Friday, April 27, 2007

UK Immigration - Some Facts

For many years now, the Government and the latte-Left’s case for mass immigration has rested partly on their repeated assertion that Britain is a melting pot of different cultures - or as they describe it, "a nation of immigrants" - a slogan first promoted in Britain in 2001 by the then immigration minister Barbara Roche.

Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, has written an article exploding this myth. It is compulsive reading.

Here is a summary of the facts;

In the decade since 1995, Britain has taken in 1.5 million immigrants. How does this compare with historical intakes?

In the 1,000 years since the Norman Invasion (when Britain had a population of 1.5 million), tere have been three numerically significant migrations into Britain - the Huguenots in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Irish in the mid-19th century and the Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries

i) The Huguenots were driven out of Catholic France by religious persecution. Their number totalled 40,000 or 1% of the population at the time.

ii) 200 years later, the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881 triggered pogroms in Russia and Poland. Between 1880 and 1914, it is estimated that some 150,000 Jews settled in Britain, arriving at the rate of perhaps 10,000 a year. They were followed in the period between the two World Wars by perhaps 70,000 others fleeing Nazi Germany. Again the numbers are tiny. Taken together, they amounted to roughly half a per cent of our population at the time, spread over half a century.

iii) Finally, the Irish doubled their number in Britain from 300,000 to 600,000 in the 20 years around the potato famine in the mid-19th century - around 1% of the population.

The reality is that we have historically been a country of emigration, not immigration. Indeed, that situation persisted up to the mid-1980s, when immigration first exceeded emigration.

However, more important than numbers alone, and no politician is brave enough to say it, is the issue of culture. The Huguenots and the Jews were both of European, Judeo Christian culture and so more easily integrated into our society. We are now taking large numbers from cultures very distant from our own and from each other. This makes for more problematic integration for the host nation and for the new arrivals.

The middle class chatterers are still not too bothered. They like the cheap nannies, cheap and diverse restaurants, cheap low-skilled labour and lower inflation that the lower wages of immigrants bring. But for the working class, the arrival of millions of low skilled workers has been disastrous. The white working class are now deserting Labour in droves and voting for the party despised by the latte-Left - the BNP.

Green concludes that the government is finally waking up the problem it created. It has not provided work visas for the latest entrants to the EU - Romania and Bulgaria - tacitly admitting that it got the last expansion wave badly wrong.

But it is unlikely to be able to spin any further.

My own opinion is that it would be a disaster if the BNP gained ground in the forthcoming elections. They are an unpleasant party that appeals to the worst instincts in us. They are both statist and racist - two of my least favourite characteristics. But unless one of the major parties shows some willingness to address the issue, they will continue to gain ground.

My preferred immigration policy can be found here.

via Laban Tall