The Times goes Tabloid


Two academics, Caitlin Milazzo  and Matthew Goodwin, have followed the progress of UKIP closely, and over the last year or so have conducted a large number of interviews with elected members, staff and supporters.  While maintaining a spirit of impartial enquiry, they have always come across as broadly sympathetic to the Party, and I myself was happy to talk to them.

All the more pity, then, that the serialisation of their book (“UKIP: Inside the Campaign to Redraw the Map of British Politics”) in The Times seems to have dropped the cloak of academic impartiality, and adopted the worst aspects of tabloid journalism.  Moreover it is difficult to believe that the timing is anything more than a deliberate effort by The Times – never a friend of the Party – to damage UKIP’s prospects in the up-coming Oldham by-election.  There, I think, it will fail.

The book (as serialised) takes the typical debates on policy and nuances of approach, which are the small change of all political parties, and seeks to turn them into a titanic battle of wills between Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell.  Nigel and Douglas are both larger-than-life characters – one the charismatic leader of an insurgent party, populist in a good way, and one of the best communicators in British politics; the other, the party’s only Westminster MP (for now), a political philosopher with a much more restrained and intellectual style.

One issue in particular was highlighted as an area of conflict: that of immigration.  There is of course room for legitimate debate about the emphasis which we as a party should put on the question.  Is it right to place great emphasis on an issue which we know is a #1 concern on the doorstep?  Or do we risk having our opponents characterise us as cruel and heartless – or worse?

There are those who say our primary purpose is to secure the independence of our country, and that immigration is a secondary issue.  Yet as with so many of our problems in Britain, the EU is at the heart of our immigration issue, and cannot be ignored.

But surely we must recognise it as an unalloyed good for the British body politic that UKIP, almost single-handed, has brought this key public policy issue out of the closet and into the public square. It is scandalous that for years no one could raise the immigration issue, however moderately, without a torrent of accusations of racism.  Now at least we can discuss it rationally.

And indeed few can argue that UKIP’s immigration policy is anything but fair, balanced and reasonable.  By contrast I would argue that the immigration policy which our current Conservative government is operating is in effect (if not in intention) highly discriminatory.  Because of EU free movement rules, we discriminate in favour of unskilled or low-skilled (and predominantly white) Eastern Europeans, and against (for example) brain surgeons and software engineers from Commonwealth countries, many of whom are non-white.  We’re starting to see resentment amongst ethnic British citizens who find that they can’t get a visa to bring in mother-in-law for a family wedding, while Europeans with no UK connections can come freely.

UKIP on the other hand wants (A) an agreed limit on annual migration, to ensure that it doesn’t place undue strain on social cohesion and social infrastructure, while at the same time allowing employers to fill skill shortages and bring in essential staff; (B) within the overall limit, a selection process based solely on skills and qualifications – a points-based system on the Australian model.  Absolutely no discrimination on grounds of race, colour or ethnicity.  It is a policy which all of us in the Party can embrace with confidence and pride, knowing that it responds to a key theme of public concern.

Now let me stray off-piste (My favourite Terry Wogan line, by the way: “Suivez la piste!  Follow that drunken woman!”) and venture a personal view which goes some way beyond party policy.  We have obligations in international law to offer asylum to those with a well-founded fear of their lives.  But the rules were drawn up, and the obligations entered into, when no one envisaged mass migration on the scale we are seeing today.

The theory is that we assess each individual applicant, determine whether they have a genuine claim, and deal with them accordingly.  But we now face (on a very conservative estimate) at least a million arrivals in Europe in a year.  Some of these people would qualify as refugees.  Most are economic migrants.  Many have no identification papers.  Many have deliberately thrown away their papers in transit.  Some have been schooled by traffickers in the answers they should give.  Others have obtained false passports – reported to be readily available in the Balkans and the Eastern Med.

