsiders, anti-establishment figures (run by ex bankers and ex Tories, and bankrolled by the likes of news magnate and pornographer Richard Desmond) who are scorned by all. They complain, formally, about any slight, bullying people and organisations into compliance. It’s frightening.

I agree with them on the odd point; scrapping the bedroom tax and bringing in voting reform are good policies. However, their fearmongering, paranoia, neo-liberal, xenophobic, insular, populist, empty policies and language are a genuine danger to this country. They are not for the working person, they are for themselves; they are not Christian, they are cynical impostors; they are not patriotic, they are separatist and elitist. And they must be stopped.

Please, whoever you vote for next week, listen to this plea from a man who UKIP see as their type of person (except the whole leftie thin get); don’t make it UKIP. For all their promises and patriotic words they will tear this country apart. Don’t let them.

15 groups UKIP class as immigrants

After Nigel Farage called for the children of immigrants to be classed as immigrants themselves I have obtained an exclusive list of other groups that the UKIP leader, backed up by his chums at Migration Watch, also wants to reclassify:

– The grandchildren of immigrants. A logical extension as their parents are now immigrants, so they are now, technically, the children of immigrants themselves.

– People born on British soil overseas. It’s close enough, I mean, it’s abroad really. (Incidentally, this includes me. Which also makes my children immigrants)

– Anybody who has ever used the phrases “ciao”, “je ne sais qoi” or “schadenfreude”

– Anybody with a foreign name; e.g. Marco, Maria, Jean, Peter…

– People named after foreign places; e.g. Paris, Dakota, India, Sofia…

– People with narrow eyes. You know why!

– People who have recently been on holiday to a foreign country and came back with darker than normal skin.

– Lefties. They’re probably Russian or something.

– Paddington Bear (Peruvian)

– Doctor Who (Gallifreyan)

– Whoever decommissioned the Black & White Minstrel Show

– Scottish people who don’t have red hair (Something dodgy there)

– Caravanners (They’re essentially Gypsies)

– Anybody living in Rochester who doesn’t drive a white van

– Grey squirrels

Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it goes a long way towards explaining why 126% of the UK population are immigrants and only UKIP can solve it.

Or something.

Nigel the wide-mouthed frog

Once upon a time there was a large field. In that field were lots and lots of ponds. One pond had frogs, one pond had eels, one pond had dragonflies, one pond had carp… Every pond had a different type of animal.

For years the ponds would argue and fight over silly things and even tried to take over other ponds. After a big fight, which involved all of the ponds, the animals decided something needed to be done. So, they decided to work together, helping each other out wherever possible and letting each animal move to whichever pond they liked.

Life wasn’t perfect, but the fights weren’t so bad either and the animals felt happier and safer.

Well, most of the animals…

In some of the ponds there were animals who didn’t like having to share their pond with other animals. They were worried that they would be eaten, or not have enough water or flies to eat. Some just hated other animals.

One of these was the wide-mouthed frog. His name was Nigel. Nigel the wide-mouthed frog started telling everyone that they didn’t need to work with the other ponds. They said that it was ok to have some dragonflies and goldfish living in the pond, but recently there had been snails and pondskippers and this was bad. He said that they were bad animals and that other frogs were scared that these snails and pondskippers might start living on the next lily pad.

He said that, if he was in charge of the pond, he would give the frogs their pond back.

Lots of frogs didn’t like this and thought that Nigel was just a silly wide-mouthed frog who had drunk too much stagnant pond water. Some frogs, though, loved Nigel. They thought that their froggy way of life was going to disappear. They were scared that they’d lose their lily pads. They were sacred that a nasty snail might try to take their tadpoles away.

Nigel grinned a wide, froggy grin.

Nigel started telling everyone more and more stories about snails wanting to kill them all and wanting frogs to live like them. He told stories of pondskippers stealing all the flies and eating swans.

Then something happened. Nigel became very popular. Other frogs joined him and told more and more silly stories, promising that this pond would be just for frogs.

So, Nigel the wide-mouthed frog had his way. He ruled the pond and he sent all the other animals away. The snails, dragonflies, eels, pondskippers, ladybirds, toads and all kinds of fish went off to other ponds. Nigel had given the frogs their pond back.

