Immigration is good. There, I've said it. Now I wait to be struck down by a thunder bolt. A country that attracts immigrants is a healthy country. It boasts a growing economy, a stable society, and offers a safe environment for children to grow up in. Its people live under the rule of law, with freedom of speech and of religion. It's a country of which I'm immeasurably proud to be a citizen. Without immigrants, Britain would be a much poorer place. It would be hungrier, dirtier and less healthy. It's immigrants who pick and pack the food that we eat, immigrants who clean our offices and streets, immigrants who keep the NHS going and care for the elderly in their homes and nursing homes.
Voters from the 28 member nations of the European Union delivered an election earthquake on May 25. Results show major gains in the European Parliament for anti-integration, Euroskeptic parties which span the ideological spectrum from the extreme-right National Front which won the ballot in France, to the far-left Syriza Party which came first in Greece.
Many people do not vote because of a sense of hopelessness. Would my vote make a difference? Would it have an impact on government? Here's a real-life example for those cynics, skeptics and pessimists ... In Southcoates East, UKIP's victory was decided by only 9 votes. With the benefit of hindsight, would you have voted if that preordained the defeat of such party?
Once upon a time near the start of the previous century a drug named "Marihuana" was fast becoming the scourge of certain states of America. It was tu...
There have been many predictions that both the Conservatives and Labour will move to the right in the next year, out of fear of the impact of Ukip's anti-multiculturalism. I am not sure if this is the necessary and 'politically correct' route to ensure electoral success in 2015.
The recent European elections were certainly a wake-up call for the major political parties and the Westminster political class in the UK, but it takes a bit of interpretation to be clear exactly what the message the electorate delivered was.
Since the last European elections were held in 2009, five EU countries - Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus - have required bailouts, and unemployment across the continent has remained persistently high, particularly among young people.
Many people regard Magna Carta as the first Constitutional guarantee of the basic liberties of the English-speaking world. Fewer people know that M...
What Nick Clegg and his Lib-Dem colleagues should have learned from their poll disaster is that hard and fast political dogma is suicidal in the changing fortunes of time. Their steadfast support for the UK's European Union membership, in spite of all popular opinion polls showing negative views of the EU, sealed their fate...
The BBC asked me this morning if the arrival of Ukip (and even darker parties such as the Front Nationale) in Brussels would be disruptive. I agreed that it will be. But disruption, creative chaos, real change, is just what our stale, failed political system needs, just as the angry voters, lashing out or expressing frustration by either voting Ukip or staying at home (as 63% did), need to be offered hope. Our political future doesn't look like the past. Happily.
Will these European election results give the prime minister nightmares? They should, given how he has has repeatedly tried - and failed - to tackle the Ukip menace. The truth is that a vote for Farage will indeed be a vote for Miliband - and against Cameron.
The title of a work of art by Tracy Emin which I saw at the Tate the other week got my attention: Hate and Power can be a terrible thing. This evocative title sums up the current debate in the electoral campaign for European elections in the UK. Candidates are fighting for power by employing hate.
Do you want my alternative, semi-serious take on the ongoing Ukip racism row and today's European elections? On the Croydon 'carnival of colour' and Nigel Farage's fondness for Romanians? Here's the political week in 60 seconds. Don't forget to vote!
As their stories demonstrate so compellingly, refugees contribute hugely to the lives of everyone in the UK, by enriching our culture, our commerce and our communities, and by showing us that compassion is a hallmark of a strong and open society.
Britain now has one of the most attractive tax systems in the world with Corporation Tax falling to 20% next year. This is great because business people and investors are vital to the future of the UK economy. We should never be embarrassed about wanting to attract people who can come here to create jobs.
What occurs to me is that in all the rhetoric, Sajid Javid has forgotten something very simple. Where is the government funding and access for keen families and individuals to learn English if they should wish it? While the will may be there from immigrant families, the financial ability to attend classes may not be.