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A note on Clacton - Why the concern over migration?

The by-election in the Essex seaside town might set the tone for campaigning on the issue of immigration during the 2015 General Election. Some basic facts here to begin the discussion as to why a town with few immigrants should be so concerned about immigration....

The looming by-election at Clacton-on-Sea is likely to prove memorable for a number of reasons. The first is that it is overwhelmingly likely to provide us with the first UKIP candidate elected as a Member of Parliament. 

Clacton at Sea

In itself this ought not to be a cause for massive alarm – by-elections often produce freakish results that are reversed when politics resumes its normal standards of deference to the status quo.  The danger comes from the fact that a skittish media and over-wrought politicians assume that what happens in the Essex seaside constituency might serve as a template for the way to conduct the general election campaign which will take place over the following seven months. 

Whatever the merits of its invigorating North Sea costal location, Clacton is not a place that can be taken to be representative of modern Britain in terms of its demographic make-up. The local authority district of Tendring, of which Clacton is part, reports the fact that one in three of its residents is a pensioner. One in five children live in poverty, and one in seven residents live in what is described as a deprived area.

Commentators on the state of modern Britain use the term ‘left behind’ to describe the plight of towns and districts which have been left out of the sort of economic and social development which has sustained some parts of the UK over the last few decades. Clacton and its surrounding area falls firmly into this category. An older population, recording around 8% lower rate of economic activity then rest of the UK, and 10% below the Eastern England it is located in, clearly has problems and we can expect that the grievances of the local community will be to the forefront of the by-election campaign.

There is huge irony in the fact that opinion polls showing the viewpoints of local people place immigration at the top of the list of the causes of the hardships they are experiencing. The district in which the constituency is located showed up in the 2011 census survey as having an 8% share of residents born outside the UK – a figure which is around half the rate of other, more prosperous regions of the UK. 

As evidence of immigration as normally understood (i.e. non-British nationals coming to live in the UK) even this figure is reduced by the fact that the biggest group of the non-British-born, excluding those from Ireland, recorded Germany as their place of birth - 625 German-born compared to the next biggest group, Polish-born, with 473. The German-born figure includes a large number of people who were born in the 1950s and 60s to British armed forces personnel stationed in military basis in the Rhineland region at that time. A group of 713 Africa-born shows up in the census statistics, most being assumed to be people of Indian subcontinent descent - most being people born in Uganda and Kenya - who are part of the local business community.

The issue which caused Mr Carswell to walk out on his party – the European Union - appears to be one that does not significantly trouble local voters. The poll conducted by the Daily Mail over the weekend shows that amongst even voters who style themselves as UKIP supporters only 13% rate the EU as their top concern, as against 47% who see problems with immigration.

The particular significance of the Clacton by-election is that it will see the way in which the issue of immigration plays out across the politics of the contending parties, even in the absence of credible evidence that it is a source of problems for local people. 

The challenge for those of us who expect to be arguing for a different perspective on what immigration means for Britain at this time will be to probe these moods and anxieties to see the points at which they begin to unravel as local voters are required to check the reality of their lives against the solutions being offered by the candidates. 

There might yet be opportunities for constructive, focused interventions in the public conversation which is bound to arise from Clacton. We should be keen to watch, listen and learn, and do the best we can to shift the discussion away from imagined grievances, and towards the measures needed to deal with real hardship.

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Comments

The age and background profile of the Clacton residents is a big clue to why the place is such a UKIP stronghold: lots of old white men, who are literally in fear of the influx of foreigners that the Mail and Express regularly scare their readers about. It's no irony that places where immigrant populations are low can also be very racist and xenophobic. I lived in Hull for 10 years, a place that's at least 97% white English, and was continually shocked and saddened by the level of casual racism in the city even though most locals didn't see a non-English person from one week to the next. This was exacerbated by a small (a few hundred) influx of refugees from the Balkans which was concentrated in one are of West Hull (The Avenues) and which wound up a backwards section of the locals bigtime, to the extent of mass fights in the local park.

Basically, what drives xenophobia is, literally, fear, and fear that is deliberately stoked up by the barking Press to sell papers and to boost the careers of populist politicos. Fear is very often the direct result of ignorance: when you don't know who these foreigners are, it's only human nature to stereotype and demonise them, especially when that's the line pushed by media and government. The numbers of immigrants aren't the usual problem, but the perception of them and who may follow them.

