From the comments and tough to disagree with

There *are* deserving poor – political refugees, the modern equivalent of Huguenots and 1930s Jews. New Labour treated them like dirt, herding them into concentration camps or placing in council flats that Glaswegians from the Gorbals would not take, and simultaneously refusing to allow them to earn a living and setting benefits at half the level for UK/EU citizens.

I endorse this vituperation.

41 thoughts on “From the comments and tough to disagree with”

  1. Hm, political refugees? That’s “asylum seekers”, innit? Doubtless there are plenty who merit asylum, but I’m often struck by the fact that, if I’d just got out of Bongostan on the last ‘plane with nothing but the shirt on my back, machete-wielding nutters chasing the old DC10 down the runway, I’d set down in the nearest place to home that’d have me, and go down on bended knee to the first friendly border official I saw. Yet, to my surprise, this seems rarely to happen with those poor souls fleeing the worst cesspits of the earth. Somehow, they cross continents, they coolly pass through border controls apparently having forgotten the persecution they fled but hours before, and disappear into the grey or black economy. Until the day they’re picked up when, mirabile dictu, the memory of those machete nutters returns to them.

    On the other hand, if I had been born in Somalia or Kurdistan, I imagine I too would be trying to get into this country, irrespective of whether I was persecuted at home, and I’d be prepared to come up with any old cock and bull story to make it happen.

    There’s an obvious problem with the British social democratic model of everything free at the point of demand, which plainly makes for rich pickings if you come from Mudhutania, but then I’d abolish all of that S.D. nonsense anyway.

    How about some honesty in all this?

    There are people who come here dishonestly to avail themselves of endless freebies. There are people who come here honestly to make their lives better. There are genuine asylum-seekers, truly and correctly in fear of their lives.

    And how are we, the hapless taxpayers of the great sucking maw of the social democratic state, to tell the difference?

    I wouldn’t be here had my Huguenot ancestors not been accepted.

  2. because the uk took refugees in the past they must do this forever?
    What about a little self interest for the long term inhbitants.
    Be selfish for once.
    Oh and less of the ‘we are all immigrants’ stuff. Looking back we were mostly ag labs.

  3. @Tim
    Thanks Seriously My little sister can provide you with massive amounts of data in support if you want it.
    @ Edward Lud
    More people have English as a second language than any other and the USA is horrendously unfriendly to refugees, so they try to come here.
    Assuming that you have an IQ in excess of your shoe size, can I ask you why you think that refugees would accept being placed in tower blocks that those moving out of the Gorbals rejected if they were not in fear of their lives/repeated rape?
    I am not trying to deny that there are a few chancers, but can you find a single one of those living in Castlemilk on half the income provided to a “British” family on benefits?
    No? I thought not
    PS You should be grateful that my ancestors were more friendly to tefugees than you seem to be

  4. @john malpas
    That sounds reasonable BUT you forget that immigrants have not only raised UK GDP but also GDP?head of non-immigrants. Skilled immigrants import skills
    This is totally off-topic,. but have you ever looked at *net* reproductive rates for different classes? Agricultural labourers had vastly more children but not a majority of C1st decendants.

  5. So Much for Subtlety

    john77 – “More people have English as a second language than any other and the USA is horrendously unfriendly to refugees, so they try to come here.”

    In what sense is the US unfriendly to refugees? It is a pity that you do not see that the fact that a quarter of all British primary school children come from non-English speaking homes means that the country that was so welcoming and was such a beacon will not exist for much longer. Once we have a majority Pakistan-style culture, we will have Pakistan-style politics to go with our Pakistan-style economy. Or is that racist to say?

    “Assuming that you have an IQ in excess of your shoe size, can I ask you why you think that refugees would accept being placed in tower blocks that those moving out of the Gorbals rejected if they were not in fear of their lives/repeated rape?”

    Because what the f**k do you think the real alternative is? They are not living in mansions back in Nigeria. They are living in even worse conditions. You may loath the Gorbals, but most of the world’s population it is a massive improvement. Drug gangs and all. Try living in a slum in Kenya where the standard toilet is a shopping bag thrown indiscriminately but far away.

