Johann frets because it creates BNP voters.
Laban chips in :
Mass immigration is IMHO the main engine of insecure employment/low wages - and that's what it's there for.
Jon Cruddas pointed out two years back that the govt "tacitly used immigration to help forge the preferred flexible North American labour market. Especially in London, legal and illegal immigration has been central in replenishing the stock of cheap labour across the public and private services, construction and civil engineering."
Immigrant labour "is the axis for the domestic agenda of the Government".
They certainly have a flexible labour market in the States, thanks to mass illegal immigration from Mexico and points South. During the Republican primaries it seemed that every other day some populist anti-immigrant candidate was busted for having an 'undocumented' gardener or nanny. Might be hard to credit, but evil fascist GWB was only stopped from 'regularising' millions of illegal migrants by a revolt from his own party.
Some say mass immigration is the Left's revenge on the working class for the Thatcher years, but that implies a degree of planning and forethought so is unlikely. It's more a cultural thing, but it does neatly coincide with a need for cheap workers.
People like Johann Hari and some Guardian commenters are calling for an increase in the minimum wage as the answer to the "problem" - the problem being that the natives are restless. They've missed the point. Keeping wages low are what it's all about.
(Of course if immigration stopped tomorrow and all the Poles went home OR if the minimum wage was doubled then yes, wages would rise and that would cause a rise in inflation. But to a great extent inflation has been 'hidden' over the last 10 years via a combination of the Chinese miracle (goods) and mass immigration/offshoring (services). In one sense it OUGHT to rise - that would give a truer picture of where we actually are economically. Then we might look hard at our education and manufacturing disasters and start doing something about them)
And talking of restless natives, did you see the State broadcaster doing its little bit for social cohesion on all its news bulletins tonight, with the video (kindly provided by HMG) of the UK Border Agency (60 guys in Clockwork Orange white boiler-suits, backed by police) in action ?
"There are dodgy employers out there who are trying to undercut their competitors and drive down British wages by employing people illegally, so we've come up with this new way of taking much faster on-the-spot action," Immigration Minister Liam Byrne told the BBC.
Ah, those British wages ! Can't you just see Britannia on the coins and the Queen (God bless her) on the notes ? Drive them down illegally and the white boiler-suits will nail you ! (drive them down legally and anyone who doesn't like it is a Nazi).
Thus far has the party of Keir Hardie advanced. But hey, it'll help convince the stupid natives that 'they' are doing something.
(There was also an interesting discussion on utility which alas time prevented me from joining)