Because such fear is irrational, then "constructive interventions in the public conversation" won't have any effect on it, other than perhaps exacerbating it as locals see poncey liberal metropolitan outsiders trying to tell them what to think. The only solution to such fear is, perhaps ironically, the very influx of foreigners that the locals fear: once locals get to meet incomers, they usually learn to see them as humans, not demons. It's no coincidence that UKIP fails dismally in multiracial conurbations like London and Birmingham.

Castle Point is, I believe, the whitest borough in Britain, but they have a hung council UKIP/TORY.
(vomit) Almost makes you laugh, eh!

The Independent reported on the 10th August 2014 that ''A typical UKIP voter has little experience of immigration''.
Indy journalist Emily Dugan wrote - ''older, white, married, male, reading a tabloid, living long in one area and mixing little with other ethnicities are all predictors for being opposed to immigration, are arch typical UKIP voters - in a paper published by think tank Demos.
The BBC News reported - ''one third of Britons admit being racially prejudiced!
The Huff Post reported - 'Migration Watch UK research alleged that the public purse was £140Bn worse off between 1995 and 2011.
However the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London stated that immigrants had made a substantial contribution to public finance!
The Guardian reported that 'No10 blocked a report that challenged the impact of immigration on British jobs''.
Thus we have a lot of misinformation being perpetrated by the tabloid press which the Tory led Coalition Government has been prepared to use and been reluctant to correct.
Indeed while PM Cameron less than consistent in his policies and announcements
Typical was PM Cameron stating that his governments policies must pass the 'family test'.
Yet we know that PM Cameron and Home Sec Theresa May have been ruthlessly applying a policy acting against British families destroying their lives where one spouse is NON EU!
A policy that is totally discriminatory. Because it only applies to British citizens and NOT EU!
But then no one seems to want to challenge the Tory led Government who have been totally responsible for immigration policy since 2010. A policy that has been a complete failure! jack

IF Scotland votes YES for independence, and leaves the UK and is not a member of the EU, does that mean that all Scots ( including those resident in England now ), will they become migrants, and therefore be subject to PM Cameron's and Ms May's NON EU family policy?
Will they be subject to the English language test, and the minimum income criteria, and will they have to pass the new Life in the UK test?
If so it should be noted that the Independent recently reported that many young British citizens have shown to be unable to pass the Life in the UK test!
Will that mean that a Scottish national will be 'forced' to leave the UK, and will there be a mass exodus of Scots from England / Wales and N Ireland back to Scotland? jack ( English).

Would UKIP be any better to resolve this policy in us British affected by May's decision to stop us having our families here from non-European counties without earning a minimum of £18,600,I have tried the media radio,papers and talking to friends,most say its wrong but as with some MP's who stand up in the Commons and have their say,its soon forgotten,just one days storyI was talking to a local councillor about my sitting MP and the candidate from the Labour party for the next election,the candidate goes on about the unions etc,when I told the councillor about this policy of May's,he did not know nothing about it,now thinking the Labour candidate should perhaps change tack but as yet when my letter about this discrimination was in the local press,nobody has replied to it as yet,most think there will be thousands come instead of perhaps 54,000 at most but I did read that it would be !7,600 every year,British wanting non-European families to be here in the UK.Now we talk about the jihads returning to the Uk,seems they will be able to use their Human Rights.

Ms May could have better spent her time in office since 2010 bringing to justice the perpetrators of child abuse that has gone on in Rotherham instead of destroying the family lives of respectable hard working tax paying British families with her NON EU spouse policy.

But Cameron and May put their own political ambitions first and saw their NON EU family policy as more important for their own future. Especially as Ms May saw herself as replacing Cameron.