    “I am not trying to deny that there are a few chancers, but can you find a single one of those living in Castlemilk on half the income provided to a “British” family on benefits?
    No? I thought not”

    A few chancers?

    “You should be grateful that my ancestors were more friendly to tefugees than you seem to be”

    No. You should be grateful that those refugees were more friendly than modern ones are. We had no problems with the French Protestants. We have had a little trouble with Irish Catholics – the IRA did recruit in Britain and two London born IRA men murder Field Marshal Wilson for instance. As it turned out we did not have as much trouble as could be expected from those Jewish refugees in WW2 – but they were a very mixed bag. We got some excellent people, but then we also got people like Eric Hobsbawm who spent his life working towards a Soviet Invasion. Where would British Communism have been without those Jewish refugees? If that worked out well for us, it was luck, and the bravery of a tiny number of men, not because of a well designed immigration policy.

    Now we are taking people from utterly dysfunctional societies. And we tell them not to adopt a more successful culture. We give them money to keep their dysfunctional cultures. And they are. If every immigrant from Bangladesh was Konnie Huq you would not hear a word from me. But they aren’t.

    When these people are a majority we will be having a very different conversation. But it will be too late by then and all the things you are so proud of about Britain will be tragic memories of a lost world. Maybe you won’t live to see it. But your grandchildren will.

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    There *are* deserving poor – political refugees, the modern equivalent of Huguenots and 1930s Jews. New Labour treated them like dirt, herding them into concentration camps or placing in council flats that Glaswegians from the Gorbals would not take, and simultaneously refusing to allow them to earn a living and setting benefits at half the level for UK/EU citizens.

    While I agree there are deserving poor – indeed immigrants are usually vastly nicer and better people than the British underclass – I think it is still perfectly possible to disagree with a large part of this. Yes, by the standards of deserving or undeserving poor, immigrants, even refugees, tend to look after their families, get and stay married, work hard, all good things. But.

    Political refugees, the modern equivalent of Huguenots and 1930s Jews? Really? The example we had yesterday was someone fleeing Colombia. Presumably because they were a member of FARC. I do not recall those nice Huguenots wanting to kill us all and reduce us to a slave colony of an Evil Empire. I must have missed that. Abu Qatada, undoubtedly persecuted, is really the equivalent of the 1930s Jewish refugees? You mean a victim, as opposed to someone who went out of his way to break the law by supporting violence and terror to overthrow pretty much all the governments in the world? I don’t recall that nice Mr Hayek supporting those sort of policies. The asylum process has been so debased that we are supposed to take lesbians from Jamaica because they might get beaten up. Criminal acts even in Jamaica. No doubt we will be taking New Yorkers because they might get mugged next.

    “New Labour treated them like dirt, herding them into concentration camps or placing in council flats that Glaswegians from the Gorbals would not take”

    Concentration camps? Really? We are turning them into bars of soap are we? We are slowly working them to death are we? We are starving them so much they look like they have come from the sort of Yugoslav camp Spike denied existed? Really? This sort of language does not help and is a crass exploitation of the Holocaust for a cheap political point.

    I am sorry that slums in the Gorbals exist at all. You will not find me supporting the insane State housing design policy of recent times. But let’s keep in mind we did put those Jews behind wire. In something that actually did look like a concentration camp. They tended to think that a short period of discomfort was worth it. And why are we slowly moving asylum seekers behind wire? Oh, that would be because so many of them cheat and disappear into the general population once their claims are denied.

    As for denying them work, since when do we owe anyone outside these shores anything much less a right to work in the UK? Again those Jews were not given a right to work. They were locked up behind wire. Stupidly admittedly, given we were not going to screen them to remove the dangerous ones. So how have things got worse?

    The bottom line is we believe any sob story. We give these foreigners large amounts of cash. By any sane measure this is insanely generous.

  7. Asylum seekers are not allowed employment, despite our shamefully slow consideration of their cases.
    I’d turn the question on its head and say your case won’t be considered until you can prove you’re employed and paying NIC.

  8. Most “asylum seekers” go asylum shopping – once they’ve got into the EU they will often manage to decide that our welfare state is particularly generous and settle here. (Or, indeed, that London provides more job opportunities than most places, and therefore contrive to settle here.) But Britain is typically not (I’d guess) their first place of asylum and, to that extent, they are frauds. Many are frauds in other senses took, I imagine. Unlike the Huguenots.

