Saturday, 21 April 2012

immigration laws limit the days of being enriched

When Cambridge’s Addenbrookes Hospital had trouble filling posts, it went to the Philippines to recruit. And so came the Pinoy, fluent in English, with their solid working-class values, deep Judaeo-Christian values and tradition of maintaining sick people’s dignity. Then, when eastern European countries joined the EU, Philipinos found their visas not getting renewed because workplaces have to hire Europeans first: they were replaced by frowning hulks who could hardly speak a word of English.

I cite the above story, related not by a politician but a Roman Catholic priest responding to the concerns of all his flock, to illustrate that immigration isn’t reducible to one single phenomenon.

But the middle-class press didn’t challenge the BBC documentary The 70s opining that racist protest is "the authentic voice of the working class" – whereas Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain cites blue-collar anger when Attlee's postwar legislation capped Indian and African migration but Ireland, which was neutral in the war, retained open borders.

However, because of pressure on schools due to "the high birthrate" (ie open borders), it’s no longer non-U to discuss immigration at dinner-parties, with the Telegraph’s Fraser Nelson warning that "David Cameron should beware the march of the angry mothers". I wonder what Mumsnet will make of it all?

What complicates the issue is the leftist view that people from outside the UK, or even EU, deserve better than the settled population for not other reason that they’re from elsewhere; witness the Cambridge News worrying that "Migrant workers are living in some of the worst private housing in East Cambridgeshire".

As the middle classes find their lifestyle choices increasingly restricted by immigration, I predict that their views will change. But by the time they get around to that, will the time of genuinely enriching immigration like that from the Phillipines be gone forever?

Gerry Dorrian 300 words

Click to read John Redwood's Reply on immigration Click to view the BBC2 series The 70s

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