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  • 16

    UK: Is Immigration a Benefit, or not Working?
    Immigration; Posted on: 2008-04-05 00:18:13 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    The Utter Normality of Ethonationalism

    From the desk of A. Millar

    The issue of immigration just won’t go away. Prime Minister Brown has defended Labour’s open-door policy, following the recent report by the House of Lords economic affairs committee suggesting that immigrants brought no significant economic benefit to the country. Immigrants (approximately 190,000 each year) make a “huge contribution” to the economy, Brown has insisted, and for this reason, presumably, he has also refused to put a cap on the number of those entering the country to find work.

    While the Labour government seems to be losing supporters every day – especially on the issue of immigration – the Prime Minister is not alone. There is more to it than money, we are assured. As is often noted, the broader picture reveals immigrants working long shifts for low wages in jobs that British citizens simply will not do – e.g., physically exhausting agricultural work or assisting in nursing homes. Another benefit is, of course, the much-touted appearance of the Polish delicatessen, Afro-Caribbean food stores, and greater range of restaurants.

    As a nation we like benefits. But every plus comes with a minus. Multiculturalism has meant the dumbing down of British culture. Free education means that many leave school unable to spell or construct coherent sentences. Free healthcare has meant overworked and underpaid hospital staff (often foreign nationals), mixed-sex wards, and poor sanitary conditions leading to outbreaks of deadly viruses.

    Yet, more deeply-rooted in the psyche, perhaps, Britain (like many European nations) has created a welfare system far in advance of such entrepreneurial nations as the U.S. or Hong-Kong. Benefits for the infirm and long-term unemployed, along with free healthcare, etc., are not enjoyed by the citizens of every country, perhaps especially those that are economic world leaders, and that may be part of their success.

    There needs to be support for those who find themselves either seriously ill or unemployed through no fault of their own, and healthcare should be generally available, I think. However, such protections only work in countries where there is a sense of nationhood and responsibility to the nation. America, which has some benefits for the unemployed, still speaks of the “protestant work ethic”, and the optional of picking potatoes for little pay for a few months or more is generally regarded as preferable to taking government handouts (which is not to deny that the country has a problem with illegal immigration).

    News Source: brusselsjournal.com


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