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When one looks at the disparity of those figures, and the immense cock-up (perhaps deception?) that it reveals, it is only right that the tabloids are leading on this story.

Even the BBC were yesterday.

I think that the low key response from us is also due, in part, to a realisation that the Polish influx has actually been benificial in many ways as they have kept wage inflation down and thus everyones mortgages.

Going forward, there does seem a need to regluate numbers coming in to work. The worrying thing about what has happened however is the lack of control and planning coming from the immigration and home office. The fact that there has been benefits to the economy does not negate the need for understanding and control over desired outcomes. In this respect the record of the Government is completely diabolical. As every day passes, despite the massive time they have had in power, the incompetence of this Labour Government is becoming more and more apparent.

"Tory strategists have clearly decided to keep David Cameron away from the subject but deploy the home affairs team to debate an issue that is dominating the tabloid news agenda."

Cameron, why is it that the only hard fight you want to be involved in is sexual discrimination, and even then, its promoting it rather than fighting it? Youve got to talk about immigration at some point. Why play chicken? True political courage is standing up and saying your piece, regardless of how people will treat you for it. You want a national debate, lets have one. This is what you wanted...

I believe that it is a good idea for other members of the shadow cabinet to adopt a higher profile from now on; we want the voters to know that DC is not the government in waiting, only the primus inter pares.
It would be original for the tories to subdivide "immigrants" into the various categories that we have already suggested on the last thread on immigration.
That takes the heat out of a highly emotive issue and casts light instead.
When quizzed on immigration, Damien Green might ask: "Do you mean Asylum seekers fleeing from a tyrannical regime, migrant workers here to work legitimately for a year or two, intending settlers or illegal criminals, such as benefit scroungers?"

"Cameron, why is it that the only hard fight you want to be involved in is sexual discrimination, and even then, its promoting it rather than fighting it? Youve got to talk about immigration at some point. "

The reason, James, is that the Cameron team have perversely concluded that it was immigration that lost the Tories the last election. How they can blame our policy on the one issue on which we had a poll lead and overlook poll deficits on every other major issue is beyond me.

The problem is that Camerons also avoids talking about how to deal with criminals (giving "love and understanding" to hoodies is NOT a policy platform on law and order), dealing with the EU, or any proper policy on taxation and the economy. Its not just immigration which there has been a distinct lack of voice on...

Can anyone remember which minister predicted that we would only be receiving around 13,000 immigrants from eastern Europe p.a.?It might have been the incomparably incompetent Mcnulty or was it someone more senior?

"Polish influx has actually been benificial in many ways as they have kept wage inflation down and thus everyones mortgages"

Tell that to the builders that can't find work because it is being given to Polish immigrants who don't mind working for a pittance and living crammed in relative squalour instead.

It would have been far better to establish an Australian-style system whereby economic migration is managed according to skills shortages, which would lead to the benefits you describe above Oberon.

"The problem is that Camerons also avoids talking about how to deal with criminals (giving "love and understanding" to hoodies is NOT a policy platform on law and order), dealing with the EU, or any proper policy on taxation and the economy."

Well said James. But I suppose we must be dreadfully out of touch and reactionary to expect such things from our oh-so-modern leader. In these progressive times, what people want to hear about is "beauty" and the sense that a leader "cares", don't they?.

"Now more than ever we need to remember that immigration can help build a more progressive, prosperous and cosmopolitan society."

From an article in today's Guardian. It implies the Left have a political rather than an economic agenda when it comes to immigration. "Progressive" i.e. they will vote Labour, "cosmopolitan" i.e. let's hope they fail to integrate and then we can get rid of old-fashioned concepts like patriotism.


On balance, I think Eastern European immigration has been positive, but there have certainly been problems also.

What interests me though is the sheer self-righteous hate which some on both left and right express towards native British workers who can find their wages being depressed as a result "lazy" "stupid" "feckless" - and who then have the nerve to describe the Conservative Party as "nasty" for raising the issue.

Not sure the 'left' are very united about this Richard.Witness the recent comments made by the likes of Frank Field,John Denham and even Polly Toynbee.I wonder if the more intelligent amongst them realise that the completely 'unmanaged' or at best incompetently managed immigration policies of recent years will adversely affect their voters at least as much as ours.

Look on the bright. Plenty of new people to produce a balanced A List for Dave.


I think that a certain section of the Left (particularly those who have risen out of the working classes) just can't forgive them for failing to bring about the revolution, and look to immigrants to do so instead.

This thread has surprised even me. Some of you must really work hard to find something to disagree with the party over. On the issue of immigration from Bulgaria and Romania the party is supporting controls. And some of you manage to find a way to criticise the party for taking a position you support!!!

A worrying fact is that Government planning is based on a net immigration number of 130,000 per year.( I posted link on previous thread on housing - household and population projections)
These statistics are used to plan infrastructure, schools , hospitals.

If the Treasury is using the same numbers to allocate funding to local authorities we could be in trouble.

Let's get a grip of this issue with clear facts and figures.

Can anyone who supports uncontrolled immigration produce a coherent set of figures that show how all the supposed economic benefits flow through the systems, including the long term infrastructure costings? Or vice versa?


If only we'd listened 38 years ago to the greatest prophet the Conservative Party has ever produced:

"It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre...As I look ahead I am filled with foreboding."

In a few decades - within the lifetimes of many people reading this - native Britons will be strangers in many parts of their own country. Obviously, you'll have no problem with that if you're a soulless, deracinated yuppie greedhead who thinks undercutting the wages of lower class 'oiks' is bloody marvelous news for UK PLC and likes the cheap help around the house from that damned pretty Slovak nanny who costs next to nothing. You'll also be smuggly satisfied if you're a sneering, anti-british metropolitan liberal with a well paid public sector job, rich parents and, of course, a damned pretty Slovak nanny...

For everyone else - those of us who love not just the land of England but our fellow Englishmen and women, who take pride in our history, our laws and our peculiar genius for stability and governance and who hoped to hand on to our children some sense of what it is to be an island people unconquered for a thousand years, it's all too depressing for words.

