Time for a sensible debate on immigration

With the end of transitional controls on Romania and Bulgaria on 1st January and the subsequent unrestricted opening of our borders to their citizens under EU regulations, the subject of mass, uncontrolled immigration has emerged as one of the main topics that people in this country are concerned about.

3 Pinocchios

UKIP has been raising the subject for some time now, with our stance being purely about control of numbers to stop the massive strains being put on inadequate infrastructure in this country. This has led to numerous ‘smears’ from the old establishment political parties, from Cameron’s ‘closet racists’ to Clegg’s ‘unpatriotic isolationists’.

More recently, we have been subject to a casual smear in the Guardian by local Labour MP, John McDonnell.

Why John McDonnell is missing the point

On 20th January in The Guardian’s ‘comment is free’ section, Mr McDonnell accused UKIP of ‘bigotry against migrants’ (See link below)


For an MP in a working class area to use this kind of terminology is worrying, as it is predominantly the working class who are affected by the huge numbers currently arriving in England.

Social Housing

Homes in HayesWe have over 9000 people on the affordable housing waiting list in Hillingdon, some of whom no doubt he will be trying to assist to gain a place to live. With this in mind, how can loading yet more people in to the area when we are short of housing already be a sensible move? This is not bigotry, it is pure common sense – If your bath was full, you would not leave the taps running!

It also fuels the ‘housing bubble’ , with lack of supply pushing house prices up and having a huge knock on effect in private rental prices. This is further distorted where the council have to get involved to house a certain number of ‘Category A on need’ clients to hit targets and no longer have the stock to do so – Private landlords then charge premium rates knowing they have the upper hand in negotiations, with the council having to use your tax money in the shape of housing benefits to enable those category A clients to pay their rent.

With net migration running at nearly 200,000 per year, (With over 500,000 actually coming to the UK in 2013 according to the Office for National Statistics), we simply don’t have the housing available to be sustainable.

Labour recently put a leaflet through my door stating that they would get at least 200,000 houses built per year – In government between 1997 and 2010, they built an average of 24,299 per year (Source – Department for Communities and Local Government). Even if they do manage to build 200,00 a year, it won’t dent the lists (Presuming the prices are reasonable) – It also begs the question as to where the money will come from?

This situation has also seen the rise of the ‘beds in sheds’ phenomenon, with many immigrants having no alternative but to live in substandard and sometimes dangerous conditions. Most would have been better off in their own countries, but open door migration policies have allowed gangmasters to exploit them with promises of a better life in England. A friend of mine and local resident presented you with a dossier on this in your constituency 18 months ago as reported by The Gazette, yet the situation shows no sign of resolution.

The only sensible step is to stem the flood of people coming in whilst the current shortages are addressed.

Jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled workers

David Cameron 2We have over 20% of our 18-25 year olds out of work, yet we have more unskilled workers coming in to this country to compete with them in the jobs that often give youngsters their first foot up the ladder.

David Cameron’s answer has been to defend this by stating that our youngsters are ‘lacking in aspiration’ and ‘not up to the job’  – That is real bigotry, Mr McDonnell, not a principled objection to more oversupply in the unskilled jobs market.

Indeed, you are the Parliamentary representative for the Rail and Maritime Trade Union (RMT) who recently ran a series of protests about what they refer to as ‘social dumping’ – The undercutting of British workers by cheap overseas labour (Link below)


It would appear that Comrade Crow agrees with us about the exploitation of foreign workers and the effects on his members – Does that make him a bigot?


Our branch recently assisted you with the protest about the building of a school on green belt land at Lake Farm Country Park. (Below, with my colleague Ilyas – Did you ask him about bigotry on the day, John?)

Lake Farm protest Nov 13 CD and Ilyas with banner

Whitehall school 1Whilst I am in full agreement that the school should be built on a brownfield site, the underlying reason why there are new schools needed at all is because of the massive surge in immigration and the subsequent rise in birth rate that drives the demand. In 2010, council leader Ray Puddifoot admitted this in the Gazette and said ‘it falls to us’ to provide the new schools.

The Office for National Statistics has released figures in the last week that show 26% of births in the UK are now to foreign born mothers. Moreover, birth rates amongst certain migrant groups are significantly higher than those of British born women from all backgrounds.

In 2011, the average for British born mothers was 1.84 children – The average for those from Afghanistan was 4.25 whilst to Somali born mothers it was 4.19. The Somali figure is particularly relevant in Hillingdon because we have a significant Somali community here, especially in your constituency.

Polish mothers had the highest overall numbers of children born to any ethnic group, with 20,495 being born in 2011 – Again, very relevant in Hillingdon because of the large numbers of Poles living here.

Because of this, it is no surprise that new schools are having to be built at great expense to the taxpayer, when we were closing schools such as Townmead in the nineties because of lack of demand

It is also a concern that many will not have English as a first language, thus disadvantaging them in the classroom and requiring additional support in terms of specialist teachers. This has a knock on effect with all children’s education in these schools and will potentially hold them back when they enter the world of work – Perhaps to be confronted by another wave of unskilled migrant workers, perpetuating the cycle?


