A former employee of the Labour Party, GMB trade union official and son of Labour MP Glenda Jackson, Hodges is hardly a source of impartial or even rational political debate and it's a sign of the times when a Tory supporting newspaper gives a platform to someone who describes himself as supporting Labour "with tribal loyalty and without reservation" just to attack UKIP.
It would be easy to attack Hodges just on his irrational, partisan politics (he supports Labour with "tribal loyalty", worked for Ken Livingston but supported Boris Johnson standing against Livingstone for Mayor of London and has shown some extreme authoritarian tendencies) but we'll hoist him by his own petard instead.
The Government has introduced an immigration cap, which is reducing the number of migrants entering the UK.But this is only a cap on non-EU immigrants. We're applying an arbitrary quota on immigrants from the Commonwealth and beyond whilst continuing to allow unlimited numbers of immigrants from EU countries. The British government has no control over the total number of immigrants entering the country.
The Commonwealth accounts for the majority of immigration into the UK but the EU is closing the gap, increasing from 72m immigrants in 2000 to 151m in 2011. EU immigration overtook non-Commonwealth immigration from the rest of the world in March 2005 and immigration controls being applied to Commonwealth countries will further increase the EU's share of immigration into the UK to be the largest single source of immigrants.
Measures have been introduced to limit their access to health and social security provision.But this only applies to non-EU immigrants. Immigrants from the EU are entitled to the same benefits as people already living here and a common loophole for EU immigrants is to claim that they are self-employed as soon as they arrive in the country which qualifies them for benefits from the day they arrive in the country.
The Tories have sent vans on to our streets telling migrants to go home, whilst Labour has again started to call publicly for British jobs to be reserved for British workers.There was such criticism of the "go home" vans that they got pulled after only a few weeks and Labour can call for British jobs to be reserved for British workers all they want but that's illegal under EU law.
Many people, me included, have been trying to reassess our attitudes towards immigration. We recognise we took our eye off the ball. Our inclination towards tolerance meant we ignored the justified anger and frustration at the impact immigration was having on our fellow citizens.It wasn't "tolerance" that drove the destructive abolition of border controls, it was an intolerance of the views of the majority that were telling people like Hodges that mass immigration was wrong and would damage the country. That intolerance still exists today, except people like Hodges now loath themselves as well as the rest of us for realising that their deliberate campaign to change society through immigration was wrong.
But next year we’re going to have to pick a side. Paul Sykes, Nigel Farage and their fellow travellers are preparing to run one of the most dangerous and divisive campaigns in British political history. Drunk on their new-found celebrity, and their wealth, they plan to target immigrants to secure their own narrow political objectives.So when he says "the prohibition on discussing immigration has been lifted", what he means is that you can talk about immigration but only as long as you don't want to reduce it or control it and as long as you don't suggest that immigration also brings criminals alongside the ordinary, law abiding people. If you do then a perfectly sensible policy that says there aren't enough jobs or houses to go around the people already living here so economic immigration needs to be frozen for five years to help solve the housing crisis and rampant unemployment will be misrepresented as "dangerous and divisive" and framed as bigotry and racism. When we need economic immigration, a UKIP government will welcome skilled people from overseas who can plug the skills gaps we have at the time.
They are quite open about this. Ukip will attack those who see to come to this country legally, in pursuit of work and the opportunity to provide for their families; some of these people will find themselves portrayed as criminals or scroungers.
The collapse of the BNP and the EDL will see many of their supporters switching en masse to Nigel Farage’s party, whether he likes it or not. Ukip is famously disorganised; how can we be sure that extremists have not made it through the screening process and on to the candidates' list?They won't because UKIP is the only mainstream party that bans past and present members of the BNP, EDL, National Front and other unsavoury parties and organisations from joining the party. The screening process for candidates is so robust that a sitting MEP failed to be reselected and the party disciplinary process is strong enough to have expelled the leader of the UKIP group on Lincolnshire County Council from the party resulting in UKIP losing its position as the official opposition group on that council. UKIP's actions in the past and to this day have shown that when tough decisions need to be made, they will be.
So we will all have to choose. We can stand back as Nigel Farage and Ukip attempt to drive a wedge between the people of Britain and the new arrivals from eastern Europe. Or we can challenge them.Nigel Farage and UKIP aren't attempting to drive a wedge between any sections of society. Our immigration policy is sensible and straightforward and doesn't discriminate at all. Unlike the LibLabCon who discriminate against our friends and allies in the Commonwealth and elsewhere in the world to support a divisive and discriminatory policy of unlimited and unrestricted immigration from the EU, UKIP treats all prospective immigrants the same and will apply the same restrictions to everyone.