As the election looms on the horizon, expect even more political theatre over the next few weeks as party leaders seek to round up voters by saying absolutely anything. After last week's claim that, if elected, he would scrap laws that protect against racial discrimination in the workplace (something that a columnist wisely pointed out may count against Britons), Nigel Farage has now come forward with another public assassination on immigrant rights – he thinks that all immigrant children should be banned from state schools for five years.
It's going to be very difficult for immigrant children to integrate if they cannot go to state school for five years. Farage, whose ancestors were immigrants and has a German-born wife, wrote in the "What We Stand For" section of his website: "Immigrants must financially support themselves and their dependents (sic) for 5 years. This means private health insurance (except emergency medical care), education and housing – they should pay into the pot before they take out of it."
The quote is noticeable not only for its inhumane assessment that people moving to our country should be denied access to the NHS and education, but also for the use of the word "dependent" – this is the American English spelling of the noun "dependant", something you'd think a party that prides itself on its love of Britain would be tight on.
Speaking to the Guardian, Farage suggested that immigrants would have to move the UK and leave their children behind, only bringing them after a "period of time". Farage described UKIP's stance on immigration as the party's strongest policy "without a shadow of a doubt".
Farage, who was fortunate enough to be educated at Dulwich College, a public school in London, thinks that immigrants should only come and live in the UK if they can afford to. It's a heartless, narrow minded view thart forgoes a global outlook. Britain is one of the richest countries in the world and we're lucky to live here. Immigration is clearly an issue that needs to be discussed but this feels like inflammatory rhetoric designed with the aim of dividing and conquering.
Excluding immigrants from education and healthcare for five years feels like something close to apartheid.