Somehow Farage is STILL unclear on his immigration policy

The UKIP leader just can't make up his mind about caps


On the Today programme this morning, Nigel Farage was asked by Mishal Husein whether he was now finding things slightly harder than he had anticipated. UKIP have dipped in the polls and their ascendancy seems to have stalled a little.

Farage seemed confident that he could get back on track by encouraging those who didn’t turn out at the last election to vote for his party – because of the ‘distinctive’ policies it offers.

But Nigel Farage does have a daunting couple of weeks ahead. Having been named a ‘major’ party by Ofcom, he will find his policies scrutinised as never before.

And as this morning showed, he still can’t give straight answers on his plans for immigration, the issue that he is best known for:

On caps

The UKIP leader has already flip-flopped several times over the question of immigration caps. At the beginning of March, also on the Today programme, he axed a proposed migration cap of 50,000, saying that greater flexibility was needed.

He told Husain today that caps were ‘ludicrous’ and that UKIP were instead aiming for targets – but was unable to explain to her what the difference was.

Later in the interview, Husain pointed out that the Australian system, frequently cited as the ideal by Farage, does have a cap in place alongside its skills-based system.

“Do you accept the idea that …if you want the Australian system you need a cap as well?”

Farage then feigned confusion, saying that he thought the question had been about net migration – although Husain had been clear throughout – and agreed that a cap on people coming in was needed – it should be ‘below 50,000’.

On skilled workers

Farage described a ‘flood’ of minimum wage workers coming to the UK, turning the NMW from a ‘floor’ into a ‘ceiling’. Again lauding the Australian points-based system, Farage was asked to define a skilled worker.

MH: “Is a carpenter a skilled worker?”

NF: “Yes he is.”

MH: “Is a plasterer a skilled worker?”

NF: “Yes.”

MH: “An electrician?”

NF: “[PAUSE] Yes.”

Husain pointed out that many of these jobs are done by migrants from Eastern Europe. Suddenly Farage’s argument changed; these workers, who he had to admit were defined as skilled, were ‘undercutting’ British workers, and ‘not always up to the same levels of quality’.

On children’s safety 

Earlier this week Mr Farage said that, thanks to immigration, people now feel so ill at ease in their communities that they do not want to let their children play in the street.

“I want to live in a community where our kids play football in the streets of an evening and live in a society that is at ease with itself.”

When asked about this today, he said that segregated communities had stopped children playing in the street. He said that in towns like Peterborough and Boston, children no longer played in the street because certain quarters had been ‘taken over’.

Husein asked him:

“Isn’t it the fact that you don’t see children playing in the street much anywhere in the country is because times have changed, people worry about safety and stranger danger?”

Mr Farage responded: “Well that’s a slightly separate question.”


Mr Farage also refused to answer questions about the recent conduct of his party members – David Coburn, Kerry Smith, Janice Atkinson and Jeremy Zeid to name a few – and accused the BBC of bias in their coverage of scandals in his party.

‘Clearly the Janice Atkinson thing was a problem’, Mr Farage said – acknowledging the only issue which was not based on racist or homophobic comments.

Mr Farage said that the problem was with Conservative defectors, and that the media was unfair in its coverage of his own party’s slip-ups.

But over the next month, the UKIP leader will have to get used to these kinds of questions – and prepare some straight answers about why his party continues to attract racist, xenophobic and homophobic candidates.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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20 Responses to “Somehow Farage is STILL unclear on his immigration policy”

  1. Gary Scott

    His answers may not be clear but UKIP’S policies are – racism.

  2. Selohesra

    Farage is actually very clear – its just of the willful misrepresentation of his comments by much of the sneering media that causes confusion

  3. Selohesra

    Actually I think it is more racist to take unlimited numbers of East Europeans resulting in an inability to take in those from Commonwealth countries that would like to come here – would be fairer if all potential immigrants were treated equally whether from inside or outside EU

  4. Mike Stallard

    Ruby, where do you live?

