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Britain’s immigration debate must address three key issues

14 July 2014

Politicians tend to get all the blame for immigration policies not working. But politicians are often doomed to fail on migration questions because there are deep-rooted problems with the way we all debate immigration and with what we expect of immigration policy.

Following UKIP’s success in the European elections, and given the likely failure of the government to meet its net migration target by 2015, immigration is guaranteed to be a key focal point of public debate in the run-up to the general election next year. There is widespread agreement that Britain needs a ‘better’ immigration debate – but how can that be achieved?

Over the past year I have been developing an online course on international labour migration for Oxford University which deals with this question. I suggest that three key issues need to be addressed, not only by politicians, but also by the media and the public:

1) Unrealistic understanding of nation states’ capacity to regulate immigration

Policy, media and public debates frequently fail to appreciate the role and capacity of nation states to regulate the admission and rights of migrants. As such, these types of debates have been instrumental in popularising two extreme positions:

One is that nation states should be in ‘complete control’ of immigration.  This is the impression that we frequently get from looking at public opinion data and many media reports that deal with the public’s views on immigration policy.

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The other is that that because of the ‘unstoppable’ forces of globalisation, national borders are increasingly ‘beyond control’ for national policy-makers. This suggests that the policy challenge is to manage the consequences of immigration rather than its scale and composition.

Both of these popular positions are clearly wrong. The migration (and other) policies of nation states play a key role in influencing international migration: restrictive immigration policies are a major reason why only a relatively small share of people who wish to migrate to other countries are able to do so, and why, despite huge inequalities across countries, international migrants constitute only three percent of the global population.

At the same time, it should be equally obvious that no country is or even can be in complete control over immigration. National policy-makers face a range of constraints in regulating the admission and rights of migrants. These include legal obligations arising from domestic laws and membership in international institutions as well as basic capacity constraints due to, among other things, the financial costs of immigration controls.

2) Refusal to acknowledge that immigration creates both winners and losers

Immigration debates are often dominated by ‘immigration hardliners’ who characterise whatever type of migration they are discussing as ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’. But in practice, the impacts of migration always involve both costs and benefits, and until governments engage in honest debate about the multifaceted impacts and inescapable trade-offs created by migration, migration debates will remain confused.

There are numerous short-term and long-term trade-offs in global labour migration. For example, in the short run, more low-skilled immigration in the UK and other high-income countries can benefit employers and consumers, but sometimes at the expense of those resident workers who are competing with new migrants in the job market. In the longer run, more low-skilled migrants may lead to more investment in the economy, raising labour demand, employment opportunities and wages for all workers.

Workers from low-income countries such as Nepal who are employed on infrastructure projects in oil-rich states such as Qatar may be appallingly exploited and abused. However, they have opportunities for income generation that they could never find in their home countries. So for workers in poor countries, employment in higher-income countries often involves a trade-off between ‘access’ and ‘rights’.

3) Failure to make clear the ethical starting points of migration policy

To debate the question ‘How should we regulate immigration?’, we obviously need to discuss policy objectives and, critically, in whose interests policies should be made.

We often hear national policy-makers say that they are restricting immigration in the best ‘national interest’ – but what does that mean? To what extent, if at all, should our immigration policies take account of the interests of migrants and their countries of origin? How do we balance competing interests of employers and workers? These are difficult moral questions with no right answer. Because they involve both inclusion and exclusion, these fundamental ethical questions make most people uncomfortable and are therefore often avoided. But this just serves to compound the problem of confused public debates and unclear policy-making on migration.

Better policies on migration require a better public debate. As Britain moves into a period of increasingly pressurised immigration debates in the run-up to the general election, we need open discussion about the limitations of the nation state, the inescapable trade-offs in migration, and – perhaps most fundamentally – the policy objectives, including the underlying ethical questions.

Martin Ruhs is Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Oxford, and a member of the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).  He blogs on international labour migration at  

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Show comments
  • David McKendrick

    How do you control immigration when more than 100 million people arrive in UK every year? Most of these are UK Citizens returning from two foreign holidays a year or foreign tourists who will leave in a few days or weeks. Others are students who are classed as “immigrants” even though they will leave in months or years or expat UK Citizens returning after living abroad for a few months or years. Some are EU Citizens with the right to live and work in the UK who are looking to work here but who will leave if they don’t find work in a few weeks. A few are actually non-EU Citizens who have a visa to settle in UK either as a highly skilled worker or spouse of a UK citizen. How exactly do you sort out which are tourists or genuine students and which are immigrants intending to stay permanently? At the moment even Cliff Richards, Eddie Izzard, Boris Johnston, Joanna Lumley and Prince Philip are still classed as immigrants because they were not “born” in the UK. Even Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy.

