A UKIP supporter, an immigrant and a pastor walk onto a train…

It’s not the start of a tasteless joke. It was the start of my day today, and the pastor in question was me.

UKIP immigrant header

I want to tell the story, because I’ve been reflecting on it a little. It’s raised some questions and I’m not sure if the way I reacted was the best, so I want to sound it out. Please tell me what you think, even if you think I was an idiot!

How it started

The train was quite busy, but I managed to get a seat and found myself next to a rare phenomenon: two people talking. When the conversation turned to politics, one expressed his views in strong terms and (with some choice language). He’s not a fan of David Cameron, Ed Miliband or Nick Clegg who are all just in it to get rich themselves.

In fact, UKIP are the only hope. They are the only ones who have an answer to immigration, which is causing the disintegration of our society. That’s not the language he used (his was far stronger), but the following is:

All them immigrants, the problem is they just come because they know we’ll give them benefits for nothing so they can go back wherever they came from where stuff doesn’t cost much anyway and live it up large with our money.

This is not true. I happen to have read around this issue a little recently, so I knew that immigrants to the UK, on average, contribute more to the economy than they ‘cost’ in benefits, etc. And that Immigrants are less likely than native citizens to claim benefits. Many immigrants do come to the UK and send money back home or go back home in a financially stronger position. But while here, they contribute to the economy, not weaken it.

Some level-headed journalism on the issue.
Some level-headed journalism on the issue.

What he’d said wasn’t true. It’s a commonly believed lie, but a lie nonetheless. And potentially quite damaging.

What I did

As much as my middle-class, commuting Britishness told me to keep quiet, I found myself unable to do so. Truth is important, and especially because here we’re talking about a form of oppression against those already maligned in our society. These lies hurt immigrants, who have a difficult enough time already.

So I spoke up. Politely. I said I wasn’t sure he was right and asked where he’d got that information from.

There was a pause, and I was then asked who had asked me and why I was sticking my nose in. I said I think it’s an important issue and we need to let our views be shaped by facts, not just hearsay. I then shared simply some of the things I’d read about. I honestly believe I remained respectful throughout.

It was at this point that I spotted, just across the train, a woman who looked to be Eastern European and was visibly quite upset by what she was hearing. I made eye contact briefly, but she quickly turned away.

What happened then

I was surprised and shocked by what then happened. I got shouted and sworn at quite a bit. I was told it was none of my business what they thought and I had no right to tell them what to think. We all have a right to our own opinions and how dare I try and tell them theirs weren’t right.

I was amazed at the strength of their reaction. In their minds, my presenting an opposing position to theirs was me stripping them of the right to hold their own opinion. They were adamant that they were entitled to their own opinion, but they also seemed to feel a right to their own facts.

Another gentleman (a bit older) then joined in and suggested I was ‘clearly too young to remember what Britain use to be like, what it should be like, before our society was eroded by all this outside influence’. I began to respond, but didn’t get very far before the first two guys started admonishing me again.

I wish I could say I had some knock-down argument that ended the whole thing and I won over their hearts and minds. I didn’t.

The woman across the aisle looked very distressed, and got up to go to another part of the train. As she stood, she looked over to me and mouthed ‘Thank you’ with deep sincerity in her eyes. I wanted to check she was alright, so I finished my conversation with these three men by apologising if I’d caused offence but suggesting again that we need to explore these issues carefully. By then the train had pulled in to the station and the woman had gone.

Did I do the right thing?

There’s a few things I’m sure of. Truth matters and isn’t relative. As a follower of Christ, I’m bound to stand for truth. I’m also bound to stand against oppression and for the oppressed. I’m also called to be engaged in this world, its systems and structures.

That was my motivation as I spoke on the train. But did I do it in the best way? Should I have just kept quiet? Should I have said something different?

What would you have done?


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  • Emma

    I don’t know either. But I can feel the shakeness. Those headlines on the newspapers in your post are chilling. How can it be legal for the press to present headlines that are simply lies. In a world where the voice of anger and hate is writ large, I think our quieter voices must still speak truth. And we need to pray that more will hear the still, small voice, and turn towards peace. Thank you for your courage and for sharing the story. That woman will tell her friends what you did. Hope will ripple because of your pebble in her family’s pond.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks Emma – that’s really encouraging. I hope so too!

  • http://sipech.wordpress.com/ Sipech

    I doubt I would have had your courage to speak up. I would agree with your point of view, though I’m not great at having the facts close to hand. My response would probably to have noted their arguments, go home, look up the facts, think about blogging on it, but never getting around to it.

