It's All The Fault of The Immigrants. Isn't It?
I have been slacking with writing and blog posts this last two weeks. I start and then just cannot get anything to make sense, my insanity has gone mad.
However I'm stocked up on coffee and trying to post today on a several subjects that have caught my eye this week.
Over the weekend I have been having several debates on the subject of Immigration. A hot button issue for so many, UKIPs rallying cry and an area where all three main parties are changing their standing on every other hour.
Cameron and Miliband are head swivelling on the subject so much I keep thinking they should see a doctor for whiplash, Clegg is being Clegg but so few listen to him now that anything he says is not important and generally written off as another idiotic statement from the inconsequential party.
No, it is the three important parties (Tory, Labour, UKIP) that are at the heart of this debate and it is UKIP that are clearly not only leading the debate but winning it hands down.
Yes I did say the three important parties include UKIP. In terms of this debate it is the Kippers who are leading the debate, setting the pace and making the other two run to try and catch up.
So much so in fact that this morning I watched the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon talking about whole towns and communities being swamped by large numbers of immigrants.
"In some areas, particularly on the east coast, yes, towns do feel under siege from large numbers of migrant workers and people claiming benefits. It is quite right that we look at that.”
As Farage said after hearing this comment from the Tory cabinet minister, if he had said that the press would be up in arms.
Miliband is both promising strong action to restrict Immigrants such as stopping child benefit and tax credits being paid for children who live abroad, cracking down on illegal immigration by ensuring that everyone is recorded when they arrive in or departed from Britain through electronic checks and making it easier to deport foreign criminals, and to double to six months the period before which EU nationals can claim benefits and tax credits in Britain.
But he is also saying that he will not make any promises or pledges on the subject because he doesn’t want to mislead the public and would not offer policies that endanger the economy. Oh and he didn’t think Immigration was important enough to even bother with during his speech to the faithful not so long ago.
He has also promised that a Labour government would ensure that all public sector workers would have to have a minimum standard of English but only in public facing roles.
Erm, do what. Is he saying that prior to this point Labour has been happy with the fact that Public sector workers in the UK did NOT have to meet standards of spoken English!
It’s no wonder that UKIP are leading the race when Labour and Miliband come out with gems like that one, this being England I would have thought the ability to speak English was required for ANY government job, nope, apparently its a new policy about to be adopted by Labour.
The problem is NOT immigration per se.
There is nothing wrong with the system of EU citizens travelling across the whole Euro zone to work, the problem is that the UK is one of very few that is seen to go out of its way to give every benefit and advantage to anyone that arrives in the UK job or not.
The problem is how the UK deals with people who arrive here legally and the UK’s inability to deal with people arriving here illegally.
Reality or simply perception, people are crossing the whole length and width of Europe to get to the UK. France, Italy etc push the immigrants north to the channel and across to the UK. It doesn’t matter where these people are coming from, Africa, Eastern Europe or further afield, the destination of choice is the UK or Germany.
Immigrants get into Europe and then charge north to reach the UK, the mobs rioting and protesting at Calais are not trying to live in France or Italy, they are trying to get to what they consider to be the land of milk and gravy, the UK.
This is not something you can dispute. They have been told for years that the UK is the place to come where they will be given homes and money and so they come by the thousands.
Hospitals and medical services. Population increase vastly outstripping available medical support and in a number of cases the immigration situation is distorting the medical requirements. Diseases long eliminated from the UK being bought in by immigrants arriving from countries lacking first rate medical facilities putting pressure on British hospitals that no longer have the facilities to deal with numbers of cases of diseases that were thought long gone.
The UK population has grown. In 2000 it was 58.7 million people. As of the census of 2013 it was 64.1 million. That number has increased by 400,000 this year. That makes the population 64.5 million, an increase of 9%. Over that same period have the capacities of our schools, hospitals, utilities etc increased by 9%? This is the problem with uncontrolled immigration, we are not a big island in the scale of things.
Using a very simplistic value to cover a far more complex situation, in 2000/1 the NHS in England had 186,000 beds available. In 2013/14 it has 135,000. An overall fall of some 30% over the same period when the UK population increased by 9% and that despite a steady increase in the money allocated to the NHS. Figures from NHS reports via ONS.
