These islands are our islands. They do not belong to the political classes, the European Commission, the United Nations, nor the government of the day. We live here and it is we, the people, who have the absolute right to decide who may, and who may not, come here and upon what conditions they come. That is probably enough to have me held under suspicion of racism and worse...In Attlee's party, perhaps. Not necessarily in all of Callaghan's. And anyway, the 'we' who live here isn't the 'we' it used to be, and will be even less so in the future, even were all immigration to stop now.
I think that the massive, deliberate, uncontrolled, uncounted and often denied programme of mass immigration has more complex origins. There is within NuLab a detestation of much that is British quite unknown in the Labour Party of Attlee or Callaghan. It is often a form of self-hatred and guilt. Guilt about being born comfortably middle class, having been to a decent school and a private hospital. Guilt even about being born into a prosperous country with a glorious and proud history. Like Caliban, these people rage against their own image.
UPDATE - Norm returns to the fray in his trademark combative style :
We could require schools to teach the history of this country, and I mean teach the history, not to teach pupils to engage in emotionally incontinent spasms about how a Roman soldier might have felt as he was mown down by Boadicea’s chariot, or how a black African being sold by other black Africans to an Arab slave trader might have have felt about that. What is needed is to teach how the people of these islands built a great nation. ...
And by the way, if you do not want your church to become a mosque, then you had best start going along and sitting in the pews.
BBC Radio Four has - for one week only, the following excellent programme :
In the past decade, Britain has experienced mass immigration on an unprecedented scale. A former government aide recently suggested this was a deliberate policy, motivated in part by a desire to increase racial diversity. David Goodhart investigates the ideological forces behind one of the most significant social changes to have affected the UK.
Andrew Neather, a former Number 10 speechwriter, recently wrote a much-discussed article in the Evening Standard in praise of multicultural London, but suggesting that those who have influenced immigration policy under Labour were politically-programmed to be relaxed about such numbers. His article was immediately seized upon by anti-immigration campaigners as evidence of a conspiracy to make Britain a more racially diverse society.
In this programme, David Goodhart investigates the truth about reasons for recent increases in migration to Britain. Political insiders, including former home secretary David Blunkett, talk candidly about the real influences behind the scenes. None of them give credence to the accusation that there was a plan to create a more multicultural Britain. An unexpected increase in asylum applications and the demand for cheap labour from employers were the main motivators, according to those who influenced policy. But, admits former Home Office special adviser Ed Owen, a nervousness about discussing immigration policy meant that New Labour was, in its first years in office, poorly prepared to deal with the issue.
We may not have witnessed a grand act of social engineering, concludes David Goodhart, but New Labour's combination of economic liberalism and cultural liberalism led it to regard mass immigration as a trend which would bring great social benefits and few disadvantages.
Rt Hon David Blunkett MP, former home secretary
Tim Finch, head of migration, equalities and citizenship, and director of strategic communications at the Institute for Public Policy Research
Andrew Neather, Comment editor at The Evening Standard and former Number 10 speechwriter.
Sir Andrew Green, Migrationwatch
Sarah Spencer, deputy director, Centre on Migration Policy and Society
John Tincey, Immigration Services Union
Ed Owen, former Home Office special adviser
Claude Moraes MEP.
Associated news story here - seems it was all a series of unfortunate events which is apparently the new narrative. The BBC seem to have decided that shouting 'racist' at any and every critic of mass immigration hasn't worked.
Podcast of the programme here - it's there for a week for download and the prog will apparently be repeated on Sun 14 Feb at 21.30. I didn't catch all of it last night, but what I did catch was good stuff. Recommended.
At Bronte Capital, an interesting piece by John Hempton on demographics and the national budget - from an Aussie perspective, but the principles apply to all welfare states.
Australia – like much of the developed world – has a demographic problem from aging baby boomers. Our dependency ration (the ratio of people of non-working age to working age) is increasing and likely to increase dramatically. Moreover the dependent group will shift from young people (who impose schooling expense) to old people who impose nursing home and medical expense. Old people generally cost more than young people and as we live in a country with (semi) socialised medicine that expense is likely to fall (heavily) on the Federal Budget.Hempton comments :
Australia's national budget will thus become a little tighter each year. [This is in contrast to the glory days of the 70s and 80s where economic growth and baby boomers going through their years of peak productivity made the budget just a little easier to balance every year.]
The net effect is that something has to give. Either
(a) Australia cuts benefits to old people (and with socialized medicine that means deciding when you turn the respirator off) or
(b) Australia sharply increases taxes or
(c) Australia sharply change the mix of our population by having more babies or importing more people through immigration.
Some smaller things can work at the margin. For instance Australia can change ages at which people qualify for various pensions. This should keep old people in the workforce longer and hence reduce the dependency ratio. Also – as the working age population become the scarce factor wage levels for those still working should rise. The higher wages will attract some older people back into or into staying in the workforce. However these are effects are likely to be too small to overwhelm the main thesis.
With a good size baby boom and old people driving government expenditure (something that is certainly the case in the US) the problem is real and will remain intense.
The problem could be solved with very rapid economic growth – but the Australian Treasury models a quite high real rate of growth and Australia still has a problem. If economic growth were to decline to Japanese levels the fiscal imbalance by (say) 2030 would become very intense. [Australia could get very lucky with sharp increases in commodity prices. That sort of luck is possible because Australia is small – however that sort of luck will not bail out the US.]
By far the easiest solution is (c) - changing the mix of the population. Societies are not good at rationing health care expenditure for the elderly and there are limits to the ability of smaller open economies (such as Australia) to keep increasing taxes. [Though in my view a little of both these things will happen.]
Maybe I'm dumb, but it seems to me that the policy isn't any more sustainable there than it is here. So you import enough immigrants to fix the dependency ratio 30 years hence. Either their fertility tends towards the fertility of the host community, in which case you're just moving back the identical demographic problem for another generation (to be solved by another influx ? - compound interest says you'll run out of land before too long, even in Oz) , or it doesn't - in which case it's likely
Everyone that matters in Australia knows that the easiest solution is (c). Peter Costello – Australia's last Treasury (in the US context read Secretary of the Treasury) knew this and advocated women having three children – one for mum, one for dad and one for the country. **
Costello had his eye on the future fiscal balance (as he should) but there is an undertone of racism in his pronouncement. Australia's population is a matter of choice because there is an endless supply of skilled and/or needy immigrants who want to live in Australia and the main case for having babies over importing people is that the babies are probably white.Anyway the core way that Australia is balancing the long term budget is through immigration. If you want to solve the problem that way you need very large immigration now so that in 30 years the you get the right dependency ratio. That – for better or for worse – is what the government is currently doing. Australia's immigration rate is massive – roughly 1 percent of the population per year. That level of immigration will have Australia on the path to a 50 million population (currently 21 million) by the year 2050.
a) that you've also got cultural separation
b) that the ethnic balance of the population will tip more and more towards the incomers
Those two together aren't good juju.
The Aussies have some good ideas. We could do with an Intergenerational Report - not to mention a Charter of Budget Honesty.
Under the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 an Intergenerational Report is required every five years.
The reports focus on the implications of demographic change for economic growth and assess the financial implications of continuing current policies and trends over the next four decades.