Saturday, 9 January 2010

George Carey and the myth of 70 million

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has written in the Times that "migration threatens the DNA of our nation." In the article, he has emphasised his support for calls by cross-party group Balanced Migration to "make manifesto commitments to prevent the UK population reaching 70 million, which is projected in official figures by 2029."

Nothing British, the "antifascist" front group for the Conservative Party, has endorsed this call with glee, calling it "a breath of fresh air on the debate concerning immigration." In rhetoric that may have come from the British National Party itself, they insist that "his words should be listened to by the mainstream parties, who have been silent on this issue for too long." Indeed, we can now hope for "a rational debate on this very serious and important issue." Ignoring, of course, that those who are "silent on this issue" rarely shut up about it and that Carey's "breath of fresh air" is in fact an echo of everyone from Chris Huhne and Phil Woolas to Richard Littlejohn and Nick Griffin.

I have written enough times on how the idea that government "have run scared of the issue" is propagandistic nonsense disguising the fact that our immigration system is brutal and draconian.

I have also previously explained in depth how "genuine concerns about both overpopulation and the ability of this nation to integrate new communities whose values are sometimes very different, even antithetical, to our own" actually concern resources and infrastructure. And how he way to address these concerns is to tackle those issues, not to pander to the nationalistic and race-based spin on them offered by the likes of the British National Party (BNP).

Here, I wish to draw attention to No Borders Brighton's demolition of "the Myth of 70 Million."

Oh dear, the immigration flat earthers are at it again , in this case the 'Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration', babbling on about the mythic 70 million mark for the UK population. The essence of their argument is that:
  1. Too many foreigners are coming over here stealing our school places, doctors' appointment slots, hospital beds, road scape, shopping trolleys and other benefits of global capitalism and the legacy of Empire, which could in the end lead to the loss of such British traditions as the post-lager curry.
  2. That there is (or at least the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords found) "no evidence that net immigration generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population", contrary to the commonly held view that it generates a net positive benefit. [1] Not surprising really since there has been very little research done into the economic effects of immigration. [2]
  3. 40% of new households formed by 2031 (the magic date when the population is currently projected to top 70m) will be the result of immigration, approximately one every five minutes. Tick tock. A quick look at these figures [3] reveals they are assuming an average size across the board for all new households of 1.63 people. Surely they know that all these foreigners live 8 or even 10 to a room?
  4. "We call on the major parties to make clear commitments in their General Election manifestos to reduce net immigration to the levels of the early 1990s (nostalgia for the Thatcher years) – that is less than 40,000 a year compared to 163,000 in 2008 – in such a way as to ensure that the population of the UK will not reach 70 million." You could of course introduce compulsory sterilisation of the social inadequate or economically unproductive or even compulsory euthanasia (not a particularly good option given the projected rise in the 'grey' population, currently one pensioner for every 3.2 workers, will drop to 2.8 workers for each pensioner by 2033, together with the fact that it is the influx of a predominantly younger migrant population that is currently stopping that ratio from being much lower).
  5. "The first requirement is a clear political decision to put in hand the measures required to restore control over our borders, to break the present almost automatic link between coming to Britain and later gaining citizenship, and thus take a range of further measures to limit the growth in our population." i.e. withdraw from the EU and go back to the days when the cost of moving around the globe was so high that only the vey rich could afford it and therefore have the chance of gaining UK citizenship.
  6. "Nearly a million votes by our fellow citizens for an extremist party amount to a danger sign which must not be ignored." Let's not mention those nasty BNP people, but lets do take back racism for the mainstream.
So having cobbled together that this ropey set of 'arguments', [4] who do the Balanced Migration crew's chose as their front man for today's exercise? Some retired old C of E vicar called Carey, who decides to come over all Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper-like on the BBC and claim that immigration is a Nu Labour plot to sap and impurity all of 'our' precious Christian bodily fluids or heritage or some such reactionary rubbish. So much so that it might put "social harmony" at risk, sending hordes of W.I. members, whipped up in to a riotous frame of mind, out on to the streets armed with jars of jam and sponge cakes to maraud around attacking innocent foreigners who do not share Carey's understanding of the UK's culture, parliamentary democracy, 'christian heritage' and commitment to the english language.

