Friday, 15 October 2010



By Leo McKinstry
May 28,2008

NOTHING exposes the hypocrisy of Left-wing politics more graphically than the issue of immigration. 

Labour ideologues constantly tell us how much our society benefits from a mass influx of foreigners, both by strengthening the economy and adding to the richness of our culture. 

But this is just empty propaganda. In reality mass immigration has deepened poverty, driven down living standards, pushed up taxes, promoted social dislocation, exacerbated crime and stretched public services to breaking point.

The winners from immigration are the corporate employers and the affluent, nanny-employing class who are insulated by their wealth from the breakdown in social cohesion. The losers are the very people whom Labour used to represent – the traditional British working class who find their communities dissolved, their jobs taken and their support networks shattered.

Far from heralding a new era of prosperity, as the Labour Party claims, mass immigration has actually worsened the economic prospects of a large section of our society. 

This is partly because wage bills have been forced down by ruthless competition at the bottom end of the employment market, where British citizens with family responsibilities and mortgages struggle against foreign newcomers who are able to accept far lower pay rates.  

For all the Government’s boasting about record levels of employment, more than 80 per cent of new jobs go to immigrants while the number of Britons in work has declined since Labour came to power.

But there is another way in which immigration has entrenched poverty and unemployment. Just as the destruction of our borders has served the purposes of an unpatriotic, irresponsible brand of cut-throat capitalism so it has also reinforced the culture of dep­endency on the welfare state.

While migrants fill most of the vacancies in our economy an army of benefits claimants has been allowed to remain on the economic scrapheap, devoid of ambition or skills. 

Labour came to power with a promise to “think the unthinkable” about the welfare state. Yet as the Cons­ervatives’ Work and Pensions spokesman Chris Grayling pointed out in a tough speech yesterday, immigration has been used by the Govern­ment as a substitute for benefits reform. 

All Labour’s big promises about radical change of the benefits have proved hollow. Instead there has been only an extension of state bureaucracy through schemes like the New Deal or Sure Start. No scroung­ers have ever had their handouts withdrawn because of their refusal to take a job. 

Instead of reinforcing a system that encourages idleness, Labour should have copied the reforms of Bill Clinton’s administration in the Nineties in America which have meant that benefit claims are strictly limited to two years in succession or five years in total during a working lifetime.

Contrary to predictions that Clinton’s plan would result in mass poverty, the measures have led to a dramatic increase in employment and fall in welfare rolls.

That is what we needed in Britain but we have ended up with the worst of all worlds. Rather than being tightened the welfare system has been expanded remorselessly, with its annual cost now reaching £170billion. As a result, millions of claimants have been under no pressure to enter the world of work.

Meanwhile, levels of migration have soared in response to demand from employers. Acc­ording to the Govern­ment’s own statistics, at least 500,000 foreigners are arriving here annually and that figure does not include illegal migrants and bogus refugees.

It is the economics of the lunatic asylum to import millions of foreigners to carry out the work which could be done by the 5.5 million Britons who are paid by the State to remain unemployed. But it suits the institutional self-loathing of the anti-British metropolitan elite to maintain this perverse, almost schizophrenic approach.

For in this way the indigenous working-class can be portrayed as lazy slobs while immigrants are hailed as industrious heroes, full of self-sacrifice and diligence who take on jobs the feckless British will not. Such imagery fulfils the determination of the politically correct brigade to brainwash the public into accepting our trans­­formation into a multi-cultural land of immigrants. This manipulative agenda is, how­ever, shot through with holes. 

The truth is that immigrants are far more likely to be unemployed than Britons. Indeed, many come here precisely because of the generosity of our welfare state, as demonstrated by the hordes of aggressive young men claiming to be refugees who gather in northern France in the hope of reach­ing the land of the cash payout. 

In practice our benefits system is encouraging the import of poverty from the Third World. Moreover, the institutionalised obsession with anti-racism and diversity means that public-sector employers operate a deliberate bias against British applicants. 

This is all too apparent in the NHS, for instance, where vast numbers of foreign staff are recruited and British-trained doctors and nurses often ­struggle to find work.

It is sickening that the British working-class, once the backbone of our country, should be derided as bigots simply because they object to the way immigration is dest­roying their livelihoods and neighbourhoods. 

Living in the areas of high migration they are the ones who are really paying the price for social upheaval, not the smug affluent liberals who enjoy the benefits of cheap labour without having to worry about the consequences.

In effect the British working class are being asked to celebrate the betrayal they have endured at the hands of the political elite.