But, the other animals hated Nigel and all the other frogs now. They refused to share food. They refused to tell the frogs when the meat eating animals were around.

And the frogs had no fish to clear the weeds from the pond. They had no dragonflies or pondskippers to eat all the flies the frogs couldn’t manage. They had no snails to eat all of the excess leaves on the plants.

Soon, the pond was jammed full of weeds and plants, so that the frogs could barely move. There were so many flies that the frogs couldn’t see or breathe. Some ate so many flies that they exploded.

The frogs were sad. They were upset that they had believed Nigel when he said that they didn’t need the other animals. They were sorry that they had made him leader. So they kicked him out of the pond and went to speak to the other animals.

The frogs apologised and said that they had changed. They said that, although things weren’t perfect before, they wanted to work with the other animals to make the whole field of ponds better. For everyone.

And they all lived happy-ish ever after.

Except for Nigel.

The End.

(With apologies to George Orwell. And apologies for the lack of illustration – I really can’t draw!)

UKIP – Working class heroes?

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So, there you go. From the keyboard of UKIP MEP Patrick O’Flynn comes confirmation that his party are “the party of the working class now”. Labour, as most of us have known for some time now, have moved their focus onto that tabloid favourite, “Middle Britain”, and have left a void which UKIP now claim to inhabit.

But how have they done this? What issues have they addressed to make this claim to speak for the working classes? Well, surely the best place to look is the issues section of their website. After all, this will really show us what the party stand for and how they have grabbed the working class vote. Let’s have a look and discover their recipe for success, shall we?

They start with a general section about patriotism, sovereignty and “getting control of our borders”, all of which can, of course, be solved instantly by leaving the EU. This section doesn’t actually state how it’ll do that, so we need to read further to get to the really good stuff.

” A vote for UKIP is a vote to leave the EU and recover power over our national life.”

Right, so UKIP will pull us out of the EU, then? Despite their leaders constant pronouncements that they are the only party who will give us an in/out referendum (ignoring the Conservatives, Green Party and even the BNP saying that they all would)? So, is there a referendum or not? Unless they think that simply voting UKIP means you are voting to leave the EU (which would be like saying that a vote for the SNP means you want Scottish independence, which didn’t show to be totally true) then they are either promising a refendum, which won’t guarantee leaving the EU, or they will pull us out without asking us first. They’re either lying or they’re lying. Good start.

“Free trade, but not political union, with our European neighbours. We are the EU’s largest export market: they depend on us for jobs – not the other way around.”

Well, that last statement is an incredibly bold claim. There are an estimated three million jobs in the UK either directly or indirectly linked to exports to the EU. It’s impossible to say how many of these may be lost by leaving the EU, but to state that we don’t rely on them for jobs is utterly baseless. That’s before we even start on the 2.2 million UK nationals living in the EU. How would their residencies and, by extension jobs, be affected by pulling out? It’s a sweeping claim UKIP make which sounds punchy, but is hard to back up.

“Immigrants must financially support themselves and their dependents for 5 years. This means private health insurance (except emergency medical care), private education and private housing – they should pay into the pot before they take out of it.”

Let me put that another way. We will let people move to the UK from abroad, as long as they meet, as yet undefined, criteria to demonstrate that they will bring necessary skills, meaning that they will be contributing to both tax and National Insurance from day one. However, we will deny them access to any of the services their money is paying for for the first five years simply because they are not British. Nope, that doesn’t sound remotely unfair or xenophobic to me!!

” Proof of private health insurance must be a precondition for immigrants and tourists to enter the UK.”

Firstly, many countries do not have a need for you to have private medical insurance,  so many who come here “with the right set of skills” would automatically be disqualified by this. Secondly, private medical insurance is beyond the reach of most people in this country, so what is being proposed is only allowing already fairly wealthy,  probably upper middle class people into the UK. And, it’ll only be from relatively wealthy countries as many professions pay considerably more here than in, say, eastern Europe or Africa. An elitist policy only allowing a certain class of person from a certain class of country. But then, as Nigel Farage said when discussing Germany versus Romanian immigrants, “you know the difference”.

