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October 20, 2008

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Letters From A Tory

You forgot about responsibility for education and skills (which according to Labour are two different things) being split between two government departments.

georges

Different ethnic groups in the UK have different birth rates. White & Afro-caribbean mothers have a below replacement birth rate, & non-Muslim Asian mothers have a more-or-less replacement birth rate. If all immigration to the UK were to cease (including arranged marriages with partners from Bangladesh and Pakistan), the UK would have a gently declining, aging population. A UK which rose to 70 million through a combination of immigration and high immigrant mother fertility would be radically different from a UK which rose to 70 million through marginally increased indigenous fertility. The government realizes that continued rapid demographic transformation of the UK population has the potential for massive social tension. They are simply trying to ensure social harmony.

ajay

"1. Phil Woolas says: “We have to have a population policy…This Government isn't going to allow the population of this country to go up to 70 million.” However, the tax and benefit system subsidises population growth, by paying out more to bigger families."

Only if you believe that the expense of having another child - not just monetary cost, but also the extra labour involved (no pun intended) - is significantly outweighed by the tax and benefits available for that extra child. I doubt this is generally the case.

"2. Woolas also says that “If you've got skills shortages you should, as a government, attempt to fill those skills shortages with your indigenous population.” This is inconsistent with Alistair Darling’s plan to accelerate infrastructure spending. If you want a hospital built quickly, you haven’t the time to train up Brits to build it, but must instead use foreign labour. Darling’s plan, if successful, will help keep migrant workers in the UK."

The two are not necessarily inconsistent. You can raise infrastructure spending and still employ Brits to do it _as far as possible_. You are also assuming two things - that there is no pool of unemployed British skilled workers; and that all infrastructure spending will go on skilled labour - which are not obviously true.

"3. Ed Miliband has tightened the UK’s target for cutting carbon emissions. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown is calling for firms to cut energy and petrol prices, the effect of which will be to increase usage and carbon emissions."

It should be very obvious by now - from, for example, the US experience - that demand for petrol is very price-inelastic. And, in case you hadn't noticed, we are in a recession - ie less economic activity and so less driving - which will far outweigh the effect of a slight reduction in petrol prices. Again, these two are not inconsistent.

dearieme

"There’s no consistent principle in this government": why on earth did you insert "consistent" there?

Glenn

Well they are just trying to keep all of the people happy all of the time!

Reduce this to its absurd level and it = build more roads, encourage more carbon emmissions.

Why don't we just all go back to pastoral nomadism? it would be so much easier. But we'd have to reduce the population down to pre roman era levels - say 3 million? we'd have to get rid of 57 million people.

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