Immigrants – what a shower, eh?

I’ve just come off the Nolan show on BBC Raidio Uladh/Radio Ulster and I’m still hopping mad. Not because of the show itself but because of the topic. It was David Cameron’s immigration speech yesterday. 
David McNarry, who quit the UUP and, in search of a home, found UKIP, was also on, doing his best to make a case for (i) a lock-down on immigration into Britain; (ii) an exit from the EU by Britain. Both daft proposals, but UKIP have got the wind up Cameron, especially since the Eastleigh by-election, when UKIP took a massive 14% bite out of the vote. 
Cameron in response used his tough-on-immigrants speech – not unlike Enoch Powell’s infamous rivers-of-blood speech in 1968.   The impression left by Cameron’s speech was that immigrants were entering the UK and sucking on its life-blood through abuse of its social services. What’s more he, Cameron,  was the man who would put a stop to it.
As is often the case with the British prime minister, pure waffle. The facts from his own government departments contradict him. Contrary to Cameron and popular mythology, immigrants to Britain over the past ten years are not welfare scroungers. Of the two million immigrants , a total of some 13,000 claimed Job Seekers’s Allowance – about half the rate of the indigenous population. Contrary to Cameron and popular mythology, immigrants are not a burden on a sorely-stretched NHS.  In fact, most immigrants are healthy young people who have little reason to use the NHS. All of 0.06% of the NHS budget goes on immigrants. 
Their contribution to the British economy, meanwhile, is considerable. The people who come to that country are in the vast majority of cases intent on securing a job. When they do, they pay taxes, they help revive the economy, they add energy and hard-work to the drive to bring Britain out of recession. And as the British population continues to age, they add their number as young people to support the increasing number of old people.
On the Nolan Show, David McNarry said he hoped I wasn’t associating him or UKIP with “rivers of blood or anything like that”. I didn’t get a chance to answer that so let me do so now. I am.  Powell’s speech and Cameron’s speech and the thrust of UKIP policy is anti-immigration. That’s not just misguided. It’s dangerous. 

7 Responses to Immigrants – what a shower, eh?

  1. Anonymous March 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Jude, it needs to be gently pointed out that the MLA you debated with on the Nolan Show today was David McNarry, who represents Strangford and is a member of UKIP, and not David McClarty, who is an independent from East Derry. The two MLAs were both formerly with the Ulster Unionists, but hold radically different views.

  2. Anonymous March 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Agree with you Jude and Anonymous…Jude says David McNARRY thoughout this piece…

  3. Mark Mitchell March 26, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    i don't know immigration can be a double edged sword I'm not totally bought on how it regenerates an entire society, certain sectors maybe, but the pace of immigration needs to be slowed, you simply can't have a huge amount of immigratns within a short period of time, its just common sense….

  4. Jude Collins March 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Anon 12:23 – I thought I'd thanked you for your gentle correction but I must have pushed the wrong button. Accept belated thanks – grma. Correction in place.

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