Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Why do we hate migrants?

The latest attempts to reduce immigration by our coalition government raises some interesting questions.  They are “committed” to reducing the number of immigrants, but with immigration, it’s not the numbers that are the issue (unless you just hate foreigners); it’s the country’s ability to cope with them.

The country (or more precisely, parts of the country) struggle to cope when migrants into those parts of the country create excessive demand on local resources (particularly housing, education, and social and health services) or create additional competition for jobs.  Those migrants could be Non-EU migrants, EU migrants, or internal (Tebbit “on yor bike”) migrants.

Foreign students are not a significant drain on our resources – but they do (though their fees and local spending) contribute to the economy. To cut their numbers is to “cut off our nose to spite our face”.  Any cuts in immigration should be focused – who excessively drains our resources, who takes jobs we would be prepared to do?

I suspect that the commitment to “reduce immigrants” is pandering to a rather nasty aspect of some of our fellow countrymen.  They have not spelt it out but:

  • They are cutting student immigration – predominantly from Africa, South Asia, and East Asia
  • They are freeing employee exchanges for employees earning in excess of £40,000 – possibly predominantly from North America.

Is their policy being coloured by a desired to pander to the bigots?

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2 thoughts on “Why do we hate migrants?

  1. I wonder whether the government is focussing on the wrong target. Rather than focussing on migrants, why not have a serious look at some of this country’s employers. It is no secret that migration is encouraged by business, ostensibly for reasons of skills shortages. However, I suspect it is the longer hours and lower wages that migrants are prepared to put up with that is the main driver. The black economy also plays a major role.

    I reckon that much migration could be controlled by encouraging union membership, enforcement of employer legislation, and by a clampdown on overcrowding by landlords.

    • This is going down to the next level; “what is the underlying problem?” Mankind has a nasty habit of blaming immigrants for society’s ills rather than addressing the problems.

      We have a whole load of legislation that is inadequately implemented and enforced. I blame the last government for thinking that merely by legislating they could wish away many of society’s ills. Poverty? “Make it illegal to offer less than a minimum wage”. Yes, but, you also need to have an effective means of implementing and enforcing the minimum wage. Labour did not provide an adequate means, and the Coalition is going off in completely the opposite direction, deregulating and removing enforcement bodies. (Ditto the working time directive). Perhaps under “The Big Society”, unions should take on the inspection role!? I’m sure Dave and Co. would approve and move legislation to give them a prosecution role.

      Another example is “overseas students”. The problem is not “students” but fake colleges. Sort out the problem rather than the symptom.

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