Never dreamed I'd say this but I know which way I'm voting next time...

Nigel C (12.53):
Re Local Authority budgets, infrastructure etc: Wat Tyler has an interesting post on this, with reference to Slough (but it would apply to most other places, too).
http://burningourmoney.blogspot.com/


Most Eastern European immigrants will probably head home once they've made some money here, and as their home countries' living standards improve.

More concerning is the level of permanent immigration from the Third World. Out of 179,000 settlements last year, 75% were from Africa and Asia, principally due to family reunions, often as a result or arranged marriages. This is nice for the families in question, but I can see no benefit at all for the host population from this type of immigration. The immigrants are not being admitted because they have skills, and are likely to have difficulty with English, and will find it hard to make a contribution in the labour market.

I'm not sure anyone remotely serious has ever advocated uncontrolled immigration whether they are on the left or the right. The issue isn't simply one of numbers but of contribution to the British economy. Business leaders quoted in this moprnings press praised the contribution hard working immigrants from Eastern Europe had made, whilst at the same time suggesting the numbers do have to be restricted in future.

My own view is that we don't need to sound like a shrill tabloid headline asking how many more can we take? or something like that, but rather recognising that some sensible contreols need to be put in place to ensure that we do not end up with a situation where we have more people seeking to live and work in Britain than the economy can provide for.

Quite. Given that a significant proportion of those people despise our culture and, far, far worse, don't even drink what is in it for us? Nothing. It's all about not upsetting other nations by actually acting in our true long-term interests. And saying no. NO.

Basic immigration rules:

No entry for teetotallers
No entry for people who cover their women up

It's not bloody cricket.

I, like Sean am totally shocked and very interested how certain sections of society (both left and right) have attacked British native working people in recent days. Why are they so hated?

The Eastern European migration has had its possitive benefits, mostly filling gaps in the Labour market. This however is only a short term fix - those gaps exist only due to a failure of an education system that looks down on skilled workers and the self employed such as plumbers, carpenters and other tradesmen, fails to encourage young people, and certainly fails to give them the skills for these trades. There certainly isn't a shortage of people with nearly 1m out of work and millions on other benefits.

Perhaps this educational eltism is linked to why they like "keeping down wage inflation" - or rather "keeping down the tradesman's wages" - so much? Why should their wages be deflated by mass migration when other people's wages are going up? Great if you're living in a fake state employed World away from reality, not so good if you're a self-employed tradesman. Are the tradesman haters jealous of their wages? Perhaps Nozick's Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism? may be of note, or rather why do supposed intellectuals oppose the self-employed and "strivers".

You have got to respect the migrants for their hard work, bravery in moving so far, and willingness to live in poor conditions - but this is not what I want people to live like in Britain. We need a sensible migration policy that fills only the gaps, like in Australia, instead of creating a huge surplus that deflates wages and puts people out of work.

To win the next general election we need the carpenters, plumbers, builders and other self-employed, skilled people. I am very keen to keep down the overall rate of inflation, but would rather do it through free trade and cheaper imports instead of wage deflation.

As for those who think these migrants will build a "more progressive, prosperous and cosmopolitan society" - they should think again. E European migrants are laregely white, Christian and very pro free market. The Guardian readers paradise doesn't look likely either way.

Any one agree with me that Damian Green has handled this subject excellently? One of DC's better appointments?

British working people are hated because they were supposed to remain as victims of capitalist oppression but instead worked their arses off and actually did rather well when government got out of the way.

That is why the left hates the lower middle class and successful working class so much - they used to be the glorious and manipulable proletariat.

Agreed that Damian Green has presented this well but (fearing to sound like an EU phobe) as pointed out in Telegraph blog while governments can agree to limit employment rights every person in Romania & Bulgaria will have the right to travel freely across EU borders.

So they can enter UK at will - then join the jobs black market working for less than minimum wages perhaps,. With state of our immigration department what's likely capability to track whether Romanians are tourists or potential illegal workers? Experience in Belgium is that illegal Polish workers are expelled then return a few days later because there is nothing to stop them.

So think in reality we cannot manage EU migration because we signed up to free movement.

However as Sean Fear pointed out there is also non-EU migration with 1 million people granted settlement rights in last 9 years. Most of those relatives or extended family of UK citizens (often first generation new citizens). Each one of these immigrants potentially has their own extended family.

What we need as David B points out is clarity on our approach to the different types of immigrant - job seekers/workers (US bankers, footballers to hairdressers) from outside EU, EU migrants, asylum seekers, extended family etc.

The Poles, Hungarians, Estonians etc will mostly go home especially if their home economies improve. We need an immigration policy that covers all of the other categories.

The Independent claims that the 600,000 immigrants from East Europe have generated £2.5 billion in economic growth; that is only £4,000 a head.
Does that realistically cover the social costs? Or the cost of leaving another person claiming unemployment benefit?

BTW did anyone hear the Lib Dem spokesman on Radio 5 yesterday - classic phrase "other European countries should take their share of the benefits of immigration"

Tired and emotional, you're probably right. In my local area they [anti-capitalists] all love those in council housing and despise those who used to live in council houses but did well and moved. If you do well the advice I have heard many say is move to a new area where they don't know how well you've done or where you started from so won't be jealous through fear of being passed by.

I agree with William Norton, Damien Green has handled this very well...strong but not alarmist or reactionary, no accusations of racism. Helped first however by Frank Fields and Polly Toynbee becoming far more anti-immigration.


Nigel - or put another, £40 per annum for each British inhabitant.

Of course GDP should rise with a rising population. What matters is GDP per head.

"Tell that to the builders that can't find work because it is being given to Polish immigrants who don't mind working for a pittance and living crammed in relative squalour instead."

In Hertfordshire you can't get builders easily, no matter what you're offering in terms of wages. Consequently anyone having work done on their house pays through the nose and has to wait ages for one to be available.

If only we'd listened 38 years ago to the greatest prophet the Conservative Party has ever produced:

Day by day it's becoming increasingly clear that Enoch was indeed right.

Today the Tory Party desperately needs a new Powell to take the lead.