    When I do try to speak up, it tends to be with those I know. My line manager tried to convince me the other day that all Polish immigrants are committing benefit fraud and that that’s where all her tax money goes. I was able to point out that benefit fraud is just 0.7% of the total social security cost, but she just flatly refused to believe me. I probably ought to add, she is also Polish.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thank you – insightful and interesting as always! :-)

      Interesting to hear your experience with your line manager. I think these conversations are best had with people we know. It’s probably more fruitful in the long run. I’m starting to settle on the position that what I did was right mostly for the other passengers on the train, not for the men I was actually engaging with.

  • Graham Criddle

    Great respect for you having done the work to know something of the reality of the situation and for having the courage to speak into the situation with truth.

    But you ask some interesting questions:
    * What would I have done?
    * Did you do it in the best way?
    * Should I have just kept quiet?

    I honestly don’t know what I would have done. My “Britishness” (as you refer to it) might have won the day and caused me to keep quiet. And it does raise a “privacy” issue. Is it reasonable for two people to expect to be able to have a conversation on a train and to not be interrupted by someone else – even if what they are saying is untrue? When does a private conversation become fair game? It’s interesting to think about how we would have felt if we were on the train talking about faith and someone had interrupted and told us that we were totally misguided and wrong. And I guess that 9 times out of 10 we would have welcomed the opportunity to engage with someone else on something we see as so important!

    There’s also a question as to what you were hoping to achieve. Were you hoping that they would be convinced by what you were saying or were you hoping that they would, at least, go away and check their facts again? I think its unlikely that you were going to convince them that they were wrong in a short train journey but it is possible that finding someone with the courage to speak up and disagree may have caused them to stop and think (if not then, they maybe later)

    I wonder how it would have developed if you had brought the woman into the conversation. I don’t know whether that would have been feasible or whether it would have been too embarrassing for her. But if instead of trying to engage with the facts you had pointed out that their comments seemed to be causing distress then you could have been in a very different situation. They would either have responded to that appropriately and stopped the conversation or they would have stated that they didn’t care. In that case, you would have had much more opportunity to speak out in defense of someone who was clearly upset by what she was hearing. But, I fully accept, that might have put so much more pressure on her which could have been unhelpful.

    Having said all of that – which sort of leans towards not getting involved – I still remember a situation many years ago where a woman on a train was being harassed and I did nothing about it and felt bad about that for a long time. I think that memory would have convinced me to engage once I had seen that the woman on the train was being upset – whether I would have got involved before then I don’t know.

    But well done for having the courage of your convictions and being prepared to speak out in truth and in an appropriate manner. Proud of you.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks Dad,

      The issue of privacy was one that I’d been thinking about too. Honestly, I don’t know what I think! I know that I wouldn’t have a conversation publicly if I would be unhappy for others to join in if they wanted. But that might not be true for everyone…

      The woman I think should be a tipping point that encourages action (moved by your honest story), though I know for me that’s a bit of a fudge because I said something before I spotted her. In the situation I was in, I don’t think including her presence in the conversation would have been appropriate as it would have been too hard on her I think.

      Thanks for your thoughts – I’m still mulling on it too!

  • fiona_w

    I’m sorry you got verbally abused for your efforts. You did absolutely the right thing. The best thing. ‘Bystander intervention’ is extremely difficult, for many and varied reasons. It doesn’t matter in the slightest that you didn’t convince the two men. What you did accomplish was demonstrate to everyone within earshot that some people challenge the immigrants-are-parasites narrative – either affirming or challenging THEIR own beliefs. Someone has to speak up and speak out. And as the ones who’d agree with you sit/stand there on the train, thanking their lucky stars that someone else spoke out and saved them from having to do so, surely at least one of them will recall this incident the next time when there’s no Dave around and they wonder: Should I say something? And that’s huge!
    Your interjection maybe also helped an immigrant within earshot have a significantly less sh&tty day.
    Thank you for standing up for FACT and truth.
    And, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for standing up for immigrants. Especially in the UK in these recent years…

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thank you Fiona – really encouraging. I agree the focus shouldn’t be on trying to convince the two men, but on more the impact more generally on the train. I hope it does have some positive impact somewhere for someone!

