New Cross and Hither Green - A foreign land for Farage

This weekend, Nigel Farage told his party conference in Torquay that parts of Britain have become "unrecognisable".

Curiously, he chose a train journey from Charing X to Kent to illustrate his point, claiming that he rode through London Bridge, New Cross and Hither Green to Grove Park before his nerves were calmed by the sound of English being spoken, saying:

"Do I think parts of Britain are a foreign land? I got the train the other night, it was rush hour, from Charing Cross. "It was a stopper going out and we stopped at London Bridge, New Cross, Hither Green, it was not til we got past Grove Park that I could hear English being audibly spoken in the carriage. "Does that make me feel slightly awkward? Yes it does. I wonder what is really going on. I am saying that and I am sure that is a view that will be reflected by three quarters of the population, perhaps even more."

The idea that London is a great black and brown "other" is a popular one with UKIPers (and much of the rest of the country) but his example is as incredible as David Cameron's 'black man in Plymouth' story, since any journey out in to the Kent countryside is dominated by white English people, who get on at Charing X and thus ought to have been a reassuring presence for him during his trip - they didn't all embark at Grove Park.

Tourists increasingly hang out at London Bridge and foreign students sometimes swamp New Cross, but Farage describes a train carriage we've never seen. As for Hither Green, it's a happy hunting ground for native-Londoners priced out of other parts of London.

There are disturbing scenes every Friday night at London Bridge, featuring people who speak in unknown tongues, but they're pissed-up Brits on their way home, after a night at the Barrowboy & Banker. Some great British traditions don't change.