Category Archives: migration

Fine words butter no parsnips

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 08.56.42This is one of the laws of political science, writes Dalrymple. Thus

openhandedness and moral exultation have been quickly replaced by recrimination, border controls, and barbed-wire fences. The categorical imperative has met particular circumstances, and it is the latter which, as ever, have proved the more compelling.

It is Dalrymple’s desire — one shared by the vast majority of decent people everywhere — that

the small place in which I live should be saved from the influx of hundreds or thousands of migrants.

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The Calais migrants are brave, determined and enterprising

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 23.21.13France, writes Dalrymple, is a more attractive country than Britain. It is

better organised and preserved, cleaner, more efficient and less corrupt (in the sense that people are likelier to do what they are paid to do, both in the private and public sectors). It is far less crowded and has fewer dreary and hellishly ugly towns. Its medical services are better and its population much healthier, in large part because people ­indulge less in gross and self-­destructive habits. Its poverty is better hidden, and probably less in fact. Its crime rate is much lower. Its economy produces as much as Britain’s in three-quarters the number of hours worked, indicating a considerably higher quality of life.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 23.06.13Why then, would anyone seek to quit France for Britain? Why do migrants from the Middle East, the Maghreb, Sudan, the Horn of Africa, Iran, Pakistan etc. see Britain as an El Dorado worth risking their lives to reach via Calais and through the Channel Tunnel?

There are three main reasons, says Dalrymple — the third being by far the most important.

Language. Most of the migrants probably speak a few words of English, and are more anxious to learn the world language than one which is much less important than it was.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 23.09.41Papers. In Britain there is no legal requirement to carry any form of identification. You cannot be asked for your papers. This is the tiny residue of the tradition of the free-born Englishman, who does not have to justify his existence, or his presence, to authority. (France has countless sans-papiers, who subsist in marginality and fear of official clampdown, though their chances of being expelled are tiny; for the liberal Left in France, the sans-papiers are heroic victims almost by definition.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 23.22.59Work. It is easy to find work in Britain, albeit at a lowly paid level, sometimes considerably below the ability of the migrants. The populist notion that the migrants (overwhelmingly young men) want simply to parasitise the welfare state is mistaken. They are mainly people desperate to improve their lot and, thanks to its relatively liberal labour laws and its lack of serious effort to control the informal sector of the economy, their chances of doing so are better in Britain. The prospect of work, and even of starting a business, is far more important to them than healthcare or the beauty of city centres. The truly poor want to work their way out of poverty.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 23.17.43The Channel migrants, Dalrymple affirms,

are brave, determined and enterprising. No one does lightly what they do. Does this in itself mean that the native population that wants to keep them out is wrongheaded, mean-spirited or even vicious? Some economists argue that migrants bring economic growth ex officio: but it is economic product per head that is important, not the total product, and here economists are far from unanimous. In addition, much of the population fears that we are creating not a melting-pot but a stir-fry of incompatible ingredients. Britain, after all, is a very small wok.

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Dilemma over mass migration to the West

Merton, a London suburb

Merton, a London suburb

Dalrymple writes that the change in the ethnic and cultural origins of the inhabitants of the Western world’s towns and cities

is so obvious that no one could possibly miss it. Some glory in the change, some detest it; it is difficult to be neutral, or even merely objective.

He says that on the subject of illegal immigrants to the West and the change

in the ethnic and cultural composition of our societies, I confess that my thoughts and feelings are inconsistent and contradictory.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 09.00.52Economic migrants are often

brave and enterprising, and have no desire to sponge on the state, but rather to work and improve their lives.

In the West they find themselves

in a sea of strangeness, incomprehension, hostility, or indifference.

Western countries appear to

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 09.12.51need people to come to us from impoverished lands, and this is so despite the fact that we have a substantial fund of unemployed people. Why this should be I leave to labour economists; I suspect it has something to do with the rent-seeking behaviour of a large percentage of our population (including me).

Immigrants to the West are often people of

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 09.18.04warmth, kindness, humanity and mannerliness. These qualities induce a slight feeling of shame in belonging to a culture in which these qualities should seem exceptional rather than normal. It is we, not they, who are so often crude.

On the other hand, Dalrymple cannot

view with delight the disappearance of the culture in which I grew up, which is being absorbed into a minestrone of no particular savour. I do not want to see my society changed irreversibly by an uncontrolled influx of immigrants.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 08.56.33Knowing another culture is not

simply a matter of patronising a restaurant of its cuisine from time to time. It is the work of years if not of a lifetime. Consider that multiculturalism condemns us to be strangers to one another; and, while all cultures have their charms, they may not all be compatible in their conceptions.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 09.25.46Dalrymple points out that

most people who support mass immigration are personally less keen on taking the social consequences.

For instance, in France recently,

Désolé

Désolé

someone contacted more than 40 media personalities who publicly supported immigration and asked whether they could assist personally with lodging an immigrant. Though each was rich, none said he could do so for more than a day or two, each finding a good excuse.

Britons who hate and repudiate civilisation

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 13.58.15British incivility has a militant or ideological edge

Increasingly, writes Dalrymple, the English

are a people who know neither inner nor outer restraint. They turn to aggression, if not to violence, the moment they are thwarted, even in trifles.

And with an increasingly corrupt police force and judiciary, those who are neither aggressive nor violent

are by no means sure that the law will take their side in the event of a fracas.