Time to debate the issues

Uxbridge street stall Oct 2013 with MS MG and Ilyas

There are many other reasons why uncontrolled immigration is harming both our communities and the economy – Destruction of green belt for housing, increased crime through lack of border checks and strain on the NHS to name just a few.


Properly controlled, immigration can be beneficial to our country as has been seen in the past, but the last 10-15 years is completely unsustainable based on numbers as I have pointed out in this piece.


I would be happy to debate with John McDonnell on this if he so chooses – Indeed, his Guardian piece claims that he would welcome more debate outside of the ‘sterile’ atmosphere of the House of Commons.


UKIP will be running a series of free public meetings across Hillingdon in the near future featuring a number of issues affecting our borough – Immigration will be one of the issues discussed no doubt, along with the EU, economy, law and order, HS2 and The Third Runway at Heathrow amongst others.

Rather than asking people to travel to Westminster for a ‘People’s Parliament’, UKIP are made up of ordinary people from all sections of our community who wish to discuss and debate the real issues with real local residents where they live.

Nigel Farage in Beaconsfield Jan 2014

A recent meeting in neighbouring South Bucks saw over 400 people turn out to see party leader Nigel Farage MEP in Beaconsfield (Above), where a show of hands saw less than a quarter of the audience as UKIP members and a lively Q&A was had.

We hope to see you soon for a grown up debate in similar fashion.


2 comments on “Time for a sensible debate on immigration

  1. Paul Symons says:

    Hi Cliff,

    I look forward to meeting you tomorrow evening. Something that I hope will be discussed is UKIP’s strategy for the European Parliament elections.

    To the public, I think that we have been coming across recently as being primarily concerned with immigration. I have felt recently that to keep going on about immigration might look a bit negative and give the impression that we do not have any other strong policies.

    My concern has been heightened by just having watched the Liberal Democrat party political broadcast. I tried to forget that I was a member of UKIP and watch the broadcast impartially. It was brilliantly made. It featured Nick Clegg declaring that he was committed to Europe because he wanted to save British jobs which would be lost if we left the EU and pulled up the drawbridge and cut ourselves off. There were a couple of businessmen who said that the major part of their business was with Europe and jobs would be lost if we left. There was even a young woman who said that she was studying abroad at a European university with the help of the EU (does the EU give grants to study abroad?) and if we came out of the EU students could no longer study at European universities. Clegg also claimed that being in the EU helped fight crime, without mentioning that a EU arrest warrant can be exercised without the requirement of demonstrating to the magistrates that there is a “prima facie case”.

    If I did not know about the EU, I would be worried. I would not want to lose jobs and I would not want to see the drawbridge go up and cut us off from Europe (including European universities). UkIP must drive home to the electorate that we will be able to negotiate free trade with EU countries. We should mention that a non EU country, Turkey, enjoys free trade and Ford was given a large EU grant to shut its Southampton Transit factory and transfer it to Turkey, causing the unemployment of the Southampton workforce. Money from the British taxpayer was included in the grant. Had Britain been outside the EU, we could have negotiated with Ford to keep the factory here.

    As for higher education, students have always been able to study at universities throughout the World (including Europe) especially at postgraduate level. Since the Liberal Democrats agreed with the Conservatives to raise annual university fees from £3,000-00 to up to £9,000-00 (having made a manifesto commitment not to raise fees but to eliminate them over a six year period) many more undergraduate students are choosing to attend USA universities.

    Cliff, if you agree with the approach which I am suggesting, how do we get our ideas to the national policy makers. Perhaps we can discuss tomorrow evening.



    Sent from my iPad


    • Cliff Dixon says:

      Good evening Paul

      This post was a reply to a particular issue, but I appreciate and share your concerns regarding the upcoming EU elections. (Funnily enough, I have had other people saying that we concentrate too much on the EU and not enough on other issues – It is a fine line to tread!)

      The Lib-Dems are very slick on marketing, but very short on substance. Indeed, I still have their leaflet from the 2010 general election campaign where they promised an EU Referendum, which they have now reneged on.

      You and I both know the reality – More jobs in the EU depend on us as we trade in deficit with countries inside the European Union whilst we trade in surplus with the rest of the world.

      A free trade agreement is in the interests of EU nations, who would lose out if it was not forthcoming.

      That market now accounts for 14.3% of world trade vs 21.8% in 1991 and falling – Whilst the emerging nations of the world, many who are our commonwealth cousins, see year on year growth.

      We can’t trade with these nations under our own agreements and have to do so via the EU, in many cases hamstringing our businesses with both red tape and stopping proper agreements as they don’t suit other member states (eg – Proposed free trade agreement with the US has stalled due to demands of French agriculture)

      These arguments are being proposed by our MEP’s and I look forward to discussing them with you at more length tomorrow

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