The Hyphen
By Toby Kell-Hyphen-Ogg

If you read newspapers online and actually manage to get to the end of an article, you will have noticed that the last thing you see is a line in bold type which says something like ‘183 comments.’ And you then discover that somewhere out there in the ether there are 183 poor benighted fools who feel the need to put on public record their unsolicited opinions about some aspect of the aforementioned article in the plainly deluded hope that someone might be interested in what they have to say. What sort of person, you may have asked yourself, would do such a thing ?

My comment excited a few responses from others most of them short, to the point, and personally abusive

The answer I can now reveal, is the sort of person who is like me. Because, in the wake of the UKIP triumph in the European elections, I suddenly felt the urge, for some unfathomable reason,  to write to the DailyTelegraph.

My comment excited a few responses from others most of them short, to the point, and personally abusive, and which do not bear repeating. But one, from a Mr.Mipps, did try to counter my arguments point by point.

Here is my original comment, followed by Mr.Mipps’ response, and my rejoinder to him.

I wrote:
UKIP represent those who fear others, whether the others are immigrants or the movers and shakers in ‘Brussels.’ Does that make UKIP and those who vote for them ‘racists’? Not in the sense that they  openly discriminate against people on the basis of race. But they are most certainly ‘otherists’. They are most definitely xenophobes. UKIP’s supporters, are the old, the disaffected, the uneducated who want to blame the poverty of their lives, material and spiritual, on anyone but themselves.

Then Mr. Mipps wrote:
Something of a generalisation I fear. I am a member of UKIP and at 67 I may tick your definition of old. However I am a retired MD of a global company spent 30 years doing business in Europe and have a degree in Mechanical Engineering, so not disaffected, comfortably off and not uneducated.

From my experience I firmly believe the UK would be better off exiting the EU and that there is a desperate need for controlled immigration, notice controlled immigration not zero immigration.

And then I wrote back:
Yes, Mr.Mipps, it was a generalisation but, as you indeed are old – though only a year older than me – you tick one of my boxes and thus seem to prove by my point.

Perhaps, though I am not convinced by your assurances, we would be better off being outside Europe had we never been in, but do you seriously imagine there will not be a heavy price paid for the divorce? How many divorces do you know of where there isn’t? If the Scots vote for independence will we just stand meekly aside and let them have all the advantages they have by being part of the union? Do you imagine the same will not apply to us if we divorce Europe?

And as for ‘controlled immigration’, where do you stand on controlled EMIgration? Presumably you are in favour of retired British people – that is to say people who by definition are not productive since they no longer work – being refused the right to settle in Spain or France?

And let me add this: I live in the most multi-cultural borough, Brent, in the most multi-cultural city, London, in the UK. And very few people are voting for UKIP here. If you want to see the future you are so frightened off, get in a time machine and come to Brent. If you can summon up the courage, Mr.Mipps, you will find you have much less to fear than you think.

Feel free to add your comment if you have nothing better to do…

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