Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Standing Room Only
Zoe Williams thinks the UK can accommodate millions more people and that we should have more compassion for the plight of our fellow man in the form of refugees. Obviously she wasn’t commuting to work at six o’clock in the morning, negotiating roads filled with killing machines all trying to get to their destinations early enough to avoid the greater masses and find an affordable parking space within an hour’s walk of the office. I suppose when you have the luxury of working from a keyboard, at hours to suit your cherished and privileged work-life balance it is easy to ignore the sheer tide of ‘humanity’ that daily slogs from bed to treadmill.
To give her a modicum of credit she doesn’t go for the ‘all the world’s population could fit on the Isle of Wight’ claptrap and she does at least acknowledge that we need to leave a little bit of the countryside unspoiled but still she says “Nevertheless, the potential here is vast – were productive industry nurtured, developed but underpopulated areas would have jobs for people to move for.” But then she spoils it by invoking the Marxist within: “Were development undertaken systematically and with a social purpose, rather than up-against-a-wall and on the cheap, population growth could be welcomed rather than dreaded.”
Hmmm... So, spend money on developing industry in less well populated areas such as the north, for instance? Maybe, you know, create a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ – oh I bet Zoe daily roots for George Osborne’s plan. Maybe she hasn’t noticed it yet, but the sort of people who have the creativity and wit and élan to build businesses based on loveliness are somewhat outnumbered by the lumpen proletariat. It is a sad reflection of human nature that the majority, for all that they will complain otherwise, are only really suited to the drudge jobs that mass industry brings.
Zoe says “Immigrants have been successfully, egregiously framed as a threat. All sources of immigration have become one. The debate refuses to distinguish between a student and an engineer and a cockle picker and a refugee.” But, the exact same lack of distinction has been made by all the lefty academics arguing for more immigration: that it is an unalloyed good, that it is a force for betterment. As always they want it both ways; allow in those hundreds of thousands of unskilled workers, who depress the wages of our own unskilled who are bound in welfare and do it in the name of diversity and the improvement of humanity.
Presumably she would have us invest in building from scratch whole new communities in green belt areas, provided with roads and hospitals and schools and jobs and fun and laughter and fill them with new arrivals? For it is certain that were that possible, we would have already done it for our own population. The evidence is very much that, apart from centres of education and selective expertise, immigrants are largely dumped in areas where they simply displace the indigenous who then resent them. She flies the flag for enrichment and diversity from the ivory tower of one who only meets the minority of incomers who bring admirable qualities and complains that those who oppose mass immigration are deliberately skewing the argument against.
Room for one more?
“The result is that we will now stand by and watch people freeze and, in some cases, literally rot in makeshift European camps, because they’re probably “economic” migrants, and even though we know they’re not, we can’t have them because they take up space and we’re too tiny. The deliberate lack of sophistication has led, inexorably, to a lack of humanity, sitting on the terrain like a toxic fog, choking any pride we could reasonably take in our national character. Those purporting to protect Britain from the outside threat of the stranger are actually destroying its values from within.” Or maybe those destroying Britain from within are doing so by villainising all who live here and want to preserve our own values before taking the considerable gamble of importing unquantifiable future social problems? The argument for immigration is absolutely not helped by telling those who were born here and can’t find a job or afford a decent place to live without being on welfare that we can easily take in millions more.