  5. Tommo

    Nothing unclear about the fundamentals – a strong but flexible points system for ALL potentaial immigrants.

    It is an excellent policy.

  6. Tommo

    Particularly the left-wing and pro-EU BBC !!!

  7. Leon Wolfeson

    No, he’s not.

    He isn’t standing up and saying “I oppose trade, and am happy with lower wages for British people”.

    Because that’s where the damage he’d cause would *start*.

  8. Guest

    Excellent to stop the 99% crossing borders, excellent to block trade, etc.

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    So you’d hire cheap labour from commonwealth countries, noted.

    So much for your moral posturing on borders.

  10. Leon Wolfeson

    Another great example of christian intolerance – “take over” by allowing people not White Christian in the country.

    Our points-based system is much harsher than Australia’s, incidentally, and has lost i.e. a considerable chunk of games industry to Germany and Canada.

  11. Guest

    Keep making it up, Lord Blagger.

  12. Jack

    She lives somewhere with a rich, ethnic diversity. She says hello to the Lithuanians running the corner shop, but isn’t actually friends with any of them. She has a Polish builder around to fix her window, but she’s never been to the pub with any Polish. She knows that lovely Muslim family actoss the street but she’s never invited them around her house for dinner. She sees the black kids in hooded tops hanging around the tube station late at night and quickens her step hoping she doesn’t catch their eye. She knows it’s racist, but…even so, she’d rather get home.

    That is the reality of Labour’s cultural diversity. If you scratch beneath the surface of the phoney, right-on posiness of people like Ruby Stockham, this is what you find.

    It’s not so much that I disagree with Left Wing beliefs, ir’s the fact it’s been hi-jacked by these fake, middle class phonies that really gets me. My grandfather, a lifelong Labour supporter, much as I disagreed with his views, at least held them sincerely.

  13. Guest

    keep making up the PC image in your mind.

  14. Mike Stallard

    I have recently been staying with some people like this in Australia. I recognise the picture.
    OK- yesterday I went to Church and sat in front of Raj and his son (the other is an altar server) Raj was talking to his son with an Indian accent. After church he goes and stands with the other Indians in Kerala Korner. But the two sons are English. So are all the other servers – a Lithuanian, two Indians back from University, one with an Italian Mum and so on. The schools – OK – are doing a superb job of integration. Teachers ought to be really proud of this achievement.

  15. Selohesra

    If you keep hearing these voices i suggest you go back to your psychiatrist

  16. Selohesra

    Now you are sounding a tad racist Leon – wanting to stop those nasty Commonwealth people coming in

  17. Guest

    No, I’m against you deliberately importing cheap labour to deliberately undercut UK workers with illegally low wages.

    And it’s your moral posturing on borders, as you accuse me of your issues.

  18. Guest

    So you’ve recently been abusing rights you’d use others.

    As you’re “proud” only of those who are good little peons in the low-end jobs. Right.

  19. Guest

    I don’t have your issues, Lord Blagger.

  20. littleoddsandpieces

    Never mind asylum seekers on benefit or EU low waged workers.

    Most immigrants are not those needing benefit.

    We benefited by the Jews from Russia and Germany in the last century.

    Now we will gain the Eastern Christians from the Middle East and into Asia, being forced out by ethnocide by an extreme version of Islam, that will also go against any other Moslem not of their narrow view either.

    These Eastern Christians will integrate just as easily as the Jews did and do.

    Hopefully all these Eastern Christians will not go to wealthy Australia and New Zealand, and the UK will get some.

    France and Belgium have whole neighbourhoods where Christian churches have to hide their identity for fear of Islamic attack.

    England has redundant churches all over the place that these Eastern Christians could renovate and keep that architectural legacy.

    Instead of councils selling them off to turn them into homes.

    Pews sold off to private home owners, sometimes to be hacked up for timber.

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