Dan Hodges is being a bit cute here, isn’t he?

But next year we’re going to have to pick a side. Paul Sykes, Nigel Farage and their fellow travellers are preparing to run one of the most dangerous and divisive campaigns in British political history. Drunk on their new-found celebrity, and their wealth, they plan to target immigrants to secure their own narrow political objectives.

He starts out be admitting that he and his fucked up on the last round of immigration.

Then demands that no one at all should be allowed to attempt to represent the millions of voters who are a bit leery of more immigration, or perhaps not entirely convinced that lessons have been learned by Hodge and his mates.

Danny lad, it’s a democracy. Politicians are supposed to concern themselves with the issues voters care about. Not lock themselves into the prejudices and presuppositions of the metropolitan political elite.

18 thoughts on “Dan Hodges is being a bit cute here, isn’t he?”

  1. I normally quite like Dan’s writings (especially ion the dysfunctionality of the Labour party)..

    But that column was a fucking abomination. The left really, really don’t want us to have any say whatsoever on their re-population / genocide / ethnic cleansing plan…

  2. I do like the bit where he stresses that the Torys have introduced a migration cap and fails to point out that this has absolutely no impact on intra-EU migration.

  3. Johnny

    Quite agree. Usually Dan is very readable. He seems to be one of the few high-profile lefty journalists who is beginning to see the problem with the whole post-modern universe they have created; namely its complete separation from reality.

    This new piece on immigration, however, is revealing drivel. It shows that the knee-jerk identity politics runs so deep in modern leftism that a ‘reformer’ can’t rise above it. The left is doomed to make the same mistake (s) over and over again. And their contemptuous dismissal of ordinary people’s concerns over immigration as, “bigoted, nasty and racist” tells you everything they need to know about what their opinion of ordinary people is.

  4. I think Dan has a half-decent point in noticing some of the attitudes he sees about immigrants, but he’s silly not to be more appreciative of how concerned a lot of people – including life-long Labour voters (not a group of people I normally have much time for) think about this. And this has nothing to do with “lump of labour” nonsense about how all those evil foreigners are driving down wages. It is more about a concern about what is happening to the culture of this country – specifically, the impact of large-scale Muslim immigration and the subsequent worries about such immigrants later demanding shariah law, etc.

    Large-scale immigration of the sort we have seen just hasn’t been properly thought through by any of the major parties. For example, despite some moves, there is nothing similar to the US-style “melting pot” insistence on learning to speak English, developing loyalty to the law and certain institutions, participation and integration into the host nation, etc. We are only starting to get some serious thinking about this. UKIP might contain some oddballs but at least it has forced the parties to try and address the issue.

    Perhaps Mr Hodge should also bear in mind another issue that is a cause for concern: the large-scale emigration of young professionals and entrepreneurs to places such as Australia. Such folk are unlikely to ever return.

    I think there is hope for him yet. Like Nick Cohen, he seems to be a fairly genuine person wrestling with the disconnect between the post-modernist left and reality, as another commenter has already said here.

  5. The Left shutting down debate has led to disastrous decisions over the past 15 years, so let’s shut down debate and that should fix it.

  6. If you want to read the subtext,it says “Labour’s shit scared on the inroads UKIP is making to its core vote.”

  7. This is the one policy outcome the Labour Party can’t duck responsibility for. Younger voters will see immigration as a artifact of the last government. Older ones will see it (incorrectly, but this is narrative country) as an artifact of past Labour governments. They can’t finesse the blame onto the Tories because they’ve been using “anti-immigration” as a stick to beat the Tories with for years. On this one, they’re fucked.

  8. I agree with a good 90% of the sentiments on this blog but when it comes to immigration I find myself at the Bryan Caplan end of the debate.

    I consider a good chunk of you to be a rational bunch of open minded free market types who will weigh the evidence and change opinion accordingly so what’s your objection to the pro-immigration arguments set out here:


    and here:

    As it claims in the essay…
    “To justifiably restrict migration, you need to overcome the moral presumption in favor of open borders”

    What’s the justification? What am I missing? and is it possible for anti-immigration fanatics to read any of this stuff objectively? I think I read it objectively but nor through any exceptional virtue. I’m quite indifferent about immigration so it was easy to be objective.

