Chris Croft's Personal Blog

November 24, 2013

Moderation

Filed under: News and Politics — Tags: , — chriscroft @ 12:21 pm

I just watched a rather irritating TV programme where they had people phoning in to say whether immigration is good or bad, and in fact the TV programme had done some research and it was something like 80% of people thought immigration was a bad thing. (Well done to the 20% of people who had managed to realise that we’re all immigrants if you go far back enough, and our uniquely rich culture comes from the diversity of adding up everything from nordic language to curry, reggae music to genetic variation).

So the question was “Is immigration good or bad?”

But of course that survey totally missed the point which is that too much immigration is bad, but too little is ALSO bad. The question we SHOULD be thinking about is “What’s the optimum point?” or at least “How much is too much?” – what’s the acceptable range. And then we can work out how to aim for that.

I do fear unlimited immigration, and I do fear that next January we might get overloaded with people from Romania and Bulgaria, or that we gradually get swamped over the next 5-20 years, because there is a maximum rate that we can assimilate new people, but I don’t know what that maximum rate is, and I don’t know if my fears are founded or unfounded. And nobody is even allowed to talk about it without being branded racist.

So the thinking person’s position should be:
a) it’s not about race, it’s about numbers – of any type / colour / race / creed.
b) it’s not about keeping people out, it’s about working out what is the maximum number of people we can welcome in.

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3 Comments »

  1. And it’s about whether there should be selection criteria on who comes in. Australia, which has in many ways the most organized and determinist government of any large country – it is surprisingly like a huge Singapore – has a brutally numerist points system. Your age, health, wealth and qualifications earn you points. Score enough, and you’re in.

    What think?

    >

    Comment by Martin Herrington — November 25, 2013 @ 1:52 am

  2. I don’t think we can see immigration as just “black or white” or “what do they bring to the party”. We have immigration because:
    – we are seen to be a rich country -and so immigration happens as people try to take some of our riches back to support those in need “back home”
    – we have opened the doors to allow those who are victims in certain circumstances because we are civilised.

    The issue with immigration is that we don’t have a suitably scalable infrastructure to work with the immigration. With no personal funds many immigrants (lets call them “transient citizens”) will congregrate together, and typically within the “rich” cities. Additionally, because they are transient they don’t have the necessary funds to pay in to support the services that they need. Add to that the higher rates of employment as companies buy cheaply from abroad (or engage lawyers to ensure high taxes aren’t paid) or even the higher property rates we delve into a vicious circle – no funds to pay for services, more people coming into the area, more demands on the service… no funds…

    I think there is a need for a new approach.
    We have the infrastructure if we make better use of funds (is £15million towards a memorial a good use of funds?); if we tackle why so many shops are empty (surely, some money in must be better than no money in for property rents); if we make better use of brown field development over green (and much as I hate to think it, more affordable housing in those brown sites); if we started to roll up some of the local authorities (why are there 30+ local london authorities now? surely as we develop a single transport infrastructure, we could have a single housing and care one too?)

    Comment by David Grewcock — November 25, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

  3. Wowzer.

    1. Immigrants who are here because they are victims would indeed be asylum seekers.
    2. Many immigrants haven’t the personal funds? So what’s the % of immigrants coming in who don’t have the required funds?
    3. It’s pretty well acknowledged – unless you read the Mail or Express – that immigration/immigrants are a net contributor to the economy and therefore the tax base. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24813467 … So again the assertion that they don’t have have the funds to pay for services may not be quite true.

    The point with immigration is not simply the numbers or the number we can let in but the type of economic migrants this country needs and the implications this has for those in the UK who are competing for similar jobs.

    Comment by Nick — November 26, 2013 @ 9:26 pm


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