An interesting article written in the Guardian and shared by a senior Liberal Democrat minister who I follow.
So this is my take:
Immigration policy as it is curiously referred to, is starting to look like Alf Garnett’s work, surely a sign that the ruling party has lost credibility, not that I’m sure it had much to start with. For a country built on trade, it is difficult to comprehend how this policy will instil economic growth given Britain’s position as a powerful, sophisticated, globalised, industrialised and market-driven trading power. My general understanding is that in a competitive market, countries like Britain benefit from fluidity and availability in skilled/accessible/affordable labour, the very premise of the Single European Market.
So why is it when times are tough, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers are scapegoated? Could it be that there is no plan for growth? Could it be that the ruling party benefits from a divide and rule approach, pitting working man against working man? Could it be this distracts voters from the real issues like affordable housing to name but one? Sadly, the debate re immigration is like Europe. Much of the newspaper media seems to embody the grumpy old man whose glass is half full, discounting or deriding the positive economic (and cultural) benefits from immigration, be it ‘controlled’, ‘uncontrolled’ or somewhere in between.
The article author absolutely nails it home when he reminds us that “the fewer migrants we have here, the harder it is to find carers and to fund old age”, something that prompted the English Community Care Association to raise similar concerns when the immigration cap was first introduced. It would seem that as a society, we have been so busy making money and looking after ‘consumers’, we have forgotten how to make enough babies and look after our own families.