Tough talk but no real change on immigration shows the Tories are still the nasty party

Divisive rhetoric will not improve practices that put migrants' lives at risk


The day after George Osborne announces massive public spending cuts that will impact on the working poor, decimate councils and reduce police numbers, David Cameron plays the populist card with a speech on immigration.

Portrayed as a ‘one nation’ speech, it is a clear attempt to divert attention from the cuts and today’s immigration statistics.

Although details will not be set out until the Immigration Bill is published after next week’s Queen’s Speech, the highlights we have been shown are, at best, meaningless rhetoric. They also reproduce Labour’s mistakes of tough talking and over-promising – and can only act to reduce the public’s trust in the ability of politicians to deliver on immigration policy.

The prime minister’s proposals include:

  • New powers for councils to crackdown on unscrupulous landlords and evict illegal workers/migrants more quickly. Councils already have a legal framework to regulate the private rental sector and tackle bad landlords. But housing regulation has been cut and this proposal will be meaningless without funding.
  • Creating a new offence of illegal working and enabling the police to seize wages as proceeds of crime. Employers face civil penalties and since 2006 it has been a criminal offence to knowingly employ on irregular migrant. Most irregular migrants work below the radar in a low-waged cash economy and send money home at the soonest opportunity. Giving the police powers to confiscate wages is pure dog-whistling.
  • Creating a new labour market enforcement agency to crack down on the worst cases of labour market exploitation. What is wrong with extending the powers of the Gangmasters Licencing Authority and increasing the numbers of National Minimum Wage inspectors?

Worryingly, Cameron’s proposals also included extending the ‘deport first, appeal later’ measures to all immigration appeals and judicial reviews. This already happens in immigration appeals that are not asylum and human rights cases. It seems that the government proposes to remove refused asylum-seekers to their home countries, where they can then appeal.

In the three months to 31 March 2015, 2,242 asylum appeals were handled by judges, of which 29 per cent were upheld in that the appellant was granted asylum or leave to remain in the UK.

Nearly one in three of the Home Office’s initial decisions are wrong, a figure that is higher for Afghan nationals (40 per cent of appeals upheld) and Eritreans (45 per cent of appeals upheld).

Sending someone back home when a wrong judgement has been made puts lives at risk.

Unsurprisingly, the Cameron speech made little reference to today’s migration statistics, which comprise administrative data from the Home Office on asylum and visas, as well as demographic estimates on net migration from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Home Office statistics show that visas for family and student migration are steady, but a 9 per cent increase in work visas in the year to March 2015, compared with the previous year.

Nationality of long-term immigrants to the UK 2014

Asylum applications are also steady, with 25,020 applications in the year to March 2015, of which the largest numbers came from Eritrea, Pakistan and Syria.

Work, student, family and student immigration from outside the EU make up under half of immigration to the UK. The ONS migration estimates suggest that in the year to December 2014, 42 per cent of immigration to the UK was from other EU countries.

Continued immigration from the EU has meant that the target to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands has been missed yet again.  In the year to December 2014, it is estimated that 318,000 more people came to the UK than left as emigrants. Unsurprisingly, announcements from Downing Street and the Home Office did not mention the missed target.

Overall, there was little positive in today’s announcements. There were no proposals to promote integration which might help us live together better. Rather, today’s proposals are distracting rhetoric which create a vicious circle of ‘tough talk’ that reinforce negative public attitudes.

These, in turn, prompt ever more uncompromising statements. So, no change from the nasty party.

Jill Rutter is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward.

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44 Responses to “Tough talk but no real change on immigration shows the Tories are still the nasty party”

  1. Gerschwin

    So what you’re saying is what everyone else is saying – the country is flooded with migrants, we have no ability to support or integrate them all so we need to clamp down on their numbers and put a stop to more coming in. Nice to have you guys on board.

