Nigel Farage defends ‘racist’ immigration posters

UKIP poster

Debate rages over Ukip’s anti-EU election posters: are they racist or do they tell the truth?

LAST UPDATED AT 11:00 ON Tue 22 Apr 2014

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has defended his party’s campaign strategy after critics branded its posters for next month’s European elections “racist”.

One poster shows a builder in a hard hat sitting on the street begging for change with the slogan: “EU policy at work. British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour.”

Another poster, with a giant hand pointing out of the image, reads: “26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?”

Labour MP Mike Gapes said the posters were "racist" and called on "all decent British Commonwealth and EU citizens" to vote in the May 22 election.

Farage defended the posters in typically relaxed style, saying he was happy to "ruffle a few feathers among the chattering classes."

But in an article published in The Guardian, Nick Clegg attacked Farage’s attempts to position himself as a political underdog. On the contrary, Clegg said, Ukip is an arm of the “longstanding Eurosceptic establishment” that had been given a "free run" in the EU debate for too long.

Ukip’s blunt campaign posters have split newspaper columnists. Writing for The Times, Douglas Murray said that the major parties’ efforts to silence Ukip result from their own discomfort on the subject of immigration.

A “chasm has grown” between what the British public thinks about immigration and what politicians do about it, he says: 77 per cent of the public would like immigration to be reduced and “the days in which this could be portrayed as barely sublimated bigotry are past”.

“If the political class don’t like the Ukip posters then there is a way to deal with it,” he writes. “It is not to critique the posters but rather to address the facts they speak to.”

Setting out the opposing view in an open letter to Farage published in The Independent, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says the Ukip leader “must know” that Britain only maintains its position of political authority in the world by being “pro-European, open and cosmopolitan”.

Ukip’s policies only appeal because they “tap into widespread anxieties about migration”, Alibhai-Brown says.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, called for “realism and respect” in the immigration debate. Nichols said Britain should celebrate the “richness” offered by migrants, rather than seeing their presence as something deserving of “anger or dismay”. · 

Disqus - noscript

nah not racist, racist would be to state the truth that british workers are too lazy to compete in the workforce!

I am so sick hearing politicians and religious leaders waffling on about multiculturalism and "richness",what bollocks,large numbers of immigrants choose to live together and make no attempt to integrate,may don't even bother to learn English and attack our religion and our way of life.

The intellectual pygmies that constitute our government are so far removed from the reality of life that they can't see that, in this matter if not others, UKIP are telling the truth. Not content to allow our manufacturing industry to be exported to China and Korea, they are happy to see our jobs given to the flocks of foreign workers (EU and Non-EU alike) that have invaded these shores.

UKIP is right. These are important issues for the British people but clearly they attack the laziness and corruption which IS the Westminster /EU Bubble.

As for the Cardinal - well - 2 million Roman Catholic Poles filling up his otherwise empty seats - of course he's concerned that someone like UKIP may turn off the tap for millions more.

This is just typical PC. Virtually all politicians and all religious leaders wouldn't say shit if their mouths were full of it. Free speech allows everybody the right to say what they wish and if you don't agree then say so at the ballot box but don't mule and puke endlessly about racism. That's a card that has been played too often and it no longer has any currency.

Every time control of immigration is mentioned the political elite scream racism to try to shut the debate down.

Pretty rich for a Labour candidate to complain about racism. I was under the impression they all thought "white people love to play divide and conquer".
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's no better. She's utterly obsessed by her skin colour and gender it's unbelievable.

In fact, the entire of the open-door immigration types seem obsessed by race far more than those they brush aside as racists.
The people who want border controls want just that: border controls. Fair ones, where an Indian has equal opportunity to enter the UK as a Pole (exactly who're the racists here?). Stricter vetting of candidates, rather than just letting people in to "enrich" the county's "diversity".
The sensible don't want blatant lunatics and extremists being let in as tourists, let alone to live work and grow a family of criminals the taxpayer will end up paying for!!!

Euroids are a race now?! Who knew?

If you are losing the debate, shout racist. You silence the opposition, which ends the agrument... Allowing you to claim victory.

With all due respect, (I assume) you have no idea what is it like being an immigrant/ethnic minority and thus cannot understand what it's like living in a country where your skin colour and culture is not the default. Whilst I agree there should be greater assimilation, it's not going to happen without greater dialogue. To tell you the truth, many immigrants and descendants of past immigrants are downright scared of racist behaviour faced in the past. Safety in numbers, you could say. Also I'm curious to know how such a minority are attacking your religion and way of life?

...Farage stands out as a man of conviction and principle - almost unique in the cesspit of politics!

I see the people of Cornwall have now been classified as a minority group. That says a lot about what's happening. Soon the UK will be all minority groups.

Royalty Incorporated divides to Rule.

Yes its racist when white immigrants are taking jobs from white british people. Makes perfect sense to critics of UKIP

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.