37 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. Even the scary statistics coming out of places like MigrationWatch show that there’s a very small (about £4 a year I recall) benefit to the indigenous population.

    Wait, what? Four pounds a year? How wide are your error bars on that?

  2. Tim, you say the government shouldn’t even try. Does that mean it should let everyone in, or let no one in? You’ve illustrated one problem with asking government to do nothing, which is that it is often unclear what constitutes doing nothing.

    Actually, this isn’t a very difficult problem. I made a suggestion for a sensible policy over a year ago, when this immigration scheme was put forward.

  3. From Tim’s ASI piece:
    “Which brings us to an important point. Government just isn’t capable of doing these complicated things. Is incapable of the finesse necessary to achieve solutions to tricky problems. So we might well be better off if they didn’t even try. You know, cut government back to the basics of defending the country and maintaining at least a semblance of law and order. Once they’ve shown they can manage that we might allow them to at least trying more difficult things. But not until they’ve shown they can master the basics.”

    Or they could do what they’re bloody well told.

    The electorate have been against large scale immigration since the 1950s. But successive governments have ignored public opinion & foisted ever increasing levels of immigration on the country for decades. Even discussing the matter was regarded as inflammatory. So eventually it’s reached the point where the electorate refuses to be ignored & they’re floundering about, introducing nonsense policies like you’ve described to placate it. Academics & similar civilised immigrants were never a problem. It’s the hoards of third world peasants that have been.

    “Even the scary statistics coming out of places like MigrationWatch show that there’s a very small (about £4 a year I recall) benefit to the indigenous population. ”

    Can anyone assign a monetary cost to our cities being tuned into ghettoised hell holes? Bit more than £4 p/a one might hazard

  4. Can anyone assign a monetary cost to our cities being tuned into ghettoised hell holes? Bit more than £4 p/a one might hazard

    This is one weakness of Libertarian/”Classical Liberal” argumentation. It makes a fundamental error of treating everything as economic (some, particularly the Anarcho-Capitalists, try to do this will all crime as well, for instance) so immigrants are simply seen as commodity labour units. The other aspects of immigration- social costs, cultural change, etc- simply can’t be integrated into such a barebones economic analysis.

    I think one way to look at it is this; suppose you set up a free love commune. What’s the first thing you need? A door policy. Otherwise, it’ll be mobbed by single men looking for tail who nobody much else wants there. Or, one can see it in the recent thread regarding George Monbiot and his Middle Class Neo-Digger Commune. The fact is, collectivist enterprises- and nation states most surely are collectivist enterprises- need to control admission. If, as the anarchists want, you abolish such nation states, you will just shift to zillions of “micro-states” with the same issues to address.

    If capitalists arguing for open borders were willing to keep the immigrant workers on their private land, police them, provide their welfare and health care, and then send them home if they’re not needed any more, and all the rest, that would be one thing. But they aren’t prepared to do that. They want said immigrants to be absorbed into the whole community. That is, ultimately, a demand (like the banks) for private profits and socialist costs.

    Tim doesn’t live in Britain, but even if he did, he wouldn’t be living on the front line of cultural change. Like Polly, George, (and infamously, Billy Bragg), he’d be living in a nice house in a nice area, surrounded by well-off white people, not in a depressed inner city area watching the streets he grew up in turn into a foreign land.

    Yes, I know that sounds awful snippy, and perhaps racist. But these are the problems that arise from mass immigration, and the question of whether we want a more “fine-grained division of labour” is rather minor in comparison.

  5. Totally agree Ian. Immigration policy was always run to benefit the public school educated middle classes. The unholy alliance of Tory & Labour elites in the post war years. Tories wanted a return to a deferent working class & servants. Labour an enlarged working class & votes for paternal socialism. Last thing either wanted was large scale industrial automation & a class of newly affluent, aspirational people to challenge their dominance. Hence the encouragement of immigration.

  6. “This is one weakness of Libertarian/”Classical Liberal” argumentation.”
    The weakness is they’re the ruminations of the intellectual academics. A viable libertarian society would be one of small scale collectivisation. One of like minded groups getting together to mutually support a desired lifestyle. And would be almost the opposite of the ‘liberal’ aims most intellectuals espouse. Those communities would be extremely unpermissive. If you don’t cleve to the common ideal there’s no place for you in it. You would see signs at the outskirts of towns saying “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs” if that’s what the inhabitants preferred.

