Thursday, 31 October 2013

Daft pro-immigration arguments in the Financial Times.

France’s former minister of foreign affairs, Bernard Kouchner, had an article in the Financial Times recently about Lampedusa. That’s the island in the Mediterranean which large numbers of would be immigrants from Africa to Europe land on, having crossed the sea in unseaworthy boats: if they don’t drown first.
Half way through the article (at least in the hardcopy version) and in extra bold print it says “Five hundred million of us cannot agree to share the burden of a few thousand needy. Our leaders lack the vision and the generosity.”
The fact that those two sentences are in extra bold print presumably means Bernard Kouchner or the Financial Times think the two sentences are unusually insightful.
Actually they are unusually stupid.
If it were simply a case of five hundred million people being generous towards a “few thousand” then those five hundred million wouldn’t hesitate would they? Not even British National Party or France’s Front Nationale or any other so called “far right” party would hesitate. So what’s Bernard Kouchner drivelling on about?
Well of course it’s not a case of five hundred million being generous (or not) towards an absolutely minute number of people (relatively speaking). What concerns the five hundred million is that there are already about ten million Muslims and further millions of non-Muslims from Africa, the Middle East etc. in Europe. And there are further millions (not thousands) itching to get to Europe as well.
That’s the reason for not being overly welcoming towards the boat people near Lampedusa.  Put another way, if you think British cabinet ministers are dumb, then fear not: French cabinet ministers are equally dumb.

We couldn’t do without immigrants?
Another equally daft pro-immigration argument appeared in the letters column of the FT recently: it argued that if every immigrant in the UK stopped work for a day or a week, there’d be chaos, ergo (apparently) we need immigrants.
Yes, well if everyone with grey hair or who was bald stopped work for a week, there’d be chaos. Which proves we need people with grey hair or who are bald?
If all recent immigrants or all those with grey hair left the UK and migrated to say China, there’d be some temporary disruption because immigrants and those with grey hair tend to concentrate in particular trades or professions or job types. So some members of the remaining population would need to learn new skills. But once the re-skilling was complete, everything would be just hunky dory.
In fact if there was net EMMIGRATION from the UK of say half a million people a year, would that be a problem? I doubt it: after a few years the UK would end up like Sweden, i.e. with a population of about 30 million instead of 60 million. And the problem with that is?
Amazing that I need to spell out the above blindingly obvious points, isn't it?

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