From Mr A. M. Hughes
Sir, - Canon Angela Tilby (Comment, 10 October) thinks that much
of UKIP's support arises from a sense of betrayal; she dislikes
what she sees as its "scapegoating" of immigration and its
I have voted for UKIP because it is the only party supporting
withdrawal from the behemoth that is the EU, and the only party
that is honest about the magnitude of immigration and what can
realistically be done to reduce it.
This is not the place to argue about the EU (though I cannot
refrain from pointing out that its elected Parliament has no power
to initiate legislation or to draw up budgets; that power lies with
the unelected Commissioners). UKIP's opposition is not "knee-jerk":
it was the raison d'être of its founding.
As for immigration, for years it was a taboo subject. Anyone who
raised it was a racist or a bigot. Here in Oxford, my wife and I
are unable to have an over-the-fence chat with our immediate
neighbours because they have so little English; at our corner shop
and newsagent, I was recently told, in answer to a question,
"Sorry, I don't understand English."
As a country, we have the situation where foreign choirs and
scientists have difficulty getting permission to come to the UK,
yet any of the 450 million people in the EU can come here
regardless of their language and their culture (it is differences
of culture rather than of religion that can be problematic).
Many towns and cities in England have changed utterly in the
past few decades. It is one of the most densely populated countries
in the world: in Europe, only the Netherlands has a higher
population density, and only four countries worldwide. Yet, in the
year to March, 243,000 more people entered the UK than left it (I
could not find immigration figures for England, but they are
unlikely to be significantly different); 175,000 of these
immigrants were from the EU, and so could not have been
Over the years, we have been told that joining the EEC was
purely a matter of trade; that it would be economic catastrophe for
the UK not to join the euro; that we should get a referendum on the
Lisbon Treaty. Even now, two of the Westminster parties are not
offering a referendum on EU membership, and both insist that
voters' opposition to immigration is based on unfairness in
claiming state benefits and the effect on jobs and pay: not so. One
party is suggesting five new towns near HS2; the other, five
between Oxford and Cambridge.
I think a "massive sense of betrayal" is a very good way of
putting it. I am angry and disillusioned.
A. M. HUGHES
3 Moody Road, Headington
Oxford OX3 0DH