Farage: UKIP government could scrap discrimination laws
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A UKIP government could undo much of the legislation preventing employers from discriminating on the grounds of race, ethnicity or nationality, its leader Nigel Farage tells an upcoming Channel 4 documentary. (Things We Won’t Say About Race That Are True. Tx 9pm, 19th March).
The documentary, written and presented by Trevor Phillips, the man at the heart of 30 years of effort to reduce discrimination and improve equality across the UK, makes the controversial argument that while much of the work of those in the “equality movement” has changed Britain for the better, it may also have led to serious and unwanted consequences that could undermine what’s been achieved.
In the film, alongside interviewing politicians including Tony Blair and Jack Straw and equality campaigners, Phillips asks Nigel Farage whether the attempt to embrace a multi-ethnic Britain has led directly to the rise of UKIP and what a UKIP government’s policies might be on anti-discrimination legislation.
Asked by writer and presenter Trevor Phillips whether he believes that there is too much discrimination legislation Mr Farage responds:
Asked which legislation he would get rid of, Mr Farage responds:
“Much of it. I think the employer should be much freer to make decisions on who he or she employs. I think the situation that we now have, where an employer is not allowed to choose between a British-born person and somebody from Poland, is a ludicrous state of affairs. I think that we have taken our relationship with Europe to a level that, frankly, has gone against common sense, and certainly against self-interest.”
“I would argue that the law does need changing, and that if an employer wishes to choose, or you can use the word ‘discriminate’ if you want to, but wishes to choose to employ a British-born person, they should be allowed to do so. … I think you should be able to choose on the basis of nationality, yes. I do.”
Asked whether there would be a law against discrimination on the grounds of race or colour, Mr Farage responds:
“No…. because we take the view, we are colour-blind. We as a party are colour-blind.”
When Phillips puts it to the UKIP leader that these laws existed to outlaw practices that led to discrimination and to the hiring of people without the relevant competence, Mr Farage replies:
“If we’d sat here 40 years ago, having this conversation, your point would probably have been valid. I don’t think it is today. I mean, I really don’t think it is today. You know, I don’t think, if I talked to my children-, I mean, I don’t actually, but if I did talk to my children about the question of race, they wouldn’t know what I was talking about.”
Mr Farage also claims that while Britain is “the least prejudiced country in the whole of Europe”, people are increasingly concerned about immigration due to the lack of integration by some Muslims; and he argues that Muslim immigration is unlike previous waves of immigration and far less likely to lead to integration:
“I think perhaps one of the reasons the polls show an increasing level of concern is because people do see a fifth column living within our country, who hate us and want to kill us. So don’t be surprised if there isn’t a slight increase in people’s worries and concerns. You know, when you’ve got British, when you’ve got people, born and bred in Cardiff, with British passports, going out to fight for ISIL, don’t be surprised if there isn’t an uptick in concern. There has been an uptick in concern, but does it make us a prejudiced people? No
“The problem that we’ve got is that if you think about all those [groups of previous immigrants], think about the Huguenots, think about the Jews, think about the Ugandan Asians. Whilst in some cases they maintain their private observance of their faiths and their traditions, in public they actually became an integrated part of our society and of our culture. There is an especial problem with some of the people who’ve come here and who are of the Muslim religion who don’t want to become part of our culture. So there is no previous experience, in our history, of a migrant group that comes to Britain, that fundamentally wants to change who we are and what we are. That is, I think, above everything else, what people are really concerned about.”
Mr Farage also says that without the internet, UKIP’s message would have been suppressed by the media; and tells Phillips that he was regarded as a key figure in silencing the party:
“…..it’s been terribly difficult to break down these taboos, either in the media or in politics, and I would argue strongly that UKIP would not be where it is, these arguments would not be where they are, if it hadn’t been for the Internet. It’s the Internet that’s changed British politics. Without the Internet, UKIP would still be on 3%......
“…..Well, can I say, can I say, honestly, frankly, you were one of those people that I viewed as being one of the causes of the problem, yes. I saw Trevor Phillips as being the enemy. Very, very much as being part of a new Labour project / and I saw you as being part of the politically correct brigade that wouldn’t want these things discussed / so, yes I did see you, you personally, as being very much a part of the problem.”