  2. Torybushhug

    1) Build 3 million more homes with requisite roads and infrastructure
    2) Welcome 640,000 immigrants each year, in fact the new shiny homes will attract even more
    3) Soon run out of homes again
    4) Build another 3 million
    5) Rinse repeat.
    Great for the environment, great for congestion, fantastic for demanding ever more intensive agriculture. awesome for consumption and emissions, terrific for road kill, indeed, all round positive for wildlife pushed ever further into the margins, terrific for Brits without jobs, great for companies that have no need to on the job train youngsters, an all road roaring success.

  3. Dark_Heart_of_Toryland

    Tory logic.
    1) Promote the absolutely unhindered and unregulated global free movement of capital.

    2) Act surprised when people follow the money.
    3) Repeat ad nauseam.

  4. AlanGiles

    I do feel a “contributing editor” should have better epithets than “nasty party” it sounds so primary school playground.

  5. damon

    I agree that it’s a lot of tough talk without much bite.

    Talking to a white South African guy the other day though, he told me it was really hard for South Africans to get visas to come and work in the UK for a couple of years like they used to. So things have got more stringent in the last while. They were wanting to do it legally though. The ones who stay illegal don’t have to worry too much. Even adopting the system they have in Germany, where everyone must register their address with the town hall, would be too much for I think.

    They call it the Anmeldung and here’s a little link explaining it.
    I had one myself once. Link

  6. stevep

    Immigration has been one of the main political footballs kicked around by all parties for decades now. it is not a new phenomenon.
    Britain`s Empire was largely built on forced and induced migration (the slave trade), no-one mentions that now.
    Britain`s canal and railway systems utilised large numbers of Irish migrant labourers to help construct them.
    A colossal amount of temporary migrants fought on Britain`s side during the wars.
    As Norman Tebbit notes, himself an aviator, in our finest hour 1 in 8 battle of Britain pilots were Polish. Not to mention the French, Canadians, Americans, South Africans, Australians etc. who offered to serve for Britain.
    The British invited it`s citizens from all over the Empire to come and help rebuild Britain after the war and replace the fallen and injured in workplaces all over the country.
    the 1960`s saw as many as half a million Irish labourers in The UK helping to build houses and roads.
    And so it goes. The current migrants fill a gap in the birth rate now that the baby boomers are reaching pensionable age. They pay taxes which enable those pensions to be paid.
    When we talk about migrants we only denigrate the poor migrant. weallthy migrants such as company bosses, media barons, footballers, actors etc. are ignored.
    In the end it`s just the mainstream media once again diverting peoples attention away from the real issues and playing divide and rule on behalf of the establishment

  7. damon

    ”no-one mentions that now”

    I think we hear about it all the time actually. You are aware of Black History Month I presume.

    ”And so it goes”

    So what goes? That the population of Britain is bound to rise by millions every decade? It probably will, but it will be a squeeze and life may well be a bit less pleasant when we are fuller.
    We’ll need more Cross-rail type projects all the time. And new motorways and new towns. Also remember what happened because of the American internal ”Great Migration” form the south to the north.

    Cities like Detroit became hellish places in parts – because of the racism in American society. We in Britain are always being told that we are a racist society too, so things can go wrong here as well..

    This Youtube shows the kind of country Britain was in the 1970s, and it still struggles to get over its legacy today. Many people from black and minority ethnic communities insist that nothing’s changed. So having on going large scale immigration can keep us in a place that we might like to have left in the past.
    It’s about ”The Mangrove 9” and racist police and landlords etc back then.

  8. Cole

    I see the Tories have been doing a great job on getting those immigration figures down. Remember all those promises in 2010? I guess it was just rhetoric anyway.

  9. Gerschwin

    Seems so. Very disappointing.

  10. Cole


  11. Cole

    I guess Tories like cheap labour for their businesses and plentiful cleaners for their homes. But they’ll prattle on about immigration to get votes. Always have done.

  12. Gerschwin

    Suspect it’s more to do with the EU and LibDems somehow Cole, not had a shortage of cheap labour since we closed the mines so life’s always been pretty good on that front.

