Why we need to restore the Tier 1 visa

I have been an educational consultant for some years now, and before that was a tutor and teacher. I have spent a long time dealing with foreign children of all ages who have come to the UK for their education. Some have done so on a shoestring, and some have cash to burn, but all have been hit by the testy machinery of immigration visas, and often this has hindered their GCSE, A level and exam progress. In at least three cases known to me personally, a student has done extra years simply because of bureaucratic foul-ups by the system. Sometimes, agents in the host country are to blame because they do not understand the system. But whatever the excuse, we should be ashamed to make young people suffer in this way, particularly when we are also taking their money.

Humza Yousaf

humza

I first noticed the Scottish MSP Humza Yousaf because he criticised the removal of Tier 1 in 2012 by the present Government. This is the visa that would allow a student, on completing a degree in the UK, to put his or her studies to use in a job. It generally allowed the student two years’ employment. It was a chance to test their skills in the market for which, quite frankly, they have been prepared. More than that, it was  an opportunity for the Government to get some serious tax from people who no doubt will command high-salaried placements in the city. The alternative is to apply for a job and be sponsored under Tier 2. This is a complex and expensive procedure that few businesses are willing to undertake. What it means in practice, therefore, is that jobs are given to UK/EU citizens on graduation rather than to those from outside the EU. In other words, we have educated these people and get little benefit when that education is over. That makes no sense and it flies against the lessons of history. Education is a form of diplomacy and we should take it seriously.

Mr Yousaf said that the removal of the Tier 1 visa, along with many other aspects of aggressive immigration policy was damaging Scotland’s economy. But the reason behind the target was a commitment given by David Cameron to reduce UK immigration to below 100,000 by 2015, and certainly to bring down the annual net immigration figure of 260,000.

Now, Humza’s point was that immigrants had not settled across the UK evenly and far too few had made it up to Scotland. So, if public opinion in England was negative about immigration, in Scotland there was a different picture, and Humza in particular, himself the son of immigrants, with a mother from Kenya and a father from Pakistan, has mounted a campaign to welcome immigrants there. Scotland needs an immigration policy tailored to its own needs, but while we remain a UNITED KINGDOM, surely we should be working together with Edinburgh to tackle immigration and channel more people north!

The problem is not about net immigration. It is about the overall spread of immigration. And playing a numbers’ game is not the solution as indeed the present Government has discovered. The numbers are down, but in the South, people still complain- and that fuels the rise of racism and of UKIP. Ironic, then that Scotland is asking for immigrants. Isn’t the solution staring at us in the face?

IMG_9384

Reform immigration control

A tight regulation for immigration which is conservative/coalition policy is fairly straightforward in principle. But it is a mess in practice because the Government inherited an unfit system from Labour. It is about proper control of our borders, which, of course, I welcome. What I do not welcome is the pressure on the two well-documented groups who actually should receive our support – these are students and refugees. We cannot tackle the problem of illegal immigration by appeal to bureaucracy because illegal migrants rarely have proper paperwork. That is why we need less bureaucrats and more people working on the street to catch gangs of dodgy undocumented migrants, or people catching a lift across the channel under lorries and slipping away at the first stop on the M1.

Just a few weeks’ ago, there was a report of two Albanian men arrested because they had been sitting on the rear axle waving at passing motorists from a Polish lorry. They were detained at junction 16 near Watford Gap services. A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said: “We received a call at around 8.50am from a motorist who spotted a man waving at traffic while hanging on to the underside of a lorry”. The lorry driver was not aware of the stowaways. This may be a National issue, but when it happens near Northampton, it also becomes a local issue. I have no idea whether the two men were refugees or illegal migrants. I have suspicions, of course, but the fact remains they were also endangering other motorists and the police interception saved lives.

Screen shot 2015-04-24 at 10.17.30

This is a dramatic story, but many local taxi-drivers will say they regularly pick up undocumented foreigners from Junction 16. It is the first stop on the M1. If the taxi-drivers know this, why does the immigration authority not? I suspect it is understaffed. Too much attention is paid to bureaucracy and not enough to front-line staff. This means that it is those with paper-work who receive the most scrutiny. Regrettably, that means students and refugees.

immigration control

Why students and refugees are important

The reason we need to reign back our attacks on students and refugees is very simple. Refugees command our support because the way we deal with the most needy in society is the way we should be judged. As for Foreign students, they not only bring in extra money, but they are often the very people who, in years to come, will be running their own governments and businesses. These are the people with whom we hope to do business in the future and I hardly think they will welcome our attention if their principle memories of their time here as students are of being fleeced by scurrilous colleges and thrown out of the country willy-nilly because their paperwork needs renewing half-way through their course. (I do not understand the need, for example, to set up a new visa for children committed to a British education when they pass from GCSE to A levels and remain in the same school. This means delays and anxiety on top of the need to wait for GCSE results. Often, it means starting the 6th form late.) We need to support these students, not savage them.

