Friday saw Prime Minister David Cameron make what had been billed as a watershed speech on immigration.
To be fair to the Prime Minister, at least he had the gumption to address an issue, which our own political masters in Stormont frequently ignore.
But having now both read and listened to David Cameron’s speech, it’s clear that whilst he’s talking about immigration, the Prime Minister is listening neither to the great UK public, nor to his own political masters in Brussels.
When he talks about controlling immigration, large swathes of the British public simply do not believe the Prime Minister. They know as well as I do that for so long as the UK remains a part of the EU, he can do no such thing. And they know too, that despite his promise in 2010 to reduce immigration to ‘1990s' levels’, there are now 160,000 more new arrivals each year in the UK than there were when David Cameron took office.
Meantime in Brussels, the Prime Minister’s political masters know that whilst Mr Cameron might huff and puff, he’s bluffing when he says he threatens to blow the house down. They know as well as you and I do, that Mr Cameron’s posturing is more about trying to save his skin at the next general election, than it is about any desire to reform the founding principles of the European Union.
The bad news however for the Prime Minister is that his bluff is set to be called.
It will not be called by the political elite in Brussels, but by the great UK public. Because by time next May comes around and after almost five years of coalition government, it will be time to consign the Prime Minister’s cast-iron guarantees, broken promises and sound-bite politics to the after dinner speaking circuit, Northern Ireland has a potentially massive role to play in the next parliament and the SNP will be trying to reduce our role.
Ukip will act responsibly and do what is in the best interest of the UK.