  9. Sorry. Where’s the moral presumption in open borders? There’s an economic justification, but moral?
    Free markets are about choice. One should have the choice to go & live where you like. But the other side of that has to be, the people of the place you’re going should be able to choose whether they want you.
    Restricted borders is choice exercised at the top level. The nation as a whole exercises choice. If you open borders then to preserve choice you have to leave that to individuals. Whether they’ll employ the immigrant, rent to them, sell to them, buy from them. Provide services to them. Even speak to them.
    So, to have all the anti-descriniation legislation we have & presumably want, and preserve choice, we have to restrict borders.
    There’s nothing immoral from a free market point of view.

  10. In one of the comments on the Telegraph, there’s an attempt at working out the cost/benefit of each additional immigrant to the exchequer. Eastern European immigrants tend to be poorly-paid; to the extent that the amount they pay in tax (income tax, NI, VAT, council tax, fuel duty, etc.) can in some cases be less than their marginal cost.

    The cost of each migrant is made up of three parts:
    1. Public services (e.g. schools, hospitals, roads)
    2. Benefits (child benefit, working tax credit, housing benefit)
    3. Externalities (e.g. congestion, housing costs)

    Most of the cost arises from immigrants with large families. Each child’s education costs around £6,000 a year; child benefit adds another £700 a head. New-borns incur a fair chunk of medical costs. Housing benefit and tax credits (really another benefit) also expand with the number of children. It’s easy to see why large families of Roma are a much bigger cost than single Polish builders and cleaners.

    In fact, in a modern social democracy, a good chunk of the low earners are actually a net cost. Generally we accept this as the price of living in a stable country.

    As Tim would point out, the value of a migrant worker is that we get the fruit of their labour, not that they pay tax. However the benefit of their labour accrues only to their employers and to the consumers of their services; whereas their costs accrue to all of society.

  11. the problem with the morality of open borders is that it seems to implicity assume that people will choose places, go there, and assimilate. Ergo, if you want to live in a high tax democratic socialist and secular country, you go to france, if you want to live in a tax free but extremely expensive country you can go to Monaco, if you want to have cradle to grave welfare and don’t really drink much you can go to Sweden, if you like smoking dope and bicycles you go to Holland and if you’d like to live in an islamic theocracy you can go to Iran.

    Where it falls down is where people want, say, to enjoy the relatively benificent largesse of the British state but also want to campaign viciferously against free speech, female emancipation, and object to people getting pissed on a tuesday night.

    basically, I can’t see a justification for open borders that doesn’t also include a responsiibility to live according to the culture of the place you are choosing.

  12. ” I can’t see a justification for open borders that doesn’t also include a responsiibility to live according to the culture of the place you are choosing.”
    Essentially what you’re saying there, Sam, is you want a precondition at the border on who you’re going to let in. Which by definition, isn’t an open border. If you wish for an open border then the choice on whether & how you interrelate with the people crossing it must devolve to the individual. The individual must be able to discriminate on everything we currently say the individual mustn’t discriminate on. The words for the alternative are invasion or occupation. It’s only the incomer who’s getting any choices. .

  13. bloke in spain said: “Essentially what you’re saying there, Sam, is you want a precondition at the border on who you’re going to let in. Which by definition, isn’t an open border.”

    It does not need to be a precondition if the host nation/community is able to reject people who come here and then do not abide by whatever rules are in place.

  14. “The left is doomed to make the same mistake (s) over and over again.” … its no mistake, letting in immigrants is the single most destructive thing they can do to tory england. tory = english = anglo-saxon , destroying that by immigration is the rapture. They hate tory england, its what they do, what defines them, the single consistent sentiment in all left-wingery. They don’t care whether bradford is pakistani city, but they know that such is the destruction of anglo-saxon england and the tories.

    The only mistake was losing the election.

  15. @ BIS

    you may well be right, but I deliberately framed it as a responsibility, not a legal duty.

    In essence, I’m probably with you in that if people want to go somewhere and behave in a way that upsets the people that live there already, the people that live there already should be free to discriminate as much as they like. Including not giving them a job, not selling or renting them accomodation and basically making it impossible for them to live there.

    The alternative is non-open borders.

    But a situation where anyone can go and live somewhere, claim state assistance there that is funded by the people that already live there, and spend all of their time and effort attempting to completely alter the way of life there for everyone else, is ridiculous.

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