    • stephengreen

      You have a scanning system, similar to that used at passport control to check bona fides, which records those coming in and those leaving and reconciles the two. Non-EU/EEA citizens already have to go through passport control. Those who already enter under these terms require supporting documentation. All ‘right to enter’ considerations already happen before reaching passport control. Political decisions therefore can be made as to who should enter, focusing initially on larger segments and larger source countries. Disgracefully, the government has dropped its eBorders initiative after spending billions.

  • pobinr

    Britains immigration debate must address more that 3 issues!

    * Low population density E.European countries being further depopulated

    * Cheap imported labour that drives wages down & take jobs from locals

    * Classes full of kids that need special lessons in speaking basic English

    * Being told it’s just Daily Mail fiction when we see it with our own eyes

    * 28,000 or is it 5,000 Romanians I don’t care, held for crimes

    * Higher house prices & rents due to increased demand

    * More crowded surgeries & longer NHS queues

    * More dependance on food & energy imports

    * Worst housing shortage since WWII

    * More & more houses on greenbelt

    * More & more road congestion

    * Child grooming gangs
    * People traffickers

    * More red tape

    * More pollution

    * More crowds

    * More queues

    * FGM

  • expertwebworld

    Nice article!Immigration relates to the movement of peoples from one country into another, for residential rather than visiting purposes, which may be for a number of reasons, including economic, familial, social or personal.For a legal migration see here-

  • evad666

    So immigration is good for the economy? So if we forcibly move the global population here to the UK we will have the strongest economy possible?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    “…there are deep-rooted problems with the way we all debate…”


    Spoken like a true academic leftist, lad. The problem for you types is that people don’t agree with you. Not only that, they fight your vulgar attempts to pervert the language, and illegitimately wipe out any possible arguments that run counter to your leftist orthodoxy.

    It’s only the true hard leftist who whimpers about “problems with the way we all debate”. The problem for you is that people are reluctant to accept your diktat, and your above quote clearly marks this, and you. You should understand that this is why you academic leftists are scorned by nearly everybody who’s not you. We cherish freedom and liberty. You despise them.

  • Augustus

    “But while, to the immigrant, entry to this country was admission to privileges and opportunities eagerly sought, the impact upon the existing population was very different. For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country.”

    And after a further half century politicians are still getting it wrong about the arrival of foreign workers being good for the economy, and that there wouldn’t be that many, or they wouldn’t rely on social security and only do work which the indigenous population wouldn’t do. Whereas, of course, an influx of workers from abroad is, on balance, only profitable for an advanced economy if the persons concerned have a higher labour output and earn more than the general population does. Furthermore, in recent decades the EU has opted for free movement of people and chosen to expand rapidly into a series of poorer countries. By doing so, Europe, and with it the UK, has embarked on a journey in which the whole of the labour market together with many other social elements of a first class welfare state, have become increasingly untenable and a lost battle. Those who want to continue down that European path will just have to accept a more crowded and competitive labour market and a more austere society generally.

  • callingallcomets

    Please please please….why don’t people ignore Telemachus. Almost every comment thread is dominated by responses to this troll

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe


  • ADW

    In common with all of the metropolitan elite (within which I certainly include Oxbridge academics; if they’re a separate class they’re an even worse one, eg Mary Beard …) you have only looked at part of the equation, and have missed the one factor of overwhelming importance.

    That factor is this: immigration should not be judged purely in economic terms. I am sure that the Somalis who drove my great aunt out of her home of seventy years (they broke into the lofts of all the houses in her terrace) were thought to add wonderfully to the economy, but they didn’t enrich my great aunt’s cultural existence.

    Fiji has been in turmoil since the coup of 1987 because the indigenous Fijians woke up to find themselves ruled by the more recent Indian immigrants. That is not what we want here. Small numbers of immigrants have no choice other than to adapt to the local culture to the extent necessary to prosper in that society. Large numbers of immigrants form ghettos and do anything but integrate.

    • Conway

      Especially when backed up by a misguided policy of ‘multiculturalism’.

    • Damaris Tighe

      It’s a sign of how completely our elites have lost their way that the argument over immigration is couched almost solely in economic terms.

