Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Feb/10

14

Building A Better Nation The Labour Way

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While we are on the subject of national population development, this new Janet Daley piece from the London Sunday Telegraph makes some interesting claims. Here’s a key passage.

So now we know what Labour’s immigration policy was really about. The “open door” was not simply held ajar in order to admit a fresh workforce that would help to fill gaps in the growing economy. Nor was it just a gesture of hospitality and goodwill to those who were fleeing from repressive or inhospitable regimes in order to seek a better life. Both of those aims would have been credible – if controversial and not thought-through in all their consequences. And so would the longer-term view that dynamic, cosmopolitan societies are generally healthier and more productive than in-bred, isolated ones, or that immigrants who tend to be ambitious for themselves and their families could help to counter the passivity and defeatism that tend to be endemic in the British class system.

But as it turns out, the policy was motivated by something far more radical and fundamental than any of this. The full text of the draft policy paper composed in 2000 by a Home Office research unit – the gist of which had already been made public by a former Labour adviser – was released last week under Freedom of Information rules. Properly understood, it is political dynamite. What it states quite unequivocally was that mass immigration was being encouraged at least as much for “social objectives” as for economic ones. Migration was intended specifically to alter the demographic and cultural pattern of the country: to produce by force majeure the changes in attitude that the Labour government saw itself as representing.

Now what was it again that Bertholt Brecht once said about electing a new people?

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11 comments

  • Aaron · February 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Hmm, my original comment got removed after a while, so I’ll repeat what I said except for the part about immigration and race. Immigration should be the issue that unites the secular and religious right. Immigration is the political issue facing Europe and the US because it’s irreversible. Compared to mass immigration, issues like church-state that divide the secular and religious right are practically negligible. This is the case regardless of one’s reasons for opposing mass immigration.

    See, I didn’t mention race!

  • Elroy · February 15, 2010 at 7:24 am

    The only surprise is that it was explicitly written down. Importing a constituency is a logical step. A constituency that does not have the full rights of the majority is far more dependent on government for protection and far more obedient to their protectors in government.

  • Le Mur · February 15, 2010 at 8:28 am

    draft policy paper composed in 2000

    Did Brit immigration policy change after 2000?

    Aaron: Hmm, my original comment got removed after a while, so I’ll repeat what I said except for the part about immigration and race.

    Has secularright become PC?

    Immigration is the political issue facing Europe and the US because it’s irreversible. Compared to mass immigration, issues like church-state that divide the secular and religious right are practically negligible.

    I wonder if, beside being irreversible, it’s also inevitable: as long as it’s biology (i.e. basic reproduction and mass migrations) vs politics (policies, paperwork, written laws), I’ll bet on biology since it has a much stronger track record.

  • Twain · February 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

    It’s a shame that England is being totally changed through immigration. None of the Labour voters were voting to give their country away when they voted Labour into power. Race does matter because the new immigrants already complain about ‘racism” when they arrive, even though the Brits are nice enough to let them in the country. A homogeneous country is always better because it’s easier for people to get along in a less diverse society. Robert Putnam came to that conclusion also.

    Diversity is bad. If labour wants diversity,they can move to Africa or Asia.

    Why should foreigners of any race get the benefits of a country. Look at all the Polish, not to mention the Indians,Africans, who are getting jobs that should be going to Brits, while the Brits are unemployed.

    I would like a moratorium on immigration into the US and Europe, so these places can stabilize. Although London will now always be a Third World city.

    Where I live there are a ton of immigrants and I am really starting to resent them. It’s like someone coming to live with you in your house without your consent and these people have nothing in common with you.

  • Elroy · February 15, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Twain – I understand your feelings. I used to love meeting people from other countries. My wife was from another country. To be honest though I am starting to get tired of going to the water fountain at work and not being able to understand or join in the conversation or feel like I am intruding when people have to switch to English from Hindi, Chinese, Russian or Spanish. I often wonder how immigrants would feel if they returned to their homeland and found it populated with people speaking a different language and having a different culture.

  • Mike H · February 15, 2010 at 11:13 am

    The key aspect with immigration for me is a) chewable demographics i.e. numbers which aren’t enough to notably change the character of a nation and cause massive social problems b) marketable immigrants that can contribute to the economy and won’t be net tax consumers c) immigrants that attempt to adapt to local way of life, customs etc.

    Those seem like simple and reasonable enough requirements yet none of those three points is fulfilled when it comes to Arab/Turkish/South Asian migration to Europe or Hispanic migration to the U.S. and though I think there is a will on part of the population to enforce those points, people are deserted and betrayed by their elites on this issue.

  • Elroy · February 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    @Mike H
    I agree with you that our elites have done disservice when it comes to immigration. Immigration is desirable to a certain point, mainly to the point that it starts to overwhelm the native culture. I think at times that immigrants and citizens of other nations see the US as a nation of immigrants without a distinct native culture of its own which is incorrect. The trend in the US at least seems to be towards separate coexisting populations that keep to themselves for the most part, not a melting pot. I would imagine the same thing is occurring in Europe and other areas with similar immigration problems.

  • Lorenzo · February 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I live in a country with more foreign-born citizens and permanent residents than any country except Israel. About a quarter of the city I live in (Melbourne) was born overseas.

    But Australia sees itself as a country of migrants. And we take from a wide variety of countries, so the “Australian meme” is very much the dominant one. (A failure to follow this general pattern by taking in a large dose of Muslim Lebanese in the 1970s and concentrating them in Sydney has caused some problems: but that is a striking exception.) We do set out to encourage integration (e.g. by providing interpreter services) and, despite the attempts of the multicultural left, the notion of one set of rules for everyone has proved too resilient for them. (Apart from indigenous policy, which provides a horrible example of the consequences of not doing that.)

    It has long struck me that, on migration matters, both “left” and “right” critiques of Europe are correct. The “right” is correct to say the European elites have ostentatiously favoured newcomers in public discourse. The “left” is correct to say that migrants have often been squeezed to the bottom of the social heap (though they generally fail to notice that their own labour regulation policies have a lot to do with that). So Europe ends up with the worst of both worlds. Too many alienated migrants confronting too many alienated original residents and a political “debate” that massively talks past each other and the genuine issues.

  • Don Kenner · February 16, 2010 at 7:43 am

    What strikes me about this report is that it validates a claim made by anti-immigration activists. A claim, incidentally, that is immediately derided as racist and xenophobic by “tolerant” folk. As in, “Immigration is NOT some social engineering scheme, you fascist insect.” So I guess now we move to stage two: it may be true, but if you draw any conclusions from it, you are racist and xenophobic.

    Anyone who is the least bit squeamish about mass immigration should not expect any change in the accepted mode of discourse on this subject.

  • Stan Hooper · February 17, 2010 at 4:37 am

    And what about immigration rights? Give us your tired and huddled masses doesn’t seem to apply anymore. But hey, at least battered women now have an in according to this blog post I read: http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2010/01/05/battered-women-now-eligible-for-immigration-asylum/

  • Twain · February 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Elroy–I hear so many foreign languages at work that I think I am not in the US. I am also tired of people in the store talking in different languages while they wait in line. This happens all the time. Or people at work talking in a foreign language right in front of me.

    The US has changed so much since the early 70’s that I think I am in a different country. I never heard people speaking a foreign language or with a foreign accent and now it’s a daily occurrence. 40% of some suburbs in my area are foreign born.

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