      I also have a little fear about the UK at the moment…

  • Jackie

    I’d add my heartfelt applause to you Dave. In my view you did do the right thing, and you paid the cost. I’m sure that was not at all easy (if it had been me, and I had been as brave as you I know I’d have been physically and emotionally shaken by their abuse)
    But very importantly you spoke truthfully and I imagine you made that woman’s day. WELL DONE

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thank you Jackie, very encouraging.

  • http://beinggodstoddler.WordPress.com/ Paul Brownnutt

    The view being peddled at the moment in so much of the media is damaging for numerous reasons. Firstly, as you point out, it simply isn’t true. Then there’s the fact of it frequently targeting the already vulnerable. Silencing the voiceless and amplifying the loud. It is also part of a narrative that relies on sowing the seeds of mistrust, division and selfishness.

    With so much of this going on, I keep murmuring Philippians 4:8 to myself like a mantra just to stay sane. It sounds like you actually acted it out.

    And if you didn’t affect the views of those you were talking too, who knows who else overheard snippets of truth, and caught a glimpse of a different way of looking at things to that presented by the media?

    Can’t fault you.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks Paul – agreed a lot of the way things are presented isn’t helpful, though there are some definite exceptions.

  • Ruth Marriott

    Well done, Dave. A shocking, shaking situation for all parties… and its no bad thing for all of us to have our convictions rattled and tested. I’m glad for your sake it didn’t come to blows, but who could have predicted that a soft, respectful dissenting voice could elicit such a reaction!

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      I was rather surprised too Ruth! Thanks for your encouragement.

  • Patrick

    Well done Dave. You absolutely did the right thing!

    These lies spread and ultimately gain influence because too few people are prepared to stand up and challenge them. For these two men on the train it may have just been a mouthy conversation, but there are serious injustices occurring right under our noses in the cause of this kind of false ideology.

    “All that it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.”

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      I love that quotation too! Thanks for sharing.

  • Miles

    At what point would they be happy that someone is not an immigrant? When your parents were born in the UK? Grandparents? Great grandparents? ………. My great great grandfather was born in Barbados, how do I stand with this “immigration” view?

    You did right, and their reactions were those of scared people who don’t know what they are up against. Ignorant men with no understanding!

    Don’t apologies for offending, but make sure that you don’t mind the hatred!!

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks Miles. Though I find it helpful always to remember the people I was discussing this with (while I disagree with their views) are people with their own set of experiences and reasons for feeling the way they do. I wouldn’t want to end up thinking of them as a caricature any more than it’s ok for people to think of immigrants that way.

  • Aaron

    Hi, well done for standing up for your principles and trying to get them to see things from a different point of view. However, without wanting to turn this into a major political debate which I’m sure is not your intention, there is an argument against the mass immigration we’re experiencing & it’s about people coming here to work rather than claim benefits. Let me give an example – the top jobs in the nhs, BBC, other corporations have huge salaries, often maligned by the taxpayers alliance etc. The argument given for offering such salaries is that they want to attract & employ only the best possible candidates for the job. On the flip side look at the minimum wage jobs that become available – 50, 100+ people going for 1 or 2 jobs. This keeps minimum wage down because demand for jobs is higher than job availability. If there were less people going for these jobs then businesses would have to increase wages to entice people to their company, thus giving people a higher standard of living.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks Aaron.

      You’re right I didn’t intend for this to become a debate! I am very aware of the complex issues of the economy and employment, etc. when it comes to immigration. But because these are complex issues it is even more important that the whole debate doesn’t include incorrect information and rhetoric, but rather we need truth and reasoned conversation.

      I do have a position on immigration, but my aim in speaking up and in writing this blog wasn’t to defend it, merely to speak up for truth and for those whose voice is often ignored.

      I have no problem with a debate happening down here in the comments, though, so long as it remains reasonable!

  • jo lw

    Totally did the right thing. I think the moneylenders in the temple were non too pleased when jesus knocked their tables over too.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks. I think you’re right.

  • Patrick

    @Aaron

    Ok, in the spirit of Dave’s blog let’s rationally analyse that point of view.

    There are two elements of this I’d like to discuss; firstly the issue of whether or not immigrants increase competition for jobs, and secondly the idea of whether or not immigrants drive down minimum wage.

    1. Do immigrants increase competition for jobs?

    It is easy to presume that this is a simple question. Large numbers of people come from outside of the UK looking for work, so surely this increases the number of applicants per job?