Chris- you can't get a builder in Hertfordshire because they are all building the thousands of new houses demanded by the Government (for whom?) or the Olympics!

"In Hertfordshire you can't get builders easily, no matter what you're offering in terms of wages. Consequently anyone having work done on their house pays through the nose and has to wait ages for one to be available."

Where are you in Hertfordshire? I remember there always seemed to be an abundance of them in Stevenage when I was growing up.

Mind you, as Nigel says, these days they're probably all employed in John Prescott's masterplan to build on one of Labour's 'greatest achievements' (the green belt) and merge Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth into one town.

It has, let's face, been assumed that if we bang on about immigration we would win the general election. We didn't do so in either 2001 or 2005 and our message on immigration was misunderstood by key sections of the electorate.

Don't forget demographic change in key marginals. When we beat the drums about immigration during a general election, we put off large sections of the population - not just ethnic minorities - but also many Conservative-leaning white voters.

The recent wave of immigrants from Central & Eastern Europe has been highly positive and has contributed significantly to the economy. As someone who has spent a lot of time in Hungary and who speaks basic Hungarian, I can back up the assertions that people from these countries are hard-working, enterprising and aspirational - natural conservatives, in fact. See today's excellent articles in the Independent (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article1221080.ece):

"They now account for about 2 per cent of the UK's 30 million-strong workforce, contributing an estimated £2.5bn a year to the economy."

If you do a cost-benefit analysis - the tax, NI etc from the Central & Eastern European workers actually pays for teachers, doctors and so on. In fact, most of the immigrants have been under 30 and without dependents such as children; and are in good health so rarely use the NHS. They're paying for schools & hospitals that the indigenous population uses!

There have been many vacancies in the labour market which have been filled by immigrants from 'new Europe'. These vacancies were there due to a long-observed trend, where many British born people are simply (a) not prepared to work in lower paid jobs, due to the poverty trap or benefit trap (they're as well off on Benefits - a rational economic decision, it can be argues); or (b) indeed (due to poor educational policy) don't have the skills for building, plumbing etc. We don't have a plumber shortage any more, you might have noticed.

Lots of people assert that "If you do a cost-benefit analysis - the tax, NI etc from the Central & Eastern European workers actually pays for teachers, doctors and so on"
It may contribute but does it cover the full cost?
I am going to assert that most of these immigrants are doing low paid work and do not pay significant amounts of tax and NI.

If somebody has done the sums let's see them and then we can debate from a basis of fact and not assertion

Nigel, I would suggest you and Jonthan have a look at the Migrationwatch website.To date they have been right every time unlike our government and their friends in the media who like spouting spurious 'facts' or to use another word lies.

Of course GDP should rise with a rising population. What matters is GDP per head.
There are still some advantages in economies of scale - countries such as India and China for example has the same potential defence capability and research capabilities as the UK because although their GDP is smaller per head, overall it is more similar. Norway, and Luxembourg are the wealthiest countries in the world but major costs such as Defence still can pose a major problem for them because of how how small the population they have to contribute towards it and in the case of Norway the neccessary territory to cover, more immigration could mean lower taxes because many things that may only deemed to need a certain amount of money spent on them such as Defence for example will still have roughly those amounts spent on them (I think that Defence spending should be roughly twice what it is now but if GDP were larger even if GDP per Head was not then whatever amount it was it would be a lower proportion of the total GDP).

Also there are many jobs that either have specialised skills that are more common in particular ethnic groups or an attitude of mind more common in some incoming groups, the overwhelming majority of people coming here are working hard and paying taxes.

malcolm, Thank Migrationwatch web site does contain some useful referenced data.
Is there a similar site/ organisation which is arguing the case for mass immigration with their perspective on the data or a reasoned factual argument or rebuttal?

Not as far as I'm aware Nigel. Where the press (particularly the Independant) get their 'facts' from I'm not sure,the Government I suspect just make it up as they go along.

The idea that the Conservative Party lost elections because it opposed immigration is a classic example of the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Should we lose the next election I look forwards to the proponents of this ridiculous theory blaming the debacle on the current (metropolitan-orientated) fashion for positive discrimination in favout of women, homosexuals etc.

Opposition to immigration has always been a vote-winner. Sadly the public had lost all faith in the party to deliver on this or anything else.

Oberon Housten @ 11:44 - "... the Polish influx has ... kept wage inflation down and thus everyones mortgages."

Nope, not everyone's ... wage inflation kept down, interest rates kept down, so in general asset prices, including house prices, go up. Plus with increased demand to house the immigrants, often in "buy-to-let" properties, house prices go up.

Hence those already with a house and variable rate mortgage benefit. Those with a house to sell and who want to move downmarket, or perhaps move to Spain, benefit. But those who want to save a deposit and get on the housing ladder are hit hard, and those who need to move up the housing ladder also do not benefit. Anybody moving from the north to the south east for work doesn't benefit. Those owning land which can be developed may benefit. People inheriting their parents' houses also benefit. Savers, and pensioners relying on savings income, do not benefit. Developers and bosses and investors in the construction industry benefit hugely, which is why they tell lies about the benefits of mass immigration.

"It would have been far better to establish an Australian-style system whereby economic migration is managed according to skills shortages....."

Problem is, can you see a British govt managing such economic planning competently? That's essentially the equivalent of the old socialist "picking winners", which has never worked here.

"The Independent claims that the 600,000 immigrants from East Europe have generated £2.5 billion in economic growth"

Immigration is the Independent's latest hobby horse aimed at making them feel self-righteous. Presumably they're taking a break from global warming.

What the Independent and many others fail to mention is that opposition to immigration isn't just economic. Bearing in mind the failure to integrate many immigrants and second or third generation immigrants into British society, yet another influx looks like it might further undermine social cohesion. This attitude would no doubt be described by the Independent as "xenophobic" but these days I even take the Guardian more seriously.