Needless to say the yellow press lapped it up. We had five pieces [5] in the Telegraph and in its on-line version, including 'Reduce net immigration to zero, say MPs'; 'Coalition demands population be kept under 70 million' - "An unprecedented coalition of MPs and public figures, including a former Commons speaker and former Archbishop of Canterbury, have demanded the UK population be kept under 70 million - or risk public "harmony".", except that the the group have been knocking around for the past 15 months to little or no notice, except in the sort of papers that are happy to perpetuate this sort of scaremongering; and the piece-de-resistance: 'Migrants should understand Christian heritage, says former Anglican leader' - "Migrants should respect the Christian heritage of Britain while the immigration system needs to focus more on values, the former Archbishop of Canterbury said."

The Mail, not to be left out had 2 articles, '70 million is too many: Immigrant-fuelled population boom will damage society, say leading public figures' and a Carey headed one 'All immigrants should learn Christian values, says Lord Carey', which subsequently mutated into 'All immigrants should learn our Christian values: Former Archbishop of Canterbury's warning over population' and then to ''I fear for my grandchildren' says former Archbishop of Canterbury, as he calls for Christian values to be defended' in the on-line version.

There was also an opinion piece by one Harry Phibbs (an all too enticing name to comment upon) entitled 'Immigration is not just a numbers game' and laying out the Word according to The Mail (hallowed be thy name) - all waffle about "misguided emphasis on multiculturalism" and that "insufficient effort is put into ensuring that everyone can speak English, that the law is enforced without fear or favour"(!?) and the "welfare system encourages immigrants to be locked into dependency and bureaucracy rather than encouraging their innate enterprise and ambition to make a contribution to the economic prosperity of us all."

He finishes off this tosh by claiming that we should "remember it's not just a numbers game. It's about achieving harmonious relations for those who are already here. That means fairness and ensuring that those who have come to live here make a positive contribution to our national life." So does this mean that Dacre and the Mail are going to change their editorial policy and stop being a racist mouthpiece slagging of all things foreign? Of course not. [Are we the only people that have noticed the hypocrisy of the latest Mail promotion of £20 holidays in France? The Mail hates almost everything to do with France except when there are public displays of breasts or some islamophobia or foreigner-bashing involved on the party of our cousins across La Manche.]

By comparison, the Express' take on it 'MPs Urge Brown And Cameron To Deal With Immigration Levels' was rather paltry given their participation in the push to raise the profile of immigration on the 'phoney election campaign' agenda. However, the Mirror took up some of the slack with 3 versions of the story (at least in their on-line version) which added nothing to the debate (or lack of it), although they did directly mention the BNP as did the Scotsman and papers like the Liverpool Echo.

So what are we left with? Not a lot really, just a lot of people wanting the comfort of the crowd so they can air their prejudices and not be slapped down for effectively saying "let's end immigration except for the mega-rich and those with skills that we need to exploit but cannot provide ourselves for the right price".

No Borders Brighton's further observations on the subject, particularly the threat of mass rioting and the British "standard of living," are also worthy of note.

It struck us as very strange having an ex-archbishop using the spectre of 'social unrest' to try and push the major parties into pledging to curb immigration if they come to form the next government. Since when has a British government changed its policy because of the threat of potential riots? After riots have occurred possibly, and only then when they have been particularly widespread and threaten their grip on power, but never before a petrol bomb has even been thrown. After all, what is all that expensive equipment and training that they have spend tax payers' hard earned cash on for if not for cracking a few skulls and showing that the powers that be are not to be trifled with? Gives the TSG something to do other than killing the odd passing newspaper vendor.

So, what about the stupefyingly un-christian 'I'm all right Jack' viewpoint being peddled by the ex-bish and his neo-Mathusian cronies? What about this precious standard of living that they want to protect at all costs, even if some of those are other people's lives?

