Do We Need Mass Immigration?: The Economic, Demographic, Environmental, Social and Developmental Arguments Against Large-scale Net Immigration to Britain Paperback – 1 Nov 2002
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The 'crime' of Anthony Browne was to argue that official policy on immigration is imposing immense strains. -- New Statesman
From the Publisher
Do We Need Mass Immigration? was awarded the Think-Tank Book of the Year Award 2003.
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In this important book he argues that “the record net immigration that we are experiencing is not in the interests of the British or even generally in the interest of the countries from where the immigrants come, although it is in the interests of the immigrants themselves.”
Immigration is not a development policy. It robs poor countries of their most educated citizens, often harming health and education services essential to development. For example, 75 per cent of educated Jamaicans live abroad. 20,000 professionals a year leave Africa for the West, costing Africa about $4 billion a year.
Sixteen countries, including many devastated by AIDS in Southern Africa, asked Britain to stop recruiting their nurses, whom they had paid to educate with scarce public resources, and whom they need more than we do.
We have, for the first time, sustained, large-scale, one-way, economically-driven immigration, with no end in sight, from low-income countries. Far more people want to live in Britain than the British people want to accept, so there have to be some controls. This means deciding roughly how many people it is desirable to let in each year, and which groups of people should be let in. The British people should decide the aims of immigration policy, and then the immigration system should deliver it. As he remarks, “saying someone who is opposed to large-scale immigration is anti-immigrant is like saying that someone who is in favour of family planning is anti-baby …”
Some claim that we need lots of immigrants to look after our elderly, but as the Home Office’s report International Migration and the United Kingdom: Patterns and Trends (2001) said, “The impact of immigration in mitigating population ageing is widely acknowledged to be small because immigrants also age.”
Browne points out that anything, including immigration, which increases the supply of labour in a country works against the interests of the workers of that country. As the Home Office study Migration: an economic and social analysis (2000) said, “In general, migration increases the supply of labour: this is likely, in theory, to reduce wages for workers competing with migrants, and increase returns to capital and other factors complementary to migrant labour.”
David Coleman, professor of demography at Oxford University, observed, “reliance on the apparently easy option of importing (cheap) labour from overseas might not help Europe’s central economic problem of low productivity.” (The Times, 15 November 2001.) But this is EU policy.
Browne advocates zero net migration: equal numbers coming and going. Those coming should include some refugees, as well as children, husbands and wives. It does not mean ‘fortress Britain’. It does not mean zero immigration.
Browne concludes, “As this book has shown, Britain doesn’t have a declining population; Britain doesn’t have a declining workforce; it isn’t faced with a demographic time bomb; immigration is no fix for an ageing society; there are no economic benefits in terms of increasing GDP per capita; Britons don’t want to be culturally enriched, but, like most peoples of the world, want to preserve their culture.”
I am probably too strongly preconditioned to see any merit in this book. It starts with a promise of providing detailed data and a new, reasonable approach to the problem. However, I have seen nothing of that sort. Quite the opposite, I have seen only manipulation: the author picks and chooses his data as he wills, disregarding those bits that don't suit his picture. The author reassures the reader that the book offers only hard facts and no racist nonsense; he also claims that the whole debate is dishonest, manipulated by the opponents who give it an ugly name of racism with no real ground for it. He even goes as far as to accuse the supporters of open immigration policy as those who lead the society towards racism. And yet he writes:
"Instead of being a nation with ancient traditions where the vast majority can trace their families back to the time of William the Conquerer (sic!), Britain suddenly becomes a nation of immigrants like America".
So what exactly is wrong with this? I wonder.
It is a fair comment to say that migration takes skilled people away from developing countries, but the way to deal with that is not limits on immigration but developing them faster. Why do you want to come to a miserable dank dark country when you could be living in the sunny Caribbean where most British dream of spending a few weeks of the year? The British seem to be deluded by some idea that coming here is a great thing because it is such an amazing life. Sorry to disappoint but people come here because of necessity and not choice. If we change the necessity then they will not make the choice, but until then we need to welcome them openly because they give more than they take.
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Why? Certainly not because I agree with the views expressed in it (although I positively agree with them).
The reason is that it does not stick exclusively to the issues tipically discussed: it adresses all issues, many of them unknown in the "public discussion" of the issue (?).
1. The dishonesty of the immigration debate 1
2. Why opposing large-scale immigration is not racist 5
3. Why zero net immigration is not Fortress Britain 10
4. Britain does not have a declining population 14
5. Britain does not have a declining workforce 16
6. Britain does not have a demographic time bomb 19
7. How immigration has reached record levels 20
8. Why current immigration is different from previous
waves of immigration 25
9. Why it is one-way economically-driven large-scale
immigration, with no end in sight 28
10. How record immigration has re-ignited population growth 34
11. How population growth damages the quality of life
and the environment 37
12. Why immigration is not a `fix' for an ageing population 41
13. Why an ageing society is inevitable for the UK and
the rest of the world 48
14. Why health care will be affordable in an ageing society 50
15. Why we should welcome an ageing society 52
16. Why Europe's low fertility is set to bounce back up 56
17. Why there are no labour shortages in Europe or the UK 62
18. How immigration can lead to worse pay and
conditions for native workers 66
19. Why unskilled immigration is no saviour for failing
industries and makes businesses less competitive 73
20. Creating co-dependency: the fallacy of arguing Britain
would collapse without immigrants 75. ? vi
21. Importing poverty: why immigration can make a
country poorer and doesn't increase long-term
economic growth 76
22. How immigration increases inequality by making
the rich richer and the poor poorer 84
23. Why free movement of labour is different from
free movement of goods and capital 87
24. How immigration from the Third World almost
certainly increases taxes 90
25. Chain migration: the problem of self-perpetuating
26. The drawbacks of multi-cultural societies 103
27. Should all mono-racial societies be made multi-racial? 110
28. How large-scale immigration without integration
fragments society 112
29. How current immigration patterns fuel racial tensions 115
30. Why large-scale immigration is anti-democratic 119
31. Why the Left is betraying its core constituency
by supporting immigration 120
32. Why the pro-immigration lobby are responsible
for promoting fascism in Europe 123
33. Why Europe doesn't have a moral duty to
accept immigration 125
34. Why immigration to rich countries harms poor
35. Why the Third World immigration pressure is a wake-up
call to rich countries to do more to help poor ones 135
36. Future perfect: a world without barriers, but not
while it is so unbalanced 137
One more thing: Browne uses data, hard data. Very strange for someone discussing this issue.
The book actually has much more. It is brilliant, very, very well argued.