Not just immigrants, though. Tourists as well! One of the UK’s biggest industry is foreign tourism and UKIP are proposing strict conditions on who we allow into the country for a holiday! I can’t see that going down too well in tourist resorts such as Clacton, with its newly-elected UKIP MP.

Save £55m a day in membership fees by leaving the EU and give British workers first crack at the 800,000 jobs we currently advertise to EU workers.”

How much? £55 million per day? Well, that is possibly the gross figure, however it doesn’t come close to that amount when you factor in the money we get back from the EU in subsidies etc. After that, the figure is closer to £24 million, and that’s before we talk about the indirect benefit to the UK economy of being part of the free trade agreement with the rest of the EU. Yes, it still costs us, but if ukip can’t even be trusted to get their figures right then there’s a problem.

” Scrap HS2, all green taxes and wind turbine subsidies.”

Woah there, tiger! I’ve no problem with the HS2 policy, but scrapping green taxes and wind turbine subsidies? We are already too reliant on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, so UKIP, in their wisdom, want to take away initiatives aimed at increasing our use of clean, renewable energy sources. Then again, for a party with a history of climate change denial I guess this shouldn’t be a shock.

“Develop shale gas to reduce energy bills and free us from dependence on foreign oil and gas – place the tax revenues into a British Sovereign Wealth Fund.”

So, the idea is to reduce the amount of renewable initiatives and to replace them with fracking. Because, apparently, it is perfectly acceptable to replace one fossil fuel which requires drilling under the ground and nets millions for large corporations with another, only one which may also pollute our water supplies to boot.

“UKIP will abolish inheritance tax. Inheritance tax brings in under £4bn – less than a third of what we spend on foreign aid. The super-rich avoid it, while modest property owners get caught by it. It hits people during a time of grief and UKIP will budget in its 2015 spending plans to completely abolish this unfair death tax.”

The only mention of tax, other than the surprisingly reasonable policy of scrapping income tax on the minimum wage, is one which will, yet again, please the upper middle classes rather than the working classes. All those between minimum wage earners and the upper middle classes get precisely nothing. All those people that UKIP are now the party of are ignored where tax is concerned.

” Make cuts to foreign aid that are real and rigorous.”

Because all those foreigners can fend for themselves. Why should the UK, who built our economic position historically on stripping the poorer nations of natural and human resources whilst giving little or nothing back, help people who are in dire poverty due to our centuries of economic and foreign policy? Why should we try to help our fellow human being if they happen not to come from our small island? Why should we show basic compassion? Horrible, lefty idea.

” No votes for prisoners – that’s what losing your liberty means.”

They already have no vote!

” Scrap the European Arrest Warrant, which sends British citizens to foreign jails without evidence, just to answer questions – replace it with a proper extradition system.”

I can’t wait for the joy the first time we can’t get a foreign national accused of a crime here sent to the UK because there is no longer a European Arrest Warrant. It’s not my favourite legal mechanism, but the wording here suggests one way traffic against poor, innocent, decent British people, sent to dirty, evil foreign jails.

” Remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.”

Or, remove the main external control over the UK government where human rights are concerned. Unlike the Tories’ recent announcement, UKIP do not propose a replacement for the European Convention on Human Rights, which we would need to withdraw from in order to withdraw from the court.

” Prioritise social housing for people whose parents and grandparents were born locally.”

Hands up all those who no longer live anywhere near their parents’ birthplace. Yes, lots of us. My Mum was born in Tilbury and my Dad in Rugby. I now live in Falkirk. Oh dear! And, as my parents were in the RAF, I was born in Germany. So, how does that all work for me or my kids if any of us fall on hard times and need to go for social housing? Horrendously ill-thought out crap!

” Allow the creation of new grammar schools.”

Why? No, really, why? No benefits given. No expansion on it. Just creating new grammar schools. Give us a reason!

” Make welfare a safety net for the needy, not a bed for the lazy. Benefits only available to those who have lived here for over 5 years.”

Ah yes! The old ‘attack the welfare claimants’ line again. With no other identifiable policy other than one which erroneously suggests that the main issue is with, you guessed it, immigrants. Like a stuck record, only with no actual tune.

” No to Political Correctness – it stifles free speech.”

