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Britain 'seen as a soft touch'

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Click here to read the full transcript of Nigel Hastilow's column which appeared in Friday's Express & Star. After the column was picked up by the national media Mr Hastilow was forced to resign as Prospective Conservative Candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis but has refused to apologise. Read the article and then tell us your views and don't miss Monday's Express & Star to find out why he resigned.

Nigel Hastilow

wd2136941nigel-hastilow-1.jpgThe full transcript of Nigel Hastilow's column which appeared in Friday's Express & Star. After the column was picked up by the national media Mr Hastilow was forced to resign as Prospective Conservative Candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis but has refused to apologise. Read the article and then tell us your views and don't miss Monday's Express & Star to find out why he resigned.

The woman on the doorstep speaks in sorrow, not anger. Her daughter has split up from her husband and is now a single parent with two young children.

They all live with granny because the daughter and her kids have been refused a council house.

And, according to granny, that's because all the available accommodation has gone to immigrants.

The house is full. Granny looks a bit worn down by her new lodgers. The novelty of having the little ones to stay is clearly wearing off.

The family seems resigned to the fact that nobody will do anything to help. They have more or less given up complaining about the way we roll out the red carpet for foreigners while leaving the locals to fend for themselves.

When you ask most people in the Black Country what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most people say immigration. Many insist: "Enoch Powell was right".

Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 "rivers of blood" speech warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably.

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He was right. It has changed dramatically. But his speech was political suicide. Enoch's successors in Parliament are desperate to avoid ever mentioning the issue.

It's too controversial and far too dangerous. 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.

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It's claimed we couldn't survive without immigrants to work in our hotels, pubs and restaurants, to pick our fruit and clean our hospitals.

But that's because we make life too easy for the five million or more people who could be working but enjoy life too much living off the state.

Why are 1.65 million people unemployed when it seems as if there's a job for more or less anyone who wants one? Why are 2.4 million people claiming incapacity benefit when society is getting healthier?

In the past they would have been accused of "swinging the lead", "skiving", "scrounging" or "cheating". Now we're told they need "up-skilling" and then they would be only too happy to work (but for their bad backs).

We only need so many Polish waitresses because so many people who were born and bred in Britain can't be bothered to work. This week we have seen a slight but important shift. Immigration has come out of the closet.

Even David Cameron, the most liberal Conservative leader for decades, has decided it's safe to discuss immigration openly.

This is not about race; it's about numbers. I have been lectured on this, on separate occasions, by several Asian Britons. They argue that their families came to this country to work hard, get on, pay their taxes, earn a living.

Today, far too many immigrants – they tell me – wheedle their way into Britain in order to benefit from the generosity of our welfare state.

Asian Britons resent this as much as anyone.

And no wonder. Does anybody in the country really want to see our population grow by almost half a million every 12 months so that in 24 years' time it will have increased by almost 11 million?

Do we really want to see the country devastated by another three million houses or more over the next 12 years? Up to two thirds of these houses are only needed to cater for immigrants.

How on earth can we afford to meet other costs – council housing, roads, hospitals and schools – linked to this staggering increase in the population?

Do we really want increased taxes to meet the increased costs of an increasing population?

We must police our borders. Deport without debate bogus asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants. Abandon the "human rights" merry-go-round.

Tell the EU we won't take anyone from Bulgaria or Romania or any other country which wants to "join Europe". And get rid of the 11,000 foreigners in our jails.

Alas, the Government hasn't got a clue how many people it has let in already.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, the MP for Redditch, humiliatingly apologised this week after claiming 800,000 migrant workers had come to Britain since 1997. Turns out the real figure is 1.1 million.

First we're told immigrants took 30 per cent of the 2.7 million jobs created in the past decade. Then the official figure was increased to 40 per cent. Now it's 52 per cent – making Gordon Brown's promise of "British jobs for British workers" look pretty silly.

It's all guesswork, and the Government has even less of a clue how many illegal immigrants there are.

Of course it's right that we share the international burden of caring for genuine refugees fleeing persecution and death. But we're being exploited. Britain is seen around the world as a soft touch.

We must remember that, as the grandmother I was talking to the other day pointed out, charity begins at home.

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