  7. I think one way to look at it is this; suppose you set up a free love commune. What’s the first thing you need? A door policy. Otherwise, it’ll be mobbed by single men looking for tail who nobody much else wants there.

    That’s what happened in the Occupy camps in the US. The supposed presence of loose hippy women and the lack of organised security attracted all manner of weirdos and sex predators.

  8. ” The supposed presence of loose hippy women and the lack of organised security attracted all manner of weirdos and sex predators.”
    Very true.
    Politicians with agendas & the media were attracted in overwhelming numbers.

  9. ” They want said immigrants to be absorbed into the whole community.”

    Because immigrants, especially those from supremacist ideologies, are famous for their adaptation into foreign communities, aren’t they?

  10. I’m afraid that at root our lack of immigration policy has been all about getting cheap workers for industries that refused to modernise and, perhaps more important, building a nice wide base for our Ponzi scheme Old Age Pensions and National Health Service.

  11. There are various sorts of immigrants:
    - very highly skilled workers. We need as many of these as we can get if we’re to have the sort of economy we’d like.
    - skilled artisans – plumbers for example. It’s hard to see why we shouldn’t be able to train our own, but if we can’t or won’t we should import them.
    - unskilled labour willing to work for very low pay. We need an integrated taxes and benefits system with a much lower marginal deduction rate for low-paid workers.
    - immigrant wives and husbands of Britons.

    Tim is talking about the first category. Unsurprisingly enough, he’s provoked a wave of rhetoric about the third and fourth categories.

    BiS and IanB: when were poor city districts an earthly paradise now sadly lost? Can you give a date please?

  12. @John Davis#10
    Think that’s a very good explanation of the late 40s to 50s. Post war there was public demand for consumer goods but also for services from the welfare state & nationalised industries. The ensuing labour shortage could have pushed wage levels up as the two sectors competed, incentivising industries to become more productive by increased mechanisation. But the worker gap was filled by immigrants instead, so leading to the disasters of the 70s as Britain fell behind its competitors’ increasing productivity. After the rise in affluence towards the end of the Thatcher I’m not sure the Blair/Brown open door immigration policies weren’t intended to dilute that affluence again. Giving us the current economic mess. Not even sure the Tories demur overmuch.
    The whole thing doesn’t have to be about sensible & effective economic policies if the game plan is to keep the right people on the top of the heap.

  13. “BiS and IanB: when were poor city districts an earthly paradise now sadly lost? Can you give a date please?”
    The implication being, of course, that poor city districts can’t be pleasant places to grow up & live in. Which is a strangely unsocialist perspective, the indigenous working classes being of brutish natures an’ all. No sense of community, whatsoever.

  14. Paul-

    BiS and IanB: when were poor city districts an earthly paradise now sadly lost? Can you give a date please?

    If I had ever made any such hyperbolic claim, you might have a point.

    Seriously, this dismissive kind of argument is rather depressing. So far as I can tell, you are somewhat left-wing. As such, you ought to be able to appreciate that those in society who have the least to lose, feel loss most severely.

    Community and local environment, I would say, matter more to the poor than to the wealthy, who tend to be deracinated and disinterented in localities as they can always move somewhere else nicer. It is a cruel thing to make a man a stranger in his own land; it is doubly cruel to accuse him of evil if he dares to complain.

    The fact is that the social and cultural turmoil of mass immigration is disproportionately felt by poorer people. For the elite classes, it just means their nannies and gardeners have a lower albedo– but also that their wages stay nice and low.

  15. Paul B @ 2,
    I read your link, where you wrote “I’d have a committee of academics and employers…”

    That’s over-complicating matters. We don’t need another stinkin’ committee. It would inevitably make mistakes, and foreign universities would become subject to a variety of perverse incentives. Instead, there exists a universal measure of quality, one which is recognised in all countries and all cultures: money.

    Let’s just auction five-year UK residence permits at a rate of (say) 10,000 a month. The price would be determined by the open market. Promising scientists who expect to earn good money could take out a loan to buy the permit, much as students already take out loans for their degrees. Nothing could be simpler.

  16. Bloke in Spain, you say ‘Tories wanted a return to a deferent working class & servants.’

    I’m not being a smart arse, but do you have any evidence of this?

    Paul B – you were safer on the streets of Haringey, Dalston, Hackney, Brixton in 1950 than you are now. Little villages in the sticks have mostly not seen a big rise in murder and street robbery during that period.