  • Lady Magdalene

    LibLabCON – particularly Labour – deliberately excluded the Great British public from a debate on immigration because they didn’t want to hear what was said.

    Instead, the embarked on a deliberate policy of importing millions of immigrants from the 3rd world and Eastern Europe and denying it when questioned. In order to close down any discussion they screamed “racist” at anyone who dared raise the subject.

    That’s why the debate is now polarised.

    Those who wanted and/or benefitted from mass immigration see only the benefits to themselves and possibly their communities. This is generally the Elite and a minority of British people, mainly from ethnic minorities themselves who were free to import more family members.

    Those who did not want and/or have suffered as a result of mass immigration see only the negatives. This includes the majority of British citizens – particularly those in the lower classes.

    The Elite had no mandate and no right to open the doors to mass immigration. They did it without the consent of the settled population and they have only themselves to blame if they are now not trusted; their pronouncements are not believed and their claims of concern for ordinary British families are greeted with cynicism.

    UKIP wants to get some honesty back into the debate. We don’t believe that all immigration could be or should be stopped. But we want to regain control of our immigration policy and put in place safeguards which protect the interests of the settled population over and above those of the potential immigrant.

    • Conway

      It’s not just a matter of room, or culture, it’s also a matter of practicality; in the first place, one cannot have a welfare state like ours and unlimited immigration – it’s unaffordable. Secondly, how can one plan for the necessary infrastructure, housing, school places, GP provision, NHS provision, resources, etc, etc, if one has no idea how many one is planning for? Some immigration can be beneficial, but it has to be the right sort of immigration; limited numbers of people who will contribute to society. When their contract ends, they should go home as well.

  • jamesbarn

    You can see Junker say quite catagoricaly that immgration controll is NOT up for renegotiation if you look on the UKIP wesite

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Many good words, few new. No need to be a professor to understand them.

  • edward

    I was at your presentation in Oxford called who needs migrant workers. It was very informative. I hadn’t realised the proportios of different migrant groups.

  • Blindsideflanker

    “there are deep-rooted problems with the way we all debate immigration and with what we expect of immigration policy.”

    Having denied us a debate on immigration. Lost the debate we went ahead and held on immigration. They now want to re run the debate they lost and try to restructure the argument around their mealy-mouthed principles, that are designed to ensure there are no decisions arrived at on immigration, for they will construct so many grey areas it will be worse than a London pea souper fog.

    Sorry mate, you are too late, we have been there, debated it, and decided on it.

  • Ordinaryman

    If you give an academic a problem to solve they will, quite naturally, turn it into an academic exercise. Practical problems, like immigration, require a practical solution based on common sense and a ‘down-to-earth’ assessment of the impact on the indigenous population. Unfortunately, it is manifestly obvious that common sense and a ‘down-to-earth’ approach are not something that can be taught at university.

  • Aberrant_Apostrophe

    Someone else swallowing the nett immigration target as though it was the acceptable be-all and end-all of the immigration debate, without understanding what it implies. We could have a nett immigration figure of 0, but still see the indigenous English peoples replaced in less than 100 years. All because big business and most of their customers want cheap labour and low prices, respectively.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Spot on, but this is the product of a political class so deracinated that it can’t see the difference between an indigenous Brit & an immigrant. They’re both just units in a bean counting exercise.

  • LB

    One is that nation states should be in ‘complete control’ of immigration.


    They are. Even under EU law, the government can stop migration. It’s subject to a “public policy” test. See Cyprus where the right of freedom of movement of capital was thrown own, by virtue of “public policy”

    As a professor, you are asking the wrong question. The real question is why governments have given up on controlling migration.

    These include legal obligations arising from domestic laws and membership in international institutions as well as basic capacity constraints due to, among other things, the financial costs of immigration controls.

    See above for the error.

    the financial costs of immigration controls

    Far cheaper than pulling in migrants on welfare. 55K plus a year there.

    until governments engage in honest debate about the multifaceted impacts and inescapable trade-offs created by migration, migration debates will remain confused

    This is correct. However, when you look at the biased research such as the Cream report, you won’t get the truth. There fiddles are that they assume that Brits pay for all the common goods, and the migrants get for free. They then ignore all the debts. They ignore all the pensions. They ignore the housing market. ie. All the really big bad effects, lets ignore them.

    Simple question to anyone in favour of migration is how much tax does the migrant need to pay to be an economic benefit?

