A daily blog on the thrills, spills, and frequent absurdities of the world's one and only 'non-imperial empire' - as Barroso himself called it - the European Union.

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Monday, 31 October 2011

The Folly of Immigration Idealism

Not overcrowded? Picture by David Rayner.

Britain is not full. There are still plenty of open woodland spaces, plenty of parkland, plenty of moors, and a wilderness the size of Belgium for people to inhabit. In a very literal sense, Britain is not full at all. Sadly, what David Blunkett - and proponents of immigration in general - don't seem to understand is that being able to build a few hundred thousand new houses does not equate to being able to support a few hundred thousand new people. You need schools. You need jobs. You need a plethora of public services, a whole variety of amenities, and ready access to utilities. And these things are full.

In London alone, primary schools are already short of places for fifty thousand students. Nationally, twenty per cent of all primary schools are full, and one hundred thousand are taught in overcrowded classrooms. And it's not just schools: there are already five million people on the waiting list for social housing, and, on average, they are waiting several years. To add to this, the budget is about to be slashed by 50%. Electrical grids are overburdened to the extent that the government has predicted rolling blackouts unless a radical solution is adopted. Nothing needs to be said for the creaking local authority infrastructure, outdated railways, and Victorian sewage systems.

Immigration activists are wrong: there is no fear of 'foreigners.' In fact, many people that xenophobes and immigration activists alike would consider 'foreign' are as opposed to mass-immigration as the white British population. There is, however, a fear of numbers. Big numbers. Numbers that are as unsustainable in reality as they would be in the back of a maths book: numbers that simply don't add up to a prosperous society, but rather a pressured one, with ever-increasing numbers competing for ever-dwindling school places or one of the few council houses remaining. Where is the sense in adding more people to a system which can barely cope with the ones already here?

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