While there are drawbacks and negatives to any version of immigration policy, most of the worries can be summed up as fear of change, and perhaps lack of historical awareness. Surely we can accept the evidence from recent years that the more open the borders, the more successful the country (eg USA , as seen by Wall Street Journal editors over the years). People should be allowed to live and work (and retire, like so many Brits do to Spain) where they want. Au pairs came from Germany and Italy in the 50's as those countries worked their way out of post-war poverty - later from Portugal and Spain - now from freed Eastern Europe. In the 60s it was Ugandan Asians who were supposedly dragging our country down - in the 30s not every Tory welcomed Jewish refugees, of course. There's too much government interference already in where we can live and what we can do. Immigration is a good test issue about whether people who claim to believe in liberty really do so. My late mother's care was well provided by people from nearly a dozen European countries including Slovakia and Bulgaria - a more restrictive immigration policy might have put that care at risk.
Anyway - where's best to live - a place people want to come to, or a place people want to leave? We're all descended from people who migrated to this land.

No, absolutely not. I am the descendant of immigrants, but mainly about 900 to 1500 years ago, and my ancestors through the generations fought and shed blood for this land. They didn't do that so that anybody could walk in and take it over from their descendants. There's all this discussion about the iniquity of inheritance tax, but what about our national birthright? Ever read "Exodus" by Leon Uris? The Arans thought they sell could land for Jewish gold - short term gain - and later the future the Jews would probably leave, or they could be pushed out, and then the Arabs could take their land back. Now look at the position of the Palestinians - no homeland - and the trouble that's causing. Gradually adopting small numbers of people from abroad into our society is fine, and we've done that for a long time, but what's been going on since the war is plain lunacy.

Richard

Immigrants from Europe have historically integrated well - it seemed at times that half of Mrs T's cabinet were second or third generation immigrant stock, many from central/east Europe. Michael Howard's Rumanian links didn't seem to set him apart. The Scots-Italians, post war Poles & Ukrainians are all good Britons now.

It seems to be a willingness to integrate & take part in the life of your new country. Many of the post war immigrants retained social clubs and sent their kids to learn national dances & languages but still became fiercely patriotic to their adopted land.

Comparatively tiny numbers Ted - I would hazard a guess that we've had more immigrants in the last few years than in the last thousand years put together. There's also the matter of what the existing body of citizens want - after all this is supposed to be a democracy. According to the results of the poll in the Sunday Times, the median value for the preferred upper limit on the rate of immigration is only 10,000 a year. That's to say, half of the voters would prefer less than 10,000 a year, and half would prefer more than 10,000 a year.

http://www.times-archive.co.uk/onlinespecials/toplinepoll.pdf

The reason the leadership is relucant to debate immigration is because everytime they do idiots start to come out of the gutter and start saying things like Enoch was right and we need a new Enoch.
The way this country is made up today of so many differant nationalties and cultures we need another Enoch Powell like we need another Jeffrey Archer.
We need a tougth but fair immigration policy that treats all would be immigrants the same and does not discrimanate against any one country or region that is fair to immigrants as well as to all of us already living here not a policy that is more to do with race than immigration, bigotry than compassion.
We do not need a policy based on bigoty and rcial hatred.

Why shouldn't we discriminate between one country and another?

NigelC et al - I'm an academic so I don't just make assertions - this is all based on facts, statistics etc (not lies as someone else claimed).

I quoted: "They now account for about 2 per cent of the UK's 30 million-strong workforce, contributing an estimated £2.5bn a year to the economy." (today's Independent)

The estimates on contribution of immigrants, calculated by an economist, will be based upon 600,000 people working here earning on average £xxxxx per annum. It's pretty straightforward maths.

Now if you work out 600,000 paying say 22% tax plus NI on £xxxxx average per annum which is maybe 30% of the £2.5bn ... big contribution to the exchequer.

They also spend money they earn in the local economy in which they live, creating more jobs ... who then pay more tax ...

The other point is that they pay for doctors etc used by *other* people as the Central & Eastern European immigrants are predominantly under 30, the vast majority of whom have no dependents, are in good health so don't actually use schools and hospitals really.

MigrationWatch is using its figures to argue the case against immigration ... so you've got to read its material with that context in mind.

Denis

Shows the need to educate the voter :-)

There are more than 10,000 overseas citizens working in the City keeping this country's economy afloat. There are more than 10,000 overseas nurses working keeping our hospitals open. There are more than 10,000 overseas doctors, more than 10,000 non-UK British Servicemen, more than 10,000 and so on

Which 10,000 should we keep?

'Smell the Coffee' has become the 'in' phrase in the Tory Party since Michael Ashcrof't's book giving his version of why we lost the last election. Well we need to apply this to fundemental issues rather than faffing about with Oak Tree Logos or agonising over 'A' Lists.

The figures today for immigration only confirm what many of us predicted and feared. It is unbelieveable that a Government could estimate 15,000 and end up with 600.000 - and be allowed to get away with it by the official oppostion !! Immigration on this scale will destroy this country. We are undergoing an enforced blood transfusion and creating a completely different electorate.The argument that we need immigration to fill gaps in the economy is fatuous when we have rising unemployment and a personal debt bubble that must soon burst. Social breakdown , already fuelled by radical muslims , will be inevitable. Simple logic should convince anyone that the UK with twice the density of population of Germany and four times that of France - is in overload. I firmly believe that whatever anyone might think about the BNP's leadership and credibility, it will soak up votes like a sponge when the hard times come.

And where will the Conservatives be on an issue that we used to take the lead on ? Immigration and the EU are now two sides of the same coin and until we have robust policies on both we are 'whistling in the wind'

It is odd, don't you think, that the party which advocates not planning how to run companies, does want to plan who can apply for jobs with those companies? I'm not saying that I don't agree with the desire, but it does feel like a lack of coherence in the underlying philosophy.

Damian Green is doing so well because he's focussing on what matters: that the UK should be able to control who comes in, and when.

There are two things which I'm unclear about, would be good to hear from an economist or ten:

1) It seems "obvious" that new arrivals can take jobs from the indigenous - but only if there is a finite shed of jobs. Is it the case that the stimulus can actually create demand? Thinking like this makes me less bovvered.