    If you ignore pensions what’s your plan when the migrant wants the pensions? Kick them out, pay no pension perhaps. My guess is they would be the first to moan when that happens.

    The state spends 11.5K per person per year. That ignores pensions. On top for those accruing the state pension, that’s another 6.5K. This ignores the hidden costs of the state worker’s pensions. That’s in the thousands too.

    Does the average migrant cover their costs? No. Will people like Martin debate it? I doubt it.

    What about housing? Look at the BBC. Lots of programs about how dire the housing market is. Not one peep about migration. Supply and demand means higher prices. It’s the demand that is driving it and that is migration.

  • misomiso

    Its incredible
    Whenever an establishment tries to talk about immigration they’ll try and find any excuse they can apart from Freedom of Movement.

    And for a professor to do this is disgraceful. Take us out of Freedom of movement. Give us back our borders.

  • George Igler

    This government fought the last election on a pledge to decrease annual net immigration pressure, and its consequent effect on schools, hospitals, transport, housing, and a myriad other policy areas (the professor chooses not to mention), to 10,000 a year.

    Four years on the population of Britain, chiefly England, has increased by roughly half a million each year. Compared to the start of this century, “English” women are somehow magically having four times as many children as they did previously, with the result that the net birth rate is quadruple what it was in 2000. The other quarter million is made up of fresh yearly arrivals to these shores as a result of asylum policy outsourced to Brussels and the free movement of peoples.

    During Mr Cameron’s tenure not only has the UK become the maternity ward of the EU, more citizens of the EU are born here than anywhere else, we also issue more EU passports than any other member state, meaning that Britain is the number one destination for all non-EU citizens seeking residence too. (see the recent passport farce)

    With all these facts in mind, the best Prof. Ruhs can come up with — Jesus wept — is (my emphasis), ” given the *likely* failure of the government to meet its net migration target by 2015…”

    This administration’s target was comprehensively smashed in its first three months in office!

    If this lukewarm twaddle is the best that people who actually teach immigration policy can come up with, at Oxford University no less (er well, fair enough), no wonder Britain doesn’t even have the faintest idea how many tens of millions are actually living here.

    It would have been helpful, also, if it had been mentioned that another of the “trade-offs” of having such porous borders, is the gradual transformation of the country into a police state, because the authorities simply have no genuine clue how many tooled up jihadis are going to simply swan back in to this country to wreak havoc over the next few years: so the only answer is to incrementally take all our rights away to keep us safe.

    • Alexsandr

      we could fix this tomorrow. If someone goes to a far away land to fight in a war nothing to do with the UK, then it is assumed they have renounced their UK citizenship, and their passports are cancelled, and they cant then come back to the UK. We could issue licences to those who go to do private security work that is acceptable to the government.

  • alabenn

    There is one thing that might help, just stopping giving citizenship out like confetti, when they have no work or benefits they go home, when the country asylum seekers flee becomes stable they go home.
    We have never needed more citizens, temporary workers maybe, nothing else.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Oh god not another academic dimwit.

    Its very simple even for those closeted away in the heady climes of Oxbridge (which increasingly seems to be at the heart of the intellectual cancer in our society)

    Politicians are elected by the people to do their bidding. If they do not they are gone. Laws can be changed. International agreements can be amended or withdrawn from. End of story!

    If the people will it there is absolutely no reason why immigration cannot be controlled (as for example is being done in Switzerland and as is done in Australia and so forth) so worthless random academics chuntering on about some specious excuses for not doing anything about immigration really doesn’t cut it. In fact the only question it does raise is why these academic imbeciles are employed in the first place!

    • beenzrgud

      “If they do not they are gone”
      Oh how I wish that was true. The same people have been stalking the corridors of power for decades. They never seem to go anywhere. Even when the faces change, which isn’t all that often, they all seem to suffer from the same failings. Manifestos rarely indicate what we’re really voting for. What we need is a more participatory democracy, and there’s really no reason why we shouldn’t have one.

      • Smithersjones2013

        You have a point which basically is only true because of the lack of an alternative. Given no Government has been elected on more than 20% of the eligible voting population since 1997 the situation is just crying out for a new political movement to sweep away the rotting detritus of the post war consensus

        • beenzrgud

          Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more.

        • Blindsideflanker

          “crying out for a new political movement to sweep away the rotting detritus of the post war consensus”

          Brilliantly said.