    Even with the pre-war Jews it is worth pondering the fact that the permitted number of places for German Jewish refugees into Britain and into Palestine were not taken up.

  9. Why is it that quite a few readers of a blog mainly about Worstall’s brand of free-market economics suddenly start claiming competition is a bad thing when it comes to immigration?

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “Why is it that quite a few readers of a blog mainly about Worstall’s brand of free-market economics suddenly start claiming competition is a bad thing when it comes to immigration?”

    Because most of us recognise there is a limit to the area that the free market should operate in? Because not all of us are liberals in that sense, and even those of us who are tend to want Britain to continue to exist into the future as something like it is now. Sure there are people who think that unrestricted immigration ought to be allowed to turn the UK into a larger version of Karachi with 250 million people, but not all of us.

    And because life would be boring if we only read people we only agreed with.

    If you think there is a case for a Britain of 250 million Urdu speakers, by all means, feel free to make it.

  11. SMFS: “Once we have a majority Pakistan-style culture, we will have Pakistan-style politics to go with our Pakistan-style economy. “

    What do you mean ‘will have’? In some areas, that’s exactly what we’ve got!

  12. Because what the f**k do you think the real alternative is? They are not living in mansions back in Nigeria.

    Actually, a few of them are. One of the scams relatively wealthy (and sometimes seriously wealthy) Nigerians run is to get themselves a council house in the UK by gaming the system (i.e. lying through their teeth, backed with false documents) and subletting to other, poorer Nigerians. One of the women who lives near me does this without an ounce of shame, mainly because she thinks if the British government, and by extension its people, are stupid enough to put such a system in place whereby wealthy Nigerians can get houses ahead of poor Brits, then they deserve to be fleeced. The people who run the British welfare system really do need to wake up to the fact that nigh on the entire world does not play fair, and as a matter of course are prepared to lie, cheat, and scam their way to money or a better position without attracting any social opprobrium.

  13. Nearly all the Turks in Norway, got in by claiming to be Kurds. Something they probably don’t admit to their family back at home.

  14. “…our shamefully slow consideration of their cases.”

    Which is rather like the ‘shamefully slow’ death penalty period in the States, which is slow partly because of the automatic appeals built into the system and partly because there’s a never-ending supply of do gooders helping to drag out the inevitable…

  15. Also, from Britain’s Hidden Hungry ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nqcbm ) last night, people like Charlotte who leave the care system lacking life skills and without any eligibility for benefits if they’re young (Charlotte was 21) and in full-time education. She just fell right between the gaps, despite trying to do all the right things to break out of the start in life she was given.

  16. Dave // Oct 31, 2012 at 1:58 am

    “Why is it that quite a few readers of a blog mainly about Worstall’s brand of free-market economics suddenly start claiming competition is a bad thing when it comes to immigration?”

    I’m not convinced this is a rhetorical question. Either way, I’ll bite:

    There’s competition among emigres to find the best place to settle, having escaped Hellistan. And there’s competition among some governments to find (the best) emigres; governments of course want doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, etc. and, I’ll do them the courtesy of assuming they do not actively want to import cut-throats.

    My starting point is that no other living person is in any sense my capital. The broadening of the taxbase, increases to GDP, servicing staff shortages in politically well-connected institutions and enterprises, are all variations on the wicked proposition that humans are sacrifices to one another and that the government is the righteous agent of that sacrifice. In short, competition among governments for human capital is just people trafficking in indentured labour. Hard to see what any principled champion of competition would find to extol in this.

    And of competition among emigres to find the best place to settle? Well of course one might feel a certain innate pride that your average Somali chooses to overlook Egypt, Greece, Romania etc. in favour of dear old Blighty. In that sense, as a relatively desirable destination, we are near the top of the competition table. Yippee. Does that mean we’re nearly Top Nation again? Seriously, who cares? And anyway, how as individuals do we assess the relative value to us of new imports? For eg, I was stabbed in the neck about five years ago by an Afghan in London. He’d been here for about eight years by that point, living a broadly productive life. For me, his presence in this country was ultimately highly undesirable and he left me with a permanent disability. On the other hand, he presumably contributed taxes and all that guff, and for others that’ll be worthwhile. But I’m digressing back to the importer’s cost-benefit analysis., enough.

