History kindly teaches us that hard times encourage right wing parties to prosper, sometimes under the guise of being for 'the working man.' I'm not here to compare UKIP to the Nazis, but seeing as though you mentioned it - the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party) disguised it's right wing agenda, simply by the use of the word 'socialist' in their title, the exact same way in which UKIP - God only knows how, try to put themselves across as being for the working class, which lets face it, everyone knows is absolutely ridiculous. So what history teaches us is that the rise of the right wingers is expected and the tendency to 'protest vote' isn't as shocking or unexpected as we first thought.
The national conversation turned to immigration with the rise of UKIP over the past few years. Labour - as it's so often put - 'opened the floodgates' to immigration from within the EU during their last government. The more important issue, however, we may need to scratch the surface to see. The argument that immigration isn't helping with our economic problems, highlights the actual problems with our debt and economy, immigrants being blamed for 'crime' or the rise of criminal activity, again highlights the problem with the economy - as we all know that poverty breeds crime. Blaming immigrants for 'taking jobs' when the likelihood is that immigrants will either a) do the jobs that British people deem themselves to be above, or b) they will have higher qualifications and the UK will benefit from their skills and expertise. This again, highlights a problem with the economy - the high unemployment statistics.
BBC Question Time, every week without fail has a question about immigration and the panel discuss it like it's a matter of life and death. I'm sure the people who are so dreadfully opposed to immigration won't want to see their doctor who might be an immigrant with a PhD or their non-British solicitor or speak to their children's teacher who is from outside of the EU, they may not have respect for the Eastern European factory workers who get out of bed at 4am rather than sit on the sofa all day and claim job seekers benefits. The benefit system (and popular lifestyle choice) is again, another issue which has become much more important and much more in need of address than immigration.
So whilst Nigel Farage and co. make it the one aim in their political lives to persuade the masses that everything is the fault of the immigrant, why aren't we stopping this conversation and asking ourselves why we don't consider the economy to be of more importance? People are actually voting for parties based on their immigration policies whilst practically ignoring their economic plans.
Those interested in politics are of course, well aware that the economy is in a pretty bad way and can see that this should be the focus of this general election, however, the average Joe, who may have very little interest in politics, sees the propaganda of the political parties and may vote just based on that. Don't we have a duty as a democracy to educate our citizens about politics and the importance of our economy whilst also making people more aware of the fear-mongering that goes on within the media in regards to immigration?
Anyone who starts a conversation with me about how they're voting based on immigration policies, rather than a party's policies on the EU (in regards to issues other than immigration) or the economy, or any other credible political issue, will be shown the door.