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January 06, 2010

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MB

Brilliant. It'd have been the post of the year if only you’d put a photo of a lovely alien of the female persuasion.

Alex

"From the point of view of the labour market, we want immigrants who are as unlike us as possible. We want people with different skills and tastes from us, who'll do jobs that we can't or won't do. These sort of people don't compete with us in the labour market and so don't threaten "our" jobs and wages."

Isn't that a variety of the lump of labour fallacy? Surely it doesn't matter whether migrants have the same skills as ourselves or not, since the number of jobs available to people like us is not fixed.

"You might think not. It's quite possible that people can differ from us in labour market aspects and yet share our values in other respects."

It's also quite possible for people to have different values to us, and yet for social cohesion to be just fine. In that situation, if a problem does happen to occur, it comes from those intolerant of "foreign" cultures ("ZOMG! THE MUSLIM CALL TO PRAYER!!!!111111eleventy")

Ralph Musgrave

The above article confuses matters cultural and economic.

From the economic point of view there is the superficially plausible argument that we could do with immigrants who fill vacancies in trades where there is a skill shortage.

Certainly this brings a short term benefit. But these people do not need to be “unlike” us in the sense that they need to be Buddhists or Muslims: they just need the right skills.

However the flaw in the above "skill shortage" argument is that skill shortages and surpluses are constantly changing. Importing people with the right skills in 2010 is beneficial, but it probably brings much less benefit come 2012 or 2015.

As to the entirely separate matter, namely cultural differences, I fail to see the benefit of importing people with a different cultural background because anything particularly beneficial that other cultures have to offer we can nick anyway.

J.S.Bach never left what is now Germany. He did’nt even travel all that widely WITHIN what is now Germany. How did each piece of his music get round Europe within months of it being written: on some amazing stuff called PAPER !!!!!! There was no necessity for Bach or hoards of German musicians to trudge round Europe.

Indeed, successful cultures do not send us immigrants in large numbers. The big numbers come from the non democratic or semi democratic, poorly educated, etc etc cultures.

Hostility to the opponents of immigration will always existed. All that changes is the shabby and dim-witted nature of the justification for it.

Dave

How many illegals currently trying to get into the country to join the millions already here would still want to come if they were told they'd be ineligible for free healthcare and social security until they'd applied for and been granted UK citizenship?

free healthcare is the holy grail that draws them here.

Alex

"How many illegals currently trying to get into the country to join the millions already here would still want to come if they were told they'd be ineligible for free healthcare and social security until they'd applied for and been granted UK citizenship?

free healthcare is the holy grail that draws them here."

1. Do you have any evidence of this, or is this just right-wing bloviating?

2. You are aware that social security provision is much greater on the continent?

3. Illegal immigrants aren't entitled to social security.

4. Banning illegal immigrants (or any non-citizens in the UK) from health care on the NHS is stupid. Here's why:

a. People need health care for a reason. If they are ill, have a disease or whatever. An illegal immigrant denied health care is a person in this country with an untreated disease. How is that any good for the safety of the citizens in this country? What if there's an illegal immigrant with swine flu? Or worse, like AIDS?

b. It drives them underground. If they're allowed health care without having to produce any proof of citizenry, then they're not going to see the doctor, and thus not going to have fewer social interactions, and thus unlikely to be as easily discovered to be here illegally.

c. With regards to emergencies, it makes more sense to resuscitate the patient (or whatever the emergency happens to be) and ask questions later.

d. A person denied NHS health care is a person more likely to turn to crime to fund private health care.

There. Four good reasons, and I didn't even have to use any "bleeding-heart liberal" ones.

Straus

Actually there have been quite a few cases in recent years of people from all the faiths making common cause to advance causes where their world views coincide.

One of the results of the immigration has been to increase the proportion of the population that professes religious belief, sometimes in quite extreme forms, and to have created pressure for rolling back the tide of secular liberalism, which became the dominant ideology after the 1960s. We are already in a situation where certain books are not published and certain plays not performed because they might inflame some people’s religious sensibilities. Muslims were the trailblazers, but where they led so Sikhs and Christians have followed.

So one of the long-term consequences of the mass immigration policies of the past forty years may be that our children or grandchildren live in a society which is considerably less free than the one we grew up in. Is it really so tawdry to wonder about the wisdom of that?

redpesto

But I fear instead that it has another implication. It implies that opposition to immigration will always be with us.

Given the hostility to the Irish (white, Catholic, English-speaking) as well as to, say, Poles (white, Catholic, potentially English speaking), as well as to people who simply look different such as Jamaicans (possibly Catholic, English-speaking, but black), it looks like the hostility to each generation of migrants is part and parcel of English history from which the next generation repeatedly fails to learn.

PS: Re. the comment "There was no necessity for Bach or hoards of German musicians to trudge round Europe." - try telling Handel or Mendelssohn that.

Ugg london

Never frown, when you are sad, because you never know who is falling in love with your smile.

stanley T

It's very simple - pick where your immigrants come from. In brief, no Muslims, until the Islamic world gets over its collective nervous breakdown. If this makes it past moderation the instinctive reaction is (shock, horror) racism. In fact it is nothing to do with race, but with culture. That however is a taboo concept on both the global capitalist right and the left, both of whom remain in thrall to utilitarianism

Tonto

Alex, if as you say welfare provision is better on the continent why don't these people with health problems get them treated there? Aids and TB are just two of the diseases that have increased significantly through either legal or illegal immigrants coming to this very harsh land.

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