Apr 21, 2022Liked by Ed West

There's always a ponzi scheme behind large scale immigration that is self-defeatist in the long run. It's notable that for all the proclaimed benefits of immigration, it hasn't led to increased productivity or national happiness, and any wealth generated always goes to the same small handful of people rather than distributed across society. If anything, the competition for resources has clearly made it more difficult for large swathes of British society (housing, access to social goods). Whenever someone talks about how immigration stimulates economic growth, I rebut with what we can call the Pret a Manger theory based on my observation of London since 1997:

Pret opens a new shop and staffs it with low wage immigrants fresh off the plane from abroad. The new workers use some of their wages to buy, among other things, food at Pret. Pret sees their revenues rise, and justifies opening more stores, and hires more low-wage workers from overseas. See the pattern? In theory the economy is expanding, but what does it mean for existing populations? The owners of Pret get richer, but existing populations have to deal with more competition for scarce housing or crowding more housing in existing areas, more people and more cars on the roads, demand for busses and public transport increases, leading to more need for even more infrastructure, which in turn needs to be funded. And same with NIH resources and capacity.

When one gets down to it, is 2022 Britain "better off" than 1997 Britain? No, not really. Strip away the modern technologies and iPhones, it probably is worse off because it's even more expensive and more crowded.

I do know that prior to 1997 immigration to the UK was tightly regulated and tightly controlled. It was actually quite difficult and lengthy, which is why the numbers are so low. And it was because immigration was one of the few shared consensus between pre 1997 Labour and Tory, both parties mutually, unofficially, agreed on keeping it tightly controlled between the late 1960s and 1997. It really was Tony Blair and his New Labour who completely changed it. When people say it's impossible to control immigration, I always ask why, because it was very strictly controlled in the past and well within living memory. Even without national borders, how hard is it to severely fine and penalize those who employ illegal immigrants and severely restrict access to social services for people without any documented registration to be in the UK? That alone would achieve a great deal.

Expand full comment

The Times had a cartoon the other day, Boris as a parody Statue of Liberty, failing in his duty to welcome the boat people from France. Ah yes, I thought, we're skewered, what has become of us, once we said 'give us your tired, your poor', and now we are being mean to people escaping from France. At some point, possibly in the time of Blair, we decided we are in fact America.

Expand full comment

Asking as an American: Are there any "Conservatives" in the party who aren't just "posh" right-liberals?

Also, when do the 2020 census results come out? Will be interesting to see the reaction. White population might drop to like 82%. Not that there's anything wrong with that! <looks around nervously>

Expand full comment