THE IMMIGRANT FALLACY
I am constantly horrified by all these arguments that Britain “needs” more immigrants because of the falling birth- rate in the native British population. Who, I have to wonder, is responsible for all this fallacious-argument dependent, ridiculous and politically dangerous nonsense? To my mind, it all reads more like a high-level propaganda exercise for the condoning of mass immigrant trafficking, than anything remotely resembling sensible policy-formulation.
That’s not the story we were all fed in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. All we ever seemed to hear about was how the world was desperately over-populated, and we women had ” to do our bit” by keeping the birth rate down! Families of four or five children, or larger, we had to realise, had to become things of the past. We should stick to two children per couple – and no more; for that was what the future welfare of the world and the nation depended upon. Only selfish women, so we were told, had big “Victorian – style” families. In the demographic climate of modern times – we had to be content with keeping families small.
We were told abut the massive population increase in Victorian times, partly because of large families, but also because of a decline in the death-rate, especially infant mortality and the general increase in length of life of individuals. Better hygiene, improved medical care, better housing, higher living standards, and far less malnutrition had brought that about. But in the mid-20th century, with the post-war “baby boom” requiring a rapid expansion of schools and other services, a high birth-rate was a luxury we couldn’t afford any more (so we were told). This country, Britain, had paid the price of being successful, by becoming one of the most densely populated in the world – and we had to watch what we were doing. It would become a nightmare finding jobs and housing for everyone in an over-rapidly expanding society.
We heard constantly about the world-wide ” Population Explosion”. Everything from serious academic ” professional” studies, copy-cat newspaper and magazine articles, novels, TV programmes, films ( Oliver reed starred in one where people had to substitute dolls for children) and even jokes and cartoons followed this theme. Oh – the whole world was heading for disaster if we didn’t keep that birth-rate down! We even heard disgusting claims that the world needed wars and terrible weapons of mass destruction, if only as a means of controlling population growth.
But: Never Fear! Rescue-was-at-hand! Birth control was to be the Big Thing now, and we heard all about how socially and personally desirable The Pill, the IUCD, condoms, spermicides and other contraceptive methods, were. When we went to Maternity Hospital to have our first babies, we were barely back in our beds (never mind back on your feet), when we had advice on Birth Control pushed on us, whether we had asked for it or not. Women, who had four or more children, could find themselves the butt of some rather unkind jokes: (especially Catholic women).
This was how we were constantly being brain-washed – and we swallowed the lot! Now that we women have been successful in getting the national birth-rate down ( because that’s what we were persuaded to do), we hear these offensive arguments spread around, that this means we “need” more and more immigrants. What Double-Talk nonsense is this?
I must admit, that I was very brain-washed too. I might have happily enjoyed a larger family of four or five children, but I had no more than two – because it seemed more ” Socially Responsible”.
Did we women only do that, to make room for somebody else’s over-population problem?
Does no-one remember how we all used to hear the following argument? i.e. about how, with rapidly developing technological advances, in the industrial and agricultural sections of the economy, the country no longer needed the huge armies of low-skilled labourers of yester-year.
If countries in Asia, India and Africa had massive over-population problems – because human labour was almost the only affordable power- source readily available to them – then mass poverty, malnutrition and subsistence – level living standards were the price they paid for that. We, in the modernised countries, were to think ourselves lucky that we were free from the necessity of a high birth-rate to provide our daily sustenance.
So why have an expansionist birth-rate? That (we were told) would be courting trouble. How would we ever be able to accommodate them all? Better, we were told, to have fewer babies brought up to a high, modern standard of living, than large families brought up in poverty.
Does no-one remember now, how ( as George Brown wrote in his memoirs) Hugh Dalton claimed in the post-war, late 1940s, that the only thing that could solve Britain’s economic problems was for “half” the population to emigrate ( to Canada, Australia, N.Z etc.)? How would Britain ever provide jobs, housing and public facilities for everybody if they didn’t? Does no-one remember how hundreds of thousands of British people were encouraged to believe that – if they had talent, ability and energy – then the best way to find good employment for themselves, was to go out and help build up Australia. Britain, so we were told, had far more “chicks” than she had “nest- space” for – and we’d never have either enough jobs or space for everybody.