Surveys have shown that half of the population wants to leave the country,

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 13.57.29to flee the other half.

The British are not only violent. They are filthy.

The British are by far the dirtiest people in the Western world, a sign of their unsocial mindset.

The paralysis of the public administration

induces a state of despair in the more civilised half of the population. Practically no behaviour is beyond the pale for the British state.

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 14.17.03The freedom to behave badly

is almost the only freedom valued by, or left to, young Britons.

Is it any surprise that so many are desperate to emigrate? The people who want to flee Britain

The flight from barbarism The flight from barbarism

are not economic migrants. It is not high taxes that they object to (many want to move to France, where taxes are not low), but barbarism.

The emigrants

are cultural refugees in search of a more civilised homeland, where fewer people are uncouth or militantly vulgar.

The promised land

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 09.39.43Why do Sudanese, Eritreans, Yemenis and all the other migrants make a bee-line for Britain?

It is not, says Dalrymple, because of more generous social provisions.

Our schools and hospitals are not better than elsewhere: I think rather the reverse. Nor are we more generous with monetary subventions.

He thinks there are two chief factors.

  • The English language. ‘Many of the refugees will have some knowledge of it already; those who don’t speak it will be more eager to learn it than a less global language. Mastery of English opens vistas beyond the capacity of all other languages.’
  • Relatively liberal labour laws. ‘This makes it easier to find work. There will be no work in the rest of Europe for them, thanks to protective labour laws.’

But their eagerness to work

does not mean that they will be an asset to the country, especially if they can subsequently claim the right to family reunification. The latter has had disastrous effects everywhere it has been granted.

Europe’s cock-eyed immigration policy

It sentimentally assumes, writes Dalrymple,

that the purpose of immigration is to provide succour for the persecuted rather than opportunity for the enterprising, and that we can truly do good only when we act against our interests, or when it costs us something tangible to do so.

Not surprisingly,

the demand for persecuted people produces a supply, since to claim persecution brings advantages, however small. That there is no infallible way to distinguish the genuine cases from the fraudulent ones causes the liberal sentimentalist no anxiety: he wants to feel generous, not to be generous.

The policy is also mean-minded, with its

dismal, pessimistic view that wealth is static, not dynamic (a view very widespread in Britain), and that immigrants can only consume wealth, not create it. The mean-mindedness also partakes of the racist view that immigration is a cultural threat, because culture is passed on through the blood rather than through the mind. As extreme French nationalists have put it, no Jew can ever truly understand Racine, because his ancestors came from Poland or Russia rather than from Gaul.

Hong Kong — and Britain’s opportunity

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 12.37.06A failure of imagination

In 1989 Margaret Thatcher made sure that the three million Hong Kong people who held UK passports were denied the right of abode in Britain. This was not only unjust and perfidious; it was deeply short-sighted. Dalrymple writes:

Britain viewed the skills, work habits, and capital of the Hong Kong Chinese as a menace rather than an opportunity of unparalleled proportions, the like of which will not soon present itself to any other nation.

Western Europeans couldn’t care less about Ukraine

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 20.22.16The only thing that concerns them, says Dalrymple, is that the situation

doesn’t drive tens of millions of Ukrainians westward. Those few who have followed developments in Ukraine over the last few years have probably lost all faith in the possibility of a minimally honest and upright government there. Who wants to risk anything for one group of corrupt oligarchs rather than another?

Western European electorates

are prepared to make no sacrifices to meet such threats, least of all in economic circumstances that are already precarious. For most electorates in Europe, Ukraine is, like Czechoslovakia in 1938, a faraway country of which they know nothing; what they want, and will judge their governments by, is prosperity at home. And only more immediate threats will arouse their national passions sufficiently to resign them to the slightest economic hardship.

One of the forms of hubris, Dalrymple writes, is

the belief that the need for vigilance has been abolished because everyone now has the same worldview as ourselves, that the end of history has come, and we are it.

Corruption, British-style

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 02.25.52Dalrymple explains why during Britain’s boom, high rates of indigenous unemployment were maintained while the country sucked in almost equivalent numbers of foreigners to perform unskilled labour. He writes:

The official unemployment figures fell but the slack (if I may be allowed a slight pun) was taken up by the allegedly ill, of whom very few were actually ill. They were unemployed, not sick, but being certified as sick meant that they could claim benefits for ever and the government to claim that unemployment was at such a low level that foreign labour was required.

While millions were kept in subsidised idleness,

millions were imported to do the work that the idle millions might have done….The foreigners were better workers. Though their education might have cost a fraction of what a British education cost, they were often much better educated. Their attitude to work was much better, and it was much better because the incentive for them to work was much stronger….They compared their wages with what they would have earned had they not come, not with what they would have received for doing nothing at all, which is the comparison the British unemployed made.

The indigenous unemployed

received non-transferable housing subsidies that…trapped them…but from the crudely economic point of view were beneficial to them. They would not give these up merely to work for a wage that might leave them hardly any better, or even worse, off.

Common sense on immigration

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 21.10.53Dalrymple’s answer:

Allow people entry, but offer them no public help whatever — other than the permission to work.

However, such a policy

would require the abandonment of the sentimental view of people as victims rather than agents, and of the view that one man’s wealth is another man’s poverty.