    Among emigres there is competition to find the best place to settle. That’s a good thing in the sense that it endorses the existence of the borders which give people such choices in the first place.

    My conclusion: competition among states for human capital is an abomination. Competition among individuals worldwide to locate themselves to their best advantage is natural and proper and an implied endorsement of (at the very least) the existence of nation states with borders, and arguably of the existence of private property (an argument I don’t propose to make here).

  17. Another idiot to answer a rhetorical question.
    “Why is it that quite a few readers of a blog mainly about Worstall’s brand of free-market economics suddenly start claiming competition is a bad thing when it comes to immigration?”
    Because immigrants, as individuals, chose to immigrate. However, when they arrive in a country like the UK, the residents, as individuals, aren’t able to suggest they fuck off. The country does in fact have very strict laws preventing them doing so. There’s no equality of choice. So there’s no free market.

    On a wider point, immigration & particularly the asylum seeker flavour of it, will always be problematic. Emigration selects for those who don’t fit in with the society they’re emigrating from. (Include me in if you want to) That can be because they’re from a persecuted minority. But it also can be because of other reasons. It particularly selects for those a society doesn’t need. The criminal elements of one sort or another. Remember, there’s essentially no difference between striving entrepreneur & the striving crook. It’s only the choice of striving. And they’re more motivated to travel & more adaptable when they do.

  18. “…people like Charlotte who leave the care system lacking life skills…”

    That’s the responsibility of the state system. No- one else’s.

  19. John77 said: “That sounds reasonable BUT you forget that immigrants have not only raised UK GDP but also GDP?head of non-immigrants. Skilled immigrants import skills”

    What do bogus asylum seekers import?

  20. You can’t have free immigration and democracy; they’re incompatible. Free immigration would be fine in a libertopia, but libertopia and democracy would be incompatible.

    If you allow poor immigrants to get the vote, they will use this vote to redistribute wealth, reduce liberty and generally screw everything up. The beginnings of this is obvious in the political corruption of Tower Hamlets. The endgame is you import a load of Somalians and they turn the UK into Somalia.

    The bare minimum restrictions on immigration are obvious: don’t admit ethnic groups particularly prone to high crime levels, i.e. Somalians (as documented by Tino Sanandaji).

  21. This set of rabble are the very offal of the earth, who cannot be content to be safe here from that justice and beggary from which they fled, and to be fattened on what belongs to the poor of our own land and to grow rich at our expense, but must needs rob us of our religion too.

    A commentator here reviling muslim asylum seekers? No, one Dr Welton, preaching against Huguenot immigrants after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

  22. @ So Much for Subtlety #6
    Most of your post is just a rant conflating genuine refugees with economic migrants and condemning the former for the dishonesty of the latter. It is so obvious that you have chosen *not* to answer my comment that it isn’t worth going through it in detail, but I have to point out that Godwin’s law does not apply.
    The term “concentration camps” was first used for the camps in which British forces interned Boer civilians during the Boer war and were not intended to kill the inhabitants. I was not comparing Yarl’s Wood with Auschwitz, but I do say that it should never have been tolerated.
    Secondly “Because what the f**k do you think the real alternative is?”. There are a large number of economic migrants, mostly from Eastern Europe but also some who came here pretending to need asylum and walked off into the black economy as soon as the Immigration Service said “go away and come back next week”. You don’t find any of them in New Labour’s dumping grounds: they are making enough (either with connivance of employers or using fake ID) to live somewhere better. So (i) it is the genuine refugees living on HALF benefits who are there because (ii) the last UK government punished the innocent while doing zilch to the guilty.

  23. So Much for Subtlety

    john77 – “Most of your post is just a rant conflating genuine refugees with economic migrants and condemning the former for the dishonesty of the latter.”

    Actually no. Yes, I am pointing out the problems of an incompetent and unbridled immigration policy of which asylum seekers are one small part. But to call it a rant is just an excuse for you to dodge the issue.

