Immigration

Well, sorta. John Kampfner is generally pretty good in this piece about immigration. Distinguishing between asylum and economic migration and so on. Except, except:

In truth, nobody could have envisaged the scale of the influx. A decade or more of strong economic growth has been cause and the consequence of such a higher number of immigrants. It is the middle classes, and employers in general, who have benefited most from a ready source of eager, skilled and undemanding workers. They have driven down wages and business costs, thereby increasing profits.

No, the people who have benefitted the most are the immigrants themselves. That always gets left out of the calculations from people like MigrationWatch and it shouldn\’t be left out. We\’ve clearly and obviously had an increase in both human happiness and wealth as a result of this wave of immigration. Sure, ther are also problems associated with it: but when looking at any form of cost benefit analysis we do have to include all of the costs and all of the benefits.

9 comments on “Immigration

  1. Fair point. The Daily Mail-style analysis doesn’t really help and even though I think immigration has been more damaging than most people realise, I still think a full debate is the only way to address the issue.

  2. “I think immigration has been more damaging than most people realise”

    I love the way the debate is shifting to “pressure on public services” (code for “coming over here and taking our hospital beds”). Well, since the immigrants pay income tax, VAT, petrol duty, etc., then they are paying their share of the additional public services.

    If people aren’t getting those services then they should focus their ire on Gordon Brown: the man who takes the money then fails to provide the service. In the private sector this is called “fraud” (or possibly “insurance”).

  3. True, Kay Tie, but is isn’t quite as simple as that. Some A&E nurses I know are less than pleased at local immigrants who keep turning up at the A&E for trifling conditions and require a translator (at exorbitant rates) to deal with them. The services you speak of take no account of the contribution to them in provisioning care. It may be that it breaks even, it may be that it does not, perhaps it turns a profit, but immigrants do impose costs distinct from the average citizen.

    I agree that the analysis of immigration is often superficial. However, chatting to local residents, there is an incredible level of ill-will about the amount of immigration. That isn’t healthy for either party. It suggests that whather the economic outcomes, there are serious social considerations to be made.

  4. “We’ve clearly and obviously had an increase in both human happiness and wealth as a result of this wave of immigration.”

    Fuck “human happiness”. Fuck “wealth”.

    Some of us would prefer to have our nation back.

    Tim, this is a load of shite – and a man as intelligent as yourself really does demean themself by spouting it.

  5. “In truth, nobody could have envisaged the scale of the influx” …. WTF? It comes as no surprise to me that many people from the new (low wage) EU countries have come, and as for the other billions of poor, they come just so many as we permit … there are literally hundreds of millions who would come if we let them.

    It might be interesting to suppose how many would indeed come if we had open borders …. 200 million? less? more? We can certainly fit them in, though there would be a good deal less countryside if we did.

  6. “We’ve clearly and obviously had an increase in both human happiness and wealth as a result of this wave of immigration.”

    I guess it would be the defininition of “we” that Martin would take issue with, Tim.

    Tim adds: Indeed, it would be.

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