  13. stevep

    yes, I`m aware of black history month, but it`s not “all the time”, just a month, I didn`t focus on blacks, they are a valid part of our shared migrant history but not exclusively so. No disrespect, but you don`t appear to have understood a word I wrote, framing your reply within the mainstream media immigration paranoia dialogue. Nothing would please me better if you were to re-read my article, did some research of your own on British immigration, both invited and uninvited over say, the the last two thousand years and came to a conclusion of your own based on that research. You might find that we are all descendents of migrants who came to Britain at some point in time.

  14. Torybushhug

    Complete lack of insight into people’s well founded concerns over mass immigration. Canals and stuff, meh, history.

  15. Rick

    Immigration is keeping British workers pay down, house price up and the HNS queues longer than they should be.

  16. stevep

    Yes, our shared history.

  17. ArthurPendragon

    Labour shortages cause wages to rise. This causes businesses to invest to save on Labour costs. This improves productivity which pays for higher wages. Immigration creates a sweatshop society.

  18. ArthurPendragon

    Tory or Labour it is all the same. The UK is the most densely populated country in Europe. It can only feed 15 million people and has to earn to pay for its food. Take out Scotland and the UK will look a lot worse.

  19. ArthurPendragon

    What is not realised is that the UK had to have an Empire because it was overpopulated. Between 1600 and 1970 the UK had a forced slave/ indentured labour or emigration population. Millions of the poor were deported to the USA, and other colonies. It finally ended in 1970, when children were deported and abused.
    It is never taught in schools how the British Isles suffered from famine which only ended in 1840’s when wheat was imported from the American Prairies in exchange for railway engines and rails.
    Today the UK runs a balance of payments deficit and imports 85% of its food. One day there will be a disaster and the shops will be empty.

  20. stevep

    Britain grabbed as much as it could, when it could, as did other countries, that`s why North America largely speaks English and South America, largely Spanish.
    The East India company set up home in India to control and exploit trade opportunities and eventually ruled large parts of it with a private army. Colonisation followed.
    After the Napoleonic wars, Britain was virtually unchallenged for a century and could expand it`s Empire as it saw fit.
    Britain had an Empire because wealthy merchants and investors wanted to control trade and trade routes to make themselves vast fortunes. Britain did this by invasion, gunboat diplomacy and the subjugation of the native population wherever it sailed.

  21. Torybushhug

    Unsustainable population growth is ruinous on so many counts from the environmental to causing us to import ever more food, relentless need to build, relentless rise in consumption. My priorities go far deeper than worrying about pensions and in any event that’s another lame argument as lots of nation have a decent state pension with little or no population rise. I don’t give the slightest shit about empire and shared history, I care about Britain now. In fifty years what will England be like with tens more millions of farting coughing Humans here?

  22. ArthurPendragon

    The mercantile and landed classes did have a land grab as has been common in every nation in the past, but any study of general British history shows it was based on an unspeakable crushing of the underclasses which endured high mortality rates, starvation, flogging, summary execution, and abuse of power. We only see a very skewed view of ordinary people’s lives at that time. Most writers for TV an film never see the historic records at the time and anecdotes. I do not understand why the public accept to airbrushed history they are told at school and in the media. On the other hand I have heard first hand from West African tribal chiefs were willing to trade persons they considered criminals and much worse. The language is very illiberal. You have to realise human nature is not very nice ever.

  23. damon

    I did read what you said, and have just read it again. I don’t know where you live, but here in London, we hear a lot about race and stories of immigration and minority people’s lives all the time.
    On BBC London radio for example, which I often have on. They give a lot of coverage to black history month and diversity issues.
    There’s a story being discussed right now that could be said to have racial implications. I’ll tell you what in a minute.