    • Tim Baker

      Is Ukip’s immigration policy the Swiss model or the Australian model?

  • davidofkent

    IMHO there are no ethical or moral dimensions to the immigration debate. There is simply the question of whether it is useful to allow immigration. That simply means we have to ask the question, “Do we need immigrants?”. The answer may very well be more difficult to fathom than we may think. But that is still all we have to do. Whether or not we are allowed control over our immigration policy is an entirely different aspect. At the moment we have little control over immigration because we have signed a variety of treaties that restrict our decision-making.

  • bugshead

    This feels like the reinvention of the wheel ! Look at the well tested and reasonably robust policies of immigrant nation states like Australia ann Canada for some direction for chrissake ! Why we ask – is it so difficult for the UK political establishment to implement some clear and strong policies on an issue that has poisoned our society for many decades now ? Much of what successive governments have argued (economic benefits of mass immigration etc) are one of two things, or both – simple lies, as we all now recognise. Or, as the new generation of Labour politicians are starting to admit (with no expression of regret or apology) a ‘slight mistake on our part’. Perhaps if the leftist parties (Labour and Libdems) could inject some intelligence into their political debate, rather than the habitual class warfare that comprises 90% of their lazy and infantile rhetoric then the electorate might have the inclination to listen. At the moment nobody is listening to any of the major parties on this (or many other issues). At least Theresa May seems to have done something in the Home Office to staunch the tidal wave of useless beggars and immigrants from non EU (predominantly Indian, Pakistan and African), that represents the major cause of concern to most of the electorate.

    • telemachus

      Ask Sydney residents their views on Italian immigration
      Folks quote Australia but their recent efforts to stop the boat people have led to cries of murder

      • bugshead

        Eeeuuh, so what ? is this ‘discouragement’ having any impact on the boat people traffic – I think you will find that it is.

      • Alexsandr

        surely if you set of in an unseaworthy craft to a country you have no right to enter then how is that anyone else but your fault?

      • mohdanga

        Did the Italian immigrants of 1946 get free housing, free education, welfare, medical care, passports on demand, legal aid for ‘Human Rights’ trials allowing them to stay, demand that Australians adapt to their culture and try to bring in large, extended families, again, all subsidized ty the Australian taxpayer? Were they deported if they committed crimes?
        But we all know that there would be no Italian food in non-Italian countries had Italian immigrants not been allowed.

    • Blindsideflanker

      “Why we ask – is it so difficult for the UK political establishment to implement some clear and strong policies”

      Because they don’t want to. They lost the argument on mass immigration, but rather than implementing policies the electorate want , they keep the policy in operation via manufactured incompetence.

      Can all these Graduates from Oxford and Cambridge who decamped into Westminster, really be so stupid and incompetent?

      • vieuxceps2

        No,probably Oxbridge brainies are not incompetent. It’s more likely that they have a hidden agenda in such matters.I know conspiracy theories abound but it is hard to believe that educated people are unable to see every day the reslts of their policiesand yet still praise, defend and pursue them further.Perhaps they notice but smile inwardly and congratulate themselves on their success.Whatever their motives,idiocy or cunning,I think we must allow that they have achieved their goal of ethnic replacement.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    Many words, little new. Wish I was a professor.

    • telemachus

      Rhoda, you may again to hurl abuse at me but I think you should re-read the article and the provide critique rather than just trashing it

      • Alexsandr

        we have had the ‘discussing immigration is racist’ line shoved down our throats for decades now. Now we need to think what immigration is for, and how we can make it benefit us.

        the article seems to throw up its hands and say we can do nothing because of international obligations. I think we need to look at these obligations and withdraw from them if necessary.

        • telemachus

          If we withdraw, we would be destroyed as a modern economic entity

          • Alexsandr

            really? funny how independant nations around the world seem to do OK without the EU (I assume you are talking of the EU???)

            • telemachus

              Not only would we lose support of the worldwide economic community but we would also be punished by residual EU for destabilising their own economies

              • Alexsandr

                thats OK. we can put on customs tarriffs on BMW, Siemens, Bosch, Audi, French wine etc. as we import more from the EU than we export to it, who is going to suffer more.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  I have explained to you many times that you will no longer *afford* Siemens or BMWs if you lost all EU-related financial services delivered by the City or participation rights in the EU TED tendering process. The contracts would simply go elsewhere.

                  Europe is a big place.