Now in September 2014 Ms May is taking action because Rotherham has incensed the public.
Yet she has still not appointed a replacement for Baroness Butler-Shloss who had to stand down one month ago.
May has been a disaster. None of her policies have been effective.
Not even her net immigration reduction policy because net immigration has increased, her target cannot be achieved, and she still will not admit she was wrong.
So she sacrificed the British families for nothing!
Her Border Force are failing to stop illegal immigrants who come into the UK daily.
She has failed to tackled the illegals who are already in the UK.
Her Passport Office was / is a fiasco. Her ASBOs for Jihadists just completely useless!
So the UK will struggle on getting even worse because the Tory led Coalition is useless! jack

Today OurKingtom OpenDemocracy has a report by Stuart Weir that Britain is to be investigated by the UK over systematic violations of disability rights!
Another example of British values under PM Cameron's Tory led Coalition to be the first country to be investigated for ''grave systematic violations of disabled people rights'.
SW reports that Tory MPs are furious. No surprise there then. jack

Sorry my error - it should read investigation by the UN - United Nations - apologies. jack

you expect to challenge the locals and see their views "unravel". Such confidence! have you ever allowed your own views to be changed or are you convinced that you alone possess the truth? Clacton itself may have little immigration but you forget that people move there to retire, perhaps to get away from the changes they have seen elsewhere in the country. You also fail to see that people can care about their country as a whole rather than just their immediate area.

Anonymous - why no name - are you afraid to give yourself a name?
Secondly you are making very incorrect assumptions if your remarks are addressed to us.
I am a retired pensioner. So is Wurzel. We are both respectable self sufficient tax payers.
Personally I know Clacton very well and its population mix. As I do the whole of Essex.
You also assume that we do not care about our country the UK. But the truth is that because we care and because we can see the dangerous way it is going we are prepared to blog our concerns.
Farage / UKIP is an ambitious politician just the same as all politicians.
Farage wants political power. But he has a new way of making his mark which many are swayed by.
I can remember WW2 and bombers over where we lived flattening houses and killing our neighbours.
After WW2 Churchill / Attlee wanted to stop a WW3 in Europe. Thus the EU was formed.
The ECHR, a separate organisation was formed to stop any further 'extermination camps' in Europe. Since then we have not had conflict in Europe as a whole. We want that to continue!
I have lived / worked overseas including Arabia and the Far East.
I have seen what autocratic regimes do to their people. We / I do not want that for the UK.
Therefore we should stay in Europe and we want to protect our human rights and not let this Tory led Coalition and back the British people into a situation where they have their boots on our necks. If change needs to be made do it inside the EU and the ECHR. jack

well said Jack and beats me why people have not got the sense to use an invented name , eg Jo Bloggs , as makes it easier for us all.
"Anonymous" would change his tune if he could imagine what it feels like to be a UK citizen deprived of the right to a family life just because of the evil rules of
Theresa May designed to try and enhance the Tory re-election prospects in 2015 ! Anonymous , why not TRY to do that and then tell me your views are unchanged ??

I now get the equivalent of £148 e week made up from Royal Mail pension and £35 from benefits,thats after paying in over 45 years.As my wife and daughter come from a non European country they are not recognised by this government,unlike our European migrants.This week I never renewed my TV licence,that was after 40+ years without a miss,now they will be knocking on my door.Just paid back some money I owed the government due to them not doing paperwork right,they let me the penalty payment because it was their fault.I have another letter going into my local paper I hope,I use to hide my name but what the heck,if you lived in my town many know me by my nickname Wurzel but on Yahoo I blog under my proper name.I have a German name and even thought of writing to the german Embassy to see if I could German passport,then I could bring my wife and daughter to the UK,mind have to convince my wife to come now,she thinks its abad country after hers has made me very welcome,even had a meeting with her country's Foreign Minister secretary and even their president daughter whose daughter study in the UK was not allowed to have her children and nanny join them.

Sorry about the grammar,thats why I had to leave Royal Mail at 52 with a pension,arms useless so shake a lot.