    It would if we were to presume that the total number of jobs in the UK were fundamentally limited, in which case we could point in alarm at any cause of population growth. The biggest driver of population growth in the UK remains births (not immigration). Net population growth due to births vs deaths was 254,400 in 2012, compared to net migration which was 165,500. Of course, no-one is terrified of this ravenous mass of children out to steal our jobs! Why? Because population growth leads to an increase in consumption, which in turn leads to growth in the jobs market.

    The same reasoning can be applied to immigration. Immigrants coming to the UK do take jobs, but they are also increasing the number of UK consumers which means they will drive up demand for everyday goods and ultimately help to increase the size of the job market.

    This remains true even for immigrants who are sending money out of the UK to support families elsewhere. Although it initially looks like that is money leaving our economy, actually because the UK has its own currency that money must always eventually come back (you can’t spend sterling in many places outside of the UK), ultimately helping to drive up the UK’s export market and thus also helping to promote job growth.

    It is hard to provide statistical evidence for this as the nature of this relationship is inherently indirect, but you could look for instance at the historical employment rate in comparison to population growth for a start. If you do this you’ll see that over the past few decades (the period during which we are told that all this mass immigration has happened – let’s use the last 30 years as a reference) UK population has steadily risen (from around 56M to approx 65M), yet the long term trend in unemployment is that it has fallen (from around 11% to now around 6%). The employment rate during this period is very volatile, but if it bears any relationship to the immigration rate it is a positive one. Economic factors such as the global financial crisis in 2008 (where there was a large and marked rise in unemployment) are much more important.

    The underlying point of all of this is that there are less unemployed people per job today than there have been at many times in our past, so any attempt to point the finger at immigrants and suggest that they are making things worse is misguided. We’ve yet to fully recover from 2008, but it is very hard to argue from an evidential stand point how that has anything to do with immigration.

    2. Do immigrants drive down the minimum wage?

    To answer this question we first need to appreciate that the UK has never experienced the Utopian reality of full employment. In fact no economy has ever attained this.

    You rightly understand the mechanisms of supply and demand, and particularly of scarcity. In a world where there are always more job seekers than jobs employers will always hold the better hand in wage negotiations, particular at the bottom end of the scale where jobs require no specialist skills. This changes as you climb the career ladder as jobs further up require experience and skill sets that are held by proportionally fewer people, reducing the number of potential candidates so that ultimately there is a switch towards the employee (rather than the employer) having the stronger negotiating position.

    What needs to be understood here is that once there are more candidates than jobs – which has always been (and probably always will be) the case for unskilled labour positions – it doesn’t really matter how many more candidates there are. Unless we can acheive full employment, which has never been done, employers will always be in a position to pay their bottom rung labourers the lowest they can get away with.

    Of course in the UK that minimum wage is determined not by the markets (thankfully) but by government as it has been enshrined in law since 1998. Seeing as minimum wage is set legally in this way it is hard to see how immigrants can drive (or hold) it down.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks for contributing, and for keeping it civil! This is the kind of conversation we need.

  • Liam Fowler

    I think the truth is somewhere in the middle; not all immigration is good, not all immigration is bad either. There are many migrants that make a great contribution to society i.e. Doctors, Nurses, builders. However there are also many that are happy use and abuse our benefit system. Published UKIP policy is actually very sensible; people from all countries are treated the same (no EU open door); there is a points system like Australia; If people have skills that are good/useful for the country they can come in. Nothing racist or ignorant about that. However many other UKIP supporters do overplay/rant about the negative aspects of immigration, like this guy on the train.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Totally agree it’s a complex issue. My aim is not to present one ‘side’ as right and one as wrong, but to make sure whatever we think we are approaching things in a reasonable way.

  • Gemma C

    You did a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, from how you described those men talking, I think it was always doomed to turn out this way, however politely you spoke to them. Some people people think they are having a discussion when all they are doing is parading their opinion and expecting it to be accepted without caring about or acknowledging anyone else’s. They will inevitably upset you whether you engage them or not and I never know how to deal with them. Taking those awful men out of the equation, you made the woman you saw feel a little better so I would say it was worth it.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks Gem! Really appreciate that. Overall I think I did the right thing.

  • thermidor

    One common, recurring and highly dangerous feature of right-wing politics is that personal opinion (based on prejudice, hearsay and flawed logic) is repeatedly and with great conviction held to be far more important than facts, data or evidence. Look at Blair in Iraq (yes, I know he was technically Labour), Gove on education, Hitler, UKIP, health policy, defence policy…

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      I’m sure there is an element of that in all politics and public discourse, not just right wing. I say that as someone who leans leftish! Thanks for contributing!