                  The contracts will GO elsewhere.
                  The CONTRACTS will go elswhere.
                  The contracts WILL go elsewhere.
                  The contracts will go ELSEWHERE.

                  No matter how you say it or emphasise it – it means the same thing.

                • telemachus

                  Not only all that
                  We will have lost our influence in the world

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Oh just FO.

                • vieuxceps2

                  Stuff our “influence in the world”-How does that affect me and mine? Or even you Telewele?

                • mohdanga

                  Hilarious comment coming from someone who prattles on about the British ‘mongrel’ population and how it needs to be refined and improved through the importation of millions of 3rd worlders. So, British culture and customs are worthy when it comes to ‘influence’ yet to be despised when it comes to mass immigration and multiculturalism.

                • LB

                  Except, it doesn’t for Switzerland. It doesn’t for Norway. It doesn’t for Turkey. It doesn’t for the USA. It doesn’t for China.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  China offers EU-related financial services to Europe? Wow!
                  Turkey partakes in TED tendering? Wow!
                  They both however demand Siemens and BMW product, just like we so.

                  Are you too thick as Greek yoghurt?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …do you bark at the goat sockpuppet too, lad?

                • LB

                  Plus how is Poland going to cope with lots of returning migrants?


                  Portugal? Perhaps they will discover all the Brazilians on forged papers.

                  You’re right. The EU needs the UK more than the UK needs the EU.

                  Now its a lose lose if they decide to stiff the UK. However, that’s their decision to shoot themselves in the foot. If its their attitude then we are better off being out.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The problem comes if the ECB cuts off debt repayments to Londonistan, when Club Med goes bankrupt. Right now, they’re treated equally. If they drop out of the EUSSR, that could change. It’d be blackmail, but that’s never stopped the Brussels komissars before.

                • LB

                  The banks are just middle men. So if they decide to default, then the creditors lose. Most of those creditors will be people and companies in the EU.

                  Next, since the debts will be subject to UK law, pretty much all of them, then they have to decide if they want to risk it.

                  If you want a recent example, not for UK law, but US, look at Argentina’s problems trying to screw one set of creditors over another.

                • LB

                  The next problem relates to credit default swaps. The terms have changed. Particularly to deal with the ECB and their default isn’t a default argument designed to prevent the total wipe out of French banks who had written the contracts on Greek debt.

                  The terms have changed. An ECB default would trigger the CDS contracts. They are subject to EU law. That wipes out the French banks. All of them.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Any source as to the shares of CDS holdings by country?

                • Conway

                  Don’t forget the Spanish; with youth unemployment at 50%, most of their young people are in London!

              • vieuxceps2

                Id willingly take that chance to get my country back.

          • mohdanga

            Just like Japan has been ‘destroyed as a modern economic entity’ for having, wait for it, ZERO immigration. Oh, wait…

      • vieuxceps2

        “moral Christian background”
        “community of nations”
        “engender harmony”
        “pluralist society”
        What windy fart-arsing nonsense! That’s what got us here in the first place.

    • Kitty MLB

      Some speak loudly and too often and for others words are
      like xrays. You’d really not want to be a professor, they’re
      unusual to say the least.But make an interesting lunch.

  • telemachus

    Splendid post
    Most folks around here have the simplistic view that voting for UKIP will stop immigration
    In this country par excellence whose language, talent for outgoing interaction with the world and need to re-energise depend on an open door policy we should accept immigration as a fact
    From this we will think of ways to embrace and fully integrate newcomers
    Rather than antagonise and for example cause radicalisation of the Muslims

    • fundamentallyflawed

      Again with the radicalisation of Muslims.. are they not responsible for themselves at all?

      • telemachus

        Radicalisation is spawned by alienation
        Yes people are in the end responsible for their own actions but vulnerable children with alienated families are fodder for the lunatic mullahs

        • mohdanga

          They are ‘alienated’ because they don’t want to integrate!! Just stay in your Middle eastern Muslim utopias!

      • Alexsandr

        They dont need radicalising. Its all in the Koran. They must believe all the Koran or be considered apostates, and then fear for their lives.

        • telemachus

          The Koran is like the Bible
          You can find a verse to support your views good or bad

          • Alexsandr

            find passeges like

            ‘love thy neighbour’
            ‘turn the other cheek’
            in the koran

            • telemachus

              An eye for an eye
              A tooth for a tooth

              If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.” When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

          • will91

            Wrong. The bible has been revised over centuries with members of the church essentially stating that certain verses are no longer relevant. The Quran has never faced such scrutiny, it is the perfect word of god. All those who have attempted to revise the Quran have faced great criticism or worse.