Wurzel mate you are being frank and informative and that's a credit to you OK. You, like us, have been treated like 's**t' by this government purely because you, like us, have a NON EU spouse. That's total discrimination of the worst kind because this doesn't apply to EU citizens!
So when our friend 'anonymous' spouts about the UK / our country he/ she doesn't know the half of it!
Some of us may better placed than others in that we have the means to overcome this problem put on us by Cameron and May. But others are not so fortunate. Especially young women with children / a child who is trying to hold down a job , keep her family together and needs the support of her husband the child's father.
Then Cameron spouts how important the 'family' is! What a top rate hypocrite and his partner in the policy Ms May. His family yes - but no one else's it seems.
I'm over 75 so I get a free TV licence - I even got refunded - I paid when I didn't have to.
Also Cameron and May have shown me that leaving the UK is my best option - financially and in every way. But not every one can / is in a position to do that.
What you could do is write to the United Nations Human Rights Organisation with your story and tell them exactly how you as a respectable honest British pensioner are being treated by PM Cameron's government.
Your a fighter Wurzel and I like you a lot. You speak out and tell the truth / the facts. That's what British values really are. Not Cameron's hypocritical British values. jack

Anonymous of Clacton. You are concerned about our country - the UK - so are we.
So read todays Daily Mail and Telegraph about the findings by the Public Accounts Committee Chaired by Margaret Hodge.
Bot the DM and the Telegraph report - Home Office officials are complacent that 175,000 illegal immigrants have gone missing and 50,000 have been granted a de-facto amnesty!
Now Ms May and PM Cameron's Coalition Govt have been in office since May 2010.
But what has the Home Office under Ms May / PM Cameron achieved in securing the UK borders? NOTHING!
What has Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell achieved NOTHING!
The UKs borders are open to any criminal, murderers and peadophile - let alone terrorists!

£250MILLION has been wasted on an Eborders control system cancelled by Ms May.
The British Passport Office was such a mess some Brits lost / had their holidays spoilt.
The police have failed to address the rape of children. ID Smith has screwed up at DWP.
Grayling has caused chaos in the prisons system and people died in detention centres.
One 84yr old Canadian citizen died in a detention centre handcuffed to his bed!

Anonymous if you really care about the UK why don't you asked Douglas Carswell what he has done as a Tory MP and what will he do as a UKIP MP about this appalling record?
IF you really care about the UK don't remain Anonymous stand up and ask like Wurzel. jack

Anonymous of Clacton. When you ask Carswell and Farage what they have done for the UK ask them about the report in the Independent today that -
''The UK tax authorities have caught seven on their 30 most wanted tax dodgers since 2012.
These tax dodgers owe the UK £844million yet HMRC haven't been able to catch them and get the £844million owed to the UK economy!
Well pensioner like Wurzel and me we pay our taxes as pensioners - stopped at source!
So do your duty ask your MP, whether UKIP or Tory, what he has / will do to stop this outrage? jack

Well done jack,even at my lowest income I can still look after myself and family,not missing TV to much,catch what I can day later on laptop and it goes to prove that I can afford to bring my family here to the UK,I would even try and teach my daughter,she was doing well last time I was there.I read that most European countries if one of their citizens was contemplating moving to a Third World country as a last resort because they had the same rules as the UK keeping non European out,think some now do have to earn a minimum,that would be an outrage,those countries which do a minimum are not as high as the UK,I have an American friend here in my hometown and he is shocked that up to 1,200 USA citizens are denied coming to the UK to be with their wife/children,have to say that because all might not have children but I am sure that where our families are not allowed visitor visa's I think most allow,so at least can visit.Further point the savings from benefits which this government are taking of us Brits where are they actually going,well chaps like us find it easy to know where they are going,to European migrants who are coming here at 5,000 week? and getting all benefits which we are denied.

Wurzel I am right with you hundred percent. So why doesn't our friend Clacton Anonymous take that up with his ex Tory MP and hopeful next UKIP MP.
Because the public don't know what's going on. All they know is what they read in certain press and what politicians want them to believe.
Hitler demonised the Jews - it gave the German people someone to hate and took their minds on what Hitler was really about - power to conquer Europe.
Goeballs his Propagander Minister said - 'tell a lie for long enough and people believe it!
Cameron is an ex PR man - whose advising him the PR guru from Oz - Lynton Crosby.
What is their objective - to convince the British people the Tory nasty party should be re-elected in 2015.
That's what Cameron's 'reduce net immigration 2010 immigration pledge' was all about.
That's what Ms May was charged to do and the easy target was / is British families with a NON EU spouse. Thus British wives, husbands, children had their family lives destroyed.

My MP is Lib Dem. I went to see him and asked him what about 'my human fight to a family life? His reply - I am not a lawyer so I don't know!
Yet in the Commons I see him seated next to a top MP who is a lawyer! But as an MP if he doesn't know about British Human Rights what good is he to his constituents?