2) OTOH - it's all very well saying our economy needs the extra 600,000 Poles just now, and in fact it's true that the numbers of eastern europeans who have claimed benefit is miniscule - I think it's less than 200. But what happens if they stay for a couple of years and then there's a downturn in the economy? Do we not then have to pay income support to all the extra people? This thought makes me more bovvered.

People's experience is mixed. I don't know anyone (hardly a scientific sample I admit) who doesn't think that the place where we live hasn't been dramatically improved for the Polish arrivals. They are sturdy, polite, decent people. I don't feel scared getting on a bus that's full of Poles. OTOH my other half is reporting that jobs in the engineering sector are advertising at slightly lower wage levels than they were just last year, which is anecdotal support for the point of view that the increased job seeking population has decreased wages.

What went quite unreported by the BBC this morning was the massive increase in non-eastern european immigration over the lifetime of the Labour government. I think this does cause cultural issues which have nothing to do with the number of Poles on the no. 26 bus.

Not really, Ted, it's the politicians who need to be "educated". This is the first time I've actually seen a poll asking respondents a question like this:

"Q6 Do you think the government should set a strict limit on the number of immigrants allowed into Britain each year?
IF YES: And what should be the limit? WRITE IN NUMBER"

and the result should be an eye-opener as the median of their answers was just under the top of the 1,000 - 9,999 range, ie as a round figure half of them wanted fewer than 10,000 a year, half of them wanted more than 10,000 a year. These are the citizens of this country, and their views are being totally disregarded.

idiots start to come out of the gutter and start saying things like Enoch was right and we need a new Enoch.

This hysterical and indeed rather offensive post from one Jack Stone points up the very real problems immigration realists face in confronting Britain's horrifying problem.

The Jack Stones of this world were burying their heads in the sand when Enoch first spoke out on this issue and they continue to do so now.

Barring a few humanitarian cases we need a total moratorium on immigration - NOW.

I'm proud that Enoch Powell was one of the few truly great post-war Conservatives. A party which forgets his legacy would be a party that had lost its soul.

"We are undergoing an enforced blood transfusion and creating a completely different electorate"

This is exactly the point. Why is it so impossible to contemplate allowing immigration only of people whose skills we need?

The shortest route to racial hatred and bigotry is and has always been large-scale immigration - when has the unfettered immigration we have experienced since 1997 ever been voted on or stood on as an electoral policy?

Instead it is simply imposed on an unwilling population who are called racist if they quietly and simply say they don't want to be part of some grand experiment in multiculturalism with people they have nothing in common with.

If we need 10,000 nurses, 10,000 stock brokers and 10,000 plumbers then under the right system we can have them - and not the poor and needy from every country in the world. Frankly we have enough of our own poor and needy to look after.

We are not a charity - nor is the racial composition of a nation merely a matter of curiosity or colour co-ordination.

The warp and weft of English life is a certain shared experience, history, memory and understanding. When so many come that do not share it, and indeed actively despise and reject it, then society really does become a load of competing special interest groups.

Jonathan, have you done the same calculation for a similar slice of the British population - ie young workers, fairly fit, mostly unmarried, few children? Because of course both the Eastern European migrants and the demographically similar slice of Britons may well be contributing more in taxes than they're taking out - AT THIS STAGE OF THEIR LIVES. But the effect of the migrants won't continue to be positive indefinitely if they stay, marry, have children, and then grow old. So the conclusion that their arrival is economically beneficial depends on an assumption about their departure after a few years.

Jonathan, have you done the same calculation for a similar slice of the British population - ie young workers, fairly fit, mostly unmarried, few children? Because of course both the Eastern European migrants and the demographically similar slice of Britons may well be contributing more in taxes than they're taking out - AT THIS STAGE OF THEIR LIVES. But the effect of the migrants won't continue to be positive indefinitely if they stay, marry, have children, and then grow old. So the conclusion that their arrival is economically beneficial depends on an assumption about their departure after a few years.

Has anyone actually polled on the reasons we lost the last election? My hunch is that Blair won by voter intertia because we weren't ready and because Howard had almost zilch electoral appeal. I would be amazed to see hard evidence that it was our immigration policy that lost it. It certainly would not lose an election called tomorrow if we offered (1) strict border controls - in and out (2) a credible promise to deport all illegals rapidly (means repeal of the HRA which should be done anyway - and in the manifesto, and (3) quotas for work permits based on real skills shortages.

In his recent, fascinating, TV series, Dr Niall Ferguson showed how the most murderous racial conflicts arose in societies where different races had apparently lived in harmony for years.

The same tensions are here below the surface. A downturn in the economy, more terrorist outrages. Who knows what may spark a future explosion?

That's why, whenever some liberal praises the virtues of the "multicultural society" wiser counsels should remain very, very cautious.

Isn't there some other site that bigots who want to talk about "different races" and rant agaianst people of different cultures can go? This is a public forum that people associate with the Conservative Party.

tired of bigotry - thank you . was trying to think of the right words for same message.

Thanks. I just cringe at what voters might think coming on here to get some insight into the Conservative Party and hearing about how "Enoch was right" about immigration. It somewhat disproves the not very successful slogan of the last election.

Jonathan M Scott 18.55
Without an economic model of immigration we are just exchanging opinions; surely somthing useful exists in the public domain.
We could then debate the assumptions in the model and the effects of policy choices

Your post still has "say" "maybe", "xxx"
i.e "paying say 22% tax plus NI on £xxxxx average per annum which is maybe 30% of the £2.5bn"

How can I make an informed decision without facts?
All I have is gut feel, anecdotal evidence and ideology.
Perhaps that is why this is so emotive?

There are other statistics flashed around to give the impression that the migrant workers are exceptionally hardworking and productive - much more than their lazy British counterparts. For example, Digby Jones in the Sunday Telegraph:

"Pride and prejudice about immigration"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2006/08/20/ccimmi20.xml

"An increase of 1 per cent in our population by immigration adds 1.5 per cent to our gross domestic product."

Well, yes, but remember that the UK worforce is only about half of the total population of 60 million - about 30 million, as stated above, the rest being children, students, full-time mothers (mainly), the elderly and the disabled.