  17. Questions @16
    “…do you have any evidence of this?”
    None whatsoever. But as the initial post war immigration was largely under a Tory government, can you advance a better explanation?

  18. ” It is a cruel thing to make a man a stranger in his own land”

    If anyone suggested rounding up immigrants & returning them to their country of origin, the yells of fascism would be deafening. But when you listen to people who’ve been subjected to their locality being the recipient of large numbers of immigrants, that’s exactly the way they talk about it. It’s either suffer or leave. It’s forced emigration without the option. They either stay in a strange place or they move to a strange place.
    PaulB #11
    “Tim is talking about the first category. Unsurprisingly enough, he’s provoked a wave of rhetoric about the third and fourth categories.”
    Because you now can’t separate the categories. If there’d been a selective immigration policy from the start, maybe we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But you can’t get the milk back out of the tea. Now you’ve a situation where any attempt at an acceptable immigration policy is going to be problematic. There’s always some who’ll get an undeserved raw deal or an initiative founder on its own contradictions.
    FUBAR

  19. But as the initial post war immigration was largely under a Tory government, can you advance a better explanation?

    One alternative might be simply an old colonial mindset that if you want some cheap work doing, you get gangs of darkies to do it. Maybe cock-up, rather than conspiracy.

    I’m inclined to think that both the Labour and Tory governments in the immediate post-war period were simply after (for divers stupid reasons) cheap labour. Unfortunately, it coincided with the American Civil Rights struggle, and as we imported their entire New Left wholesale (as well as some instigators of our own like Miliband senior of course) the refashioning of it all as being about a race struggle in the American Discourse was what turned it all utterly toxic.

  20. “We’ve got an immigration plan to get scientists.”.

    Stop right there. We shouldn’t.
    We should have the education system doing that for us.

    The fact that it is turning our bright, clever young people into unemployable dole-farmers is caused by the same faction that wants to fling the immigration gates wide open so we can all celebrate some more of that diversidee.

  21. AndrewM: you think promising scientists can undertake to pay £120,000 a year? Not if they’re going to work in science they can’t.

    We want to attract the people with intellectual capital. We need an intellectual test, not a financial one.

    Questions: thanks for answering the question. So the golden age of inner city peace was the time when the Krays and the Richardsons rose to prominence.

    Monty: our education system isn’t perfect, but it’s not making clever young people unemployable. It is failing to make non-clever young people employable, because there is much less demand for unskilled labour than there used to be.

  22. Paul B,
    You’ve mis-parsed my sentence. 10,000 per month is the number of permits issued, not the price. The price would be determined by auction. An auction is the only reasonable way to price such things, just as we do with CO2 permits, radio spectrum, etc. We just have to decide how many permits to issue, and the market takes care of setting the price.

    I have no idea what the price would be, and nor does any committee of “wise men”. That’s the beauty of the system.

  23. PaulB
    There’s a long established family ‘firm’ engaged in the same sort of activities as the Krays & Richardsons right now. You ever hear of them? Thought not. Because their activities don’t affect ‘civilians’. And before the Krays there were other firms. What do you expect? London’s a big rough city. Always has been. Krays were in protection rackets, not street muggings. Trying that on their patch, in the day, would probably have found the foolhardy floating in the river. If they were lucky.

  24. PaulB – “So the golden age of inner city peace was the time when the Krays and the Richardsons rose to prominence.”

    There is a word for the logical fallacy that assumes if something is not 100% perfect, it must be as bad as everything else. By any sane measure, while London in the 1950s was not perfect, it was vastly better than it is now.

    “our education system isn’t perfect, but it’s not making clever young people unemployable. It is failing to make non-clever young people employable, because there is much less demand for unskilled labour than there used to be.”

    There is as much if not more demand for unskilled labour as there ever has been. In fact I talked with a guy who did a study for the government that showed that the only area in which there was unmet demand was in unskilled labour.

    Our education system is not taking people who would have been doctors 40 years ago and turning them into proles – although there is some of that because nice middle class boys do useless degrees or write poetry or hope their band will break through in larger numbers than ever. But it is taking people who could have gone to medical school and giving them such bad educations they are accountants instead. While boys who would have been accountants are now plumbers. And boys who would have been plumbers are now in prison. There has been a general decline across the board.

