Immigration: Symptoms or Causes?
Some say that to discuss the immigration issue is “racist”. I think we need to be careful exactly what we discuss; starting with symptoms is probably better than jumping to causes. So Symptoms:
- Pressure on Social Housing
- Pressure on Education – particularly the impact of mixed language classes
- Pressure on the Health Service
- Pressure on the Labour Market – particularly when workers are working for less than minimum wage
These pressures arise from a community trying to cope with “incomers”. The incomers could be:
- English speakers moving with their families in to a Welsh speaking part of Wales
- North Easterners taking Norman Tebbit’s advice and “getting on their bikes” to search for work. During the last Tory Government it was said that many Transit vans travelling down the M1 very early on Monday mornings were actually unofficial minibuses taking labourers to London
- Rich American Bankers moving into London and pushing up house prices
- Rich Footballers moving into a suburb of Newcastle and pushing up house prices
Do we believe in a Free Labour Market? Should people who lack sufficiently remunerative work be able to move to places that have labour shortages? How widely should that market be drawn? How do you manage the consequences of movements of people?