A couple of weeks ago, Frank Field MP wrote an open letter to David Miliband about taking a harder (might I say UKIP) line on immigration. I wasn't impressed and wrote a reply - and Mr.Field subsequently replied to me. Below is my response to him.
A modern economy needs a constant flow of new labour -- both skilled and unskilled -- and immigration is the only way to get it. Germany, UK and America have built their economies on this and I met a lady from Silicone Valley, the centre of America's IT industry who said her industry's message to the US Government is simple: "give us more Indians."
The first time as tragedy, the second time as Farage It may be that we have seen the high point of UKIP already come and go, but somehow I doubt it. ...
What these Conservative alliances really show, then, is not the increasing likelihood of any UK parliamentary coalition with UKIP, but the unawareness - or even ignorance or apathy - of British voters towards European politics.
Tony Blair has now set out his stall on Europe. It attacks the big issues, but it may be that he comes with too much history, baggage as well as too many enemies for it to progress any further. Who else is there?
Britain is offering 1,000 troops and the tanks they can still start to NATO so they can put on a show in Poland that they think will put Vlad the Insaner back in his box...
Earlier this month we saw a huge increase in votes for UKIP and people discussing the subject of immigration. Whether or not you agree with those votes, the simple fact is that millions voiced their concerns and to just ignore them and their opinions is nothing short of disrespectful. It is simply saying we hear you but we are not listening...
The four freedoms of the European Union found inspiration in the British history of freedoms. In a way, it is an extension of the old Freedom of the City of London to the scale of a continent. This is one of the reasons Romanians have a great respect for the UK. They deserve to be treated with the same respect.
The onus should now be on Europhiles to explain why they support this bureaucratic behemoth. As for Tony Blair, he has denied seeking the position of Commission President. But I say give him it. The prospect of having this old charlatan in power again would turn anyone into a Eurosceptic.
We are an island race, this means we have always been proudly independent, and also completely reliant on integrating foreigners.
"What drives your cultural prejudice?" The question, asked of me on Twitter by someone who I'd known growing up, surprised me somewhat. He'd spotted that I had just been elected as a UKIP MEP, and assumed therefore that I must have such prejudice.
Dear Mr. Field, I read your letter in today's Observer with some dismay. If ever it was the time for the Labour Party to stand united, take on UKIP and reclaim its base, it is now.
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.
Despite the bleak state of affairs that the events of the week portray, the #YesAllWomen hashtag demonstrates a sea change in attitudes, from women who are increasingly prepared to challenge misogyny wherever they encounter it. The more we recognise the injustices against women, the faster we will progress towards achieving true equality.
In all corners of the European Union, a significant proportion of those who voted last week opted for parties that provided a vehicle for expressing deep dissatisfaction. That dissatisfaction - despair even - is complicated and sincerely felt and should not be dismissed. It should be confronted.
If for nothing else, congratulations to Nigel Farage for ending the embarrassment of Britain returning a British National Party MEP to represent us in Brussels. The whispering campaign against Ukip in some sections of the media that they are jovial chaps on the surface but fascists underneath has always been a bit lazy...