Both students and refugees have a history of investing in and enriching our society. This cannot happen if we treat them like dirt. It harms us in the long run and it shames us. These two groups are becoming a scapegoat because we cannot be bothered to track down illegal migrants and we cannot prevent or indeed monitor gangs coming here from across mainland Europe.

tim eu

We should not be demonizing groups of people- East Europeans and those outside Europe for instance; we need now to pool resources and work together to target those people in our society who are doing us damage. We cannot tackle the Eastern European gangs who target, for example, Pakistani houses in Banbury, unless we work together with the Rumanian and Bulgarian communities who know so much more about this than we do. And, of course, as I have repeatedly stressed, we cannot deal with Islamic terrorism without the help of Orthodox Islam.

Rather than alienating swathes of our population with continued talk of “widespread abuse”, we need urgently to make friends and reach out to our neighbours.

tim immigration debate

The Post Study working group

In March, a number of Scottish businesses and educational professionals called for change. A Post study work group was set up in August 2014 and made recommendations in March about how best to reinstate the Tier 1 visa, urging London and Edinburgh to work together. The following findings were published:

  • 90 per cent of all respondents are in favour of bringing back the post study work visa for international students (100 per cent of education providers and 85 per cent of businesses).
  • Business support for the reintroduction of the post study work visa rose to 94 per cent among those who had hired an international graduate under previous post study work schemes.
  • The majority of respondents across business and education providers, believe international students should be free to remain and work in Scotland for at least two years after graduation.
  • 70 per cent of respondents said that when a post study work visa comes to an end, individuals should have the ability to move onto a longer term visa.

Scotland also proposes that any time spent in a post study Tier 1 type visa should also count towards a residence visa – of indefinite leave to remain- should a former student wish to apply. The smith commission suggested the Westminster and Scottish Governments should “…work together to explore the possibility of introducing formal schemes to allow international higher education students graduating from Scottish further and higher education institutions to remain in Scotland and contribute to economic activity for a defined period of time.”

It is not just Scotland but the whole of the UK that needs to “attract and retain” world-class talent. We need the Tier 1 visa too.

Why Sticks and stones matter

This evening I am blogging about a National story. But it has relevance to Daventry and, indeed, to any political campaign.

Let me put this in context: A few weeks’ ago, I felt a red line had been crossed when an elected MEP, David Coburn, compared a Scottish Parliamentary Minister to a convicted terrorist. I had written to the leader of the relevant party (my own) asking for a clear letter of apology to be sent to Humza Yousaf and when no such letter was forthcoming, and equally when the said MEP failed to resign, I did what I thought was the honourable thing and resigned myself both as a Parliamentary candidate and as a member of the said party. In this way, I found myself as an independent candidate standing for the District Council in Drayton.

I am proud that I stood up for what is right. We need to respect one another and we need to stand up to bullies, whoever and wherever they are. Sometimes falling on your sword is the only way to make a point, pun intended. And the point MUST be made that Racism and homophobia are simply unacceptable in today’s society.

I was verbally savaged after I resigned, and then my family was attacked. The savaging I accept- the attack on my family I denounce. It is plucked from the same cupboard as the racism and the homophobia, a cupboard full of the “dark arts” of Politics. It has no place in our world and those who use, or even dip into these dark arts do not deserve public office.

I believe passionately that bullies should be ridiculed. I was a teacher and remain an educational consultant: I know the harm that bullies can do, but I also know how readily they collapse when we laugh at them. I think of the “Ridikulous spell” against the Boggarts in Harry Potter- I think it is not surprising that it features in the best Harry Potter book, “the Prisoner of Azkaban”. That’s how to deal with bullies!


Both racism and homophobia are mostly about bullying, calling people by foul names, of demeaning a person by reference to race, creed, gender. Of course, in extreme cases this can also lead to actual violence. But name-calling is quite bad enough, and it is worth reflecting on the old adage about “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me.” They may not, but the person who uses racist or homophobic “names” is exposed there and then as a pathetic individual, quite unworthy of election. Anyone who defends that person is smeared by association. Names may not hurt me, but they should certainly hurt the name-caller!

