Is it racist to want to enforce the law of the land?


One of the easiest ‘dog whistle’ slurs that has been levelled against Reform U.K. during this election campaign is that the party is institutionally racist.

Those making the claims don’t appear to need any proof. Apparently, it is enough these days to say someone is racist for it to be true. Despite there being laws against this, because people want to believe it then it seems that it’s perfectly reasonable to call all Reform U.K. candidates and supporters racist.

This is fascinating.

Leaving aside the small issue of proof, none of which exists, there is another more pressing issue.

Since when did it become racist to want to uphold the law of the land?

We have had an Immigration Act on the statute books in this country since 1905. This 1905 Aliens Act was specifically designed to restrict immigration into Britain. Oddly, no one called it racist back then.

Since then we have had many iterations of the law, with it being regularly updated throughout the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Finally, the Immigration Act 1971 gave clarity to who was allowed residency in the U.K., confirming the position for anyone born in parts of the Commonwealth.

The Act meant that net migration to the U.K. was controlled and typically 40-50,000 people a year were allowed to settle here.

Membership of the EU and the expansion to include Eastern European countries meant an explosion of legal migration from 2004 onwards and the incumbent Labour Government struggled to control this, looking instead for electronic help through things such as iris recognition, heartbeat sensors, backscatter X-ray and gamma-ray scanners to spot hidden illegal entrants.

Remember, this was a Labour government at the time and no one called them racist for trying to stop illegal migration.

We have since 2000, had an agreement with France to try and prevent illegal migration, and the U.K. even set up offshore processing centres in Sangatte, meaning we could offer British passport checks and border and customs controls in France.

Once again, no one thought this racist.

In fact, the 2002 government white paper on immigration said “Migration is an inevitable reality of the modern world and it brings significant benefits. But to ensure that we sustain the positive contribution of migration to our social well-being and economic prosperity, we need to manage it properly and build firmer foundations on which integration with diversity can be achieved”, and;

“The Government will initiate an open and constructive debate about citizenship, civic identity and shared values”.

No one said it was racist in 2002 for the Labour government to suggest these things. To suggest that we might have an open debate about citizenship, civic identity and shared values.

It wasn’t racist then and it isn’t racist now.

Fast forward to 2024 and we are seeing record immigration into the U.K. In 2023 we allowed an additional 685,000 people net, to settle in this country. That was on top of the 765,00 we allowed in 2022. That’s over 1.4 million people settling in the U.K. legally. Add to that a further 75,000 illegal migrants who came across the Channel in small boats and we have an increase in population the size of Manchester in just two years.

But today, just pointing this out is, apparently, racist. When Labour were in power it was considered perfectly acceptable to discuss these things, but not now.

The Illegal Migration Act 2023 changed the law so that those who arrive in the UK illegally are not able to stay here and will instead be detained and then promptly removed, either to their home country or a safe third country. This is the law of the land. It was pushed through Parliament by the Conservative Party, against the voting wishes of the majority of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. Those passing the law weren’t called racist.

Reform U.K.’s position on immigration is clear. The party have stated that we need smart migration, not mass migration. We need to freeze non-essential immigration, stop the small boats, provide secure detention for all illegal migrants and immediately deport any foreign criminals.

Most of this is already covered within existing legislation. It was agreed by Parliament and is U.K. law. When it was passed, no one said it was racist. No one said that we were not allowed to talk about it. No one thought it acceptable to denounce the politicians who voted this in.

To now try and pin a racism label on Reform U.K. for simply wishing to uphold the existing law of the land is deeply irresponsible. Moreover, it is pernicious and dangerous. It imperils the wellbeing of every candidate who is campaigning for a better, safer Britain. It breeds divisive resentment and seeks to split the country apart for no good reason.

Remember, this is the law of the land. Whether you agree with it or not, this was passed into law and has over decades been amended many times by Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians. 

If they weren’t racist then, they’re not racist now. Neither is Reform U.K. for simply trying to do what others have failed to do; enforce the law.

So, either all politicians are racist or none of us are. You decide.