Emigrants, we heard, we people who headed out towards lower population density countries with plenty of open, undeveloped space to grow, and which possessed the potentially great recourses to absorb them. Emigrants went out to take modern technologies to lesser developed countries, and to help to build new cities in the “new” lands. It didn’t make sense for masses of people to emigrate to “old” countries which were already densely populated – cities bursting at the seams – with their own native population already in stiff competition with each other for available jobs and economic resources.
It is useful here to analyse the term ” Economic Migrant“.
They come in many different forms and styles, with totally different aims and attributes.
1) The Explorer / Pioneers. These are people who went out to relatively empty, unexplored ” virgin” territory with little or no existing human habitation, but which they realised had the potentialities for development. They created farms, towns, and economically productive, self-supporting communities out of nothing. To them, the idea of ” making a new life for themselves” meant the adventure and the challenge of moving out of old- established, over-crowded societies and – through their own hard work – the thrill of building something which had never existed before.
2) The Developers. Close behind them came the developers. While they were not the originators of the new settlements, they were needed to provide the range of services necessary to help support new communities. How would the pioneers progress without their roads and railway builders, and their ports and harbours? How would they sell their produce if no-one developed either markets for them, or communications systems to keep trade running efficiently with the rest of the world?
3) The Essential Skill Bringers. New societies need their engineers, their bankers, their medical professionals, their business managers, their school teachers, and a host of other highly skilled services which we simply take for granted in an old-established nation. They are all needed to make new societies both socially and economically feasible. With progress and development, society also needs public service workers, policemen, and a legal profession to keep good order.
4) The Small Business Opportunists. They are neither pioneers or developers nor bringers of essential skills; but they see an opportunity for a new market for themselves in the ” convenience” trades – be it opening a tailor’s business or a barber’s, or running a hotel. It all helps new societies to urbanise and ” round-out” more fully. They carry their own weight, make their own way, know how to make themselves useful, and expect no charity or favours from anyone. They are usually welcomed in a new society, as they help to make life smoother and more interesting.
5) The General Labourers. They tend to be drawn in by new businesses, especially primary producers busily engaged in developing previously untapped resources in a newly-settled country, which are expanding faster than the already existing population can supply the extra labour needed. When America, Australia and other such countries were developing, they often shared the pioneering spirit of the original settlers, taking a pride in the adventure of building something new; and they were valued for it. They worked hard and lived hard. They will blend into a society and its economy where they are genuinely wanted and needed.
6) The Cheap Labour Importees. This category of migrants are, regrettably, the subject of a most ethically and morally distressing matter. They are often the most pathetic of people, who have often been fed misleading promises of “good” employment by unscrupulous transporters, operating in the ethically indecent business of trafficking cheap ” coolie” labour, serving the kind of businesses which use them as a means of by-passing the paying of a decent living wage to workers in the established population of society. Tragically, they are usually exploited and abused by the businesses which brought them in. They are often despised by the local population, who would not lower themselves to work for the low pay and poor conditions they are given.
It may well be, that the once-mighty, “King Cotton” economy in the USA was created by imported, black slave labour; and it may well be that much of the 19th century American railroad network was built by cheap, Chinese “coolie-labour”, specially imported for the purpose. That did not make it ethically justifiable.
7) The “Mavericks” and Band Wagon Riders”. These are the opportunity- seeking hopefuls, who are almost the opposite of the pioneers. They only arrive on the scene after most of the hard pioneering work has been done, the cities have been built and the thriving urbanised society has been created. They bring no special useful skills, with no special assets to contribute, and were not specially wanted by anyone. They simply arrive “on spec”, looking for any kind of income they can find anywhere. Typically, they tend to expect that, merely by arriving ashore and throwing themselves on top of the receptor society, the best of everything, employment and all good fortune should instantly land in their laps. Now, a rapidly expanding economy, in a “settled- developed” country, may well have some places for footloose, unskilled, ” maverick” general labour, but – contrary to these migrants’ expectations – certainly not endless capacity for it.