This is not a policy, it’s a populist soundbite. It tells you nothing. What is their definition of political correctness? How will there be “no more” of it? How does it “stifle free speech”? Does banning it stifle free speech itself? Why is being respectful to all, regardless of race, gender, nationality, religion or sexuality so bad? As I said, this says nothing at all about the means or ends. It’s purely weasel words from a bunch of weasels.

” The law of the land must apply to us all. We oppose any other system of law.”

It already does! What on earth is the point of this? Well, it’s that old tabloid fear of Sharia Law being combatted, despite it not being formally observed in the UK and the fact that UK (or Scottish) law applies to everybody!!

” Teach children positive messages and pride in their country. We want to unite through better integration.”

Again, how? And why? Is this meant to educate people’s culture of origin out of them? Are schools going to ignore the more shameful episodes in British history? This is propaganda being brought into our schools, plain and simple, and it is rather terrifying that it is the sort of thing which people buy into without thinking of the implications of it.

” UKIP is a patriotic party that believes in putting Britain first. Only UKIP will return self-government to the British people.”

This is the final line of the page, but what does it mean? Basically, isolation, xenophobia, propaganda, lies, empty promises, perks for the upper middle classes and big business, destruction of the environment, elitism and the destruction of the tourism industry.

That, it seems, is how UKIP speak for the working classes. Nothing on education, poverty, local investment, public transport, child care, cost of living, fair wages, benefits for working people or many of the other issues affecting real people. In other words, they don’t speak for working people. They speak for themselves and their own self interests.

I’ll leave you with these words from Michael Rosen and a plea to wake up and recognise these people for what they really are.

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How not to win an election

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It takes some doing to have an MP elected to the House of Commons from outside the main three parties, especially in England. So when a party gets its first MP elected it is a matter of congratulations.

To position your policies outside of the centre-right ground, despite that being the accepted ingredient for success over the last 35 years, and to start seeing electoral gains is amazing.

To actually challenge the historic position of the Lib Dems in opinion polls from virtually nowhere takes some doing.

To gain popularity despite being totally outside the established elite is impressive. After all, those social and professional connections usually required to get the necessary financial and PR backing is missing.

To speak to an increasing number of people and see a dramatic upsurge in membership, despite having next to no attention given to you by the mainstream media speaks volumes for how your policies resonate with so many ordinary voters.

So, a belated congratulations to the Green Party for gaining their first MP, Caroline Lucas, at the last General Election. To almost no fanfare, coverage, discussion as to how it happened or over the top media love-in whatsoever.

In other news, I see UKIP finally have an MP now after a disproportionate amount of mainstream media coverage, almost omnipresence of Nigel Farage, millions if pounds worth of donations by well connected ex-Tory backers and getting a Conservative MP to defect and defend his seat. I mean, it wasn’t so much won as handed to them on a plate, but we’ll done anyway, UKIP. You needed help from the Westminster elite you claim not to be a part of to get there, but you did it.

Don’t get fooled again.

Do you ever wonder why you even bother? Why you talk about the important stuff, try to get your point across, highlight the fear and prejudice being perpetrated around you, only to go unheard and ignored? Why you try to promote love, only for people to choose hate?

That’s pretty much how I feel right now. The European elections have seen gains for the fascist Golden Dawn in Greece, a win for the National Front in France and, closer to home, the populist UKIP in the UK. These parties have flourished on three big selling points; anti-EU sentiment, anti-establishment rhetoric and, strongest of all, anti-immigration policies.

Sorry… not anti-immigration. I mean anti-immigrant.

There is a huge difference. Anti-immigration, which forms part of their policy (singular), is the idea that letting too many people into the country causes an excessive strain on public spending and services, meaning that there is less to get around for those already in the country. It’s an understandable argument, although when immigrants pay more in tax than they take out of the economy and are statistically less likely to claim benefits, it’s also a poor argument.

Because it’s a poor argument, these parties rely on the latter tactic. Anti-immigrant. We should feel uncomfortable about having Romanian neighbours because they are mainly criminals. There are 25 million out of work Europeans who all want your job. Foreign immigrants are diluting our culture, identity and way of life. This isn’t an argument against immigration as a concept, but a tactic which uses fear of the unknown, in this case people from other countries, to bypass the logical arguments against them and automatically leave many people feeling that something as a “bad thing” because it is to be feared and worried about.

