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No Easy Answers For Immigration

June 18th, 2016 Posted in EU by

There’ll be little agreement on solutions but Brendan Cox’s analysis of the absurd immigration targets culture is spot on.

If Leave win on Thursday. Their immigration campaign will come back to bite them. Principally because they will be no more successful than David Cameron in ‘taking control’ of the issue.

The most sensible immigration policy is one that matches demand for labour with supply. While ensuring compassion and capacity for genuine refugees. Enabling them to be part of the solution to their plight, not just a burden on those that host them.

Neither element of that benefits from a quota. Quotas in economic migration are either irrelevant (if high) or damaging (if low). The notion the state can plan the ‘right’ number is as absurd here as it is in every other policy area.

With refugees capacity matters, and capacity can change in reaction to events. There is no objectively right number unrelated to the circumstances of the day.

In both cases you also need to look at why the UK finds it so difficult to cope with migration. We are not full, 97.5% of our land is undeveloped. There is no good reason why public services should not cope with expansion. You don’t hear businesses moaning about having more customers, why does the NHS?

Nor do we have to pander to the myth that immigration is only hard because of rampant racism from ‘stupid Sun readers’. Integration isn’t easy. But it isn’t helped by tribal politics and sneering elitism. Fascists and anti-Fascists screaming abuse at one another do not represent the core of any debate on community relations. Daily Express headlines have not turned us into a fertile ground for the BNP. Anti-racist hate tactics in political campaigns do not encourage tolerance.

And so on…an honest dialogue about immigration would be welcome. It might start though with a bit more understanding between factions as to where their views on the subject and the public come from… rather than assumptions.

3 Responses to “No Easy Answers For Immigration”

  1. yar Says:

    You don’t hear businesses moaning about having more customers, why does the NHS?

    one of the most stupid statements i’ve ever read

  2. Chris Oakley Says:

    The “only 2.5% of land is developed” argument is pure spin because neither you nor anyone else has any idea what it means in any practical sense. What is an ideal or tolerable level of development? How do we compare to similar countries? The fact that we have 97.5% “to go at” is intended to sound impressive but is in fact yet another trite sound bite.

    Of course we can develop more and expand our population without our society actually collapsing but does anyone really want to live in a UK where say 20% of the land is developed? Especially when that is completely avoidable. Unlike most species we do have quite a lot of control over reproduction.

    I am mindful of the wise words of J S Mill on this subject:

    “If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not a better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compel them to it.”

    It would be nice if modern politicians paid heed to the words of this great liberal. The overwhelming majority of the population wish that they would. People are tired of “progress” in the form of dormer housing developments, longer journey times, stretched public services and the eradication of green spaces.

    You might think that we are not “full” but you are in a minority. England is one of the most population dense places on earth. The percentage of the UK that is actually built on is irrelevant when set against the real life experience of the citizens suffering the consequences of uncontrolled population growth.

  3. Jonathan Bagley Says:

    Chris says it very well. Not much attention is paid to the many of us who object to immigration on the grounds of population growth and population density. Do some thought experiments. How much a month would you pay for a seat on the train to work? How much for your car commute to take half the time? How much not to worry if your child can get into a convenient school? How much for the health care of your elderly parents not to be rationed? How much not to be sleep deprived due to new night flights from a nearby airport? Unless you are poor, having money to spend isn’t the be all and end all if you can’t buy the things that would improve your life.