UKIP’s immigration policy
by Mike Newland.
UKIP’s vote in the Hastings election was not far ahead of the new British Democratic Party. Throughout the country, however, UKIP is now usually far ahead of the vote for nationalist groups and it sometimes wins local elections.
Why does UKIP get these large votes? The reasons are simple. Opposition to immigration and massive publicity for it. That is now UKIP’s greatest appeal. Opposition to the EU is only a good second in explaining its draw. UKIP is coy of admitting the obvious since, not long ago, it was pouring ordure on nationalist opposition to immigration. The reason it took up seriously the immigration issue is that it saw nationalists getting big votes and decided it was safe to come out of the closet. That’s politics!
UKIP has received more support from the media by a mile than any non-establishment party since the 1930s when newspapers like the Mail and the Mirror favourably publicised Mosley’s party. You can’t count the SDP since it was essentially an establishment internal tiff. Even the BBC has made Farage a regular feature in major programmes. Some think that suspicious.
Most of the country is now convinced that UKIP wants to stop immigration. Maybe it does but let’s look at what the party actually says on the subject in the policy section of its web site.
The first thing one notices is that immigration policy is ‘under review’. Does anyone know how long for? I seem to recall the same story a year ago. We don’t actually have any firm policy on which to judge UKIP at the moment.
Now call me cynical but ‘under review’ is one of the oldest politician’s tricks in the book. Whatever the complaint it can be said that it might be met when the review has finished. Perhaps in UKIP’s case it never will. Or maybe wait and see which way the wind is blowing and never mind supporters who may later feel misled.
All we have to go on at present is what are suggested to be the principles on which UKIP’s firm immigration policy is to be based – if it ever emerges.
UKIP calls for an end to mass uncontrolled immigration. It says Britain can’t stand any more of immigration rates which add a million to the population every four or five years. But that DOES NOT MEAN STOPPING IMMIGRATION. It means that – best case – the number of new immigrants would simply equal those going out. Since large numbers of British people are leaving in disquiet at the way the country is going, it amounts in itself to a continuation of the process of population replacement.
Future immigration must be controlled and limited so that it can be shown to ‘benefit the British people as a whole’. Well that’s exactly what the big parties say is already the case! So no change there. And no numbers.
But we are told that meanwhile there will be a five year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement with ‘exceptions’. So it seems the aim is not merely to stabilise the population but to go further and slow the growth of the foreign entrant population.
But how many ‘exceptions’? We are not told and it gets worse when UKIP says that people will be allowed in on work permits not allowing permanent settlement to fill gaps in the jobs market which cannot be filled from the existing workforce. What sort of figure do they have in mind and what sort of jobs? We are not told. We have around 2.5 million unemployed on the official basis and, if there really are ‘skills shortages’, why are we not training our own people? Are they not clever enough? Touch of real hidden racism here?.
The above is, of course, the same story the big parties have used for years with their ‘highly-skilled migrants’ legend – many of whom end up working in shops.
Putting it all together, UKIP’s policies could be fully implemented during the five year freeze while the following occurred.
50,000 maybe 100,000 a year new permanent immigrants as ‘exceptions’? The world and his wife will make a case to be exceptions. Say 200,000 work permits to fill all those jobs we are too stupid to do.
But, you say, at least the 200,000 would not be here permanently. But that is not the whole picture. Part of the work permit game is the revolving door. Those who have entered and reach the end of their terms may simply be replaced by others. To all intents you have permanent immigration even if the faces change. And if the economy makes some degree of recovery ye olde ‘skills shortages’ may make it ‘essential’ to increase the number of work permits. Especially if the permanent population started falling, as it possibly would under the scheme, since the outflow of skilled emigrants will doubtless continue.
We could easily find ourselves with the numbers living here being swelled by well over 100,000 a year – and far far more – but with many misleadingly being now dubbed temporary residents and UKIP’s stated policies being achieved.
As soon as parties start talking about work permits to fill ‘skills shortages’ – except in minute numbers and rare circumstances – the bulldetector goes off the dial. Do we really need a Canadian to run the Bank of England?
The stated Tory policy is to limit population growth to less than 100,000 a year. That, if they actually intended to achieve it, could be better than what UKIP is offering.
If anyone thinks the above unfair to UKIP then the remedy lies in their hands.
Give us some numbers to go on! On the basis of what UKIP currently claims we are looking at a proverbial Swiss cheese.
Pass the Emmental along…..