Advocates of immigration see no problem with the volume of migrants entering the country. On the contrary, the majority of the people, (based on opinion polls and on support for Ukip) take a very different view. The two main strands that are in open discussion are the view of business and the Metropolitan elite that immigration is a positive for the nation. The wider populace have concerns as to the scale of numbers coming into the country and the overall effect on: welfare, health, education, housing, and roads: cars, pollution etc., on
culture and the values that make up the fabric of a cohesive society.
However, there is another side, a much darker hidden side and one of deep despair. We do not talk of this consequence of immigration because it would showcase just what a sick society we truly are.
As far as business are concerned, it’s a simple equation; the more the merrier. Some aspects of their logic make good sense. There are vacancies that need to be filled and if that specific skill set is not available locally then allow someone from abroad to fill the role. Otherwise the company could lose the contract which could have an adverse effect on those already employed.
There is good support for the argument of business. Tom Papworth, www.centreforum.org suggests that there is compelling evidence that immigration is good for the country. In the same article, Peri & Davis are equally positive, “The economic question is not whether a domestic worker is capable of doing the job, but whether it is more efficient to allocate the job to a domestic or a foreign worker”. The LSE note, that there is little evidence of a negative impact of immigration. The London Chamber of Commerce likewise add a positive voice.
Business leaders and many politicians point out that the local population are not as well educated nor share the same work ethic as their foreign counterparts. While this might hold a grain of truth it also leaves open the question of why that should be so. Who is to be held responsible for the characteristics and culture identified? A mirror is a very handy tool to check out how one looks!
Why did the UK get rid of apprenticeships only to, more recently, have a sudden frenzy to re-introduce them? The former was a decision proposed by business and carried out by politicians! Now business wants to be paid for taking-on apprentices. Getting rid of apprenticeships caused a severe shortage of skilled tradesmen which lead to a mass influx of Eastern European workers who were better qualified and crucially cheaper. Many may view business ethics as akin to those of a louse. A louse does not much care on whose hair or head it lays its nits as long as it gets fed.
As for the Metropolitan elite they hide behind the mantra of multiculturalism. It is their contention that many cultures can co-exist in harmony. History would tend to dispute that assumption: Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, Croatia, Check Republic, and Slovenia and presently the tension in Ukraine. Thus multiculturalism has no intellectual basis but is borne of political expediency. To run without the knowledge and experience of history is to always run with blinkers on.
Even our limited experience of multiculturalism in the UK has been one of ethnic enclaves, of segregation by choice or circumstance. Behind some of these closed environments we are left to assume that all is well. However, some groups have brought cultural attitudes which are contrary to human rights legislation. Multiculturalism by its very sense envisages that the people retain their culture, their belief systems, and their definitive outlook on life. There is no room here for change either as a community or on an individual basis. That is why multiculturalism is a dodo!
The advocates of multiculturalism may point to the long established Chinese community to support their political belief. Contrary to that outlook the Chinese community can readily be described as a closed one. A community that may hide gross violations of human rights but which we are prepared to ignore because it does not directly affect us. The hypocrisy of our toleration is exposed in our other guise as living in a Liberal democracy. We may pretend that by visiting China town and having a meal we are somehow having a cultural exchange, it’s simply that, pretence.
Immigration and the fear it evokes is not new. The 1948 Nationality Act allowed anyone from the Commonwealth to come to the UK, some 800 million. (Wikipedia) Of course that was not practical but many did come, many on request, but such were the numbers that in 1962 the Commonwealth Immigration Act was passed. Another law was enacted in 1968 and again in 1972 and a further immigration law in 1981. In 1997, the ‘primary purpose rule’ was abolished. It is important to note that tension regarding immigration has not dissipated; on the contrary some would argue it has become more entrenched. Over the past decade there have been 83 changes to immigration legislation.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) net immigration has risen each year between 2000 & 2008. In 2006 over 154,000 were granted citizenship and a further 134,400 were granted settlement. In 2009 net migration was 196,000. The coldness of the figures on immigration disguises an enormous problem. A new town every year! Tension increased to such an extent that in 2003 the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair promised to slash asylum seekers by 50% in just seven (7) months. In 2008 the government introduced a fine of £10,000 for each illegal immigrant found working in a business. Obviously problems had been identified.
The decision by the Labour Government to open the borders and create open access was a deliberate policy between 2000 & 2008. Andrew Neather. The European statistical body, Eurostat claimed that in 2010 the UK population was 62 million of which some seven (7) million were foreign born.
There has been 50 years of tension concerning immigration, thus it’s generational, a point many would like to remain hidden. The tension is high because the numbers remain high. The BBC (28 Nov: 2013) reported that close on 0.5 million immigrants arrived in the UK in 2012. Official figures for net migration in that year were 176,000 a sizable increase on the 2011 figure of 153,000. The most recent numbers for 2013 are 212,000 up 37% on the previous year. (Reuters)
The question is one of sustainability, for how long can the country manage the scale of numbers? This point is given added credence when the 2011 Census revealed 464,800 more people in the country than the ONS had calculated. WOW! The politicians’ response – stop having a census! Bury the truth: the first stage in Stalinist rule! No politician has of yet come forward to explain the cost of sustainability or to allay the fears of the people in any sensible way.
Is it all about economic efficiency? After all we do live in a capitalist world; therefore should we not logically serve the one God? Perhaps we are hoodwinking ourselves by promoting the notion of community, of social cohesion, of society. Capitalism is a dominant force in our lives and maybe we should accept this and bow to the inevitable: let the dogs out and fend for ourselves.
What I find enigmatic about the whole thing is the political shallowness and shadow-boxing of the proponents. In support of mass immigration we have the ‘Left’ in UK politics, the Liberal party and the business community. In the opposite corner we have strong elements of the ‘right’ in UK politics and the working class. Note that it is the working class who suffer most from mass immigration and their erstwhile political leaders of the Left who are the main advocates. Intriguing! 1960s again!