So if the 1% increase in population are all workers, that would be a 2% increase in the workforce, yielding a 1.5% increase in GDP - in which case the average migrant worker produces only 75% as much as the average British worker.

Then again, "Overall, 8 per cent of those in employment were not born in Britain, but these same people generate 10 per cent of the nation's income."

Basically this could cover everybody who has came here since the war. Eg somebody born in, say, Jamaica in 1941 who followed his father here in, say, 1948, would just be coming up for his State Pension.

So what can this comparison possibly tell us about the immigrants who arrived here recently in far greater numbers? For a start, about a quarter of the total UK workforce of 30 million are part-timers, often mothers with young children, but also older people, who could be working for as little as 1 hour or as much as 30 hours a week. How does that compare with, say, the Poles?

All this is intended to convince us that mass immigration is really for our own good, but again and again it turns out the statistics are flawed or basically meaningless. It very much reminds me of the statistics produced to deceive us into thinking that we benefit from being in the EU.

NigelC

The problem is that to a large extent it is just opinions - government statistics either being incomplete or hard to find.

That is to some extent why argument is about Polish workers; there are no statistics on workers from the old EU so we have no idea how many Spanish, Italian, Greek, French etc are working in the UK so as there aren't any figures there is no crisis.

We do know that there are record levels of employed and that costs for services, agriculture & consruction have been kept down.

On the other hand there are rising levels of unemployment in 18-24 age group - the group likey to be hit first as in-experienced or unskilled by availability of cheap skilled & experienced migrants.

The other issue is that all types of migrant are conflated into one figure. Just as hundreds of thousands of British citizens work across the globe in expatriate roles, intending to return so there are many non-UK people employed by multi-nationals in the UK. Should they be counted? The huge majority of Europeans (old & new EU) intend to move back home after working for some time in UK - so not immigrants but migrants.

However there are equally large numbers of immigrants - people migrating permanently to the UK. Many are extended families coming in on basis of relationship to naturalised immigrant.

The UK doesn't seem to make much differentiation between migrants or immigrants.

There are also of course emigrants - well over 200,000 British migrated elsewhere last year.

There is only one route to National control of immigration and that is to leave the EU.

tired of bigotry - thank you . was trying to think of the right words for same message.

Hi Ted. I think you said you wee a great Thatcherite and you know Maggie herself had some trenchant views on immigration, albeit ultimately suppressed.

As I've acquired rather more respect for your views than those of the type of twerp who styles himself "tired of bigotry" maybe you'd give us the benefit of your view on the subject?

"I'm not saying that I don't agree with the desire, but it does feel like a lack of coherence in the underlying philosophy"

Probably bexause we're conservatives rather than libertarians.

"Thanks. I just cringe at what voters might think coming on here to get some insight into the Conservative Party and hearing about how "Enoch was right" about immigration."

Enoch was actually quite popular back then but to be fair things have moved on and he no longer has the allure he once did.

Well also to be fair, Richard, he has been in his grave a good few years.

Which doesn't alter the fact that one of the greatest post-war Tories (bar only Churchill and Thatcher) has been proved to be spot-on about the problem Britons of all colours and creeds now face.

We need a c21 version of Enoch, adjusted to reflect modern attitudes. Personally I would favour a heterosexual version of the late Pim Fortuyn.

I rather like the style of this chap Nick Ferrari. He's right-wing but cool and trendy with it. Possibly he could be the breath of fresh air the party needs.

Can we not have this homophobia and racism (see above and elsewhere) on this site?

This is supposed to be a civilised forum for debate not an outlet for views of which the BNP would be proud.

This creepy indivdual needs to crawl back under whatever rock he emerged from before he damages the good name of this site.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5275586.stm

"The system to ensure illegal immigrants do not receive free NHS care is unworkable, doctors and lawyers say."

Uh oh!

Can we not have this homophobia and racism (see above and elsewhere) on this site?

James, you wouldn't know what real "homophobia and racism" was unless it came and smacked you in the mouth.

Having been on the wrong end of a NF fist I think I know rather more about REAL extremism than armchair critisc like you.

I was in the Tory Party at the same time as Enoch and I was proud to meet him personally on several ocasions. He and I (in my small way) were fellow-Tories at a time when you were...well who knows what?

Do you have some kind of problem with this, James?

I think it's possible to interpret your comment "I would favour a heterosexual version of the late Pim Fortuyn" as, if not "homophobic" (which is a dreadful word), at least, umm, quite revealing, John G, in terms of what sort of society you're really after. Or not? Perhaps you should detail what it was you liked about Pim Fortuyn, and why his sexuality would stop you supporting someone like him here.

Jeff Randell's piece in the Telegraph about why mickey mouse degrees means we need Polish plumbers has a ring of truth about it (anecodotally)

Just to expand a little on what I see as the difference between the Dutch centre-right and ours. Pim Fortuyn was, I think, successful, because his campaign was focussed around the values he thought Dutch society should fight to preserve (it wasn't about "purity"). In the UK, though, we haven't begun to form that sort of coalition. Gay people should be at the forefront in pointing out that we're welcoming people who openly oppose our right to exist (as with Livingstone's performance last year with the cleric who shouldn't have been allowed in the country, which was the first time as an adult I felt prickles of fear for self-preservation rise on the back of my neck). But if the debate isn't actually about values, and managed immigration, it very quickly becomes an unpleasant bar room monologue about returning society to the cloistered, unwashed set of rules that pertained in the 1950s.

People on the right have a choice: we can allow the debate to degenerate into a dichotomised discussion between "freedom" and "cultural conservatism", or we can act to hold the two parts together.

I've posted before about how I believe this could be the mission of the Conservative Party in the 21st century. We're the only place I know of where all the disparate groups of the centre-right get together to talk, openly. The party can demonstrate that cultural conservatism can sit happily with freedom to exist, and be the bridgehead into the different groups that make up Britain. No-one on the left (eg Livingstone, Straw etc) is going to do this.

