Welfare Reform bill – My reply to John McDonnell MP

Dear John

I saw your eye catching response to the Welfare Reform Bill in Parliament on line (Below)

You raise some very valid points but as usual fail to identify the root causes of the issues in our area.

As UKIP’s Hayes & Harlington spokesman and effectively the opposition party in the constituency, here is my reply to your speech.

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The Housing Crisis – Time to put our community first!

Homes in HayesMuch was made in the recent General Election of the impending shortage of housing in both our area and England as a whole.

In Hillingdon, we have seen an 82% increase in population since 1939 (From 159,000 to 289,000) with the GLA estimating that we will see 316,000 people resident in our borough by 2039. Between 2001 and 2011 alone, the population grew by 30,000, three times the amount that was predicted.

Despite the building of new estates in Ruislip and West Drayton, with another currently underway on the old RAF site in Uxbridge, the shortfall in supply has seen prices to both buy and rent spiral to such a degree that the average age of a first time buyer is now nearly 40 and many of our children are unable to afford to leave home.

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Immigration – An inconvenient truth

During the recent General Election campaign, I was asked a very good question at the Hayes & Harlington hustings – “With the debate on immigration being driven by negativity, how can we turn immigration from a negative back to being a positive?”

Hayes hustings April 2015My answer was fairly detailed, but a part of it was reported in some media quarters as ‘silencing the room’ and by some on Twitter as being ‘disgusting’, so with the events of the last week I wish to put the record straight.

The answer, quite simply, is by regaining control of our borders so we can monitor both the quality and quantity of those wishing to come to the UK.

When I was growing up in the seventies and eighties, immigration was running at levels far below those of today. Moreover, before the advent of the European Union in its current form, we had the ability to say who we would and wouldn’t accept in to our country. Because of this, those coming here were predominantly looking to build a better life for themselves through hard work, skill set and integration. In my reply, I pointed to the Ugandan Asians who fled from Idi Amin as a great example of positive immigration, people who have settled and brought with them a tremendous work ethic that has benefitted both our country and their families who are now second and third generation Britons.

The NHS also benefited from immigration in the seventies, with gaps in the service being filled by newcomers taking up positions that we couldn’t fill from our own pool of workers.

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An open letter to John McDonnell MP

Dear John

I recently received your letter to residents announcing your intention to stand again for the Hayes & Harlington constituency in the General Election.

In your letter, you raise the issues of the NHS and the local housing crisis – Both are extremely important issues and you are quite right to highlight them.

Having read the letter, I would like to raise the following points.

1 – The NHS

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You state that you fear a Conservative win at the next General Election will lead to the NHS being privatised and sold off. Whilst I share that fear, you appear to overlook the fact that your party (Labour) in government started the privatisation of the NHS and indeed introduced more privatisation to the service than the Coalition have done since taking power in 2010.

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Labour MP slams his own party as opposition to 3rd Runway grows

Last week saw the culmination of the Airports Commission Consultation in to expansion at Heathrow Airport and with it increased activity from those who oppose construction of the Third Runway.

Airbus A380 on ground Farnborough 2014

The Commission is currently looking at three options to increase aviation capacity in the south of England – A new Northern Runway at Heathrow, an extension to one of the existing runways at Heathrow to enable it to operate as two, or a second runway at Gatwick.

With the deadline for submissions to the Commission being 3rd February, Hayes & Harlington MP John McDonnell called a public meeting in Sipson on the evening of 29th January to lay out what the proposals on the table were and how to respond to the consultation.

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Standing in next year’s general election

The following post is taken from the website of UKIP Hillingdon and announces my candidacy for the Hayes & Harlington seat at next year’s general election

Introducing your Parliamentary candidate for the 2015 General election

3rd runway consultation CDCliff Dixon is the Chairman of  UKIP Hillingdon branch and the ward representative for Charville

Cliff is a lifelong resident of the borough, born in Hillingdon, and has lived in both Hayes and Uxbridge.

Now in his mid-forties and married with two adult stepchildren, he joined the branch in 2011, being elected chairman the following year.

A communications professional with over 20 years experience, he is a familiar site in Hayes after stints running The Phone Shop in Hayes End Drive and Starline on the Uxbridge Road, as well as occasionally propping up the bar at The Wishing Well in Hayes End and indulging in some ear-splitting karaoke!

 

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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)

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/20/2015-election-debate-peoples-parliament

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)

http://union-news.co.uk/2012/08/rmt-in-dockside-protests-against-social-dumping-exploitation-of-foreign-workers/

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?

Schools

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.