    I do realise that most of us are ”immigrants” of sorts if you go back far enough. We all started out in Africa remember. And in the preceding generations there has been much mingling and intermarrying. The Romans came and then the Vikings settled. Later the Normans.
    We know all that. We know about the small communities of Chinese, Yemeni and African/Caribbean people who settled in port cities in the last two hundred years, and the Irish of course. My own father was one of those 60s Irish builders you mentioned.

    But what you then said doesn’t ”follow on” so easily IMO. We had the immigration we asked for after WW2. The Windrush generation of Caribbean migrants. We asked them over, no doubt about it. And the Pakistani men who we recruited to work in the northern mill towns. But how many of the Pakistanis who have since come to the UK ever actually worked in mills and such work must be a very small percentage now. Once small communities were established, they soon multiplied their numbers through direct immigration from family unification and marriage.

    After that, that community had its own dynamic for coming to Britain that was not connected to any needs this country had. It’s the normal way things happen.
    Some communities struggle in some areas, and the Pakistani and Bangladeshi ones certainly have. They have quite acute needs generally, and are always in the bottom of the league table of wealth and poverty. Probably due to cultural factors. Indians on the other hand, while still basically the same race, have done far better. So it has to be cultural. (See the recent Tower Hamlets fiasco for an example).
    While I might agree that much of the media plays fast and loose with the immigration and diversity issues, they are no worse in my opinion than the left, in the way that they are dishonest and sectarian about the subject. This blog’s above the line pieces can be as bad as Richard Littlejohn’s in the Daily Mail are bad.
    But just from the opposite end of the spectrum.

    Massive amounts of immigration and emigration can be unsettling for society. It changes it radically of course, and the areas that have the highest rates of turnover (or what is sometimes is called ”the churn”) can be rundown and shabby. Think of the most diverse areas in London and Birmingham. Areas where houses are divided up for multiple occupation and people come and go all the time. I know loads of places like that. They become ”bedsit land”. Just last night on the news they refered to the phenomenon know as ”beds in sheds” – this time in Ealing. Do you know what the scale of it has been? Google the words.

    Lastly, that BBC London story I mentioned.
    It’s about a 14 year old Croydon girl who’s been sent to young offenders prison for eight months for attacking a boy which was filmed and put on YouTube.
    The girl is white – as is the boy, but here’s why I think it has race overtones.
    She speaks and swears at the boy in pure ”Multicultural London English”.
    Ghetto speak that ”was invented” by black young Britons and then went mainstream.
    Her housing estate is right in the southern part of suburban Croydon, where the open fields of the Green Belt start. But ghetto gang culture has found its way even out there.
    I grew up around this area and when it was still 98% white British, that wasn’t how the local people spoke.
    The indigenous accent is more south London Cockney/Estuary. But now for a lot of young people it’s the dreadful ”MLE”.
    That is down to immigration, and even has a link back to that YouTube I did in my last post about the black people from the Mangrove community association in Notting Hill back in the 70s.
    They used to march with placards calling the police ”pigs” etc, and as I said earlier, if you listen to radio phone in programmes in London, you will hear black callers insisting that not that much has changed and that we are still a deeply racist society. That’s why black youngsters developed a new way of talking, as a way of showing they were proud and standing up for their race etc.
    A bit sad all round in my opinion, as I know this cultural difference is actually something that feeds white racism. I know people who would rather send their children to private school or move out of the area rather than send them to a school where MLE was the accent of the classroom.

    Here’s a link to the Croydon schoolgirl story:

    ‘I’m going to smack this yute!’: Video of foul-mouthed attack by Croydon girl goes viral

  24. stevep

    very good reply, it has been said many times that the victors rewrite history. they do and they control the narrative too. The public will accept any old skewed tosh that passes for history, Downton Abbey being a recent example, fiction though it was, it has still influenced a generation and there are very few alive today who were in service then to redress the balance.
    We British like to think of ourselves as a free, independent even belligerent race, but we have been subjugated for centuries by the exact means you have described, even in recent history. Given the chance to doff the cap and bow down before their masters the British willingly oblige.