I have friends who genuinely are scared of “what is happening to our country” and the “erosion of the British identity”. However, I haven’t heard what actually us happening and how this erosion would be a negative thing.

There are as many UK citizens living in other EU countries as EU citizens in the UK. The main difference is the multicultural aspect which, to many of us, is actually a positive. The rich diversity of human life coexisting on one small set of islands, learning from and teaching each other about language, custom, food,  art, music, fashion and so much more is surely to be celebrated. This isn’t an erosion of identity, but an evolution of it.

Yet, many have chosen to swallow the line from these populist and far right politicians. The gains they have made have been dramatic (although not quite the “earthquake” the media keep stating) and the mainstream parties are talking about learning lessons from this. I pray thus means how to fight back, not how to bow down to them, but I’m not holding out any hope.

One of the lines used a lot recently is how the UK is a Christian country.
Great! Let’s act like one, then.

“And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34 GNBDC)

“I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes” (Matthew 25:35 GNBDC)

“He must be hospitable and love what is good. He must be self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.” (Titus 1:8 GNBDC)

“That means you must also love immigrants because you were immigrants in Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:19 CEB)

Is that clear enough? Love, hospitality, caring for strangers in a strange land. This doesn’t mean ignoring immigrants who are criminals or a threat to our security. Those issues must always be addressed. But we must also treat people as people as people. Human beings. God’s children. And we must fight against this increasing culture of hatred amongst our politicians, media and, yes, ourselves.

We have to fight back. We have to campaign,  speak out, argue, educate and vote against this politics of evil. We have to stand together, act in love, but in utter defiance against hatred. We have to make this the “Christian country” that people queue up to tell us that we are or aren’t.

This isn’t leftie ranting. I’m appealing to left and right wing people. Religious and atheist. Young and old. Man and woman. Gay and straight. English, Irish, Scottish Welsh and any of the many nationalities who inhabit our islands and the rest of Europe. Vote against the EU or for it. Vote against established parties or for them. Just please, please fight against prejudice in all its forms. We are all better than that.

A reply to Nigel Farage

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Nigel Farage has come under quite a lot of fire over the last couple of days following comments made during an LBC interview with James O’Brien. Admittedly,  not the same sort of storm which Gordon Brown faced after the Gillian Duffy incident or Andrew Mitchell during the “plebgate” scandal,  but hey,  they only insulted (allegedly,  in Mitchell’s case) a member of the public and some police officers.  Farage grossly insulted a whole nation and,  but he likes cigars and pints,  so let’s let him off lightly,  eh?

His main comments involved stating how uncomfortable he’d be if a group of Romanians moved in next door due to their criminality, then,  when asked what would be the difference between that and a group of Germans moving in,  answering,

“You know what the difference is. ”

Charming!

In order to address the relatively muted criticism which followed (next to no coverage by mainstream TV news) he has written this explanation of his comments. So,  that’s OK,  then. All explained. Nothing any right minded individual would disagree with.

Well,  maybe not. Let’s take a look at what he says.

“UKIP will never allow the false accusation of racism levelled by a politically correct elite to prevent the raising of issues that are of concern to the great majority of the British public.”

A politically correct elite,  Nigel? Really? I have two questions:

Firstly,  what,  exactly,  is wrong with political correctness? What is wrong with wanting all people to be treated on their individual merits,  rather than their race,  colour,  nationality,  gender,  sexuality or religion? Why do you object to that so much? Is it,  just possibly,  because prejudice against certain groups forms the basis of so much of your populist rhetoric? Is it because preying on fear and prejudice is how you intend on winning votes? Looks that way to me.

Secondly: Why “elite “? Exactly what is elite about hundreds and thousands of ordinary people taking to social media and radio phone-ins to call a racist spade a racist spade? I am a coach in an office processing pension transfers and I earn less than £25k. I have no degree,  no party political affiliation and virtually no influence. I take my views on you from what you say and do.  What,  I ask you,  is elite about me,  or the many like me,  Nigel?

