Would there be an unmanageable labour shortage?
The idea that Britain is short of labour for most purposes is demonstrably absurd. The official figure for those of working age who are economically inactive in the UK is approximately 9.5 million, or nearly a quarter of the age group.
Clearly not all of those would be able or willing to work but equally clearly a large proportion would be able and willing to work if the conditions were right, for example, wages rose, employers became more accommodating and the benefits system was tightened as the number of opportunities for work rose.
The claim that the indigenous population will not do the jobs immigrants take is demonstrably false. In areas of the country with few immigrants native Britons do them willingly. In many instances where foreign workers are employed it is not because native Britons will not work. Take the case of the cockle-pickers who died in Morecambe Bay several years ago. It was widely reported in the media that the Chinese cockle-pickers clashed with British cockle-pickers who resented them invading their territory. These Chinese were not filling jobs which were unfilled by the British but competing with the British for the work.
More generally, one of the great lies of modern British politics is that employers are unable to recruit from the native population, especially for unskilled labour. Vast swathes of work have been effectively denied to the native population by collusion between employers and those who supply labour. This happens both within the indigenous ethnic minorities who only employ from their own ethnic group and within immigrant labour which commonly works through gang-masters who are immigrants themselves. This does not just work in areas such as fruit picking and factory assembly work but in areas such as the NHS where we have the absurdity of doctors and nurses trained in Britain having to go abroad to find jobs because immigrants are employed here.
The other thing which prevents native Britons taking jobs in some parts of the country is the fact that the native Briton does not want to work for employers whose workforce is predominantly formed of immigrants or native-born ethnic minorities. Like every other people, native Britons do not wish to be forced to work in their own land in an employment where they are in the minority, especially where they could find themselves in a situation where the workplace language is not English.
It is also important to understand that the menial jobs immigrants take are worth far more to them than a native Briton. If you earn as little as £200 a week net – many immigrants work cash in hand – and live in accommodation either supplied by an employer or in crowded accommodation for very little rent, you will probably still be able to save a substantial amount, say,£2,000 pa.
If you come from China where wages even in the big cities are 50 pence an hour, you would earn £1,000 pa for a 40 hour week. Working at a menial job in Britain allows you to save double the average Chinese big city annual wage in a year. That money remitted to China takes on the local purchasing power. The multiplier for Eastern Europeans is less, but even there £2,000 saved in a year would be a good professional salary in places such as Poland. Give native Britons the chance to save the equivalent of a British professional’s salary in a year doing a menial job and they will flock to the work and put up with basic living conditions. Of course, no such employments are on offer to Britons.
As for skilled workers, there are few skills which cannot either be taught in a relatively short time or purchased from people working abroad. There are far fewer absolutely indispensable skills. In addition, many skilled Britons might decide to return because the ending of mass immigration would signal that there was once again a clear distinction between the rights of British citizens and the rights of foreigners. This would alter radically the moral climate in Britain which could have a profound effect on the way in which British émigrés view their homeland.
The international effect
There would almost certainly be a great uproar if Britain ended mass immigration. But the roar would come from a paper tiger because those most affected would come from the Third World with which we have little trade and where Britain’s national interest is rarely if ever at risk.
As a permanent member of the security council of the UN, Britain can veto any UN sanctions or even motions attempting to censure us. Britain is also an important member of institutions such as the IMF and World Bank and could cause a good deal of trouble for the nations most likely to need the aid of such organisations.
Then there is the inconvenient fact for critics that no government in the world is officially for uncontrolled immigration. Even more embarrassing, most of the members of the UN have immigration regimes incomparably harsher than Britain has at present. A phrase including ‘glass houses’ and ‘stones’ comes to mind.
As for international trade there is no reason to imagine that Britain would suffer. The vast majority of our trade is with the developed world. It is in the self-interest of our trading partners to prevent action against Britain because Britain is not only an important importer but an important exporter. To take just one example, and a very potent one, Britain’s arms industry is one of the largest in the world. The willingness to sell arms is a strong bargaining card with every country on the planet. Britain is also tied into the economies of the developed world through joint projects such as Airbus and the supply of parts to industries such as car-making (a great deal is supplied to German makes, believe it or not). The developed world, including the EU, would simply cut off their noses to spite their faces if they took action against Britain. There are also the rules of the WTO agreements which would prevent such behaviour.
What of Britons who are living abroad? It is unlikely their host countries would act against them for the simple reason there are substantial communities of citizens from those host countries resident in Britain. It is also true that most Britons living abroad do so in the developed world, the countries of which are much less likely to expel those legally resident en masse than a third world dictatorship. Moreover, in most cases Britain would have more foreigners of a particular nationality living in Britain than any foreign country has of Britons living in their country. The balance of trade would be very much in Britain’s favour if reciprocal mass expulsions resulted.
Do Britons want an end to mass immigration?
In these politically correct times where people have learnt that to speak against pc orthodoxy is a dangerous thing which can result in the loss of your job or criminal prosecution, it is difficult to get an honest answer to a polling question such as “Do you think post-war immigration has been a good or bad thing?” or “Do you think immigration should be reduced?”, although even with such questions a healthy minority give the non-pc answer. To get at the truth one has to look at the responses to questions such as: “Do you think Britain should be tougher on illegal immigrants?” These types of questions invariably produce the sort of answer which would have brought a smile to a Soviet apparatchik, commonly being above 80% for tougher action, which is pretty astounding when around 10% of the British population is comprised of immigrants.
It is also noteworthy that concern about immigration has been at the top of issues concerning the British for years; this despite the fact that every mainstream British political party has, with the willing collusion of the British media, done everything it can to suppress public debate about the issue.
Anyone who believes that the British people welcomed the post-war immigration and want more of it is self-deluding to the point of imbecility.