As usual, apologies if my clumsy English makes the sense of what I mean hard to detect!

Sure I liked Pim Fortuyn and his courageous campaign on behalf of the Dutch people against Politically Correct tyranny.

His murder, and that of the activist Theo van Gogh, fulfilled Fortuyn's predictions about the nightmare that has overtaken Holland and may well come to overtake Britain as well.

At some danger of going seriously off-topic I will answer your other question.

By itself, homosexuality wouldn't stop me supporting a fearless politician, but it doesn't mean I have to approve of it; I don't.

I don't approve of Socialism either but that doesn't mean I have no Socialist friends.

There's some reason to believe that Enoch Powell himself may have had gay experiences in his youth. Having attended one of our great public schools

Personally I find it very easy to be relaxed and tolerant about such youthful indiscretions.

We need a tougth but fair immigration policy that treats all would be immigrants the same and does not discrimanate against any one country or region that is fair to immigrants as well as to all of us already living here not a policy that is more to do with race than immigration, bigotry than compassion.


Jack Stone lives in Southend - hardly the centre of multi-culti life in Britain. In Bradford 60% marry relatives from Mirpur and bring them in as non-English speakers to raise non-English speaking children and to preserve "the old ways"........you know Jack the ones that say Christians and Jews are enemies and Jews are descended from apes and monkeys and to avoid contact at all costs.

Then you find that the relative birth-rates are such that you could not integrate schools if you tried, because the preponderance is in favour of young Bangladeshis and Mirpuris.

It is simply that a large proportion of immigration today is "family reunion" as the extended family gets imported and that you cannot stop.

The person with least idea on this matter is Jack Stone. He uses slogans and empty rhetoric - the problem is huge and is becoming insoluble

Jack Stone lives in Southend

He's not really a very typical Essex boy, though, is he?

That's one area where we really need to undercut extremist support with robust Tory policies.

That;s how Maggie did for the National Front.

He's not really a very typical Essex boy, though, is he?

Probably a young trainee missionary.......

I've just read through this thread and would like to add my voices to those who have said that we are digusted by the implied (nudge, wink) homophobia and racism that runs through it. I would like to say this to anyone that is reading this who is not a party member or who is new to our party -

These bigots unfortunately exist in our party but they do not represent the mainstream. These people are on the fringes.

I predict that if this site continues as is, a wily journalist will compile a list of "what Conservatives really think". It really scares me. Open forums are great, but they have the potential to be abused and give the wrong impression about our party.

The continually carping against the leadership on this site does the Conservative party a lot of harm but the racism and bigotry we get every time immigration is discussed does not just harm the party a lot more it is downright offensive.
Enoch Powell was wrong and as been proved to be wrong in the way immigrants have intergrated into the country and the contribution most have made to it over not just the last fifty years.I am afraid Powell was nothing more than an educated version of Alf Garnett.
I am all for discussing immigration and the way the system can be more effective and fairer but unfortunatly on this site to many hijack that debate to smear immigrants and try to portray anyone with a differant religion or coloured skin then them as some sort of dangerous terrorist who spends his time either trying to blow people up or is after robbing them.
Those in charge of this site should be more careful than they are about the comments they allow here as personally I think many when discussing this issue go very close to breaking the race laws.

Jack, just for once could you answer a question?Which posts on this thread do you find racist? Please enter into the debate,just for once.

"I'm not sure anyone remotely serious has ever advocated uncontrolled immigration whether they are on the left or the right."

Nu-Lab might not advocate it, (although didn't one minister make a comment about not seeing a need for an upper limit on immigration?) but virtually unrestricted immigration is the result of their policies.

I don't mind Cameron not speaking up on this issue, it seems clear that the strategy is for David C and David D to do a good-cop, bad-cop routine. Also, one big criticism of the last election campaign was that it was a one-man show and that the shadow cabinet were fairly anonymous. Surely it is better for us to show our strength in depth rather than have Cameron be the spokesman for ever policy, idea and rebuttal of government policy. I'm quite happy to see Davis and the rest of the shadow Home Affairs team act as an iron fist inside Cameron's velvet glove.

Unfortunately though, it may be that the leadership has got a little confused over our immigration stance at the last election. It wasn't our policy that was the problem, it was the fact that we talked about very little else.

Our campaign was a joke.... Our solution to the deep and complex problems of healthcare? Cleaner hospitals! Every CCO leaflet I delivered in the campaign was either about crime or immigration. We offered no positive vision of how we would improve the country, only a vague hope that things might be slightly less awful if we got in.

Well Jack, Im afraid that most people are simply not going to agree with you here.

Certainly many members of ethnic minorities have integrated very well indeed, but unless you think Ruth Kelly is some kind of right-wing extremist, her statement this morning indicates that the problems you say do not exist are in fact very real.

During my three and a half decades as an active Tory holding office up to area level I have encountered some people with pretty hair-raising ideas on what is indeed the far right of the party. If you think that any of the views recently expressed here fall into that category I'm afraid you are simply out of touch with reality.

This site is, thankfully, a haven for free speech. Sorry if that upsets you.

Whether or not this individual is a real person or some Alf Garnett caricature made up by someone not well disposed to our party, their posts are highly offensive.

While it is not possible to track down every offender, racism and homophobia are not acceptable in the Conservative Party.

This is a respectable and informative site, but because of its open nature it is vulnerable to abuse from rather sad individuals on the extreme fringes who can, in time, come to dominate such forums (having few other outlets for their obsessive prejudices). If they can't be removed Edgar Griffin-style because they hide their identity then the best thing everyone in the party can do is shun them.

I know that the party leadership will do what it can with the powers that it has.

Well Jack didn't want to respond to my entreaty above and highlight which posts he found racist perhaps you would like to do so Mark Turner?

You know Mark, your turn of phrase sounds more like pure Stalinism than Conservatism.

I assume you are a paid-up member of our party.

Presumably you are referring inter alia to me, as I made the last post. Perhaps you would detail which statements you find "offensive" and why?

At a time when real, murderous, political extremism has reached heights which could not possibly have been envisaged even three or four years ago, I would venture to suggest that your comments are just a teensy bit OTT.