  • Beth

    I was surprised, I thought most westerners would be open minded and welcome other people’s opinion and wouldn’t mind others taking opposite side. In the culture where I come from, if the 2 people were older than me, I’m not entitled to speak anything ‘against’ them, including openly voicing out different opinion.

    I may not be from eastern Europe like that lady, but I too would thank you for speaking up. An Indonesian, I came here last year to study a 1-year prestigious, postgraduate business program (the most expensive in the entire university), only to realize that my presence is not really wanted, especially after I completed my course and as I seek to work and settle here.
    -Apart from your point that we contribute to the UK economy with our spending, course fees (mine was 25k pounds), accommodation, shopping spree, etc, I and the international students here also make positive impacts to the society: companies are getting aware that diversity in their workforce is an important asset to have, a ‘colorful’ classroom also has good dynamic for both local and international students themselves.
    -A redeemed believer myself, I personally believe that the West needs people like me coming here to re-evangelize the West. I love living here, the European culture, the architecture and landscape here, yet I do think that the West has taken for granted Christianity that blessed them with all these. Had the angel told Paul to go to Asia (Acts 16:9), the gospel would’ve done the same to where I come from as what it did to the Europe and the US — the power of the gospel that changed every sphere of life. http://ejdaniella.wordpress.com

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks for sharing your story! It’s really great to hear different perspectives on this whole thing. Really important that we do. I’m sad to say that western culture might not all be as open-minded and ‘enlightened’ as you might hope.

  • Jeanette

    Well done Dave.As Christians we must stand up for truth and stand against injustice.Importantly,the distressed woman heard your defence and was touched by the love of Christ being expressed through you.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks Jeanette – I appreciate your encouragement.

  • Dave

    Totally agree with what you said but what has this got to do with ukip as suggested by the headline? I’m not necessarily pro ukip but I’m struggling to see the association of outright bigotry and intolerance to them when the people mentioned do not identify themselves to a political party. I would have expected this of the bnp but not ukip. Perhaps I’m being naive!

    Nevertheless I can encourage your actions commend Him :)

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      Thanks for your encouragement, but I’m a bit confused.

      The comments I was responding to came in the context of the men stating their support of UKIP and saying they were the only way forward, the only ones with good ideas. As I say in the blog post:

      “When the conversation turned to politics, one expressed his views in strong terms and (with some choice language). He’s not a fan of David Cameron, Ed Miliband or Nick Clegg who are all just in it to get rich themselves. In fact, UKIP are the only hope. They are the only ones who have an answer to immigration, which is causing the disintegration of our society.”

      Hope that helps to clarify a little.

      • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

        Dave, There is nothing in the article to say these people were from UKIP. The same views can be found in ALL of the main parties. In that sense the headline was misleading.

        Since the article headline paragraph refers to a pastor and UKIP … what would you have said if the views expressed were those of the pastor?

        • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

          A little confused by this. My blog article is pretty clear that these men had said they support UKIP, as in the quote from my previous comment in this thread.

          As for what I would have said if a pastor had said the same thing (in case you missed it, I am the pastor I was talking about), I believe I would have said the same thing. I’m a Christian, but it doesn’t mean I think all that Christians do is right, and I would challenge it, perhaps even more strongly.

          • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

            I knew that you are the pastor, and I don’t disagree with what you are saying at all … but nothing in what you have said is specifically UKIP. It could equally apply to any of the other parties.

            As others have written UKIP’s policy isn’t actually racist at all … they don’t want preferential treatment given to EU countries which, given our strong links with non-EU countries through the Commonwealth, is not surprising.

          • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

            Dave, I’m not actually a UKIP supporter! Disqus tells me you have responded on the UKIP supporters’ page, but I can’t read it there because I am not a UKIP supporter.

          • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

            I’ve not said anything about this anywhere but on this comment thread.

          • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

            The reason I mentioned UKIP was purely because the men I met said they support UKIP, nothing more. I thought this was clear from the post, but I apologise if it wasn’t to you.

