Boston in Lincolnshire
Shoppers walk along the high street in Boston, Lincolnshire on 5 March 2015Getty Images

The results of research by the Policy Exchange uncovering the best and worst integrated places in Britain come as no great surprise. The most integrated places are "prosperous suburbs where the largest minority groups are successful Indians or Europeans", and the least well integrated "post-industrial towns dominated by people of Pakistani heritage or poorer Eastern Europeans".

Boston in Lincolnshire tops the "least well integrated" list. It's a town so densely populated with citizens from former European communist countries that the locals joke the main shopping street, West Street, is really "East Street". Running a close second to Boston is Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, where one in nine people are Polish, Lithuanian or Romanian. Third is Oldham, where nearly 20% of residents are of Pakistani origin, but Romanians make up a third of new migrants every year.

This connection between immigration and lack of social cohesion in 21st-century Britain is deeply worrying. As a nation, we've fought hard for equality and human rights and made huge advances. Yes, a few people are still racist but we're certainly not a racist country. Most of us embrace the global diversity we find on our doorsteps. We welcome the vibrancy, the colour and the opportunity to share the food, festivals and stories of others from different cultures.

Read more: Top 10 least-integrated places in England and Wales uncovered by Policy Exchange

So why do an ever-increasing number of ghettos appear to be springing up? Where on earth did we go wrong?

First up, I blame Tony Blair. When he became prime minister in 1997, most of us had no problem even with the free movement of people within EU member countries. After all, back then, fewer EU members shared a comparable economic status, there was no euro to crash and cause economic chaos, and so the "pull factors" we see now with the influx from the new, poorer EU countries didn't exist.

"Blair is responsible for giving immigration itself an undeserved bad name"

Immigration more or less controlled itself until Blair deliberately opened our borders to the world, without any public mandate, for electoral gain. That he did so while denouncing as "racist" anyone who questioned his policy, the numbers arriving, or the speed of change, was indefensible. Blair is responsible for giving immigration itself an undeserved bad name.

We will only ever get immigration its good name back when we can start to control the numbers coming to Britain again, and we can't do that until we leave the EU. It's the EU I blame next, for totally overreaching itself and morphing from a trading bloc into a full political union intent on taking total control of the continent.

jayda fransen

Britain First's Jayda Fransen threatens civil war between Muslims and Christians

Its creeping expansionism and insistence on the free movement of people means a total of nearly 640,000 migrants now arrive in the UK every year. This has proved too much even for our tolerant and welcoming population.

Ironic, isn't it, that the supranational government that claims to be the conduit of peace in Europe is causing such discontent in so many English towns and cities?

The failed philosophy of "multiculturalism" has also divided communities and fuelled a rise in all manner of human rights abuses.

By "multiculturalism" I don't mean multi-ethnicity but the creed that creates an "us and them" mentality by preaching migrants to Britain must be allowed to continue to live their lives exactly as they might do if they were back in their country of origin, if they so wish, even if their actions conflict with our laws and long-held British values.

Multiculturalism explicitly rejects integration. It's drummed into us hardest by those on the unthinking left who tell us, with a perfectly straight face despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that immigration has only brought "cultural enrichment".

"The failed philosophy of 'multiculturalism' has divided communities and fuelled a rise in human rights abuses. It creates an 'us and them' mentality by preaching migrants must be allowed to live exactly as they might do in their country of origin, even if their actions conflict with our laws and long-held British values"

These are the feminists who will verbally berate a decent bloke for holding a door open but make excuses for migrant Muslim men who attack women in Cologne on New Year's Eve. They are the gay rights campaigners who will ban Ukip from London Pride but wouldn't dare suggest Pride marches past Saudi-funded mosques in London, as a protest at the execution of gay people across the Arab world.

They are deluded and dangerous: if we want an integrated Britain, we must discard multiculturalism and encourage migrants to integrate, speak English, and obey one law: British law, which must always refuse to tolerate the intolerable.

Failure to integrate benefits no one. The Policy Exchange research found a greater share of ethnic minorities in higher paid jobs in areas of high integration. So if we genuinely want migrants to have better lives, and not to have more chance of going to jail than to a top university – a woeful situation – then we need to be more robust about making integration a two-way street.

Crucially, we need to tell migrants they'll do better in Britain if they actively seek to embrace everything our great country has to offer and abandon any policy that makes it easier for them to do precisely the opposite.


Suzanne Evans is the deputy chairman of Ukip.