  25. By any sane measure, while London in the 1950s was not perfect, it was vastly better than it is now.

    I really don’t think this applies to anything London-bounded other than violence – even if it does apply to that (which I am not sure about.) It doesn’t apply to food, to poverty, to wealth, even to general cleanliness (take the state of the Thames as a measure of the cleanliness of London!).

    Okay, poorer today than 5 years or so ago – but comparatively better off than Athens (on a now and then dual-measure). And still vastly richer than the 50s, even before you factor in the improvements in living standards due to technology rather than cash-measured income. And there are somethings which are more national – education has been no more, or less, buggered around with in the capital than in the hinterland.

  26. Surreptitious Evil – “I really don’t think this applies to anything London-bounded other than violence – even if it does apply to that (which I am not sure about.)”

    OK I have to admit I over-stated. I think it does apply to violence – and yes, I do know what I am talking about. In fact I think it cannot be denied.

    “It doesn’t apply to food, to poverty, to wealth, even to general cleanliness (take the state of the Thames as a measure of the cleanliness of London!).”

    Pollution perhaps, but not cleaniness in general. Ask anyone who has not been back to London for a while – the filth gets worse every year. Litter is common now. So is grafitti.

    Poverty is much better. The wealthy are much wealthier, but I don’t think of that as much of an improvement. The warmth of homes has gone up, that is definitely an improvement. So has the standard of indoor plumbing. But in general? Once the poor reach some minimum the benefit of marginal improvements starts to go down. I would think that the benefits of increased wealth for most people, since about the mid-1950s, is vastly off set by the general insecurity of family life with the threat of divorce and abandonment. But YMMV.

    Food has been an improvement, and one that is directly linked to immigration.

    Remember for everyone who benefits by some rich Saudi moving to London, someone else looses. An older richer person gets more for their house. But a younger poorer person gets priced out of the market. That is probably not really a net benefit. For poor immigrants, they are likely to be a net loss to the community as a whole.

    “And there are somethings which are more national – education has been no more, or less, buggered around with in the capital than in the hinterland.”

    That is true but the collapse of the education system has been a real disaster. Not sure it helps to say it is a national disaster. Even if you take something like the Catholic education system, yes, the system set up to cater to the richer older English Catholics still works nicely. Downside is still a good school. But the inner city schools set up for the poor Irish are now full of poor Indians and Bangladeshis and they are not doing as well as they used to.

  27. Paul B – ‘Questions: thanks for answering the question. So the golden age of inner city peace was the time when the Krays and the Richardsons rose to prominence.’

    I don’t remember saying that the 1950s were a golden age of inner city peace? I just said most people were safer on the streets (a distinction I made for reasons that may elude you) of London then than they are now.

    Look at the crime figures if you don’t believe me. Or make an actual argument in response, rather than trotting out a glib and facile logical fallacy involving the only London crime gangs you have heard of.

    ‘Monty: our education system isn’t perfect, but it’s not making clever young people unemployable. It is failing to make non-clever young people employable, because there is much less demand for unskilled labour than there used to be.’

    Another logical fail. The second part is correct; the first is not. I don’t know if you are an employer, but if you are not you should try starting a business and finding suitably qualified
    people. Lots of basically intelligent kids have no ability to think logically, or laterally, or add up, or read and write, or follow relatively simple tuition or instructions. A university don of my acquaintance holds remedial maths seminars for the A* A level students who have matriculated quite unable to cope with their first year programme. It’s a tragedy, really, but at least all have prizes.

    Bloke in Spain: ‘Questions @16
    “…do you have any evidence of this?”
    None whatsoever. But as the initial post war immigration was largely under a Tory government, can you advance a better explanation?’

    I wasn’t the one advancing the hypothesis! I think probably the growth of the welfare state with meant people no longer had to work, coupled with the post-war boom in relatively menial work, caused employers to look further afield.

    But I’ve not looked very deeply into it, I just hear this ‘Tories wanted servants’ line a lot and seriously wanted to know if it came from anywhere sensible.

  28. I’ve done a lot of recruitment of junior staff. It’s quite true that candidates now are typically less good than they used to be at mental arithmetic. And also, relevantly for me, at computer programming. On the other hand, they know more than formerly about advanced mathematics and the use of various analysis programs.

    This applies to candidates from France and Russia and China and the USA also. It’s as if education systems everywhere adapt what they teach to contemporary needs.

    There has never been a time when older people did not bemoan falling educational standards, falling standards of behaviour, and rising crime.