I went to the local press. They front paged my story. Except it wasn't quite my story.
It was their interpretation of my story. So it was about as helpful as tits on a bull!

Cardinal Vincent Nicholls Archbishop of Westminster tried in the Guardian to get exposure.
But no one else has joined Cardinal Nichols. One guy has been banned for asking why! jack

Wurzel I think my last blog has upset someone its been stopped. If I am good luck to you jack

which last blog,see the one about Hitler etc and MP being a barrister,my MP is a barrister but when he visited my home he told me I knew more about immigration than what he did.I think the MP who represents chap I shared radio slot with has either said he can't do no more or was not interested in his case.Who stops you,this site or some higher department because I have read far worse on this site and if you blog Yahoo news,they do not hold back much in what they say.Hope to read your blogs again.

Wurzel the last blog I sent got delayed. I think it was being scrutinised. Dave got barred from this site because he asked / commented about Cardinal Nichols and the 'silence' of another religious leader.
JCWI banned a lady - although it was denied. But I remember it well. She just spoke out!
What's blogged on these sites is nothing compared to some. Like Guido Fawkes for instance.
But we don't know who pulls what strings? Plus who pays who what.
There was a good site / organisation named the Immigration Advisory Service which gave cheap legal advice on immigration and represented them in Court. The IAS was shut down for so called 'administrative problems'. We all believed it was because they were too helpful to immigrants.
The Government and vested interests have ways of keeping the truth out of the public domain.
Especially anything they don't like. We don't know just who pulls what strings!
Don't know if you watched the program about Governments spying on email etc. Very revealling. That's why they don't like Snowden. He revealed just what's going on. jack

Hi Jack,today my letter got in my local paper,how I can't afford TV licence due to losing to much through Atos assessment and having to look after my wife and daughter as they are not recognised by this government/country as non European,ok if I was European,could get most benefits.I have signed petitions on change.org,scathing attack on Cameron about paedophiles being allowed to move back to their own area where they have committed their offences,thus driving away the victims,I am looking at starting a petition on the site about our plight.See report about how many missing 175,000 not accounted for and 50,000 given amnesty never reached the paper I read.

Hi Wurzel well done its not right that you are denied benefits yet EU nationals are. So much for British values Cameron keeps spouting about. Also his ' the family comes first'.
What a total hypocrite but unfortunately we don't have the means of getting this know to the general public. But you can keep blogging and maybe someone like Clacton UKIP person will read it and have the guts to join in the debate. Unfortunately they are all far too set in their biased ways. Have a good weekend mate best wishes jack.

My letter in local paper was cut short,do not know if it was because of space or that it was controversial due to knocking how Europeans are treated better than us British when it comes our families being non-European.Good news that Tories lost the Bedroom tax policy,they reckon it could cost over £1 billion,well we know how the government can bring some money back to the UK.

So now we find o0ut May has paid Passport Office staff £674,000 in bonuses amid the delays to British citizens getting their passports and some losing their holidays! Great isn't it.
We also read that the Scots are likely to vote for independence which will break up the United Kingdom of Great Britain! So much then for the UK Independence Party without a UK!
I don't take a lot on what ex PM Brown says but he is right that the loss of Scotland to the UK is very much due to Cameron's policy against the people.
While IDS imposed his bedroom tax, his universal credit fiasco, yet uncollected taxes at £844milluion and Osbourne fighting the EU in court over bankers bonuses. Whatever do the Tory party think that the man in the street is going to feel and how he will vote?
Now guess who May has appointed to head the child abuse enquiry. The Lord Mayor of London! Another establishment figure well and truly. But May likes her dinners at the Mansion House doesn't she. Then her husband is a banker isn't he.
So Clacton UKIP anonymous voter this will be Britain's - an offshore island - disunited - on its own - hoping to be able to compete with India and China - no longer in the EU - ready for more of Putins mates to be allowed in until they run the country pulling Tory strings with Murdoch. Farage - he's having dinner with Murdoch these days its reported.
Migrants rights - forget it even the British English will lose their right under the Tory party.
Some of us already have. Those who have a NON EU spouse who have had their family lives destroyed. Your turn next guys. jack

I see 2 Tory Mp's have torn into Cameron when he said that Ms May has done an excellent job,£224 million computer loss,Crime Commissioner she cannot sack and increase in migrants while keeping out British non-Europeans families which will bring money back to the country,I reckon if the children from these families might cost a bit but it is far outweighed how much will come into the UK coffers.