            • telemachus

              I guess you refer to the radical fundamentalist interpretation
              Most Muslim’s I know recognise the book for what it is, as we do the bible

              • Alexsandr

                why do so many consider the death penalty appropriate for apostacy then, according to a survey?

              • will91

                No I don’t refer to a fundamentalist interpretation. I take the position of every Islamic society on the planet. Do you regard every islamic society on the planet as fundamentalist?

              • Adam Carter

                Thenh the ‘muslims’ you claim to know may well be Asians, (MSM terminology) or they may have been born to mohammedan parents, but if they claim that the Koran is anything other than the perfect, revealed word of Allah, dictated to Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel then they are not muslims. And I suspect you know that.
                My antipathy is for muslims, not Asians.

            • RobertC

              The Jewish Bible, the Christian’s Old Testament, is The Story about the Children of Israel. It is a record of how they have developed over many centuries. It contains Poetry, History as well as Philosophical ‘ramblings’ that are full of wisdom to pass down to the next generation. It contains the equivalent of our Battle of Hastings and Dunkirk.

              The Koran is an instruction manual on how to conquer the world, in a not particularly nice way, starting with family members and friends.

              Meriam Ibrahim would be able to update you on the finer points of islamic law.

          • Lady Magdalene

            The Koran is nothing like the Bible.

    • will91

      “Talent for outgoing interaction”

      Yeah, I mean come. You want interaction with the world? How about the young Muslim men offering to spend a few weeks on Jihad duty in Syria. Ahh we’re such a dynamic society!

      • telemachus

        You know
        This has given us contacts round the world to mutual benefit
        Not to mention the reason why English is the language of commerce, communication and the internet

        • will91

          The reason English is the language of the world is because almost every regional power on the planet was once part of the British Empire.

          • telemachus

            And that is part of our dynamic interaction with the world
            The marvellous benefits of this empire mean also the links with the former colonies giving us the benefit of their best minds here in these shores

            • will91

              Am I the only one who finds it pretty loathsome that we vacuum up the talent, especially in the field of medicine, from the third world. Why correct shortages of doctors in our own country, when we can just vacuum up the best and brightest from the third world, who they have trained, often at great expense, to benefit their own populace. I believe the morality of that argument is highly questionable.

              • telemachus

                Works both ways
                We happen to proportionately be the largest provider of Overseas aid in the UN
                We give them our systems and expertise
                To do this we must retain our edge and immigration gives us this

                • will91

                  The oversea’s aid argument has faced great criticism for the past few decades. In all honesty, it makes us feel better by giving it, but frankly does little to correct structural flaws in these societies. Quite frankly I feel these societies would benefit more from a greater number of doctors per capita than often misplaced aid.

                • telemachus

                  In truth what they need medically is a functioning system of delivering care and public health
                  That needs money and intelligent caring professionals but not necessarily doctors as such

                • Alexsandr

                  they will need nurses. Oh we import those too. because we are useless at training enough nirses.

                • telemachus

                  I accept that
                  I have waxed lyrical elsewhere at the immoral sending of task forces for example to the Phillipines to recruit nurses

                • Alexsandr

                  and engineers, IT professionals, etc

                • will91

                  Restaurant workers… Skilled labour remember…

                • Alexsandr

                  anyone can cook curry. you dont need to be asian to do it.

                • vieuxceps2

                  Tele,if you think you have ever “waxed lyrical”about anything,anything at all then my pr***k’s a bloater.

              • Alexsandr

                no, I agree with your point.

              • RobertC

                Our equality legislation deems that we cannot favour home grown applicants.

            • Adam Carter

              If the ‘Asians’ here who follow Mohammed are the ‘best minds’ then what are the worst like?

              • Alexsandr

                and Islam shuns a wide ranging education, so where are these great minds?

                • will91

                  One reason for the lack of Muslim noble prize winners? How about this juicy little fact.

                  Spain translates more of the worlds learning into Spanish every year than the entire Arab world has since the 10th century.

                  Whilst the Quran offers endless reasons to worship a man, who was most likely a schizophrenic, as the perfect being. It actually offers precious little about what constitutes a civil society or how to address problems we encounter in the 21st century.

