2003 August 05 Tuesday
Anthony Browne On The Immigration Debate In Britain

The immigration debate is growing more intense in Britain.

Labour, in its self-righteous arrogance, performed this remarkable U-turn confident that no one would break the taboo. When I started writing in the Times about the economic and demographic consequences of mass immigration, Blunkett denounced me by name in Parliament as ‘bordering on fascism’. I was contacted by Sir Andrew Green, the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who had just set up a lobby-group, Migration Watch UK, to curb immigration, and wrote a profile of his new group. Ever since, Blunkett has been denouncing it as ‘right-wing’ and ‘tin-pot’, despite the fact that its advisory council consists of former ambassadors, former heads of the government’s immigration service, several professors, a Sri Lankan law lecturer and a Sudanese businessman.

The trouble for the government is that while promoting mass immigration might make people feel cosmopolitan and modern, and calling critics racist may make people feel virtuous, few of the consequences of mass immigration have been thought through. The long immigration silence has meant that all negative consequences of migration have been suppressed, and only the positive aspects talked about. If you blind yourself to all negative consequences of a complex policy, you are bound to conclude that it is a thoroughly good thing and want as much of it as possible. Civil servants sat with ministers discussing all the good things about immigration without anyone daring to think any of the bad things, and they concluded that the borders should be pushed wide open.

Britain's debate on immigration is similar to the debate in the US in some respects. Opponents of high rates of immigration are labelled racist, extreme, heartless, and so on. Negative consequences are denied or minimized. The government institutes policies that lead to increased levels of immigration while most of the populace are unenthusiastic or opposed.

Browne discusses a number of fallacies and negative consequences of large scale immigration.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 August 05 11:47 AM  Immigration Border Control


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