i Editor's Letter: The flavour of Farage is rather unpalatable

 

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The Independent Online

We lead today’s i on what Nigel Farage really thinks about race discrimination in Britain.

Let’s be clear, Mr Farage is not arguing that employers should discriminate on the basis of someone’s skin colour. But he is saying discrimination by nationality is OK. That opinion will resonate among voters who blame joblessness and low wages on migrants from eastern Europe. He adds that laws on race discrimination should be scrapped because, according to Mr Farage, racism in Britain is a thing of the past, and his party is “colour blind”.

Intellectually, one could make an argument that race laws enshrine difference. But the evidence of the past 50 years is that these laws have been quite effective in tackling racism and promoting diversity, both of which are desirable goals in a country that values fairness – and which economists say needs controlled migration over the next few decades to pay its bills.

Indeed, the evidence of the past five years is that while Mr Farage leads a bigger and transformed Ukip, not all of his colleagues are “colour blind”. If only.

Tone matters, if you want to live in a tolerant country that plays an active role in world trade. Here Mr Farage gives us a flavour of what he might bring to discussions on 8 May, if we find ourselves without a majority government and he’s needed to help build a new coalition.

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For the sports fans among you: we’ve sharpened the design of i’s Sport pages. Nothing drastic, but it looks crisper, tidier. Bit of a spring clean.

i@independent.co.uk

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