Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Immigration: damned if you do; damned if you don’t

David Cameron has stepped into what has become a political minefield. To even broach the subject of immigration apparently renders the Conservative Party as odious as the BNP, yet what credible party of government can possibly leave the subject unattended? The UK is an island, with limited land, limited resources, finite housing, and finite public services. It is absurd to pretend that an annual net population increase of 200,000 can be sustained, especially if that increase – 2 million every decade – brings with it traditions, religion or other cultural manifestations and beliefs which are at variance with those of the United Kingdom. The Roman Catholic Church has already discovered great challenges presented by the influx of their co-religionists from Poland, and mosques are increasingly recruiting imams from Pakistan to minister to the specific religio-political needs of many Pakistani immigrants.

Yet from ‘the Left’ Mr Cameron is accused of playing the populists' card, returning to one of Michael Howard's so-called "dog whistle" issues, which dominated the Conservatives' last election campaign. And from ‘the Right’ he is accused of deceit, of not going far enough, and of misunderstanding or purposely misrepresenting the UK’s obligation under EU law or UN convention.

Despite the reality that the vast majority of immigrants contribute positively to the economy, there is no doubt the topic has great appeal for readers of The Sun and the Daily Mail. But whatever the accuracy of the figures or the motive of Mr Cameron's emerging policy, his fundamental analysis is beyond dispute: public services are under siege and the pressures on them are unsustainable. If the immigrant population continues to increase at the present rate, there will simply be insufficient provision of housing, education, healthcare, or public transport.

Mr Cameron's solution is to somehow restrict the numbers coming in. Since he cannot do this for EU nationals, who have the right of free movement in a free labour market, he has to look at the rest of the world, particularly to India and Pakistan. Yet the vast majority of those immigrating from the subcontinent do so for marriage purposes, which is also an enshrined EU human right.

Cranmer is bemused by the reluctance to address the matter quite straightforwardly. The UK needs to retain control of its borders once again: it is a national scandal that government ministers are unable to provide figures for immigration, or to give any idea of where they are settling, and placing huge strains on local government coffers. Firstly, like similar regimes in Australia and Canada, a points system must be introduced, which could be earned for factors such as qualifications, work experience and language skills. A certain number of points would be needed to be considered for a work visa, awarded for aptitude, age, experience, and the level of need in each sector. Secondly, the UK must either renegotiate its deal with the EU, or, failing that, leave it altogether. It is one thing to have a free labour market; it is quite another to imperil the fabric of society and imperil the peace and security of the realm.

Mr Cameron has seized the bull, but not quite by the horns. Let us hope that he manages to tame the beast before the situation becomes quite irreversible.

6 Comments:

Blogger Jomo said...

Nothing much can be done about anything while we remain a member of EU.

Sadly the political class continues to pursue the illusion that the Country benefits from membership.

Is the country really a better place now than it was?

We may have more money but we also have much less freedom.

30 October 2007 at 09:54  
Blogger AethelBald, King of Wessex said...

While I agree with the essential drift, I am quite unclear as to the validity of the "pressure on public services" argument which appears to be aimed at the cognitively challenged.

The working population is now 8% foreign and, if I have the figures right, this fraction is associated with 1.1 million immigrants. So you get roughly 7% of the workforce per million immigrants. For natives, we have 92% of the workforce associated with about 55 million natives. So you get about 1.67% of the workforce per million natives. If these numbers pan out then imigrants are perhaps 3 times as productive as natives and their tax contribution should more than pay for any additional spending that may be required to provide our expected level of services. The problem, then lies not with the immigrants but with the government (who would have guessed?) and Cameron, were he rational, would be asking for increased public spending, not reduced immigration.

My point is that the "pressure on public services" argument is completely bogus. It is, in fact, a lie. And a knowing lie at that. Therefore it is inappropriate for anyone who would wish to be respected to use it. Far better to speak the truth: We are sick of bloody foreigners.

30 October 2007 at 11:31  
Anonymous najistani said...

Your Grace, surely it would be more appropriate if the red double-decker bus in the poster were to show evidence of multicultural enrichment ?

30 October 2007 at 14:32  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

To even broach the subject of immigration apparently renders the Conservative Party as odious as the BNP, yet what credible party of government can possibly leave the subject unattended?

The BNP is odious because it seeks to place whites first rather than last. All other ethnic groups are actively encouraged by the state to place themselves first, but if whites do so it's racist. And racism, as our new state religion endlessly preaches, led to the Holocaust.

Mr Cameron has seized the bull, but not quite by the horns. Let us hope that he manages to tame the beast before the situation becomes quite irreversible.

It became irreversible some time ago: we are too close to the rocks for any adjustment of the wheel to take effect in time. Very serious trouble is ahead and I am neither ranting nor being irrational when I point to the central role of Jews in the catastrophe:

Sacks said Britain's politics had been poisoned by the rise of identity politics, as minorities and aggrieved groups jockeyed first for rights, then for special treatment. The process, he said, began with Jews, before being taken up by blacks, women and gays. He said the effect had been "inexorably divisive."

"A culture of victimhood sets group against group, each claiming that its pain, injury, oppression, humiliation is greater than that of others," he said.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1192380605648&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

30 October 2007 at 15:45  
Anonymous Dr Dan H. said...

The problem isn't so much with the immigration so much as with the regime which has led to Britain having so much work for the immigrants.

Immigrants come here to work, mostly, and there is work here because our own indolent folk would rather claim benefits than work.

There's an easy way to cure this: amend the benefits system to put the boot behind the indolent dole scum and get them back to work; doesn't much matter what they work on just that they work rather than claim dole.

Fewer dole claimants will free up money for public services, which should cut Council Tax and general tax rates and fewer low-end jobs for immigrants will mean fewer immigrants in total.

We'll have to do this sometime or the numbers of dole claimants will escalate until they cannot be supported; best to do it now and get it over with.

30 October 2007 at 16:47  
Blogger Homophobic said...

"The problem isn't so much with the immigration so much as with the regime which has led to Britain having so much work for the immigrants.

Immigrants come here to work, mostly, and there is work here because our own indolent folk would rather claim benefits than work."

On the first point I completely agree. Opposition to immigration must go in hand with total opposition to social democracy which began with the inception of the welfare state in 1945.

The second point I must firmly put to rest. While in terms of pure numbers there are more indigenous unemployed than the relatively recent arrivals. But in terms of proportion the indigenous Brits are more employed then any other group.

Also, immigrants are not paying for those benefits. You have to earn 27 grand a year to be making a net contribution to the treasury.

The reasons behind mass immigration are primarily cultural and not economic.

30 October 2007 at 20:46  

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