  29. PaulB – in my experience (I have a phd in mathematics and taught in the field here and abroad for 10 years before moving into private industry), it’s very hard, though not impossible, to be good at advanced math and poor at basic.

    As to my employment of people, my experience is different from yours. Perhaps our standards are higher. But then, mental arithmetic is not a problem (for us) because we are careful only to employ people with advanced math, mental arithmetic AND pocket calculators.

    However, it very much is a problem for many small businesses, as are the lack of lateral thinking and the ability to do as one is instructed which I also mentioned.

    It is probably true that ‘There has never been a time when older people did not bemoan falling educational standards, falling standards of behaviour, and rising crime’, but that – forgive me – quite terribly fatuous statement ignores three obvious points.

    The first is that I was not bemoaning anything generally, but specifically – crime in the poorer London boroughs. Indeed, I explicitly excluded other areas (‘little villages in the sticks’). As I said, crime there is much what it was fifty or sixty years ago.

    The second is – and I am sorry to expose your faulty logical reasoning once again – that just because ‘older people’ have always bemoaned something, that does not mean that they are wrong this time, or on any given occasion. Stopped clocks, and the sacking of Rome are clues here.

    The third is, have you looked at the statistics as I suggested? These help my case rather more than yours, I’m afraid, but perhaps you are not a believer in statistics.

  30. No, your standards are not higher.

    Of course statistics will show that crime has got worse in what are now high crime areas. Are you sure you know as much as you say about logic and statistics?

    A stopped clock is indeed right twice a day. But that’s no reason to use it to tell the time with.

    It’s tiresome of you to accuse me of faulty logic – three times now – when I’ve made no illogical statements. And if you disagree with that, go ahead and quote one.

  31. “There has never been a time when older people did not bemoan falling educational standards, falling standards of behaviour, and rising crime.”
    The first on that list simply isn’t true. I certainly know from my mother’s generation; her parents were immensely proud that a daughter schooled in the poor East End could matriculate, as did her sister & both her brothers. Their schooling had ended at little more than the reading, writing,’rithmatic level in their early teens. And I can’t remember any criticism of the education I got up to the mid 60s. It’s when the graduates of the teacher training colleges from the end of that decade onwards started to work through the system, with all their trendy modern educational methods, you started hearing complaints about falling standards.

  32. Andrew M, your 10000 permits will all go to investment bankers. Just like the Tier 2 cap is not having any effect on the city, only academics, which is what the government wants anyway.

  33. So PaulB: the guy points out crime is higher in certain areas, people notice this, you eventually accept it, but this is just older people always complaining that crime has gone up?

    The guy also points out that crime has not gone up in certain areas, people notice this, and this is also older people always complaining that crime has gone up?

    Way to go with the logic.

  34. James: My point was simply that if you take currently the worst areas for anything – accident black spots say – you will tend to find that things have got worse there. Do you dispute that?

  35. I don’t visit this blog (or any other) as often as you do, Paul – perhaps you have more time on your hands? – so I apologise for this late reply.

    You said to James:

    ‘James: My point was simply that if you take currently the worst areas for anything – accident black spots say – you will tend to find that things have got worse there. Do you dispute that?’

    But what is the relevance of this trivial and facile observation to your elderly, always complaining, straw man? Your implication was, clearly, that ‘older people’ are not to be believed when they complain.

    But street crime has, indisputably, increased between 1950 and now across the vast mass of the United Kingdom, not in just a few ‘blackspots’ – the official figures are plain on this (but then, as I said, perhaps you are of the type that does not value statistics?).

    So we are left with this interpretation of what passes for your thoughts:

    1. Crime is increasing.
    2. People (I’m not sure why you picked on the elderly, but I let it pass) are complaining about the increasing crime.
    3. People have always complained about increasing crime.
    4. Therefore their complaints are ill-founded.

    None of which means that all of life is now worse than in 1950. Only an idiot would say this (just an only an idiot would pretend that crime is not worse).

    In some areas, as I said, things are much as they always were (one might ask why); some types of crime across the board – domestic violence, crimes involving homophobia and racism – are probably better now than in 1950, though for very obvious reasons the data are quite hard to come by.

    ‘No, your standards are not higher.’

    I suspect they are, and not only because you seem incapable of thinking your way out of a paper bag of your own making.

    We both appear only to employ people with good degrees, but you are prepared to employ people who also exhibit poor mental arithmetic; they are, I’m afraid, the scraps from my table.

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