  • John Steven Dutton

    Whilst I do agree that the statement made by the gentlemen did not present the truth, facts are not easy to come by and the truth is often hard to find. There is a lot of ignorance in the older generation regarding people of a different ethnicity. I am sure many Brits don’t think through their arguments which sometimes make absolutely no sense. There are millions of people living in Britain of ethnic origin who never “came from another country”. They were born here and are just as British as me or anyone who is not of ethnic origin. I cannot understand how people can say stupid things like: “they should go back to their own country!” As a white, british citizen, I am horrified that thousands of my ancestors went abroad and destroyed whole populations of indigenous tribes and peoples as if we have the right to move to any country we like but people have no right to come to our country. What nonsense and double standards. However, we are a small island and we are in danger of being overpopulated. It is impossible for me to get residency in New Zealand, even with my teaching degree unless I can somehow secure a job there in an over saturated job market whereas it is much easier for people, especially from Europe, to enter our country and live here permanently and yes Britain has been a place seen to be a soft touch in the past. I welcome our diversity and democracy but immigration should be controlled.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      I concur wholeheartedly! The one thing I question is part of your phraseology, speaking about people ‘of ethnic origin’. Everyone is of ethnic origin. We all have ethnicity. I prefer to speak of those from an ethnic minority.

  • Eamon

    As an idealist who will die a frustrated man, and one who at going-on-66 should know better, I am still willing to get involved whenever bigotry , racism or intolerance of any form rears its ugly head. You did however make your own argument against involvement when you mentioned the terminology being used by these geniuses; common sense should have told you to walk away. I applaud your courage, sir, but I question your temerity.

    • http://limpingintotruth.blogspot.co.uk/ Dave Criddle

      I think I understand what you’re saying. Are you saying that since they clearly weren’t engaging in a mature way there was no point in questioning them?

  • TimC

    Well done, Dave, for wanting to stand up for the truth, but Didn’t Jesus say something about “.. don’t throw your pearls to the pigs. If you do they may trample them under their feet, then turn and attack you.” These were two examples of the pigs Jesus was referring to; the results should come as no surprise! Pigs like this exist in all sorts of ways and places, especially in an increasingly God-less society like the UKs. I’m old enough to remember what the country was like in the mid-60s, and I live in despair at what a morally, finanically and ethically bancrupt cess-pit it has become in just a few decades. Only my faith In Yeshua Ha’Mashiach keeps me going – and I’ve read the end of the book, and we win!

  • Andrew M

    If I may, I would like to comment on this, my first visit to your blog, and as a Christian former politician who used to represent one of the most deprived wards in England (in Birmingham). The issue for the men on the train was not objective truth- i.e. what statistics might prove.
    Immigration on a large scale disproportionately affects people who live in the most deprived areas- it has major effects on schools, housing and medical services. In the poorer parts of Britain, waiting times to see a doctor are longer and the cost of support for children with English as a second language is also higher. One of the biggest impacts of immigration is on social housing, as by law, local authorities are required to house migrants as a priority in social housing, which is largely in poorer areas and therefore makes it even more difficult for those on low incomes to find housing.
    Politics and political views are not usually about objective truth but subjective truth. Politics is about perception. The perception, and indeed the objective truth too, is that immigration disproportionately affects those on lower incomes. The perception is that ‘those immigrants’ ‘sponge’ etc off services (e.g. housing, medical, education) in the geographics which are most stretched and most needed. Finally, the perception of many older people is that the UK is changing rapidly and in a confused way. People puzzle over social changes with which they cannot emotionally cope (gay ‘marriage’ is one such change!) and for which they cannot understand the rationale. They ‘feel’ that these changes are beyond any control or even comment and that there is a governing elite who is at someone else’s behest. Frustration, confusion, and perception produce views not based on ‘objective’ truth but subjective perceptions which are really felt. In addition, of course, parts of the popular press feed on and contribute to such perceptions in a sensational and unhelpful manner. By the way, I am no apologist for UKIP, just suggesting that Jesus would not necessarily see the speaking of ‘truth’ based on reading as the best response to talk based on fear and real subjective perceptions.
    I hope you don’t mind my ramble!

  • vermithrax

    Here’s a knock-down argument for you:

    It’s going to help with the population time bomb. The UK demographic is getting more and more skewed towards older people (this is a problem throughout the West), so who is going to work to support all these decrepit old people? Either we get some young people in to work and pay taxes or else we must raise the pension age to 75 or 80. As for the NHS, well things could get interesting there. True, we should be rather more discerning about whom we allow to live here. But doing nothing about this will not make the problem go away.

    And never do we read in newspapers about immigrants who come here, play by the rules and quietly contribute without making any fuss, no we only read about the troublemakers and scroungers. It’s difficult to make a sensational headline about the former type of immigrant. That’s too boring and won’t sell newspapers.