As a right-winger and UKIP member, I believe in immigration. That sentence might sound slightly surprising coming from the General Secretary of a Party which is perceived by the media as anti-immigration. So let me explain. I reject uncontrolled immigration. I reject immigration beyond the ability of our country’s infrastructure to cope.
Recently, I’ve been listening to the Bruce Springsteen song ‘American Land’. It starts off well enough, talking about people relocating to America as it grew and helping to build the country. That’s the kind of immigration that I believe in. Those who believe that they can have a better life (in this case in the UK), who come over and are determined to see themselves as part of British culture and will put their heart and soul into improving this country for all of us. I’m talking about the kind of person who is proud to come to the United Kingdom and shows that pride at every opportunity. Such people are a real asset to the country.
That’s why I’m so angry at the ‘left-wing’ in British politics, which has consistently pursued an effective open-door immigration policy. Uncontrolled mass immigration doesn’t provide any of those benefits, but instead creates huge cultural problems for us. Worse still, it creates resentment. In Sheffield, I see workers losing their jobs to immigrant workers. All that does is create resentment and fuels the kind of racism that we’ve painstakingly worked to get rid of from our nation.
We don’t know who’s in the country. We have no idea how many people will come to the UK after the doors are opened to anyone from Bulgaria and Romania. We don’t know how many of those people are coming to improve our way of life and theirs, and how many are coming for the wrong reasons. That’s what happens when you lose control of your borders, and yet another reason why we shouldn’t be members of the European Union – which forces an open-door immigration policy from 26 other EU countries (and anyone entitled to apply for a passport from one of those countries) on us. Why should someone from Poland or Hungary have more right than someone from India, China, Australia or the USA to come to the UK? Any common-sense policy would look at the value of that immigrant to the UK, not which country they come from.
UKIP’s immigration policy is tough. But the actions of successive Labour and Conservative governments mean that our policy is absolutely necessary. Our population is now growing beyond the country’s ability to cope. The 5-year freeze on permanent settlement gives us time to take stock and assess who is in the country before deciding what level of immigration can be allowed after that.
Bruce Springsteen’s song sadly shows the attitude of the Left to immigration: “The hands that built the country we’re always trying to keep out” – assuming that the immigrants who helped to build America are the same people looking to settle there today. But this is a prime tactic of those promoting mass immigration – to mislead about the true nature of immigration at the moment.
I believe in immigration, when it is properly managed and controlled. Thanks to ill-considered policies, immigration is seen as a bad thing by huge sections of the population. The blame lies with the tired old political parties which have systematically failed in their duty to control immigration.