  25. stevep

    Pretty much the same as it is now with millions of coughing and farting cows contributing to global warming.

  26. Keith M

    Always has been the nasty party and the new incarnation is even nastier.

  27. stevep

    Yes, I sympathise with a good deal of your reply, I know past and recent history, in particular, social and economic history. I know that a good deal of migrants became ghettoised, that`s unfortunate, but understandable. A similar situation exists in Spain on the Costas with an estimated half a million migrant Brits living in the sun. A lot of Spanish people grumble about it too. and substantial populations of Brits live in Florida, France and Italy, not to mention Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
    I have worked with many migrants : Italian, Australian, Lithuanian, Ukranian, Egyptian, Greek Cypriot, Estonian, Byelorussian, Irish, and many more. Barring the language barrier ( a good deal of them spoke better English than most English people), they were just like you or me. Good `uns, Bad `uns and indifferent `uns. They shared a common goal, to work and provide. A few I met were highly qualified, working as teachers or accountants back home.
    I have had one Irish and two Polish dentists in the last five years, all giving excellent service. In an NHS hospital I received diagnosis from an Anglo-Indian consultant and was operated on by an Anglo-Italian surgeon. They were great.
    I`ve lost count of how many Indian and Chinese takeaways I`ve had in my lifetime, there are two establishments near me, both excellent.
    So I speak from experience and honesty about my dealings with migrants. I respect you for your honesty.
    It`s just a shame that a lot of people don`t speak from honesty but fear, mostly generated by right wing interests ( it`s a story that stretches back a long time) and parroted by the right wing press. I know the left aren`t blameless, far from it, but as this is supposed to be a left wing forum encouraging progressive left-wing thinking and debating, let us not be hijacked and distracted by the more far-right among us who have infiltrated this forum and this website to spread, shall we say, a more SunMail view of the world. They are legion and are easily spotted. Let us have a proper, wide debate on the subject.

  28. damon

    Interesting what you say about the British in Spain. Yes they can be a bit of an embarrassment when you see them. And those bars and restaurants they frequent and even own. I was in the Canaries for a couple of months recently and was genuinely ashamed to be a Brit at times. Cafes with names like ”Belly Busters” with signs saying how great their all day breakfasts were etc. Or ”Lineker’s” bar with all the football blokes watching football.
    But they are a bit different as immigrants to some of ours in England.
    They mostly take their own money with them and largely pay for themselves.
    While immigrants in general just about do perhaps (the figures show a small surplus for the government overall) there are many variations on that with the various forms of immigrants and some are particularly needy and (as yet) are still a drain on the public purse.
    And I wish people on the left would just admit that, but they always try to deny it and muck up any possible discussion about it. Asylum seeker migrants from Africa are still probably in the negative column when it comes to paying their way. Whilst the dentists you referee to would be very much paying in more than they took out.
    I can’t remember the details right now, but I’ve read how much a person on low wages pays in and takes in benefits over particular periods.
    The young EU migrants who come and work for low wages for a few years and then go home are net payers in to the system because they take so little out.
    When they have children, the little tax they pay is quickly equaled or overtaken by the costs of their children. They then get tax credits etc – something that I’ve never got btw as I don’t qualify, even though on low wages myself.
    The older the people get and as the family grows, if it’s just one person working in the family they will be big net recipients. And will be even more if they stay here to retire. If their children do well, then of course the costs will be offset by them as they start to work and pay tax, but if they are from struggling communities, like the Afro-Caribbean population with very high rates of youth unemployment and involvement with the criminal justice system, then you could say that the economic good that was achieved by the initial working lives of the Windrush generation has been mostly overtaken by an economic burden on the economy.

  29. CGR

    Britain is full up !!!!!!

    We need to take account of the cultural costs of uncontrolled immigration into our major cities.

  30. JoeDM

    When the canals and railways were built Ireland was part of the UK so the Irish were not immigrants. No different from a Yorkshire man looking for work in Kent etc.