This kind of immigrant is usually discouraged by long-established nations ( where they often arrive as illegal entrants) because of the danger to public and social order posed by large numbers of jobless, homeless, rootless, uninvited new arrivals roaming about, looking for whatever pickings they can find. They are not always welcome in newer ” Settler- Developed” countries either, for similar reasons. Mass influxes of too many of their style are generally distrusted as bringers of trouble, for whom the urgent matter of finding a living comes before respect for the fragile peace and harmony which the settled population tried hard to create.. As a group they have the reputation of being none-too-fussy about whether or not their earnings are legal. They are unpopular with the police, who perceive them as having little respect for the authority and order of the established society.
Forget the fancy “Statue of Liberty” sympathy for ” wretched refuse from a teaming shore”. Americans never forgave them for what they did to the New York crime- rate.
8) Related to this group are The Traffickees. In Britain and Europe today, of course, we know all about this category: they are only too familiar to us. Typically, they have been sold passages to the imaginary ” Streets of Gold” ( along with unreal, “rosy” expectations) by obscenely unscrupulous, immigrant traffickers, for whom it is a highly- lucrative, multi-million-pound international racket. Yet whether they come in legally or illegally, their main reason for coming is the same: to claim a share of pickings from the assets which have already been created by the established nation, by whatever methods they can use, whether they are wanted by the host nation or not.
9) The “City Grabbers”. This is another group which tend only to arrive after the cities and the social superstructure have already been created by other people’s hard work. Unlike the “mavericks” , these Traffickees come in with the full intention of setting themselves up as organised, cohesive communities generally categorised by a shared ethnicity, land of origin, or common religion, which sets them apart from the settled population. To them beginning a “new life” means taking possession of sections of cities, along with all of their facilities, which existed long before their arrival. They see nothing wrong in progressively pushing the previous-settled population out. They may even take a pride in it – even if some of their methods are somewhat pernicious. They see it all as part of a great design, an achievement which announces their status as an ethnically defined community.
Typically, they want the best of everything the host society can provide, yet care only for furthering their own communities interests, even where these conflict with the interests of others. They have difficulty understanding why they are often greatly resented and distrusted by the rest of the population.
The longer a nation has been established, the more they are disliked for the divided society they create. The old, historic, single-nation societies dislike them the most for the insulting way their encroachment challenges an indigenous nation’s control over their homeland. The “City Grabbers” fail to understand that what they see as the hostility of “racism” , the native population see’s as concern for compatibility. What migrants see as unjustified “xenophobia”, the native established nation see’s as a matter of justifiable, essential defence of their power, heritage, culture, national character, and the integrity of the nation against self-implanted alien power blocs.
10) The Refugees. These could be any of the already mentioned groups.
When Emma Lazarus wrote her famous Statue of Liberty poem in 1883 [ “Keep, ancient lands your storied pomp!” cries she
with silent lips. ” Give me your tired, your poor.
Your huddled masses yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teaming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest- tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door. ]
it was an expression of sympathy for the Russian Jews, suffering persecution at the time of the infamous pogroms. The ones who went to America, went with the aim of being economically self-reliant in an enormous country with space for them, amid huge natural recourses. Nothing was put on a plate if the didn’t. Wartime refugees of the 1940s ( not really economic migrants ) meshed-in to the war-time economy and didn’t expect any pampering. How things have changed: “Refugees” now come in as intentionally dependent on the host nation’s benevolence, and have become a new kind of economic migrant of expensively negative value.
Now which of these kinds of economic migrant is the present government trying to claim that Britain, as a modern, sophisticated, highly-developed, over-crowded country, “needs”?
