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Immigration is only a “problem” when it’s about race.

I have an observation/speculation. I think it is impossible to decouple the current fear of immigration in the UK, and demand for “control”, from racism, as that is all it boils down to.

The excuse many who moan about immigration use is that a significant increase in population places pressure on local services, housing stock, and competition for jobs.

For starters you can counter that argument with the fact that immigrants are far more often young, fit, and healthy so use services such as health care disproportionately less than the older native population. They are also more likely to be employed, and so also pay in disproportionately more in taxes; so have every damned right to use the services they pay for.

But beyond that, I believe the issue would not even be raised if the migration was internal within the UK - Say a town or city had a lot of jobs to offer, with booming industries aplenty. And then another town or city elsewhere in the country was not. Well almost certainly some people would move from where there are not jobs to where there are. And in the successful town it would be celebrated as economic growth, an advantage for the city, allowing greater investment in local services and so forth.

Yet when this situation is occurring and the incoming population just happens to come from slightly further away, it is a problem?

Migrants go to where there are jobs. These are places that are successful, expanding, and offer opportunities. Otherwise they would not be an appealing destination.

If services are failing to meet a growing demand, that is a failure of local and national governments to respond to needs that will always change. Not people who decide to move to that area, be they from Liverpool or Lithuania.

With that thought in mind I find it impossible to frame the current fears about migration, and control of it, as anything other than a race issue, and a manifestation of racism.

If it was really about control then we wouldn’t let people move between cities within the UK either.


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