Of course, when you stand up to a bully, as one brave boy I know did a few weeks’ ago in one of our major Public Schools, there is every chance the bully himself will start crying and claim he has been the victim. Though soon after that, he was into blackmail: “By their fruits shall ye know them”!

neil hay

Today, there is a news story about a Labour man called Ian Smart who referred to the SNP as “fascist scum” and Neil Hay who is himself an SNP candidate has called UK supporters “quislings” or traitors. He has done this rather more shamefully under a pseudonym, and he has rightly been exposed and asked to account for what he has written. It seems he was also fairly outspoken about elderly people, questioning their ability to vote. We can’t have that!

His blog has now been deleted but that is never enough. Nicola Sturgeon said this, “I do condemn the language used and I condemn the comments made – as I always do when anybody steps out of line on Twitter, on Facebook or any medium.”

cure d'ars

There is the famous story of S. Jean Vianney, the Curé d’Ars, canonized in 1925, who was faced by a penitent, a lady who claimed to have been gossiping. He asked her to bring him a chicken and, because lunch was calling, to pluck it as she walked from her home to church. When she arrived with the freshly plucked bird, he told her to go back and collect all the feathers. “But that’s impossible,” she said, “Many of them will have blown away”. And so it is, said the priest, with gossip and name-calling. It spreads. The damage that is done when we write a stupid blog cannot be undone simply by taking down the blog. And an apology needs to be made good by a proper demonstration of repentance. (I knew a wonderful man in Greece called Roger de Ponton d’Amecourt who was writing a comprehensive biography of the Priest. I do not know whether he has finished it and we have sadly fallen out of contact.)

I resigned from UKIP because I felt the need to sever the link from a party that condoned racism and homophobia. My penance is not finished. I must now try to repair some of the damage done by my association with that party. The least I can do is to continue writing to Mr Farage and demanding Mr Coburn’s resignation as well as a letter of apology to Mr Yousaf. So far, Mr Farage has failed to respond directly, though I gather he has made national funds available to target my campaign in Drayton.

But it is surely time that politics in the UK changed, and politicians of all parties grew up. Three things need to be said. First of all, some of the greatest politicians have changed party allegiance. That is nothing shameful or new. Churchill, for example, did so. Secondly, there used to be a code of honour because we are all, after all, in the same business: we want to change the way that things are done, and we feel propelled to do this in the public eye. We do not set out to be savaged personally, or to be lynched, and nor should we expect our families to be attacked. Instead, we stand up, we speak out and we, alone, should be held to account. And thirdly and finally, regarding the name calling that has taken place today- there was a referendum only a few months’ ago and Scotland voted very clearly to remain in the Union. That may not be the result the SNP wanted to hear, but it is a democratic decision and until there is a further vote, it should be accepted. The people who voted for the Union are not “quislings”- they were exercising a democratic right. And the SNP is one of the most socially aware parties in our United Kingdom – to call the SNP “fascist scum” is to belittle the people who died fighting genuine fascism in the Second world war; Fascist scum would not welcome immigrants. Fascist scum would not put out one of the most generous education packages for University students in the country.

We need to be less tribal in our politics and there is no need at all for British Politics to be so grubby.

Civic pride and what we can learn from Istanbul!

In 2006, the Turkish government, run by the AK PARTİ (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) under the leadership of Erdogan began a process to import tulips back into Istanbul.

erdogan

Today, there is such an abundance of tulips, that splashes of colour scythe through the city like a parade of multicoloured  dervishes, spreading the scent of Spring. I have been to Istanbul most years since 2004 and I have seen for myself how this transformation has taken place.

imgres-4

The tulip is just one example of a horticultural revolution that says Istanbul is proud of herself. That pride is evident of course in the colours of the flowers but it is also evident on the faces of the people in the street, the ordinary people who go about their lives feeling better because they can see- and smell- that the Council really cares!

It is actually a fairly simple plan, but I will come to that shortly.

imgres-1 havaalani-yolu-kirmizi-laleler-5391 uluslararasi-baris-parki-rengarenk-laleler-0c6d imgres-3 imgres imgres-2

The tulip was introduced to Turkey from Iran where it grew wild. It is a traditional image on the tiles that decorate some of the greatest mosques around the city and today it has been adopted as a symbol on the Istanbul logo.

