Nigel Farage is ‘a little bit racist’, this is what a Leave campaigner admitted when door knocking on a friends house. That’s an interesting outlook isn’t it? How can you be a ‘little bit’ racist. Is it like being a ‘little bit’ pregnant? Or a ‘little bit’ incontinent? Racism, pregnancy and being in control of your bodily functions is either something you are or aren’t.
Nigel Farage has said he’s not against immigration, and that it’s about the quality not the quantity. What does he mean by that? If you’re an Indian doctor you’re allright, come in. If you’re rich, spend your money out-bidding people who just want somewhere to live on properties in London you will never live in or rent out.
But what if you’re poor? If you’re a qualified doctor you will have a comfortable lifestyle whatever country you live in. What about if you’re a hospital porter? Or a cleaner?
This is thinly disguised class war from someone who is projecting himself as a ‘man of the people?’ Which people? I don’t know anyone like him? And don’t think I ever will. And my life won’t be poorer for it either.
When I think of immigration I think of the following;
- the struggle my mother had to adapt to starting her life all again. Without the support she would have had if she’d stayed in her village in Cyprus
- my five mates from when I was at school. Ben, who’s mother was from Switzerland. Yat who was born in Hong Kong. John, who’s father was born in Ireland. Andreas, like me a Cypriot but from the Greek community and also like me living in London with a single parent. And Robert, who’s mother was from Barbados. Our friendship is genuine and not contrived. I count myself lucky to have been born somewhere I got the chance to mix with people from all these backgrounds.
3. the Syrian man I saw wondering up the street in Istanbul last summer, followed by his wife and child in a pram. Holding a placard saying ‘I’m Syrian, please help’. I did.
4. the two Syrian boys scrapping so violently they had to be pulled apart by adults because they rowed about where each could sell water in a confined space.
5. the Syrian boy that took 2 TL off me for water when it usually cost a quarter of that. And then ran off laughing without giving me the water. Then he ran back and gave it to me, still laughing.
What Farage has done in this campaign is dragged the rest of the Leave campaign into the gutter. Normally respectable Tories have followed suit.
By Friday we will discover if he is still there but on his own. Or whether he has dragged the rest of us in there with him.