Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his fellow saloon bar propper-uppers at UKIP have decided to frighten potential voters into their camp by suggesting that children born to those who have migrated to the UK should also be called migrants, and indeed that they should be “classified” thus. By doing so, those people would have been “reclassified”. Thus far the press has given the Kippers an easy ride on that.
Fortunately, the ridiculousness of the idea has been pointed up: all the Queen’s children would fall into that category, as Phil was born in Greece, and so would the Leader of the Opposition, together with the children of London’s occasional Mayor. And that’s before considering those born overseas to servicemen’s families and other British citizens.
But what Farage and his pals have so far got away with is the idea of reclassification. As the Independent told, “Nigel Farage’s Ukip has called for the children of immigrants to themselves be classed as migrants”. A UKIP spokesman said that “the issue of ‘hiding’ those born to migrants from statistics had ‘ramifications for healthcare and other public services’”. Really? Do go on.
Party spokesman again: “If the figures for migration don’t include children, you’re not taking the correct facts into account for public policy ... [it is] not the children that are the problem, it is hiding them that’s the problem”. Hiding them? The sounds like something out of The Diary Of Anne Frank, which is a less than pleasant echo of the past. But it is a more recent policy that the Kippers are echoing.
“Reclassifying” citizens is straight out of the Hendrik Verwoerd playbook, one of the most insidious weapons of control used by the Apartheid state in South Africa. Some would be reclassified more favourably: rebel West Indian cricketers were given documentation to say that they were classified “white”. Those the state wanted to punish were reclassified less favourably.
The Apartheid state became an international pariah: economic and sporting sanctions isolated it from the international mainstream after the 1960s. The idea of having different classifications of citizenry was at the time considered abhorrent, the worst kind of bigotry. Now we have UKIP proposing just that, behind a smokescreen of “only telling it like it is” and dismissing criticism as “political correctness”.
Well, Mr Thirsty, I don’t give a rat’s arse about your excuses. Talking about “reclassifying” those born in this country in order to exhume a bigotry that was once fashionable is bang out of order. If Farage thinks that he is being misinterpreted here, then let him say so. But there won’t be any say so: UKIP has been caught letting the cat out of the bag. The party is a cesspool of prejudice.
Hopefully the public will “reclassify” their view of this shower in short order.