  31. ArthurPendragon

    What is not being said by the political classes is that all of Europe is in decline, but they still wants to behave like class one nations. It is too unpalatable for politicians to tell their electorates they have failed. Yet they want their perks after leaving office to continue. I heard a news report that wages in Spain have fallen by 40% since the collapse. If the public do not believe things will return to the way they were then the electorate will be asking for cuts at the top – large income differentials etc. Immigration does make the national GNP level grow only because more people are working in lower wage jobs. The GNP per capita is what should be looked at.
    The media say nothing because they are all on the same public school root to top jobs gravy train. Labour / Tory are all the same. The University growth plan by Blair was another scam on the electorate. University degrees are a sorting system for top jobs – it does not increase the supply and the old university tie system keeps those that benefit benefitting. We earn a lot of money from foreign students – they all want to stay – and they stop social mobility. London is 70% foreign born and it has become a haven for the world’s richest (mainly foreign) to enjoy each other’s company and compete. This gives the impression the Uk is super rich, not very much filters down. However, it allows the Tories to raise campaign funds, be influenced in exchange for keeping the electorate suppressed with lies. In 2015 election I could find no party that was telling the truth or they were so stupid to believe money trees exist. The Uk is a country under occupation where nationalist groups just help divide and rule.

  32. Selohesra

    Whether they like it or not they have no choice in the matter – not whilst we remain in EU anyway

  33. stevep

    There are no easy answers. Multiculturism happened for a variety of reasons: War, Famine, Empirical roots, aspiration, slavery, invasion etc. What puzzles me is why anyone in a lush, fertile, sunny country in, for example, the Caribbean would want to leave close family roots and emigrate to grey, cold, dismal old Blighty. A partial answer may lie in a documentary about British immigrants from old Empire countries I saw a couple of years ago. In it, a number of elderly “Windrush” era migrants spoke about their impressions of Britain as seen from their schooldays where their countries` place in the Empire was taught in school, a sort of “know your place” history. They were taught Britain was the mother country, the centre of a glorious Empire, the motherlode where mythical pots of gold lay. So It is small wonder that after the war they went to look for a “better” life. When they arrived here they found a different country to what they had been taught to expect. Skilled people found themselves working as bus conductors and doing unskilled work in factories, even though the skilled jobs they applied for were available, due to racist attitudes. They were denied rented accommodation due to racist attitudes and found themselves in, what was back then, the poorer, more dismal parts of towns and cities which over the years became partially ghettoised. This actually happened a decade after Britain had chosen to go to war to fight against racism.
    So we can partly lay the blame at our own door, The Smug, often vicious, British attitude of intolerance that comes from a perception of superiority. Echoes of Empire reverberate from SunMail hysterical outbursts about immigration, cleverly designed to divide, rule and divert our attention away from far more important matters.
    A recent article by Katie Hopkins in the Sun comparing migrants to cockroaches took a far more dangerous turn, which is to dehumanise them. The Nazis used the same approach with Jews, comparing them to rats. Everyone on the planet knows how that ended.
    Furthermore, I wonder if countries within the EU would be panicking as much about their political position if it was rickety boatloads full of, say, white Australians or white Americans wanting help and sanctuary, instead of black Libyans.
    Ah, the echoes of jackboots on cobbles carry down the years, the blackshirts and brownshirts, the flaming torches. The intolerance.
    Being agnostic, I`m not prone to such utterances, but I thank God that the vast majority of us are welcoming, friendly and tolerant to each other and long may it remain that way.

  34. stevep

    Divide and rule has always been and always will be, the number one tactic of the elite. They fear us.
    Percy Bysshe Shelly, following the atrocity of the Peterloo massacre, eloquently spoke for the masses in his poem “The Masque of Anarchy”, urging them to throw off their shackles of slavery and embrace collectivety:
    “Rise like Lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number! Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you: Ye are many – They are few!”

