Don’t blame the immigrants – blame the rich

Get angry, get furious, but get angry at the right people.

Get angry, get furious, but get angry at the right people

Noam Chomsky reminds us that the best way to give the impression of democracy is to limit the debate to a very narrow set of issues, and then allow people free reign within this spectrum.

This beautifully describes current political discourse in this country. We have raging debates about the EU and immigration, yet barely touch the issues that really matter.

The reason the economy crashed in 2008 wasn’t because of us lavishing luxury flat-screen TV’s on the unemployed, or because so many immigrants came to claim benefits- it was because of an unbridled financial sector gambling on all of our futures.

The reason we have a housing ‘shortage’ isn’t because our country is filling up so fast we’re nearly out of space (only 6.8 per cent of the land of this country is built upon), it’s because we have failed for decades to build a suitable amount of housing- regardless of immigration.

We do not have a ‘cost of living crisis’ because of an influx of immigrants – we have stagnating wages because of continued concessions to big business and corporate greed.

This is exactly the same problem that is seen the world-over. We’re constantly told that wages are low because of ‘uncontrolled’ immigration, and any forced rises in the minimum wage will result in higher unemployment. And then no one mentions the gigantic salaries that those at the top of these companies ‘earn’.

Times are not tough for everyone in this country – whilst the average worker has seen a decline in the value of their wages over the last four years under a Tory government, FTSE 100 bosses have seen their earnings soar. This is compounded by outrageous rents charged by landlords, having now to be propped up by housing benefits.

This is the heart of the problem – not additional workers in the market. Additional workers help drive growth of business’, which leads to more job creation.

Immigrants have been proven time and again to put more into the coffers than they take out – they are better net contributors than British citizens are. We have allowed ourselves to be side-tracked and hoodwinked. We’ve forgotten the real enemy.

We need to remember what the real problem is – and it’s exactly the same problem in many of the countries immigrants are coming from – profit consistently being put before people. The immigration debate is a convenient mask, a clever distraction from what really matters.

At a time of widening inequality, when the richest five families in the UK earn the same as the bottom 20 per cent, when the worlds 85 richest own the same wealth as half the globe, that’s where the anger should be directed.

It isn’t racist to question the merits of immigration, but the tone the debate is beginning to take on in this country is decidedly ugly. As we marvel at the latest UKIP scandal or a picture of Farage in the pub we’re also missing the dodgy dealings of Wall Street and the City that are sapping pounds out of our pockets.

Only the Green Party seem to really understand this. This is why we refuse to engage in the negative rhetoric that the other major parties have all succumbed to surrounding immigration – not out of burying-our-heads-in-the-sand dogmatism, or idealistic left-wingery, but because we realise the cause of our problems really do lie elsewhere.

This is why we instead focus on implementing a living wage, on opposing the TTIP and on fair pay ratios in companies.

The rich have gambled on our futures, allowed sating their own ferocious appetites to take precedent over our well-being.

Get angry, get furious, but get angry at the right people.

Bradley Allsop is a student and member of the Green Party

60 Responses to “Don’t blame the immigrants – blame the rich”

  1. L_Sabia_Byrne

    Immigration is not the fundamental problem, a Labour “open pocket” unofficial policy, the turning of the UK from a country into a PLC under Blair AND unrestricted greed at the upper echelons COMBINED with a global economic disaster is the fundamental problem… and by the way, whilst I may sound like Im hitting on Labour (who I do despise with a passion!) I am also now very much of the opinion that Government no longer serves the people but is instead populated by a greedy cronies club!

  2. L_Sabia_Byrne

    The Labour Party turned into Tories when President Blair positioned them as New Labour!

  3. Rupert Read

    Count me out of that idea, Bradley.
    You say only 6.8% of Britain is built on… ‘only’??!
    I want to live in a country with real permanent green belts, with some wilderness, and able to feed itself. That just ain’t gonna happen if we allow our population to go on rising.
    Much of your article is good, but we Greens have to get real about the downsides of immigration / housing-construction.
    Please seek to sound a little less Polyanna.

  4. Rupert Read

    Nb: we only produce 60% of our food, at present… Which suggests that we need less people here, not more…
    That is, if we care about food security/sovereignty – which as Greens of course we do!

  5. LeeMatthews

    Or Canada

  6. LeeMatthews

    Google delivers adverts based on your browsing habits, which is why your getting ads for “penis enlargement ointments” Leon.

  7. Europe2050

    Uk made a huge mistake by letting in poor immigrants – that should have never happened. Rich immigrants and highly qualified immigrants are NOT the same as the refugees and asylum seekers in Uk. When one talks about immigration in UK they mean exactly these poor immigrant refugees and nothing else. They dont see the wealthy or qualified immigrants as those are far and few between…the majority of immigrants in uk are poor and useless – they should have either been integrated properly, educated and made to do jobs OR should have been sent elsewhere…maybe start a new colony for them like in the old days..let them make their own free country all over again. But they should have never been allowed into Uk and given free everything as it creates a lot of problems and more so is a bigger issue for genuine and wealthy immigrants wanting to make Uk a fiscal base.

  8. Weaver

    Hilarious.

    It’s funny how Green Party members don’t have as much as an A-level in economics between them. Lacking even a basic education in the subject, they shoehorn their understanding into the “greedy rich model” with no detailed causal understanding or theory. Its like watching a 12 year old trying to make sense of the world.

    They don’t even know what an externality is, yet they proclaim the fiscally positive virtues of immigration.

    As I said, hilarious.

  9. Weaver

    No studies that this econ grad respects. Favourable studies ALWAYS neglect the following negative externalites in coming to the fiscally positive conclusion;

    1. Housing supply curve very steep (restricted supply means worse housing / higher rents for everyone)
    2. Labour demand curve bends when outward-shifted. (every 4 immigrants puts 1 low-skilled Brit on unemployment, and lowers wages for all others. Benefit and lost wages not counted)
    3. Remiitances impact balance of earnings negatively.
    4. Education. Large immigrant proportion in class (severely) negative impact teaching in public schools.
    5. Cultural factors .Or are you really “enriched” by more Somalis street culture?

    Also, Econ 101 mistake; immigrants may be fiscally positive on average, but are almost certainly not at the margin.

  10. Weaver

    Bet they miss the housing and labour demand externality too.

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