Nigel Farage continues to insist that we should be worried if Romanians move in next door (Farage remarks branded racist by three senior Labour figures, 20 May), while YouGov finds that 51% of Ukip voters think immigrants and their families (including those born here) should be encouraged to leave Britain. This merely confirms what was already obvious, yet apparently needs to be spelled out: Ukip is a party that spreads and feeds off racism and xenophobia.
For many years the rightwing tabloids have waged a campaign of hysteria about asylum and immigration, while both main political parties have either contributed or pandered to an increasingly fact-free discourse based on the prejudiced assumption that foreigners are a burden on society. The emboldening of Ukip’s bigoted populism is just one of the entirely predictable consequences of this trend.
The class represented by Ukip’s millionaire backers and personified by its leader – a public-school-educated former City trader and professional politician – has a vested interest in diverting social and economic anxieties away from the rich and powerful and towards our friends and neighbours.