    Nor do I condemn anyone for their dishonesty. Although you do tempt me.

    “It is so obvious that you have chosen *not* to answer my comment that it isn’t worth going through it in detail, but I have to point out that Godwin’s law does not apply.”

    And thus we see your refusal to face facts and deal with the issues. Nice.

    “The term “concentration camps” was first used for the camps in which British forces interned Boer civilians during the Boer war and were not intended to kill the inhabitants.”

    But they did kill. In respectable numbers. It is also irrelevant because no matter when they were first used, they have had a subsequent use which more or less erases that other use. You say concentration camps and people think of the Nazis.

    “I was not comparing Yarl’s Wood with Auschwitz, but I do say that it should never have been tolerated.”

    I think you were comparing it to Auschwitz and if you are not a knave for doing so, you are a fool for thinking anyone would think otherwise. Your choice.

    “There are a large number of economic migrants, mostly from Eastern Europe but also some who came here pretending to need asylum and walked off into the black economy as soon as the Immigration Service said “go away and come back next week”.”

    Hence the need to put them behind wire.

    “So (i) it is the genuine refugees living on HALF benefits who are there because (ii) the last UK government punished the innocent while doing zilch to the guilty.”

    Which is a reason to do more to the guilty. However you are still not looking at this the right way around. We have some numbers of foreigners – people to whom we owe nothing whatsoever – who are getting free accommodation and lots, by their standards, of money. While we consider if they are actually asylum seekers or not. Which is to say, while the jobsworths tick all the right boxes as being accepted is more or less automatic for all but the terminally stupid.

    That is not merely generous, it is also part of a concerted scheme to reduce the British to a minority in their own country.

    That is the issue. You can dispute the second half, but you cannot dispute the first.

  24. So Much for Subtlety

    Dave – “Why is it that there’s always some idiot who answers a rhetorical question?”

    Why is there always some idiot who has not managed to make up for his woeful education and so does not recognise a rhetorical question when he sees one?

    Or in this case, when he writes one.

    Anyone suffering from butthurt because they have got schooled for asking a stupid question is probably better off reflecting on the benefits of getting an education than pretending they were not asking for it.

  25. EL: “Was this Welton a Catholic?”

    He was rector of Whitechapel, so no, at least not overtly. However, he did get into trouble in 1715 as an alleged non-juror, so he does seem to have been a Jacobite sympathizer.

  26. Thank you for the clarification, PaulB.

    If we can take it, then, that Welton was not a dyed in-the-wool Protestant, the proper application of your comparison (notwithstanding that modern Britain, excepting its religious imports, is scarcely a God-fearing place) would be, for example, a C of E proselytiser bemoaning the influx of Nigerian evangelists. I’m not sure that any (presumed and presumably) Christian commentator here criticising Muslim immigrants quite fits that mold. But even if the mold is indeed snug, what of it? I mean, my girlfriend’s a Muslim. A nice, sane one. None of that fire-breathing nonsense. But regardless of whether Welton was right about the Huguenots, can it seriously be denied that there is a cultural clash of significant and sometimes deadly proportions between some sections of the imported (and increasingly homegrown) Muslim population and the rest of us? The fact that similar concerns have been (perhaps wrongly) raised in the past does not diminish their force in the present, unless the same people are crying wolf. And I’m assuming this Welton shuffled off the mortal wotsit some time ago.

    Perhaps the more interesting point is that in the quote you cite, we see evidence of economic resentment of immigrants even in the absence of the social democratic freebies I’ve referred to above.

    I wonder what jeremiad Welton would have unleashed in the present era, therefore, given the difference then and now between the sums of treasure exacted from the citizenry in support of those to whom they owe nothing.

  27. @ So Much for Subtlety
    Have you been taking lessons from Murphy?
    You are always right and anyone who states a fact that doesn’t suit you is wrong.
    How on earth can you claim that I am dodging the issue? *I raised* the issue.
    Your rant about economic migrants is an irrelevant rant. Your claim that half of income support levels is a lot of money by the standards of a middle-class family (because unsurprisingly they are the ones most likely to be targeted for persecution) shows that either you don’t know what you are talking about or you are deliberately lying.
    Your smears are false as well as irrelevant (and Auschwitz was a death camp not a concentration camp)

  28. Bloke in Spain,

    You write,

    “Because immigrants, as individuals, chose to immigrate. However, when they arrive in a country like the UK, the residents, as individuals, aren’t able to suggest they fuck off.”