BTW Mr Griffin was asked to leave, quite properly, because he was working for another party. Sorry to disillusion you but I have neither the time nor the inclination to do anything similar.


Good points, Graeme Archer. Most North Eastern Europeans will, if they settle here, integrate pretty well.

But of the 1 m non-EU citizens who've been given the right to settle here since 1997, many will not. It appears the majority settle here as a result of family reunions (including arranged marriages) which provide this country with no economic benefit whatsoever.

Well said JohnG. Robespierre would have felt at home with some of the PC 'thought police' on this thread who seem anxious to label any dissenter as a closet racist. The real 'enemies of the people' are those that try to stifle honest debate.

The real 'enemies of the people' are those that try to stifle honest debate.

It gets a little like the GDR sometimes - has anyone here experienced people huddling in a cafe to whisper something in case the Stasi IMs are listening ready to report..................it is something that is increasingly prevalent here

Well, I had occasion to walk through one of the largely Asian streets in this town yesterday, and the Asian children were playing in the street, speaking an Asian language. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that normally speaking an Asian language before they are old enough for school, and then continuing with that when they're older but not in school, impedes their work in school. Maybe they can speak and write good English, as well. However I've heard that this isn't the case: there are problems in local primary schools with children born here who start school only knowing the language they learnt from their mothers, and barely able to speak English. Then the school has to employ teaching assistants, just to sort them out. This can't really continue: it's ridiculous, and quite insulting as well. If they don't want their children to speak English, they bloody well shouldn't have come to live in England. And if anybody thinks that's "racist" - tough.

I agree with Jack Stone above, "The continually carping against the leadership on this site does the Conservative party a lot of harm but the racism and bigotry we get every time immigration is discussed does not just harm the party a lot more it is downright offensive. "

As the former Chairman of Wolverhampton S.W. Conservative Association, I would like to point out that the late Enoch Powell was voicing the concern of his constituents about the impact of large-scale immigration. However, Mr Powell and his constituents got it wrong because, as I have found out since I moved here, Wolverhampton is a diverse, tolerant city where our various ethnic groups live together in relative harmony. Indian people in particular (the largest non-white ethnic group being Sikh Indians from the Punjab with some Hindus and Pakistanis) have contributed immensely, for example starting up quite a few businesses. Affluent Indian entrepreneurs live in some of Wolverhampton's nicest suburbs. Which actually proves that enterprising people who start businesses and create jobs (including for many of the indigenous population) are a huge boost to the economy.

We don't need economic modelling to prove that many of the immigrants who do well end up over their lifetime contributing lots more money in tax etc than they take out. After all, weren't there people in the 19th and 20th centuries and before saying we shouldn't let Jewish people in ? And they have contributed massively.

See the article in yesterday's Times by Marcus Linklater - "The cry has gone up 'Enoch was right'. Tosh. Immigration is good for Britain"

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1062-2324626.html


That may be true of Wolvehampton, but I imagine things are a lot less happy in places like Birmingham, Bradford and Dewsbury.

It's unfortunate that some of these people haven't yet got the message that they are not welcome in the Conservative Party.

Nasty comments about other people's ethnicity, their religious beliefs or sexual orientation dressed up as "free speech" or "personal approval" are just not acceptable. Better just to ignore this unpleasant and disreputable individual.

"... our various ethnic groups live together in relative harmony."

Relative to what? Relative to not having various ethnic groups at all, or relative to Hindus and Muslims killing each during the partition of India?

Like the reference to "a very peaceful co-existence" I mentioned a few days ago, if living together "in relative harmony" is the best which can be achieved after nearly half a century, how long will it be before we can be confident that it won't all fall to pieces during a period of stress? And how much is it costing, one way and another, just to keep the peace between different groups?

This is not what we were promised in the 1950's. I well remember politicians on the radio telling us not to worry so much about immigration, because it was quite small numbers and the new arrivals would quickly integrate into our society. It's because that initial hope of easy integration has failed that we now have all this bilge about the benefits of a multi-cultural society.

It's unfortunate that some of these people haven't yet got the message that they are not welcome in the Conservative Party.

Strange how posters such as "John Harding" and "tired of bigotry" take no part in honest debate but suddenly arrive from nowhere, to snarl ad hominem abuse at posters with whom they disagree before disappearing as suddenly as they appeared.

Since the line is always exactly the same (ie 'If you don't agree with me you have no place in the Conservative Party')I smell sock-puppetry.

I suppose it's just possible that "tired of bigotry" posts under that name when discussing transport policy and income tax but I doubt it. I suspect he is a regular poster using multiple IDs in order to post offensive comments he would rather not have associated with his own name.

Whoever this person is, his rather unpleasant views exactly mirror those of the far-left Athena woman (on another thread) who shopped the compiler of the "lefty lexicon".

As for Jonathan Scott. Sure, British Hindus and Sikhs are hard-working conscientious citizens who set an example to us all.

They're not the people that we - and Ruth Kelly - are primarily worried about.

I am afraid that when a lot on this site discuss immigration they actually mean race.
If a white immigrant from Zimbabwe is refused permission to stay here we would have tens of people get onto this site and say how dreadful it was but if a black Zimbabwian is deported as is happening now what do we get.Silence.
How often do we get complaints about Australians, Canadians and white South Africans settling here. Never.
Controlled immigration is right but I want to see controlled immgration that doesn`t discriminate against anyone because of where they come from, what colour skin they hve or what religion they believe in. Lets be fair to people who want to live here.
We should have a limit on who we allow in but it is wrong if we say we are not going to let people in from Rumania or Bulgaria but we will let them in from Poland etc.
The new Conservative Party should be about fainess and justice and that should apply to immigration as much as it does anything else.

Most of the current discussions are about European (ie "white") immigration. Numbers are the main threat - not colour.

What you say about sympathy for a white Zimbabwean may be true, but that's primarily because a "white Zimbabwean" is likely to be - to all intents and purposes -a fellow Englishman returning "home".

If he were of French or German origin I doubt that there would be much interest in him.

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