Miliband Prostrated Before the Bigots
The branding of immigration being as a massive threat, something which I regard as one of the most out of place of the imaginary spectres which haunt a comparatively enlightened nation, has returned. The flow of people into Britain has regained its illusory threat as Ed Miliband, often a hero for sense, has pawned one of his morals. I suppose that it had to be this way to an extent — one might say that in order to be victorious in the next election, Miliband will have to compromise on something, to diversify from Labour’s electoral home territory.
However, he did not have to choose a policy which was so peculiarly unedifying with which to gain more electoral favour. In addition, this seems to be case of electoral reverse-engineering. Rather than having his party formulate a manifesto and submit it to the electorate so that they can vote for Labour or not according to their opinions, Miliband has taken a guess on what will excite the electorate, choosing this particular Blairite anathema and considering it for manifesto membership.
I have two main disagreements with the idea that people are now justified in fearing immigration in its current form; political and social.
My political reason for finding myself unable to oppose immigration is the net economic benefit which immigration contributes to the United Kingdom. Essentially, as cited today on the World at One by an industry spokesman, immigrants work more than Britons and consume public services to a lesser extent — they give, we take. So, what is the problem? (If these facts are proved incorrect, I retract everything.)
Concerning why certain people do not like immigration, or feel that immigration is damaging in spite of the evidence; it is probably the result of the natural tribal and xenophobic tendencies which exist in the human individual — to this extent xenophobes are blameless, human nature dictates that we fear outsiders. Therefore, the greatest misdemeanor is on the part of politicians like Miliband who do not suffer from any xenophobic delusions but who finds himself, having previously been an encouraging progressive presence, belly down and peering up with a submissive smile before the bigots.
But, says Miliband, we should attend to their concerns. Should we? No. One should devote no energy in attending to concerns which are not based in reality or on any kind of evidence. To take action in this way is a little like formulating a policy to tackle the problem of horses using telekineses to destroy the ozone layer, in response to a large enough number of people expressing their concerns. The problem is mind-forged, politicians shouldn’t pander to virtual fears. It would not be such a travesty if, to solve the imaginary problem of immigration, that the solution were imaginary too — like casting a spell on the telekinetic horses. Instead, methods through which we can tackle the non-existent perils of immigration are very real: ranging from Miliband’s amusing and redundant recommendations to harsh restrictions of human liberty, imposed according to an individual’s nation of birth rather than upon a personal choice.
Socially, my thoughts on the immigration can be explained by my reaction to a Facebook comment. A friend of a friend of mine had shared the fabricated story which claimed that Muslims had been given lesser sentences than British criminals for equatable crimes. The exchange ended with the person who shared the story stating that he was simply favouring an ‘England for the English’ — a remarkably astigmatic idea.
The term ‘England’ originates form ‘Angles’, Germanic settlers who migrated to Britain during the 5th and 6th centuries; ‘Britain’ derives from the Roman name for these islands. This is to say that England or Britain or the English or the British are not some pure ‘master race’ or culture. Britain has assimilated numerous components; linguistic, cultural, racial, from immigration and exploration, and I would move that the comparative cultural, economic and literary success of the British nation is owed to this hybrid vigor. Don’t think that this process is finished, Britain is Britain because immigration is a continuous process. Britannica will avert her eyes and disown these islands if we end or neuter this process.
I want broadly sensible individuals like Miliband not to take their inspiration from people like this, rather to assemble their arguments and policies according to logic and evidence. But many people have concerns about immigration, an opponent may claim — I really don’t care how many people have these worries; a crowd doesn’t qualify something with sense. For people of awareness to grovel before ideas which are so clearly based upon prejudice is a gross and contorted transgression, especially when in Milband’s retrospective and self-flagellatory style.