Turkish-tile-Eyup-Sultan-Mosque-IstanbulOlympic Logos_Istanbul

The cultivation of the Tulip became a mania in the Ottoman period, so much so that one particular epoch is called “the Tulip period” and at that time, rare bulbs sold for remarkable sums of money. Trade was international and soon, that mania had passed to Holland, the setting, for example, of “the black tulip” , a novel by Alexandre Dumas. My mother always said she had a black tulip bulb in the safe: I have no idea but it sounded very exotic.

I grew up in a small Market town in Lincolnshire where my mother was involved in the local tulip bulb industry. Spalding was so industrious and the ground so similar to that of Holland that, when I was a small child, the town held its own Tulip Parade to rival that of the Dutch mega-parades in Zundert and Keukenhof. Sadly, the flower parade in Spalding ground to a halt last year. But I loved the imagination that went into making these amazing floats; I loved the fact that they were decorated overnight, and, really, only lasted a couple of days (it’s actually very Buddhist!); and I also loved the complete sensory effect of the flower parade- the noise, the colour, the smell, the excitement, the overpowering beauty and the pride it gave to our small town.

triger float to make andreas deja happy

The mother of all tigers from the Keudert Flower parade!

Check out this archive flim:

I well-remember this parade!

steam again soon mickey Flower-parade dougal

THE DAVENTRY PARK PROJECT:

tim4draytonward.com

Here in Daventry, I have been campaigning for a restored Professional Park scheme. I am, of course, inspired by the wonderful images from my childhood in Spalding. But I am also inspired, perhaps more so by the practical approach taken in Istanbul by the city Council. I have been talking to members of the Council over the last year with a view to designing some children’s books to celebrate particularly the history of the Fatih district, but I have also been impressed by the overall scheme the council has followed to refresh the city. I intend to talk to Councillors about their scheme and also about how they sourced materials, especially the outside gym equipment which is so striking a part of the overall vision, and I think it would work here in Daventry too!

notelet design fatyih 4

I think there are three specific things that the AK party have done:

  1.  the training and courses set up in horticulture by the City in association with local universities and colleges, providing garden design and employees for the future.
  2.  the celebration of festivals and history that also involves research into plants of the past. It is because of this that the tulip has been so revived, but there are also “Monument trees”, that are replanted and tended, restoring the vistas of the past and improving the way the city looks today. It is partly this vision which ironically both inspired the protests in Gazi square to “save the trees” and also inspired the developments that threatened to redevelop the area. The compromise seems to involve some transplanting/replanting and rethinking. For all the negative image this protest created, it shows very clearly that our environment is something people care deeply about.
  3.  The city has established open-field gyms, taking exercise out into the parks and democratising sport in a very real way, giving access to children, the disabled and the elderly. I will be going to Istanbul soon to try to find out how the technology was developed for outdoor sports equipment taht would withstand a climate that is no less changeable and erratic than our own.

images-2 images-4 orhangazi-belediyesi-cocuk-parklarini-yeniliyor-IHA-20141202AW259401-2-t images-1 imgres-6 imgres-5 images-5

If my vision of what we could do in DAVENTRY is shaped by my childhood in Spalding, my practical proposals follow what has already happened in Istanbul. What we can see there is that this sort of revitalisation works. It is a positive force in society and we can do something similar here in Daventry.

Kipper MEP Racially Insults Muslim SNP Politico as ‘Abu Hamza’

This is a thoughtful and insightful blog.I could not say anything in any clearer way frankly. TIM WILSON

though-

The story did not seem to me to be “a non-story” and Coburn and Farage compound the original insult by referring to it as a joke however crass or tasteless they may describe it. these people deserve to be thoroughly and mercilessly ridiculed until they sit up and pay attention. It is time they understood and appreciated what a joke can be!

James Gillray is one of my heroes

George III and Queen Charlotte

this is what the UKIP spokesman said at the time:

Glenn Campbell, BBC Scotland political correspondent

UKIP said David Coburn had apologised to Humza Yousaf.

They said he would be making no further comment on what a spokesman described as a “non-story”.

But that’s unlikely to be the last word on the matter.

Mr Yousaf said he was taking “legal advice” to see if he could pursue a complaint under legislation against race or religious hatred.

It has also emerged that the Scottish government is inviting MSPs to vote to express their disapproval.

Cabinet minister Alex Neil has tabled an amendment to a motion celebrating Scotland’s diverse communities.

It says parliament “unites in condemning the recent comments by David Coburn MEP”.