Hi Wurzel yes the cost of May's policy against British families with a NON EU spouse was calculated by the Middlesex University School of Law as a loss to the UK of £850million over ten years.
But I suppose Ms May calculates that she can let into the UK all the Russian and foreign oligarchs £billionaires who are buying up all London's expensive property as an investment.
They can also invest their money in off shore funds to avoid paying UK income tax.
I read Ms May has set up a special fast track entry process for them at London airport.
Of course the fact it puts up London property beyond that of British citizens is not important to Cameron and May. The ordinary British people doesn't matter to them does it.
That's why the Scots want their independence and if I was a Scot I would vote YES to get out from under the public school Bullingdon club Tory rule.
HM QE2 is not best pleased about Scotland its reported.
Cameron and his Tory led government will have earned their place in history as the PM who lost Scotland - then it will be N Ireland.
So we will have the complete break up of the UK and its all down to Tory political ambitions. Well done the Tory party - whose selfish ambitions led to the break up of the UK! jack

I was reading online last night about ex-pats in Cyprus coming back to the UK,where are they going to buy housing,it will mean a smaller market for UK citizens and of course European migrants thus making it harder to get our families back who haven't got their own housing.I think the best time to leave UK will be after the next election,if by crazy voting we get the Tories back in or can we trust Labour again,we have not had a strong Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher and I can really see no one on the horizon of any good coming along.

Wurzel be careful - opinion is that if Scots leave the UK there will be a run on the £pound.
Exchange rate has already fallen about 5%.
There might no be an election in 2015. Because current Scots MPs who have a seat in Parliament from Scottish constituencies will not have a seat in Westminster!
Its going to be a very 'iffy' time. N Ireland could even go back to Eire some say.
England might not be able to have an election before 2016. Give the Tory party even more time to screw things up. jack

I suppose now that the Windsor's are having another baby,Cameron will be spouting about how good the news is as it will most probably be news for a few days and he will say his usual family caring talk whilst he stops British from having their non-European families to enter the UK,having to earn £18,600 minimum.
As for immigration,do not forget that with the Ukraine some Russians have been banned and some trade has gone,how much will we pay in the end.Today housing is costing over £4 billion because of shortages.

Wurzel only Russians with no money will be banned. Those with £billions May will give special quick entry visas to - like she's done before.
Then they can buy up British property and the ripple effect puts up the cost of Brits buying. They are buying flats to rent to Britis now!
The reality of having a public school PR person as a PM is now starting to dawn on backbench Tory MPs.
But too late Cameron has done the damage. The beak up of the UK is about to happen.
Open Democracy has jus reported about the prisons being in dire trouble due to Grayling.
Also disturbances in immigration detention centres - another death. Goes on and on! jack

Did you see Cameron has said it will break his heart if Scotland goes its own way,think of the broken hearts his government has done to British families,only European migrants seem to be better of here.I walkes thru a part of my home town on Sunday and did not hear an English voice,very sad about that.

Im from clacton and I can tell you now immigration is not the problem, all the immigrants i no work there socks off. The town is deaths waiting room, its full of old peoples homes witch are held to gether by the immigrants, they are the only people that are willing to do the work and I take my hat off to them.

I am not saying that some migrants do not benefit the UK but there is an awful lot here who do better than us Brits on benefits and due to the European Community who look after their rights ours in the UK have all but gone.

Re the last message: the problem is not immigrants, the problem is allowing non-EU workers to be paid less. This is a problem of the free-market system that we have been brainwashed into thinking is a good idea since 1979.

Pay non-EU workers the same (higher) rate as EU workers and the problem goes away.

The so-called immigration "problem" is part of what I firmly believe is a right-wing conspiracy run by the right-wing clique which control parliament, big business and the media. This right-wing clique, specifically the global finance industry, caused the recent recession. They do not want us to believe this, so their media arm convince us that it's all the fault of migrants.