Monday, 15 September 2014

Migration works both ways

Migration is only just beginning. Of course, it has always gone on, often with our country as a destination of choice, thanks to our socially liberal culture. As climates change, water becomes scarcer in some regions, power and employment shift and sectarian divisions turn into conflicts, more and more populations will be displaced and seek new homes.

Whilst ethical considerations and an inclusive society demand a welcome to those in extreme need, control of immigration is a legitimate political priority. Just how many oligarchs do we want buying up our best properties? How reasonable is it for public services to have to publish regulations or information in multiple languages? Why should incoming workers not be as subject to minimum wages as indigenous ones? How many jobs can actually be filled without recourse to recruiting non-nationals?

All parties need to address these issues but only one has a real solution and that is UKIP's desire to close borders. Such xenophobic initiatives have no place in our country, negating the positives of new earners, new cultures, duty and hospitality. Consider too its obverse, the emigration of British nationals to other countries. Would UKIP advocate stopping this too? We seed usually warmer lands with non-earning, often non-linguistic public service users in very large numbers. These are a burden on local resources, often not integrating nor enriching host communities. We should ask UKIP candidates their policy on this, perhaps, not least as Scotland may soon become either a source or a destination to be so controlled if it got its way.

Labour still has a very ill-defined solution to what will only grow as a policy issue. We in the affluent West, especially as a past imperial power, must not deny our responsibility to the peoples of the world; nor to our domestic voters.

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