Education. Schools with dozens of languages because there is no requirement for immigrants to speak English and legal requirements that schools teach the immigrant children regardless of the fact that there are few if any teachers who speak those languages.
Yes UK schools are managing to cope with the huge increase in non English speaking students, but where are the resources coming from to handle that increase. At a time when just about everyone I know who is in education is unhappy with squeezed funds, lack of resources and government attitude towards schools who do I believe, the teachers that I know or comments from the government that says all the teachers are imagining the problem. Ask people you know who are teachers about the fact that they buy books for their classes because there is no budget for the schools to buy those books.
The falling wages as a result of incoming immigrant labour who have lower wage expectations and the corporate attitude towards larger labour pools and higher unemployment as an opportunity to cut wages are part of the problem but not a significant part. The recession and current political attitude towards the poor, unemployed and low paid is responsible for more wage cuts, zero hours contracts and economic exploitation than immigrants are.
Immigrants legal or illegal are part of, but a small part of, the problem. Many of them are happy to take what they see as generous wages and in doing so create a rush to the bottom where employers offer lower and lower wages and people have little choice but to accept them.
Immigration is not the whole problem or even a large part of the problem but it is there and it is involved. Corporate greed and the government attitude towards the poor and towards workers in general is the biggest contributor towards the drop in wages.
Housing. People flowing into the UK much faster than they leave, limited house building so house prices have risen to the point where huge sections of the population can no longer afford to get on the house owning ladder.
Uncontrolled and unrestricted Immigration is part of that problem and creates problems when it happens in such numbers. To refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem is to allow the problem to grow larger and to spread to every aspect of our society.
Building 2 million new homes will blight vast areas of our countryside and greenbelts and yet that is how many homes we apparently need right now. Two million new homes will need hundreds of new hospitals and schools, new power stations and water treatment centres, sewage and phones and gas and all of the myriad things that people in this country both need and want.
Without a massive investment in utilities and the creation of several new cities the UK cannot cope and yet there is no money for such investment at a time when despite many promises by the government the UK deficit and national debt continues to rise. There is little investment in building for the future and yet more and more people arrive to place an ever greater strain on what is available for the current occupants of this little island.
The rate of population increase combined with the lack of increase in the utilities needed to support those people leaves everyone suffering.
The Greater Manchester Built-up area consists of Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Trafford and Tameside and has a total population two and a half million. Since 2000 the population of the UK has increased enough to fill two entire Greater Manchester areas plus another a million people. If the population grows by another 400,000 each year by 2018 we will have enough people to fill a third Manchester.
Let’s be honest here, since 2000 has the UK built enough schools, hospitals or power stations to handle another three Manchesters?
Both major parties are unwilling to stand up and try to defend the immigration situation because I feel neither can defend it. Instead they are both rolling our anti immigrant policies rather than attempting to defuse the situation.
Trying to out Kipper the UKIPpers.
The whole situation is crumbling round the edges, we are on a slippery slope towards some dystopian society with a vast gap between the isolated ‘Haves’ and the majority of the population who are ‘Have Nots’. Aside from security concerns in an ever more dangerous world uncontrolled immigration is putting a huge strain on every aspect of our society which simply creates more problems as they begin to fail.
Our politicians are quick to point the finger at enemies both domestic and foreign and send British men and women to bomb people or spy on people while seemingly turning a blind eye to what is both in reality a large problem and in perception a HUGE problem.
Without significant support for every aspect of our ability to cope with children, adults, the sick and the old the UK cannot cope now, bringing in 400,000 people next year as happened this year will lead to more shortages, more failures and ever greater drive by political groups to the right and to oppression and state control.
The Free movement of people in the Euro zone is not the problem, the UKs inability to handle those large numbers of people IS the problem and either we do something to support the people already here and arriving each year or do something to stop the unending flow of new arrivals or we must accept the fact that every resource, utility and service is going to be in shorter and shorter supply as an ever growing number of people fight for less hospital beds, less school places and less electricity.
But this is the UK, doing nothing is the Political norm.