One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

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THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Paul T Horgan: The Leave vote had nothing to do with racism

It appears Leave voters are racist, if much left-wing commentary is to be believed. Despite race not being an issue before the UK's Independence Day vote on June 23rd, it certainly is afterwards, as immigration was seen as the top issue deciding the vote. But the opposition to unlimited immigration is due to the adverse economic consequences, not ethnic identity.

It is not true to state that migrants produce more than they consume in terms of the national economy. This is because the value is always stated in monetary terms, and never in other resources. However, I understand it is not possible to assemble a large pile of cash and have it spontaneously turn into the NHS doctor whose services a migrant will need on arrival. If anyone is willing to give me a large pile of money to test this theory, please contact the editors. £50 notes will work best.

Immigration results in an increased demand for free state services which has not been previously planned for, resulting in a dilution of those resources for the existing community. If free services are based on universal access, this should have also included controlled entitlement. Universal delivery with universal entitlement is impossible with unlimited immigration. The NHS is now at breaking strain, not because of government policy, but because it is being asked to do the impossible.

There has been an increase in the number of reports of racist incidents of one kind or other since the vote. An increase in the reports, not the actual number of incidents. Some of these reports are included just because someone has anonymously uploaded details of an alleged incident to an official website. There is no investigation or fact-checking. The Government wants to increase reporting. This does not mean there are large numbers of people suffering in silence. It does mean that a Conservative Government wants to evade the traditional accusations by the Left of being 'soft' on racism.

This is nonsense. There is no rolling Kristallnacht taking place across the land. There was no dog-whistle that signalled to a cohort of racists on Friday 24th June 2016 that they could all finally come out of the closet and freely practise their bigotry on Britain's streets. The BNP did not hold victory parades in front of cheering crowds. The only crowds on the streets were those opposing a proposition that had been approved by a popular vote of millions. In fact the only open racism that is on the rise in the UK is by Labour Party members and supporters against the Jewish community.

Hate crime in this country is no longer an offence that is exclusively performed with intent by the perpetrator. What matters is the perception of the 'victim'. This means that if the perception of the 'victim' changes, that the same circumstances or behaviour may be regarded as an act of bigotry, no questions asked. It is highly likely that a lot of people's perception of life in Britain underwent a fundamental change on the morning of 24th June. This does not necessarily mean there are more public expressions of bigotry outside the behaviour of morons. It may be that people commenting on a dramatic event in British politics in a way that someone else does not like are now classed as racist. It is not just Tories that have to be shy in modern Britain.

Voting Leave was not a racist act. It was not based on ignorance. It was not based on stupidity. It was based on the inability of the EU and the government to make a convincing argument for continued EU membership that was of sufficient appeal to the majority of voters. A very large number of people enjoying huge salaries, some based on perpetuating the status quo, could not make the case for Remain. Instead all we got was threats should we vote Leave.

As I have written before, this country will not acquiesce to threats from European coalitions. To quote Wellington, "They came on in the same old way and we defeated them in the same old way.", but “It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.” And it is not over yet.

(Image: David Holt)

Paul T Horgan

  • Uusikaupunki

    “……. it is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have
    free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a
    welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a
    certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence,
    regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then it
    really is an impossible thing.”

    Milton Friedman

    • Groan

      Thank you. I have commented on this site that in or out of the EU we would still need to tackle immigration as we haven’t for over half a century. At least out of the EU it will be blatantly obvious that it is our own political “will”, or lack of the same that is the primary cause of the mess. EU membership being an aggravating factor on this issue not a cause.

      • 3aple

        Precisely so. Our government, of whatever hue, will no longer have anyone else to blame, will no longer be able to excuse inactivity.

        Whilst the responsibility for choosing a government will remain ours, the responsibility for their performance will be firmly their own.

  • John Birch

    Absolutely correct, I voted leave because I wanted this country to be run be our elected politicians.
    If they don’t do a good job we can tell them on your bike at the next election.
    And for exactly the same reasons my Chinese wife voted out as well.
    Our vote started the ball rolling and I think Europe as it is now won’t exist for much longer anyway, we got off the bus before it crashed.
    The telling thing about the remoaners is the total lack of confidence they have in this country, and they mainly come from the administration/ government classes.
    Thank god the people who voted out come from the real world where profit has to be made and real work has to be done to keep
    These snowflakes in their government paid jobs.

  • North Angle

    I am long past the point of caring that the left don’t understand why we voted to Leave; I don’t hide that I voted Leave and I don’t care what lefties call me.

    They will continue to scream racist at us because they are not capable of understanding or accepting the arguments we put forward to them. The left just have not learned any lessons, and long may that continue.

    There are no screaming conservatives, I find.

    • brownowl

      I’m with you all the way there…

    • Owen_Morgan

      It’s not so much that the left isn’t capable of understanding rational argument. They refuse even to contemplate doing so. We’re bad and they, therefore, must be good – historical evidence be damned.

      • North Angle

        I’m with you – I did say “incapable of accepting”, but I take your expanded point. They just haven’t got it in them to understand another’s point of view. They scream bigot at us when they’re the actual bigots!

        • RingedPlover

          They never try to explain why I am racist, a bigot &c. for wanting to leave the EU. I suppose that is because they can’t…

  • Godeye

    I live near the town which was the ‘brexit’ capital of the UK,and is also the murder capital of the UK,and is also the least integrated town in the UK,and also has the highest amount of East Europeans per capita in the UK,and the huge majority voted ‘brexit’ because they now feel like strangers in their once quiet,rural English market town,and they don’t ever remember voting for it to be turned into an East European-crime-ridden-shytehole.
    If that makes us ‘racist’,so what?

  • RingedPlover

    Racist? Why single that out? And the rest viz. I’m also xenophobic, a bigot, ill-educated, un-educated, vile &c. &c.

    • Mr TaxPayer

      And like me, probably homophobic and a climate change denier as well. I taunt them by asking them to directly accuse me of whatever hate-crime they think I am guilty of. They soon shut up.

      • RingedPlover

        Yup; Me too…

        • Bob Marshall

          And I shall too, now. Thank you, Mr TaxPayer.

  • Major Tom

    My leave vote was based simply on the desire for a return to the democratic right of self-government – one that could be held accountable by the people once again.

    • RingedPlover

      Me too.

  • Tethys

    Despite the term becoming so abusrd as to be almost meaningless; racism against the 50% EU-derived componant of migrants was a factor in the brexit vote and this attempt at sanitisation is a bit crass.
    You might as well say the £350m lie didn’t matter either.

    • Marketthinker

      Ah but, the 350m wasn’t a lie, we do give the EU 350m a week. The fact that they graciously return 150m or so a week of our money back to us in ways they see fit does not alter the fact that, outside of the EU we will be able to make our own decisions on how to spend the whole 350m. We may well decide to spend it on similar things, we may not. It is like telling me that my tax bill is not 45% of my salary because the government has spent lots of my money on things like education, foreign aid and climate change. This is the ‘one big lie’ according to the remaniacs, as opposed to the heap of nonsense from Osborne and project fear, the denial of ambitions to have a European army, the concealment of the implications of the Lisbon Treaty and Qualified Majority Voting come March 2017 across the few issues of remaining UK sovereignty and so on.

      • Tethys

        A curious admission of Leave’s deliberate misleading of the electorate plus some indication of an unhealthy disrespect for scientific analysis.
        FYI there were actually several ‘big’ lies.