The Explorer – Pioneers ? No: Britain has been settled continuously for around 2000 years. There are no underdeveloped, open ranges or vast untapped resources waiting for settlers.
The Developers ? No : it’s all been done, and all by the same, established indigenous nation.
The Essential Skill Bringers ? No : we are a highly- educated nation, and have always been perfectly capable of providing our own.
The Small- Business Opportunists ? No: We have plenty of those of our own.
The General Labourers ? No : We have plenty of our own already.
The Cheap Labour Importees ? No: That would be highly unethical, immoral, and an insult to unemployed workers in our nation.
The “Mavericks” and “Band-Wagon Riders” ? No: I certainly hope not! This is the group which nobody wants. No governments in their right mind, with any respect for the aims and ideals of good social order, peace, and a low crime rate should ever want to encourage this kind.
The Traffickers ? No: If you have sympathy for this group, you are probably helping to fund terrorism. Just as terrorism feeds on funds from the illegal drugs trade, and arms smuggling, then people- trafficking is a highly- lucrative international trade as well.
The City Grabbers ? No! We have too many already. The whole world has seen what happens to ethnically- fragmented countries, with their inter-ethnic power-struggles, civil disturbances, riots and violence.
The Refugees ? No: Britain has nothing in common with the USA of the 19th century, and has no spare space to absorb them. Even today, the world has changed a lot since the well-meaning 1951 UN “Asylum” Convention. Migrants and organised, international traffickers have exploited it to the full as a means of circumventing immigration controls: it’s time to end its massive abuse.
So what do we make of all this charlatan- dependent, sophistry-ridden rubbish about Britain “needing” more immigrants? In a country which is still struggling with unemployment problems, jobless and benefit- dependent families, and work-scarcity black spots all over the country, it certainly doesn’t ring true.
The truth is that Britain neither wants or needs immigrants. Now, I can understand employers taking in specialised- skills, hand picked individuals from abroad on a short- term contract, turnover basis – but they don’t need to be life-long immigrants for that.
We can take into account the fact that there is massive maldistribution of employment opportunities in the country, and that London (notoriously) hoards much more than its fair national share. We know that high housing costs in London can produce (localised) labour shortages, and that a great many people ( e.g. teachers and nurses) in other areas are reluctant to move to London for jobs for housing-related reasons. ( for it is much cheaper and easier to move out of London housing than into it).We know that far too many government ministers, who should know better, think that what is true of London is true of everywhere else. Yet, none of this justifies deliberately bringing in Economic Migrants from other countries, and it never will. How can it be more economic to bring in migrants from abroad than to use British labour outside London? Forget the story about our “ageing” population: in our society, people are still young at 60, and fit and healthy at 70.
Why does this government refuse to admit what most of the population already know? i.e. that the Law of Diminishing Returns ( of which some politicians have never heard) is every bit as valid for immigrants as it is for everything else. Remember that Law: a little brings benefits, but each additional amount brings proportionally less benefit than the last. Then you pass the zero- level of return, and increased inputs only do a great deal of damage. ( one spoonful of medicine does you some good, three times the dose doesn’t do you three times as much good, too much and you’re poisoned.)
It is always easy to say that, the only people who really want more immigrants are the cheap- labour hunters, the fee hunting ” asylum” lawyers, the immigrant traffickers, and the ethnic enclave builders. There’s more to it than that.
The trouble is that those who want economic migrants are the ones who only see any country as a component of the massive international economy, dominated by multi-national trading and banking; and they don’t see why labour shouldn’t be freely moved from country to country, according to their requirements and preferences.
Those who don’t want them, see countries as national homelands, created, developed and run by – and essentially for the benefit of – the established nation: i.e. people who share their historic identity, native culture, and ancestral right to live there. Preservation of national unity, social cohesion, a basic sense of affinity between members of the same nation, a harmonious society, and a belief in caring for the interests of their own nation first, are their main concerns.
The question is: Who’s going to win the Big Battle?
21st June 2002.