  35. damon

    Hmmm Stevep, the first part of your post is spot on. Caribbean migrants to England did indeed talk about learning about the ”Mother Country” and had probably swallowed some of the myths of empire. And so, when invited, jumped at the chance to go and see what it was like for themselves. My own parents did it from Ireland.
    The racism the Caribbeans faced was pretty unpleasant. But was a pretty human reaction for the times. Even today much of the world is very parochial. I spent last winter in Sri Lanka, and as a white man, my colour and foreignness was like a beacon shining above me. Every step I took in the country I was noticed as being an ”ausländer”. But at least the Sri Lankans were friendly about it.
    They might not have taken to African migrants coming to their country in numbers though. Where in the world is it much different? Only in the western white countries really. That’s why I sometimes think the insistence that whites must accept the kind of change that is not the norm in non-Western countries almost a bit racist.

  36. stevep

    There is plenty for us all to think about if we want to live peacefully, happily and as abundantly as possible. Respect and tolerance of other cultures and of our different colours is part of it. In an age of instant global communication we are discovering that our differences are less than what previous generations imagined. We all live and breathe, need to eat and drink to survive, we all shit, build homes, have children etc. Where we live, what our resources are and what we do with them are the deciding factor. We can choose to deny them to others or share them with others and that determines our humanity and whether we live in peaceful co-existence or whether we choose permanent war with each other.

  37. damon

    Yes of course. I agree with you. (I’ve been editing that last post of mine btw – I don’t know how much you agree or disagree with it).

    We’ve seen from the election what kind of people the Brits are. Or the English anyway.
    When push comes to shove, they are a conservative bunch and err on the side of caution and self interest. The idea of making a brave new world of open borders and some kind of Star Trek ”world federation” is too much of a leap for the majority.

    If you’ve got nothing better to do, you could have a look at this blog post by Kenan Malik, where he suggests that open borders are just what we need.
    I made a number of replies, but there isn’t much of a conversation going to happen on that site.
    Still interesting ideas though.

    If an extra ten million people moved to the UK, it could certainly be argued that our lives here would suffer as a result. Some people say the opposite though and say we’ve got plenty of room and only need to build greater capacity.
    That can only ever be an argument between different camps, because there are valid points on both sides. An argument for greater third world immigration is one for more places in Britain that now have a population like Brighton or Cambridge becoming more like Southwark and Newham in London. Not everyone is going to be enthusiastic about that prospect. As it would mean those places would also develop London’s problems of poverty etc. Gang culture – Operation Tridant etc.
    More beds in sheds and more Islamic fundamentalists.

  38. ArthurPendragon

    It is a problem of human psychology unless you have vigilance of continuous revolution as proposed by Mao nothing can be done. The Cultural revolution failed. Religion always fails to achieve similar things. It will be solved when the robots take over.

  39. stevep

    The world population issue, particularly in smaller, more crowded countries is a hot potato that few people want to grasp. A serious, balanced debate between all societies and their leaders is long overdue, particularly about the science/religion divide, it should reflect all of us, not just the few. In the meantime all we can realistically do, as human beings, is to have hope and to have the courage to see ourselves as we are, accept the imperfections we see and strive to build a more tolerant world.

  40. stevep

    In the current state of things, if it ever comes to pass that robots could replace humans beings as servants and slaves of the wealthy, then God help us.

  41. ArthurPendragon

    I thought the robots as a ruling class running a kind of zoo. Something that appears inevitable. Not much will change, but it will be novel. Lol!

  42. damon

    Or maybe the whole world could start chanting this:

  43. ArthurPendragon

    If you think robots will become servants of the wealthy it will not last long. They would see the mess that we love to ignore and act like all great men in the past by ridding themselves of the most useless and idle. If you go to Cannes there are shops that sell one item a year for hundreds if not thousands of thousands of pounds. Guys are selling caviar for 100 k a tin. There are two extremes of ridiculous at the top and the bottom of society.

  44. Patrick Nelson

    Maybe, but it sums them up well enough. They are and exceptionally nasty party.

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