When, on Question Time recently, I asked how Simon Schama knew that a particular asylum applicant was Syrian, he replied “Of course he was Syrian – he spoke Arabic!” – as though Arabic were not a widespread language spoken across the Middle East and North Africa.  I suggest that it is simply impossible to deliver any kind of fair analysis of the refugee status of these huge numbers.  Simply as an administrative process, it becomes impossible on this scale, as several European countries seem to be finding out.  Then consider the venal lawyers who will facilitate appeals processes in the name of “Human Rights”, and we shall have a process that lasts decades, and places impossible strains on our immigration services and courts.

The only solution, it seems to me, is to control our borders, and prevent arrivals.  Yes, rescue the drowning in the Med – but don’t bring them to Europe.  Yes – provide facilities for asylum applications at British Embassies abroad, and in locations close to war zones and refugee camps.  But let no migrant seek to come to the UK without a visa.

I dismiss out-of-hand the talk of “climate refugees” (as though there had been no floods or droughts or wars before 1970).  But I do expect further large-scale migration in coming decades, resulting from population pressures, wars, the growth of Islamic extremism, and downright bad governance and corruption.  But the old systems of asylum and immigration are broken, and cannot be patched together.  It’s time for new thinking.






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27 Responses to The Times goes Tabloid

  1. Alan Wheatley says:

    I am pleased to comment that I agree entirely.

  2. davidbuckingham says:

    Can a worthwhile distinction be made between
    1. immediate short term urgent issues with temporary visas, wherever is best
    2. long term policies and visas
    (I’m sure Charles will welcome climate refugees in all his various taxpayer-funded houses and grounds).

    • Roger Helmer MEP says:

      It is important that we have short term visas for (A) seasonal agricultural workers and (B) students. And that they go home when their visas expire!

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        I wish our out of work culture could be encouraged to fill some of these tasks. Social feather bedding in the 50’s and 60’s helped no one, only made it easier to justify poor foreigners to come as the first step in relocation.

        We were never informed or consulted by the social experimenters before hand.

      • Flyinthesky says:

        Brin, Indeed, the problem is when the jobs are given to migrants you cannot cajole, threaten or incentivise our own people to take work that is no longer there, the short term solution has evolved into an enduring catastrophe.

  3. Ex-expat Colin says:

    I’m expecting the Turkey v Russia spat may inform us about current immigration, invasion and insurgence in that area. Not that it would disturb the long lunches in Brussels too much.

    When France was out of NATO some years ago I’m sure they were big mates of the USSR. so whats Hollande upto in Moscow today. I think France has a couple of big Russian Navy projects withheld. No, can’t be that.

  4. Singularis says:

    I think perhaps the most disappointing post-election result were the attempts, partly succesful, by some journalists to drive as much of a wedge between the varying groups within the UKIP family as possible, using Carswell/Farage as their tool, dragging Suzanne Evans along too.
    As far as I can see it was simply to generate website hits and these clickbait articles continue to pop up every few months.
    In a sign of the increasing maturity of UKIP nobody significant left the party but it has caused quite a split with members, some favouring the Carswell tone, some Farage and others like me who hover in between the two. I dont know what the answer is but that rift needs healing because come the day Nigel does step down it will be laid bare, it is already playing out a fair bit online and will only get worse.

  5. Andrew says:

    Not to worry Roger, who’s going to buy this, let alone read it.

    • When Nigel Farage forecasted a huge number of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants, everyone rubbished him. Keith Vaz actually went to the airport to welcome them! Now they are flooding in. And nobody remembers.
      Now Nigel Farage is forecasting lots of Turks. Nobody is listening. But Angela Merkel is pushing it. If it happens, we are going to get German street battle between Turks and Kurds.
      At the moment, Nigel Farage is going round giving excellent, well delivered speeches in various places. These are not reported at all. But they are on the internet. It would be fascinating to know what people at University think of Ukip. I suspect that a lot will be very supportive.
      Ukip are so often ahead of the curve.

