The Flood

Let us open our borders to those ‘who will contribute’. Let us welcome ‘the brightest and the best’. Let us open our doors to ‘the best talent from across the world’. We need an immigration system that meets ‘the needs of our economy’. This is the true meaning of Brexit. No longer will we discriminate against non-EU citizens who might ‘contribute’. Welcome to ‘Global Britain’!

This exciting message is the mantra of the liberal establishment, and home secretary Javid spelled it out again last week. A key reason people voted to leave the EU, he argued, was to regain ‘the ability to choose who can and cannot come to our country’. He went on, ‘the message was never that we should turn our back on our values as an open and outward-looking country. Immigration has been good for Britain – it has made us a global hub for culture, business and travel and has boosted our economy in countless ways’.

May will go all out next week to flog this message in the run up to the House of Commons vote. Her deal will deliver ‘an end to free movement’, and, specifically, an end to uncontrolled low-skilled migration. Naturally, there will need to be ‘broader arrangements’ to ensure the economy ‘has the low-skilled labour it needs’. And, yes, the precise nature of the arrangements has yet to be agreed with our European partners, so there will inevitably be ‘compromises’ as in any negotiations, mainly on our side, to avoid the catastrophe of ‘no deal’. But we can rest assured that the ‘fundamental tenet’ of the new immigration system will be that it should not afford ‘specific preference to EU citizens’; and this has been agreed (at least in spirit) with our European partners.

In cabinet, ministers have been pressing for months for the ‘shortage occupation list’ to be extended to cover such sectors as IT, engineering, teaching and health. A strong argument can be made to extend the list to encompass hospitality (90,000 vacancies unfilled) and social care (130,000 vacancies unfilled): difficult to justify our elderly being left to rot in unstaffed care homes because those who would care for them cannot be classified as ‘the brightest and the best’. In which case, why not extend the list indefinitely and add the building trade, plumbing, lorry driving, waitering, dog-walking and swimming instructing to the shortage list?

But wait a minute. My impression is that the indigenous population’s concern about immigration takes a somewhat different form from that depicted by Javid. They couldn’t care the toss about ‘global Britain’ attracting ‘the brightest and the best’. They think there are too many people coming into the country. They feel, increasingly, that they are strangers in their own homeland. They think that importing millions upon millions of immigrants has exacerbated the housing shortage. They don’t want their countryside carpeted with high-density housing developments to house an ever-expanding population fuelled by immigration. They resent it that East Europeans living ten to a house can minimise their living expenses, sure in the knowledge that their savings will have five times the purchasing power back home (enabling them with the greatest of ease, to put down the deposit on a house in Slovakia or Romania ), and undercut them in the labour market; whereas they can no longer afford to make ends meet, let alone rent a flat or put down the deposit on a house in Britain. They don’t think it makes sense for the government to have to subsidise people in work because their wages are so low. They don’t think that all migrants are paying their taxes, but that many are working cash in hand (as in the building trade), and that others are claiming benefits to which they are not entitled. And finally, they would rather that newcomers who choose to settle here permanently either shared their culture and way of life, or showed a willingness to integrate, as opposed to live parallel lives in parallel communities – because they wish to live in settled communities where they know and trust their neighbours, not in a ‘global hub’. In short, they want their country back.

As for shortages, let there be shortages! Let employers who cannot offer a decent wage (i.e. a wage that enables a person to put a roof over their head) go out of business. Let employers train new recruits and invest to raise their productivity, instead of relying on cheap labour and imported skills. Let pampered bourgeois liberals pay more for their delivery van drivers, gardeners, dog-walkers and nannies. And if they have to look after their own children, so much the better.

We managed perfectly well in the 1980s and early 1990s when net immigration approached zero. We will do so again.

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6 Comments on The Flood

  1. What part of we are sinking do these clods not understand? And why do they think these aliens bypass the rest of Europe on their way to the promised land? To put the problem of unrestricted migration in its context: for Spain and France to establish the same number of people per square mile that we have, they would each have to increase their populations by around 30 million! This was not the case 30 years ago, but irresponsible and just plain malevolent polices by government of both political hues have landed us where we are.

    • Unrestricted immigration is a Ponzi scheme, a short-term fix thought up by economists. Immigrants themselves grow old and need pensions funded and medical care provided. The economists’ only solution is (wait for it…): more immigrants!

  2. The fifth paragraph of this article captures precisely the feelings of millions of Britons, but these feelings have been effectively ‘no-platformed’, to use that horrible juvenile phrase. If you write to your MP (of any mainstream Party), he or she will reply with the old ‘brightest and the best’ routine. If you write to a newspaper, your letter will not be published. If you speak out in public, you will be cautioned by the police. This is creating a great deal of potentionally dangerous frustration, especially in working-class areas. Who knows when the pressure-cooker will blow?

  3. I don’t think a ‘no deal’ is such a catastrophe. This assumption is just wrong and any negotiation that results from this assumption is going to be bad by definition because it doesn’t start from a place of truth and a position of strength. It’s grotesque and absurd that the British people can’t train and staff the needed work positions from within the ranks of their own population. Why would you need to import so many people to fill these positions when your own British working class youth are given no hope and no future? I say employ the people you’ve got before importing hundreds of thousands that undercut the working class Britains!! That’s how you’ll make Britain great again!

  4. A great deal of the responsibility for this folly of mass immigration can be laid at the door of economists because they treat people in their simplistic models as completely fungible in the same way that styrene cups or Tetrapods are. Nor do they take into account crucial barriers to harmonious integration such as culture, language, shared history, shared values etc. To them, people are just ciphers in a spreadsheet.

    Mass immigration is not only folly. It will be the source of major civil unrest before long.

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