    • Lady Magdalene

      Anyone who thinks UKIP will stop all immigration hasn’t been listening to what the Party repeatedly says.
      We want to regain the ability to control immigration from the EU and put in place a points-based system for all immigrants, regardless of their country of origin.
      It is the lack of control under the EU’s open borders policy which we object to.
      When we have the ability to set out own immigration policy, then is the time to start discussing numbers and quality.

  • dave244

    The big problem that the Government has was the that the last Brown/Blair Government refused to discuss immigration calling anyone who asked if they had the right policy racist as the Gordon Brown Gillian Duffy incident showed. The trust in the Government and it’s ministers is now at a all time low so no matter how many assurances they give the majority of people no longer believe them.

    • telemachus

      I think the implication of the article is that Government, any Government has little ability in our modern world to change the situation
      PS refute that Gordon was not correct about Duffy

      • Alexsandr

        Duffy was bang on the money. We have had too much immigration and she was right to question it. Just because someone has views that differ form yours does not make you a bigot. That the labour party put up with such a useless baffoon as brown for so long should surely make them unelectable.

        • telemachus

          So it is not bigoted to talk about repatriating population who now see Britain as their home

          • Kitty MLB

            Smoke and mirrors as usual.
            Was Mrs Duffy, a long time loyal Labour voter,
            working class lady decent and hardworking
            was she a bigot for speaking of immigration?
            And all these people who have made the UK
            ‘their home’, they are actually lodgers and with
            all lodgers need to behave.

            • telemachus

              And so they will if we embrace them

              • Alexsandr

                i did reply to telemachus asking why we accept people with unacceptable religious views. I listed such views but the post is awaiting moderation.

              • Kitty MLB

                I asked you a direct question about Mrs Duffy
                why should she vote Labour next May.

                And if I were to emigrate to another country
                then its my responsibility to embrace that
                country and their culture , not the other way
                around. And if I loathed that country then I
                should leave.

                • telemachus

                  When I go to France, I am looked down on if not reviled because I am English
                  When I go to Italy I am welcomed with open arms
                  Now just which country do you imagine induces in me feelings of impending wanton destruction

                • will91

                  Well we’ve been pretty tolerant in this country. Yet 1/3 of muslim men 16-24 believe those who insult the prophet should receive capital punishment.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Well the French are exceptionally friendly to
                  me..Maybe they have really turned their backs
                  on socialism. The guillotine is being made
                  ready for Hollande. As well as a few baskets

                  You still have not answered my question in regards to Mrs Duffy .

                • telemachus


                • Conway

                  No, I suspect you are looked down upon, if not reviled, in France because of who you are. I’ve got lots of French friends and don’t have a problem at all.

            • Bob339

              Try to ignore telemachus. He is mentally disturbed, I think.

            • Conway

              What baffled me is that Mrs Duffy still went ahead and voted Labour. Unthinking, or what?

              • Jackthesmilingblack

                Suspect you`ve put your finger on an obvious, is unpalatable truth. The best the other parties can hope for is the Mrs Duffys not to vote at all. But keep in mind she is from Rochdale.

          • LB

            No. So long as its done on economic grounds.

            If people have British citizenship, then this doesn’t apply. Unless of course fraud was used to obtain citizen ship. Sham marriages, fraudulent English tests, …

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Which of course she didn’t say.

          • Bob339

            Up until 1947, thousands of English people thought of India as their home. We were chucked out. Then lefties praised the Indians. Now they call us racist etc. How totally unexpected.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        The point is the two faced b****rd Brown was nice as pie to her face and called her a bigot behind her back. Thankfully the ignorant cretin was still wearing a microphone thus proving he is an arrogant, incompetent, cowardly bully.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          It’s a measure of how worthless Cameron is that he couldn’t defeat that lummox.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Agreed butI am still glad to be rid of that scumbag socialist nutter.

        • bugshead

          And a very very stupid man.
          As we all know.
          To our cost.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Agreed. And to our children’s cost and grand children’s and great grand children’s etc etc continue ad infinitem.

      • dave244

        I think personally that the Government has more ability to change the situation that the article applies what i think is lacking is the will.
        But the most important question to ask is immigration on the level that we have seen a good thing personally i think on the whole yes but where it does fall down is when you have no control on who can come in to the UK which is happening when it comes to the E.U and i would like to point out it’s not only the UK which has similar concerns.
        Also Gordon Brown Gillian Duffy incident is indicative of how professional politicians seem to think, and that is they know what is best for us and we are lucky that they are in power

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