  6. Flyinthesky says:

    An absolute moral minefield, the unsayable is as long as we continue to rescue them they’ll keep coming.
    My contention is the influx is predominately young men, even at my age I wouldn’t be running away I would be fighting for the restoration of my country. The people left behind are the people who have to accept whatever is thrown at them. They are left defenceless. I’m alright jack.

  7. Anyoldiron says:

    FACTS. We have three major Political Parties that want to remain in the European Union apparently FOREVER or for as long as the people continue to vote for them and pay them, plus expenses of course. Yet this United Kingdom of GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland fought two World WARS to prevent foreigners Governing us. I remember that last WAR very well indeed, for we lived on the outskirts of Manchester-and was indeed bombed out. If we do not get out of the EU soon, we will remains in it forever-yet will all those in both Houses of Parliament still want their money, plus vast expenses when even THEY have to obey the TREATIES THEY have ratified without ever putting one before the people before ratification?

  8. Ian Terry says:

    Bloody well said Roger. How the truth must hurt those in denial!!

  9. Brin Jenkins says:

    The truth is bent by Union controlled media to serve the Common Purpose. If you don’t understand this Common Purpose it is well worth Googling to read about the aims of this devious control system.

  10. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Just creates more places we can’t enter in UK…within London and Birmingham for instance

    Labour MEPs vote to open door to returning ISIS fighters:

  11. Brin Jenkins says:

    I agree Colin, population replacement, but that can only be done by our own genocide. Might I be wrong? Possibly, but like the Greenies claim it’s too big a risk to not take immediate action.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Its the lazy, liberal white problem usually. Had it at British Embassies where reception was some afro telling me what I can’t do. Wrong footed by poor english. Similar at a Passport Office here last week. Was an asian G4S bloke babbling to someone at the security door in one of their dialects to which I requested that english be spoken at UK government offices….wot, wot (sort of) he babbled? G4S…jeeeez!

      Funny that because a Palestinian friend complained to me about similar at the Lebanese embassy in Jeddah years back. It was much more than a complaint really!

      So multiply that sort of thing up and we are gone! Or we are being enriched by it…NOT!

      Shapps gone it appears…just take the rest please.

  12. Anyoldiron says:

    We will NEVER forget, THEY gave their lives for US.

    So many gave their lives for us
    Fighting in two World Wars,
    Yet when “Peace” came at last
    We ask, “What was that war for”?
    Where is that peace we fought for?
    Did we pay to give it away
    To foreigners once more to govern us?
    Did the people ever have a say?

    We were asked once in 1975
    To remain in the then EEC,
    But what is it now in 2015,
    It is nothing like we thought it would be.
    Our Common Law Constitution
    Ignored and deliberately cast aside,
    A new Flag and EU Anthem
    That no Brits can truly abide.

    Yet according to our Constitution,
    We must be free to govern our selves?
    To betray those that gave their lives for us
    Would be like living in a permanent Hell!
    We are forbidden to obey foreigners
    Our Constitution makes that quite clear,
    So WHY are you allowing foreigners
    To Govern us forever more?


  13. omanuel says:

    How Scientists Hid the Creator

    Was written for the opening of the United Nation’s COP21 Paris Conference.

    Please read and forward to organizers of the UN’s COP21 Paris Conference.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  14. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Needs to be seen..again:

    The Great Global Warming Swindle

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Neartly forgot….Piers Corbyn and the Sun for weather forecasting at 26 mins.

      Red sky at night…etc?

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Brilliant and thanks, its good to have big names agreeing with my own thought processes and explaining why and how it started.

    • Flyinthesky says:

      It’s like a lot of situations, the ones who could elicit a change in the situation have a vested interest, their own, not to.
      It’s cited in the film that thousands of jobs have been created and are dependant on the erroneous theory, I would suggest that’s now millions. All these people have a future to protect, their own and they’re often in positions of authority and influence. Councils, government bodies, NGOs et al.

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