Thank you so much for this piece!
It chimes in with the stance of my paternal Grandfather, who died in 2010 at the age of 97. He regarded Farage as just another Tory.
I suspect that you will not be surprised to learn that ukip chose not to contest 10 out of 40 Wards in Birmingham on 22nd May. The 10 include a number wherein live many descendants of Irish migrants. Hardly the people to whom to preach that migration is a bad thing. Many of their neighbours are the descendants of other migrants, who also came to Birmingham to make a better life for themselves.
They are often poor though and some disillusioned with politics so, according to ukip they are fertile ground for its policies, but perhaps they are too well educated, cultured and young at heart to vote ukip? I like to think so and we like a curry or two here in Birmingham. In fact, most major cuisines from around the world may be sampled here in our city. ukipers are more likely than not to regard ‘foreign’ food as something to be avoided.
My maternal Grandfather moved to Birmingham from Hastings to find work so your blog post has particular resonance for me and mine. His wife moved from South Wales to find work too. They were internal migrants!
I like my city, but sometimes, only very, very rarely do I think it might be easier to improve it, if it was a little less diverse. The number of communities here now can make it harder to build consensuses than it might otherwise have been in the past. But then I remember that its diversity is a strength not a weakness, an opportunity not a threat.
I have worked closely with many in the Islamic community, including Islamic Relief. I do not recognise the vile caricature of the followers of Islam being promoted by ukip.
I like my city the way it is. I like it that ukip nearly gave Labour, my party, a second Council seat in Andrew Mitchell’s Sutton Coldfield. The affluent Sutton Coldfield is where ukip fielded 4 candidates, one each per Ward, but they say they are on the side of people like us!
I could go on and on, but I will not. Thank you again for this eloquent piece. My condolences about your Dad.
Three weeks ago my father died, he had not been ill, he was comparatively young at 65, he was passionate, intelligent and most importantly he was my cheerleader .. In his eyes I could hardly do no wrong and if I did it was forgiven quickly and completely. He was a surrogate father to my daughter when her own father left, he made sure that she and I had a holiday each year. He filled my house full of wonderful objects found in French flee markets and small auction houses. He gave me my love of music, a sense of style and a deep and passionate interest in politics.
He grew up in Cotteridge, a solidly lower middle/working class neighbourhood of Birmingham. His father, the son of Catholic Irish immigrants, worked for the council as a clerk and his fiercely intelligent mother .. she taught herself languages, worked in war…
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