MSPs will decide on Wednesday whether or not to endorse that rebuke to Scotland’s most outspoken Euro MP.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

David Coburn

David Coburn, the openly gay Kipper MEP for Scotland, is in the Groanoiad and Scottish Daily Mail for allegedly referring to Humza Yousaf as Abu Hamza in an interview with the latter paper. Yousaf is the MSP for Glasgow, and the Minister for Europe and International Development in the Scottish parliament. Yousaf and Coburn were due to take part in the BBC’s Big Immigration Debate, but Yousaf did not arrive. Coburn said of Yousaf’s failure to appear, “Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza, didn’t seem to turn up.”

SDM Yousaf Insult

His remarks have been condemned by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the Conservative’s leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, and Kezia Dugdale, Labour’s deputy leader north of the border. Coburn, however, has said that the remark was supposed to be private, while the Kipper’s Scottish chairman, Arthur Misty Thackeray, said he had simply got the name wrong through a…

View original post 586 more words

David Coburn

I will write more in the next day or so. For now, here is the man whose comments have made me face the National media. We will see how it plays out. Coburn2

But Mr Wilson told the Mail: ‘What Coburn said is unforgiveable – it’s racist abuse. It doesn’t matter whether it was a private comment, or a public comment, this man has public office and he needs to filter the ridiculous thoughts that come from his brain.

‘He should be dismissed from UKIP and held to account.’

He added: ‘Mr Farage cannot dismiss something like this as a joke. You can’t toss this thing off as a joke with a pint of beer. It’s unacceptable.

‘If a leader cannot understand that it is the effect of his words not his intention that matters then maybe he too needs to consider his position and I would be the first to welcome Mr Farage into the political wilderness.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3009799/Fresh-blow-Farage-Ukip-candidate-quits-protest-MEP-compared-Muslim-minister-Abu-Hamza.html#ixzz3VLUBDi00 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

I feel a bit sorry for Ms Atkinson. Wasn’t there an idea of being innocent until proven guilty? But when it comes to money issues, Farage seems intent on acting fast. That is the impression. The speed of this exit had the fury of a Brian Rix farce. I almost expected to see Farage with his trousers round his angles struggling to get down a ladder. But in contrast, his toleration of Helmer’s homophobia and Coburn’s racism is remarkable. In those cases, the issue seems clear and yet there is none of the flapping around about them. No, Farage is all smiles and excuses for the lads with the wayward tongues. Surely more offence is caused by messrs Helmer and Coburn than could ever be caused by Atkinson’s wayward thriftiness- even assuming she condoned/ approved or was otherwise involved in the alleged fraud. So here she is, as the Queen of Spades. Other playing cards in the UKIP deck will follow in later posts.

queen

If more of the top-ranking UKIP lot were to resign and if the thugs who are littered around the party’s inner machinery were advised to mentor and assist rather than bully and gag, then I think UKIP has an interesting future. I worry that while it is spearheaded by one man and a support-act of cronies, there is an inherent problem that it can go off the rails, which in fact is what happened a while back with the Humza Yousaf affair over which I resigned. The mud-slinging in my direction after that simply served to make me more determined to fight back. Once the party involved Necati of course I was incensed. But there we are: I await an apology from Farage which will not come, and I would hope in time he will apologise properly to Humza which also probably will not happen.

Coburn and Onan:

Something by the way, has strick me forcefully. Conburn allegedly said this, “Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza, didn’t seem to turn up.” Doesn’t that mean he was often saying this? Not to Humza, at least, so where was he doing this “calling” and who was he addressing when he “called”? Apparently, also, his first excuse was that the remark was private. So does he say this to himself while he is sitting on the loo – like some form of buddhist incantation, a perversion maybe of the Jesus Prayer? Is he a Hesychast or is he somehow distracted? I hate to think of such an ugly man taking a dump, but then again, the image is so tempting, I am sure it will emerge as a drawing soon… How private is it? And how often does he do it? On his own- or with others? This foul-mouthed elected MEMBER has been playing with himself for far too long.

 Here is a youtube video of a radio interview Coburn did. It is astonishing.