As for the great majority of people in the UK being concerned by immigration,  I’ll give him that one.  However,  why are people concerned? How many people are genuinely,  directly affected and how many are worried simply by scare stories they hear? I can’t find research to answer that,  so I’ll leave it as rhetorical.

“The unfortunate reality is that we are in political union with a post-Communist country that has become highly susceptible to organised crime.”

We are also in political union with post fascist countries which have been susceptible to organised crime,  but I don’t hear the same concerns about Italians or Spaniards (thankfully).

“Where there are differential crime rates between nationalities, it is perfectly legitimate to point this out and to discuss it in the public sphere and I shall continue to do so.”

No,  there are different crime rates between different countries. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that,  rather than come to the UK to commit crime,  many Romanians may be coming here to make a new start in a country with a much lower crime rate.  If so,  it seems fair to help them.

“Police figures are quite clear that there is a high level of criminality within the Romanian community in Britain. This is not to say for a moment that all or even most Romanian people living in the UK are criminals.”

Ah,  so most of them aren’t criminals,  then!  What’s the concern,  then? Surely,  if they,  on balance,  are unlikely to be criminals,  then there’s no problem with them?

“But it is to say that any normal and fair-minded person would have a perfect right to be concerned if a group of Romanian people suddenly moved in next door. So far as I can see most of those media commentators objecting to this statement are people living in million pound houses for whom the prospect of such a turn of events is not a real one.”

The normal and fair-minded person argument?! Really?! So I assume that,  by disagreeing strongly with Farage,  I am not normal or fair minded? This is a pathetic,  but well used line.  It is immediately dismissive of opponents by questioning both sanity and motive.  It is disingenuous and,  may I say,  something which the “political classes and media elite” which Farage claims to oppose have used for years.

And “suddenly”? Why use that word? Is is because,  if something happens suddenly then it is unexpected? A shock? Probably unwanted? If they just” move in”, it doesn’t sound as sinister,  does it?

And again,  why look at the richer people who criticise UKIP? Because it’s easier to generalise,  after all,  it’s what UKIP do with everyone else. Plenty of normal,  every day people react in the same way to UKIP’s rhetoric.  But,  hey,  we’re all abnormal and wrong-thinking.

“Of course, if we were able to operate a proper work permit scheme for Romanian nationals, with suitable checks, as recommended by UKIP, then nobody would need to be concerned if a group of Romanian nationals moved in next door to them. “

So,  you want to discriminate against particular nationalities? Germans,  French,  Italian,  Dutch etc. are all fine,  but we need to vet Romanians first because,  well, you know the difference…

And maybe,  just maybe,  people wouldn’t worry about Romanians moving next door if they were discussed as the human beings they are,  rather than some sort of underclass.

“High levels of crime associated with Romanian nationals in Britain, corroborated by police sources and statistics, have been a major talking point in the British media for several years.”

Hold on! I thought there was a media campaign against UKIP? But they’ve been talking about this for years? Sounds like there are plenty in the media (many of whom “are people living in million pound houses for whom the prospect of such a turn of events is not a real one.”) who are willing to agree with you and spout the same sort of fear inducing claptrap (oh look,  it’s the Sun,  Mail and Express!)

There is nothing wrong with discussing immigration levels.  There is nothing wrong with addressing genuine concerns about crime levels. There is,  however,  something wrong with deliberately demonising groups of people based on nationality because some of them are criminals. Tarring everyone in an ethnic grouping with the same brush and deciding they are to be feared and treated differently is very wrong. It’s not political discourse,  it’s hatred.

James O’Brien’s first question in the interview was to ask Nigel Farage why he thought people accused UKIP of being racist.  Farage evaded the question over and over,  finally deciding to pretend not to understand what racist meant. He wouldn’t answer it,  so let me.

It’s because UKIP are racist.

They are the only party to have a rule barring ex BNP and NF members joining because they are the only party who needs one.  Their policies and rhetoric attract that kind of mind.

There are plenty of parties out there who represent an alternative to the main three parties.  Please don’t use your vote on one who want you to fear and hate your fellow man.

Update: The interview is, finally, getting some coverage by the BBC. Still not a Duffy moment, but getting there.