    It is quite clear that you have never seen an Orange band march past a Catholic church in Glasgow.

  29. So Much For Subtlety

    john77 – “Have you been taking lessons from Murphy? You are always right and anyone who states a fact that doesn’t suit you is wrong.”

    No. I have been taking lessons from our host. When I am right, I am right.

    “How on earth can you claim that I am dodging the issue? *I raised* the issue.”

    And then you dodged it.

    “Your rant about economic migrants is an irrelevant rant.”

    No it isn’t. It goes to the heart of the problem. That you want to ignore. But it is not going away.

    “Your claim that half of income support levels is a lot of money by the standards of a middle-class family (because unsurprisingly they are the ones most likely to be targeted for persecution) shows that either you don’t know what you are talking about or you are deliberately lying.”

    Where to even start with this nonsense? First of all, middle class families are not the most likely to be persecuted. Gays occur at every level of society. The poor of Biafra starved with the rich. The Lord’s Resistance Army doesn’t care what your Father does. You simply assume they are. Even if they are, you are glossing over the difference between their middle class and our middle class. Average income in Nigeria is about 700 pounds a year. Say twice that is middle class. That’s 1,400 pounds a year. The minimum you can get for JSA is over 50 pounds a week. A house and half of that get is not bad. Without even considering schooling, medical care, the fact that the police will turn up if you’re a victim of crime, some of the time, and won’t rob you in turn etc etc.

    “Your smears are false as well as irrelevant (and Auschwitz was a death camp not a concentration camp)”

    What smears? You are the one that crassly tried to exploit the Holocaust. You can either deal with that or you can’t. It is not a smear either way but a statement of fact.

  30. JamesJames, whilst the phenomenon you describe is fairly well-known, it’s not limited to poor immigrants. The phenomenon, in other words, is more fundamental than questions surrounding immigration.

  31. “Your rant about economic migrants is an irrelevant rant.”

    Even on your own analysis, John77, I doubt it is. Concerns about ‘chancers’, whether few or many in number led to understandable political pressure to improve the filtration system dealing with bogus/genuine claims. No surprise that they did it badly, or even that the well-meaning were shafted while the chancers danced the usual merry jig and went on their way. This is how it works with governments, and not merely as between bogus/genuine asylum seekers.

    I ask again, can we be honest about all this?

    Why not just say we’re open to economic migrants but (assuming we can’t/don’t abolish the welfare state in the meantime): i) no such migrant gets benefits for ten years after arrival, ii) all such migrants must lodge an open return air ticket with the UKBA, iii) on a petition signed by a majority in the police area within which such migrant lives stating that his continued presence is no longer desirable, he will be deported summarily without right of appeal (his lawfully held property will remain his in title).

    But that still leaves the dishonest, the bogus asylum seekers, the chancers, few or many in number. And not few, let’s face it. They will continue to debauch the name of the charity in whose name they claim, thus condemning deserving cases. And the only solution to this that I can think of is the abolition of welfare.

  32. EL: my point, in so far as I had one, is that whereas the Huguenots seem from our perspective to have been good immigrants, that was not obvious to all at the time. The Huguenots too were accused of destroying our culture and enriching themselves at our expense.

  33. @ Edward Lud
    I am not, and never have been, discussing the “chancers”. For Pete’s sake can you actually read the OP? SMFS is dragging a dragging a stinking red herring (even kippers don’t keep for two years across the debate).

  34. SMFS is utterrly wrong
    He claims I am “dodging” the debate that I started. NO, as anyone can see – I am working on that while he/she is launching a rant on a different topic.

  35. John77, re your # 38, it’d be pretty dull if we all just took your original comment and said, “ah, yes, I agree entirely, nothing to add”. Andhe chancers aren’t off topic when you’re bemoaning the treatment of the honest becauseto a large extent the chancers have determined the treatment of the honest.

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