Friday 14 September 2018

Pole position

I've finally caught up with an episode of Mark Mardell's Brexit: A Love Story? that I'd missed. 

The feature was dominated by the views of three 'talking heads' - all remarkably like-minded, except for disagreeing over who was to blame for so massively underestimating the numbers. Two were members of that government - Tony Blair himself and David Blunkett - and other was the professor behind that infamous report predicting just 13,000 migrants, Christian Dustmann. Prof. Dustmann blamed the politicians, and the politicians blamed Prof. Dustmann!

Other than that, however, all three were united in their support for mass immigration and that wave of mass immigration in particular. Even if Tony Blair said he might have done things a little differently in hindsight, they all thought it had, nevertheless, been a very good thing for the country. 

And, Mark argued, even if you don't approve of it, that wave of Eastern European migration wasn't the EU's fault. The UK government chose not to put in place an EU-sanctioned 7 year moratorium - unlike nearly every other EU country.   

And then, finally, Mark Mardell advanced the argument that, regardless, this open door to Eastern Europe didn't play a significant part in the EU referendum result and that it was a later wave of mass migration instead - the migrant crisis that brought so many to the shores of Europe from the Middle East and Africa -  that actually played a part in the referendum outcome. 

I'd have preferred a much greater range of opinions from the 'talking heads' here and far less of Mark Mardell's agenda-pushing. But that's probably too much to ask.


  1. Was no one available from Migration Watch or other non-advocate of mass uncontrolled and undifferentiated immigration?

    You can't just take the 2004 East Europeans on their own - there were 8 countries in that EU intake, plus Malta and Cyrprus - but have to view it in the context of prior and continuing, growing immigration from non-EU, from illegals, from bogus asylum claimants, right up to the (mismanaged by the EU) crisis of 2015 and the media-generated hysteria.

    It's a strange thing to think you can take a slice and discuss this in a vacuum, as if the topic of immigration is theoretical and has no actual impact on life, society and actual people.

  2. What's Mardell's point? That Labour didn't realise what they were doing when they opened the floodgates? They knew the risk. Even Dustmann warned them of the risk of much higher numbers if other governments didn't relax their controls. No responsible government would have taken that decision, which in my recollection was criticised at the time. Nope, only a government wrongheadedly trying to build a brave new world based on the wonderful cure-all of migration would have taken that step. It was an ideological move, pure and simple.

    This is quite a good article on the subject, making due allowance for it being a Guardian article:

    The article notes the importance of the baleful influence of Jonathan Portes who wrote a "73-page report, published in November 2000, which claimed that the foreign-born population in the UK contributes around 10% more to government revenues than it receives from the state." Mass immigration was seen as a necessary concomitant to globalisation (even though countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore, also highly globalised, never thought so). The Portes report was seized on by the New Labour migration-enthusiasts.

    If you can bear to read the Portes report, here it is:

    The so called "analysis" of the benefits of mass immigration is thin beyond belief! It's really a set of assumptions, assertions and deliberate blurring of the statistical picture. (Pages 50 and 51).

  3. Agenda driven lefty politicians and academics engage in giant game of 'how many people can you cram into a mini?'.

    1. Cheered on by the likes of Mark Easton: "You can still get another one in...stop being so difficult about a little crowding!"

  4. What I don't get is when these mistakes are made, why we can't reverse them through repatriation? Why does everyone who's ever lived here get to stay here forever? Repatriation of cheap East European labour would make our country a better, less crowded place, with higher wages and lower cost of living for the native population. But big business, who wants the cheap labour, speaks louder than ordinary people.


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