Nigel Hastilow, a columnist for our magazine in the Midlands, has got himself into bother by writing a column for the Wolverhampton Express and Star in which he said people tell him that Enoch Powell was right. He is now no longer the Tory candidate for Halesowen.
His blog, here, with THAT article in full, has some abuse, messages of support and an offer from the BNP for him to stand for them instead. Oh dear.
I don't know Nigel very well, but I think he knew what he was doing. Richard Littlejohn churns this stuff out every week in the Daily Mail, but the new shiny Tories need someone a bit more subtle. Nigel's column didn't pass the test required of public servants.
The most telling piece of his article was this:
It’s too controversial and far too dangerous [to discuss immigration]. Nobody wants to be labelled a racist. Immigration is the issue that dare not speak its name in public.
Yet everywhere you go, you hear the same story. There are simply too many people competing for the space, houses, benefits, public services and jobs this country has to offer.
He's right. It is very difficult to discuss immigration, and the tragedy is because of the fear of a well of poison that is perceived to lurk beneath. I think Enoch Powell was wrong. There have not been rivers of blood, Britain remains one of the most tolerant countries on earth. What's wrong with saying that we're being taken advantage of. It's true.