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Kevin Lee: Tarzan goes over the top over race. But Farage is nearer the public mood


On Sunday, Lord Heseltine launched a blistering attack on Ukip leader Nigel Farage. In an article for the Mail on Sunday, the Tory grandee compared Farage to Enoch Powell, calling him irresponsible, ridiculous and accusing him of playing with fire on race.

Here you can read Kevin Lee’s point-by-point rebuttal. Extracts from Heseltine’s article are in italics. Kevin Lee’s replies are in bold.

“Nigel Farage says he wants to scrap the laws designed to protect ethnic minorities from discrimination”.

Not true… it’s a citizenship issue.

“I can clearly remember what the UK was like before we introduced the Race Relations Act – and it was another country”.

This is exactly what Farage is saying.

“Powell was a more intelligent politician than Farage, but had the same irresponsible instinct – to mix up race relations with immigration”.

That’s better than mixing up citizenship and race relations, as Heseltine is doing.

“Of course the Government is right to exercise control of the level of immigration”.

Fantasy. The Government is absolutely NOT controlling immigration and, in the case of EU migrants, is not even allowed to.

“ is one of this country’s proudest claims that there should be no prejudice on grounds of colour, class or creed”.

This is consistent with what Farage is saying.

“I would argue that the single most conspicuous quality of modern British society is the sense of fairness, equality and decency which pervades most walks of life”.

Yes, so perhaps the laws are not crucial now, as Farage is saying. Anyhow, who cares if a few Brits choose not to hire foreigners? According to Heseltine’s thinking it would only be a very few and they would most likely be damaging their own business.

“He came up with a ridiculous, headline-generating statement, then claimed not to have said what the recording of the interview clearly revealed”.

The interview revealed that Farage supports “British jobs for British workers”, just like Brown said that he did. So why all the fuss when Farage says it?

“His message reaches the people he wants to win over”.

His message reaches millions of people who have already been won over.

“The Government is wrestling with the enormously difficult issues of immigration”.

Issues caused by it’s own ineptitude and Labour’s prior design.

“Ministers know that the fabric of our society depends upon the immigrant community that helps sustain it”.

Where to begin with this one – are we British really so useless?

“Neither the health service, the transport infrastructure, nor our social services could provide the standards we have come to expect and demand were it not for the fact that there are huge numbers of people from all over the world who are filling the jobs”.

Firstly, current standards of public service are abysmal. Secondly (in the context of the article), what a shambles if British citizens cannot provide the standards we have come to expect?

“Just let the word get out that their key employees have to be replaced by our citizens – often less qualified or experienced – and the inward flow of people will head for our competitors”.

What an insult to the British people and indictment of our education and training systems.

“Yes, we have to seek control of our borders”.

Since when did Heseltine ever think this? Has he been turned by Ukip?

“In the 1960s, the immigrant community was unfamiliar with the workings of this country….That is no longer the case. Today…… they are confident, aware of their rights……..and sensitive to the first sign of someone wishing to abuse that.”

This is precisely the problem. Many are much more aware of their rights than their duty to their host nation.

“I believe that the thousand years of armed conflict which ravaged the continent of Europe, including the UK, has indisputedly been contained within the shared sovereignty of modern Europe”.

How naive to base such a profound conclusion on “a few seconds” of recent history. Ask the Greeks how they think it’s going! In any event, the EU’s liking of shared sovereignty is all about weakening of nation states and the demise of democracy.

“I cannot understand how people who share my pride in the great traditions of this country can possibly believe that their world would be improved by supporting a party with minimum prospects of achieving power but the maximum prospect of diverting votes away from the Conservatives”.

Millions of voters are deserting the Conservative Party precisely because the party does not share their pride in the great traditions of our country.

“If they respond to the sinister subtext to Farage’s words, they will, as David Cameron says, find that they wake up on May 8 with Ed Miliband in Downing Street”.

They might wake up on May 8 with Ed Miliband in Downing Street because Cameron is a liberal who has betrayed them and Ukip offers them a home.

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Kevin Lee
Kevin Lee
Kevin Lee is a former Professor of Life Sciences at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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