Thursday 19 April 2007

Part of the problem or part of the solution? - # 82

Ageing European societies need immigration to help generate economic capacity to pay taxes that support ageing indigenous populations. But another government report has said that pressures caused by immigration have caused greater child poverty and increased the problems of inequality, thus spoiling Government's efforts to address these issues in Britain. In London and the southeast it's obvious that immigrants are absolutely essential. Go into any cafe, hotel, or call a plumber or an electrician - you'll be served by an bright, pleasant person from abroad: the finance houses operating in the City of London are full of foreign professional workers.........but elsewhere in Britain, the immigrant will probably be poor, and unskilled, and forbidden to work because of "the rules". Frankly he is an unwanted nuisance, rather than a welcome friend. It's not easy to run a country and be fair to everyone.


  1. I see in news reports the UK is introducing the utilitarian (rather than humanitarian) immigration approach we have her ein australia - ie we only want you if you've got skills we deem necessary. And so we continue to plunder the third and developing worlds for their most skilled least its's better than the white Australia Policy which pertained til the 1970s.

  2. Hi Chuck (again).

    me? My ancestors came from England in the mid 1800s mostly....not convicts, but farmers from Norfolk, andworkers from London, domestic servants and ag labourers from Yorkshire.
    My husband's family were early 20th century Italian immigrants - again looking for a better life.

    People coming here basically don't go back to their home countries with or without skills !- they want to stay. And we don't tend to skill people up much (unless they pay for it thru education) - we want them to already have the skills BEFORE they get here.

    Big shortage of skilled tradespeople....I'd be inclined to close the immigration detention gulags in the desert and train the people in something useful!

    Off to look at # 13 and 14 now. Then Land Of Nod...

  3. Here, I am the immigrant. One from the EU, which isn't really considered "foreign" any more, but though, legally, I am supposed to have the same status as locals, similar policies restricting those who come from outside of the EU, ordinary folk still lump all foreigners together. Many don't want us. They imagine we are taking their jobs - I say imagine, because in practice, local companies won't even consider us - and, with the constant influx of "illegals" from Africa, the subject is on their minds, which has meant that I've suffered some nasty comments on occasion. Same thing, different location and Spain has the same ageing problem too. As you say, immigration is needed to support these societies, but so few understand this.

  4. Chuck, your last sentence is so profoundly true. Every nation seems to have its unique difficulties in determining what is fair to its people. For my part I'm always amazed at the attitude of some South Africans, who complain bitterly because our government wants to use their taxes to subsidise water, electricity and housing for poorer people, and yet they're quite happy to head off to the UK because they can get free medical treatment and schooling for their children there. And the irony escapes them...

  5. Good lesson in sociology and government. We have a bit of English blood, which was actually Norman blood to begin with -- not to mention Swiss-German, Irish, Swedish, and that's about it.