Ed Miliband and tuition fees

thatcher2

It is always a pleasure to be able to put up a picture of Margaret Thatcher. She was a dream to draw so any excuse to do her in black and white or in colour as here is wonderful and today, the current leader of the Labour Party (and a man I remember meeting on occasion as he flitted out of Corpus where a great friend of mine – a committed Thatcherite- was ploughing away at a doctorate), has come out with a plan that categorically demands to be slapped down by the Lady in blue. She would have said of this plan as she famously said of Socialism in general, “the problem …is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”.

thatcher1p

Now, Miliband proposes to cut the University tuition fee from £9000 by £3000 or so, and to do this, he plans to tax savers. In other words, all those people who have dutifully followed present Government advice and put money away for a rainy day will have it pinched and given out willy nilly to students who think the world owes them a living. I wonder how many times Ed plans to raid the piggy-bank? Specifically, the costs would be met, he said, by reducing tax-relief on pensions for anyone earning over £150,000 per year. I am sure that was greeted, even in Labour circles, by barely disguised squeals of pain! It’s like handing the teenager the family car to crash.

ed_miliband

Miliband is quite right that the current trail of debt that lies in the wake of our further education experiment is wrong, leaving many students with over £44000 to pay off after graduation, but it is not as simple as that. The whole system creaks because it is allowing enormous debt to build up all over the place, and some of it that must inevitably be written off. (I would make the case case, incidentally, against conscription, surely a waste of so much money in so many countries across Europe. If you want an army, you have to set one up with a serious plan, proper training on proper equipment; it is not a serious fighting force if it is simply seen as a rite of passage) At the same time, the caps on tuition fees mean that Universities cannot really charge what they feel they are worth and everyone in this deal is struggling to make ends meet. Often when there is a mess like this and on this scale, we can look around and see at least someone leaping around with a smirk of satisfied delight, but in this case there seems to be no one. Everyone suffers! It becomes even worse when you reflect that it was the Blair government that put pressure on smaller universities to expand their campuses and trade in their carefully hoarded private wealth for reliance on state funding. (Why would they do this?) You only need to look at the mess of the Stockton campus in Durham to see just how badly this sort of thing can go, and Durham was certainly not alone.

We were wrong to try to send 50% of all school leavers to university. That is the bottom line. University should be an exceptional experience and not a routine rite of passage. It is not about drinking ale and recreating scenes from the “Inbetweeners’ movies”. University life is about learning how to process information at speed and under pressure. It might also be about gathering specific skills, but it is a privileged time and we should teach students they need to value that experience. In fact, by demanding that so many students pass through the University gates, we have cheapened the further education brand, jacked up the overall cost and encouraged the development of a range of “mickey mouse courses” that beggar belief.

Miliband’s proposal is more extreme- he is taking from Peter to pay Paul. But essentially, while they maintain this fantasy that 50% of all students deserve a University place, any plans are merely an attempt to rearrange the bunting at “Freshers’ Fayre”.

UKIP does better than the other parties, demanding a reduction in that 50% aim and offering to cut the tuition fees on key subjects. I think these would be things like Physics, Medicine, Computing and engineering. While I might quibble with the subjects on offer “at discount rates”, I think the overall vision is remarkably clear. It is not yet clear how this would be funded- in my own opinion, and in the long run, if our universities were to recover their reputation for overall excellence, the number of foreign students might well provide an opportunity to raise enough money to fund scholarships to cover the tuition costs of education National students in important subjects. But this might take time and Heavens! We need to start treating foreign students better than we do now. Not only do they pay more but if we get it right, and they profit from their education here, they will be the leaders of their own countries in a few years and it will be to them that we turn for alliances and assistance. If we treat them badly, why would we expect them to want to do business with us? This was one of the great principles of the British Raj and one of the great disasters when Edward Heath turned his back on the Commonwealth. We need those committed international alliances that are forged over decades, not weeks and that are of mutual benefit. We need to know there are people across the world who speak our language, both culturally and linguistically. In short, abandoning the Tier 1 visa, like so much of the visa bullying that surrounds the education of foreign students in the UK is stabbing ourselves in the collective foot, and we will suffer greatly in years to come for our short-sightedness and parsimony. More on this later in a dedicated post!

Today, Mr Farage made it clear that cutting the deficit remains an absolute priority so again echoing the Lady: We cannot spend what we do not have. Mr Farage criticised Osborne for failing to grasp the nettle- “George Osborne was right to say he would eliminate the deficit by the start of 2015 but he failed to do it because he had coalition partners who did not appear to be very interested and he did not himself make some of the tough choices.”

Putting our house in order, not promising to spend more than we can afford, while rewarding those who put in the time to study those skills we badly need- all this is simple, as Mr Farage would say simply a matter of “Common Sense”.