Bloody Foreigners

16 Aug

It seems to me that the major area of concern amongst the Leave campaigners was the fear of foreigners. This varied from mild concern about immigration to all out racism. It was no good to tell the Leavers that there was no way that the desire to curb all immigration could ever be fulfilled. They were not listening. What is more, we need immigration.

It is difficult to know where most of the anti-immigrant stories come from, but it is easy to understand that it is an intellectually lazy position to lay the blame for all problems on the other, on foreigners. And it is easy to use the lever of nationalism to move the arguments from reason to racism.

It has become the perceived truth that foreigners are taking our jobs and our houses, (and our women). All the problems could be solved if we just stop the bloody foreigners from coming over here, claiming benefits and sponging off the state. Years of sniping stories from the racist press, notably the Daily Mail, has moved the lies from neo-Nazi propaganda leaflets to the breakfast table.

In reality very few immigrants claim benefits, except asylum seekers who are legally NOT allowed to work. So let’s have a few home truths here.

There are problems in this country with housing, Health services and, to a lesser extent, schooling. These are OUR problems, and bugger all to do with immigration, except very indirectly.

For decades we have failed to build enough houses or to plan properly for the future. We have sold off stocks of social housing in order to broaden the property owning classes as a form of social engineering. And we keep electing governments who pursue these policies. The current targets for house building will not be met, will fail miserably as they have done for many years. A properly funded building programme could provide great benefits to the economy, employing builders, manufacturers and boosting the fortunes of all kinds of auxiliary businesses like local shops.

Of course we have not trained enough people to become builders. I mean, why train them when there will be little work for them? If we do start a big building programme we will have to rely on a percentage of skilled immigrant labour. If we want houses we need immigrants.

And then we have an increasingly ageing native population which puts extra strain on health and care services. The vast majority of immigrants are young and healthy and make little use of health services. We have failed to train enough doctors and nurses and are highly dependent on immigrant labour already in these jobs. There are 130,000 EU immigrants working in the health and care sectors. Do you want to get rid of these people?

So, if you fall ill or need the services of a carer you are very likely to meet immigrants, to be cared for by immigrants. And there are millions of UK citizens living in the EU, such as pensioners in Spain. Imagine what would happen to health care if they were all forced to return!

I was a school governor when new schools were built, small schools closed and academies and free schools opened. The Department of Education put out figures about the birth rate which were a severe underestimate even at the time, and that was bloody obvious to all those working at the chalk face. That is why there are problems getting your child into the first choice school.

This from Ben Goldacre:-

“Immigration is just going to happen.

In or out of the EU, there will be lots, and lots of immigration: bad luck if you don’t like that. We’re perfectly able to control non-EU immigration, right now, and yet no government ever does. They never will. This is not the fault of the EU, it’s more complicated than that. Deal with it. Immigration will never stop.”

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