The wealth of the rich West/North, and in particular this country, has been built on the wealth plundered from the poor East/South. This stretches back to the days of Empire and to the slave trade, where it was much easier to transport human resources around the globe than it was food and mineral ones. Then, whole continents were annexed in the name of progress and this theft on a mass scale has continued to the present day. The mechanisms may have changed but the outcome is still the same.

So today, instead of large colonial armies raping and pillaging across the globe, we have the IMF, the World Bank and multinational companies forcing countries into deals they can ill afford not to go along with. Whole countries are dug up to provide the mineral resources that the constantly expanding economies of the developed world need.* To feed the desire for carnations or blueberries or mange-tout or cheap tea and coffee, whole economies move their agriculture to monocultures, providing these air-freighted supermarket-provided non-essentials all year round. As a result, once self-sufficient economies become dependent on imported food stuffs, which they have to borrow credits from the IMF and the World Bank to provide, thereby increasing their structural debt year on year and leaving them even more vulnerable to hostile takeovers of their natural resources by western multinationals brokered by, yes you've guessed it, the IMF and the World Bank.

Then there is the modern version of the slave trade - managed migration. If you have a skill we need and it cannot be provided by your own work force cheaply enough, so that the companies can make their profits in order to pay their share holders sufficiently large enough dividends to keep their directors in clover, then why not temporarily import them? It may not be as profitable as when they could just be kidnapped en-masse but it still generates a good profit. On this point it is interesting that the only political party in the UK that has anything to say on the drain of Third World skills to the UK is the BNP, and they are merely using it as another justification for their own patently racist agenda.

Oh, and we haven't mentioned the arms trade, which is a major factor in driving the mass movements of people, both within and across borders. The wars that that trade feeds across the globe are the major engine of migration to the UK and almost all other countries around the world. The simple fact is that most so-called 'economic migrants' are also fleeing war, as well as poverty. And the war of attrition fought for the undeveloped world's resources is also an engine driving such 'economic migration', and is also a major factor driving global climate change, which will also increasingly become an engine driving mass migration to the North and West. Yet this is the very system that the 'I'm all right Jack' crew want to protect, so they can keep their heads buried in the sand and pass on the smoking ruins (that have also probably been submerged under the rising oceans) on to future generation.

The simple fact is that the wealth they want to protect has been (and continues to be) stolen from the very people they want to keep out of the country. And by seeking to perpetuate their ostrich-like stance, plundering the rest of the world's resources in a desperate attempt to continue to have ever more trinkets to hide away in you safety deposit boxes or the wall-safes in their mock-Tudor gated community homes or the second home in the Dordogne/Corfu/Tuscany and to finance yet another flight to some picturesque third World ruin, they continue to heap injustice on centuries of the stuff.

Forget civilisation, democracy and christianity as the West's gifts to the rest of the world, our true gift and the thing that sums up our legacy best, is injustice.

[1] MigrationBotch did pull all the stops out with their evidence to the very same committee, searching out all the negative effects they could to bring the figure for the positive benefit down as much as possible [see: 1, 2]. Of course the idea that immigration benefits the UK economy to the 'Equivalent to a Mars bar a Month' is a long-held position. An interesting discussion on MigrationBotch's position can be seen at David Smith's
[2] For a discussion on the lack of research into the economic benefits of immigration in the UK, see: Immigration. Benefits for the UK.
[3] One new foreign household each 5 minutes for the next 21 years = roughly 2,208,960 households. As 40% of all new households, the total = 5,552,400. As the current population is roughly 6.1m, then this would mean they are assuming an average household size of 1.63 people!
[4] Interestingly, amongst the 20 people that signed the declaration, significant absences from the group's members listed on their website are Ann Cryer MP, Peter Lilley MP, Lord Lamont, Lord Ahmed, Archie Norman and 4 others. Surely they can't all be on holiday?
[5] Including an opinion piece 'Immigration: an overdue debate' and an on-line comments piece 'Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, shatters the Anglican consensus on immigration' by Damian Thompson, the Telegraph blogs editor.

* Just look at what is happening to Inner Mongolia under the West's drive to build its way out of global warming with ever more wind farms.