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Saturday, 11 October 2014

The EU, Immigration and Taboo

It is now permissible in the UK to become engaged in a debate as to whether the mass migration of mostly-young, willing workers from the EU has reduced both the job prospects and the wages of native British workers.

The other immigration issue remains one for whispered conversations and low-keen chatter in pubs. This is the issue of non-white immigration, and within that the particular situation of the benefits system. There is a suggestion that the people who issue benefits share with the South Yorkkshire Police - and many other forces - a paranoia of being classified as 'racist'. Hence it is understood that in many towns and cities first, second and even third generation benefit dependents are able to make their claims and receive payments all in their alien native language: the public administration system is said to be franchised out to the immigrant community; with a licence to be less rigourous in assessing claims than are those dealing with native white Britons.

Furthermore, it is a matter of observation that many urban MPs - most of them Labour - spend a huge amount of their surgery time and administrative effort on non-EU immigration cases.

This is all alienating the descendents of the former working class. They are no longer vote fodder for the Labour machine. It is impossible to assess where this will go: but there is a risk that Labour could become the party of non-white minorities.

For most of those alienated people, voting Tory is impossible. The Thatcherite destruction of industries and of employment, combined with policies seen as largely antisocial, have created a spectral vision of the Tories that would take several more generations to remove. David Cameron's accent - combined with Gideon's sneer - maintains the barrier.

Clegg has shot the credibility of his party to pieces. The greens offer declining living standards and unaffordable electricity.

Nobody knows what UKIP offer: they have no economic policy to speak of. But they do offer a vote on the EU; and they do not totally avoid talking about immigration. That is enough to made them 'different': better, perhaps, than the establishment devils that you do know have let you down.

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