Britons Pin Economic Troubles on Immigrant Policies

Naomi Westland, Washington Times, October 19, 2011

British political leaders from the left and the right are blaming liberal immigration policies for driving down living standards amid a financial crisis that has prompted the Conservative-led government to cut welfare programs to prevent fiscal collapse.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who said this year that multiculturalism has failed in Britain, is calling on immigrants to learn English fluently, “make a contribution” to the economy and society and avoid being a “burden on the welfare system and the taxpayer.”

Labor Party leader Ed Miliband recently conceded that his party “got some things wrong” on immigration during its 13 years in power. He acknowledged public concern that a rapid influx of Eastern Europeans in the past decade has driven down living standards in Britain.

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Britain has the third-largest population of foreign-born citizens in Europe. More than 4 million people in Britain were born abroad, 6.6 percent of the population of 63 million. They include people born abroad to British nationals.

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Opinion polls consistently have shown that the British public favors a reduction in immigration.

A poll this week from the nonpartisan Migration Observatory at Oxford University found that 69 percent of respondents want immigration reduced, an amount consistent with surveys conducted over the past 50 years.

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The prime minister has proposed cutting net immigration, which includes families of visa holders, from about 196,000 a year now to fewer than 100,000 by 2015. The country has imposed tougher limits on the number of non-Europeans allowed to work in the country.

In a recent speech, Mr. Cameron insisted that all immigrants who want to come to Britain to join relatives must speak English fluently. He also called on immigrants to learn English before they are eligible for welfare.

“We’re saying that if there’s something you need to help you get a job, for instance being able to speak English and learn English properly, it should be a requirement…in order for you to receive your benefits,” he said.

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  • Anonymous

    “he blames the infux of eastern Europeans for driving down the living standards”…

    That is pure horse manure. The immigration problem in Britain had everything to do with black and brown people and NOTHING to do with Europeans.

  • Kenelm Digby

    It takes 14 years (New Labour was elected in 1997), an economic collapse, hardship, an acute housing crisis and much heart-ache for the British political class to acknowledge a truth that is as plain and obvious as the nose on your face.

  • Sardonicus

    Oh, those blasted Pollack’s, Bo hunks and Hunkies have ruined Merry Old England! You gotta’ be kidding here! London turned into a hideous Londonistan, Pakistani’s pimping young indigenous girls into prostitutes, Caribbean blacks burning and looting stores, violent “No Go” zones in all major U.K. cities, and white “Eastern European” immigrants are to blame?

  • Buridan

    To #1 Anonymous and #3 Sardonicus

    The effect of a hard-working Polish immigrant plumber is :

    .a. He contributes to the prosperity of the British customer.

    .b. He contributes to the unemployment among plumbers.

    .c. He contributes to low-wages among plumbers.

    Hence the fact that many European countries obtained a delay for opening the doors to Polish immigration, among others France and Germany.

    So it is true that the British main problem with immigrants is with Blacks and other non-Europeans, but it is not true that the immigration problem has “NOTHING” to do with Europeans immigrants. When there is massive unemployment in a profession, to accept immigrants of that profession increases unemployment. It is to be seen if the benefit for the British customer here is not lost by the British taxpayer there…

    And not everybody is a winner with hard-working immigrants, even if the country a a whole wins : hard-working immigrants who are unskilled compete with the unskilled natives, and, say, sons and daughters of Jewish or Chinese immigrants make it more difficult for the sons and daughters of natives to become high professionals : in some measure, the game is a zero-sum game. So, an immigration which is a benefit for a country is not necessarilly a benefit for everybody in that country. One can be favorable to a hard-working, law-abiding immigration, and, simultaneously, recognize that some will lose with this immigration.

  • Anonymous

    Ed Miliband blames EEs because they are usually not British citizens. They are allowed to live and work in UK under UE laws.

    He didn’t risk alienating them as Labour voters because they don’t have a right to vote in UK. Most of blacks and south asians, on the other hand, have lived in England for a while and are potentially important Labour voters. Influx of Poles has brought lower standards of living for 3rd worlders in UK because they losing competition for jobs with them. EEs in UK are known for high work ethics and competency.

  • Netzach

    “That is pure horse manure. The immigration problem in Britain had everything to do with black and brown people and NOTHING to do with Europeans.”

    It’s not. The PC immigration criticism speaks of Polish, Czech and other blue collar professionals working harder and for much lower wages than their native counterparts. Real problem, which understandably causes anger, but in the end, tough luck. The real immigration problem relating to Eastern Europe? The Gypsies. As in, the only people in Europe who’ve lived since forever in midst of civilization and learned nothing. As blacks in USA, they’ve made real contributions in the field of music, and some of them can live a normal life contributing to society just like whites, but that’s all good I have to say about them.

    There are about 6000 Gypsies in Finland. Some of them have integrated, intermarried and became one of us, without qualifications. Some of them are far too old or young to cause trouble, and most of women are not aggressive. So, let’s say there are 2500 potential troublemakers here. That’s about 0,05% of the total population. These have:

    – Tried to kill a man I knew by trying to run him over with a car, for the crime of defending himself successfully against a robbery attempt. Police couldn’t do anything officially, as they all had an alibi backed by others of them, but I suppose that “the little talk” about who would be the suspects if anything happened to my associate had some effect.

    – Rushed another man I knew near his apartment, for having made the mistake of having had a badly ended relationship with Gypsy girl. He escaped to his apartment, and shouted at those next to his door that he had firearm like they did, and if they wouldn’t scram, he’d fire. What do you know, they did and he didn’t have any real trouble after that.

    – Two robberies. One for money, the other for batteries in his portable CD player. Yeah, don’t ask.

    – Plenty of public disturbances and just screwing with people for fun. Yeah, drugs (amphetamines especially) have played a part. This is the only problem I’ve personally dealt with. One time, I was hassled with a bunch of young males demanding money who left when I was polite but icy, and kept a hand in my jacket pocket as if I had a knife there. Another time, a member of a family of Gypsies boarding train I was in started screaming insults about how “f******g horrible Finnish smell and what f*****g bastards” we are. One of their men had a grin and a psychopathic stare that said “just say anything, you’ll eat a knife”. I said nothing. Partly because I care nothing about insults by my inferiors, partly because that guy clearly had a knife and experience using it, neither of which I had.

    As for the immigration from Third World? Well, at least there’s a very limited number of Roma. There’s almost unlimited number of 3rd Worlders. The latter are a greater problem, even if Roma are qualitatively worse than almost any black tribe. Still, if any Gypsies ask for asylum in USA on the grounds of being harassed in EU, resist that as hard as you can. Sure, me and my friends have probably had bad luck – no people works 80 hour weeks causing trouble for others – but seriously, the less Roma you have, the better.

  • white is right, black is whack

    “he blames the infux of eastern Europeans for driving down the living standards”…

    Seriously? I think most whites–anywhere in the world–would rather their immigrants be (white) Russian or Polish than nonwhites. Some white liberal/black racist is going to say, “Oh, I bet you wouldn’t have a problem if these illegals were white like you, huh? Huh???” I’d say, “No. If you are willing to be mature and calm, I will explain why. If not, goodbye and I hope you grow up.”

  • Sardonicus

    I admit that immigrants from any group shouldn’t be allowed to unfairly compete for scarce jobs during times of economic uncertainty, but to ignore the greater problem of the demographic transformation of Great Britain to a Third World country is both dangerous and ridiculous. Cameron is a phony Conservative, in the same way that Blair was a phony Laborite.