Monday, 7 March 2016

The blog that Councillor Daniel Thomas doesn't want you to read

Anti immigration campaigner Dan Thomas with Zac Goldsmith

Barnet Conservative Councillor Daniel Thomas runs a blog called

On his blog Councillor Thomas lets us know his rather interesting views on all manner of issues.  With the Mayoral Elections approaching in London, I was intrigued to see that one of the more interesting blogs on the site had disappeared. We can but speculate as to why it's been deleted. Could it be that the Conservatives are a little bit sensitive right now?

 We are sure that voters will be keen to know Councillor Thomas views on the subject of immigration. He has thus far refused to reveal his position on the EU referendum. We hope that by reprinting his blog, it will help inform voters in Barnet and Camden as to where the esteemed deputy leader stands on the issue. Here is what he had to say for himself and what he is keen that we can no longer see.


By Councillor Daniel Thomas


Immigration: like the NHS it’s a taboo topic which is difficult to discuss calmly and rationally.  If you’re against immigration, you may be suspected of being a ‘Little Englander’ racist. If you’re in favour, you risk being labelled a hater of the UK determined to water down the ‘native’ population and flood the country with Labour voting foreigners.

We all know it’s more complicated than that but the worship of political correctness has caused debate to be less free and open as it should be.  Sometimes, politicians try to boil it down to simplicities. Barack Obama’s recent statement that only Native Americans have the right to object to immigration was a wonderful strike against the descendants of immigrants who oppose immigration.  

But his simple statement, which conjures up images of harshly treated native tribes, ignores what’s happening in the US now and what the impact of immigration means to ordinary people regardless of their ancestry.  My great grandfather was a Cherokee (he was a US soldier when he met my great grandmother).  I just can’t see him sitting on his veranda in Pulaski complaining about past European immigration while enjoying a Jack Daniels (created by a man of mixed Welsh, Irish, Scot and English descent) and eating a typical Tennessee meal of European, African and Native American influence. 

If, however, his town was flooded with immigrants willing to work for a lot less than him thus forcing down his pay or putting him out of work, I’m sure he would have a lot to say, regardless of the immigrants’ legality or ethnicity.

The US is a much younger nation than the UK and evoking old rivalries can still stir emotion however unrelated the comparison is.  Imagine the reaction if a UK prime minister said only the Celts are allowed to be annoyed about immigration here!   

Obama's comments completely sidestep what it is about immigration which upsets people.  It has economic consequences which affects, annoys and threatens citizens of the host nation.  There will always be some who simply object to those of different ethnicity coming here but, thankfully, they are a very small minority and have forgotten two simple facts: most come from countries we went to as conqueror or peaceful occupier; and these members of the old empire helped us win two world wars.

Immigration today is about jobs and wages.  It’s about pressures on local services: schools, the NHS and housing.  It’s partly about integration but most immigrants, particularly those from Europe, integrate well. With an ageing population we need young, aspiring and tax paying immigrants who will settle here and not send their earnings to their home country.  But it needs to be controlled, something our membership of the EU prevents.  Without the control, it’s difficult to manage so when it comes to providing services, we react more than we can plan.  

Americans of all ethnic backgrounds have the right to be concerned about immigration as do all British citizens.  Conservatives are right to want to limit immigration; a limit on numbers influenced by skill type and other criteria makes sense.  We could then match immigration against skill deficit having done our utmost to give jobs to the unemployed (which in itself is another debate).  

What appears to be a free-for-all at the moment can’t continue. Only by negotiating with the EU to fully take control of our borders will we begin to have a sensible immigration policy.  If we can’t achieve that, we should leave.

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