Bolivia Newton-John's Blog

The trials and tribulations of being a Conservative in power | March 17, 2011

I’m sure a lot of little dicks got hard at Daily Mail HQ when they heard about the Conservative manifesto pledge to lower net migration levels to below 100,000 per annum (from around 250,000). The pledge defies economic considerations, issues of practical implementation, and general non-racist sentiment, but was no doubt specifically designed to throw a bone to the Conservatives’ cherished core constituency of Paranoid Twitching Xenophobes (PTXs), theretofore disgruntled by Cameron’s attempted re-branding of the party as non-racist, non-misogynist and non-homophobic.

Considering that the Liberal Democrats’ stated policy on immigration was a complete amnesty on illegal immigrants, I was rather hoping that the coalition agreement would provide the Cameroons with an excuse to send this ridiculous piece of far-right dog-whistling the way of the inheritance tax cut, the mandatory jail term for knife possession, and numerous other poor-quality Tory policies which have been jettisoned. Sadly though, the policy remains in progress, under the auspices of Damian Green.

However, as immigration is an economic boon, abuse of immigration laws is immensely over-stated, and almost all immigrants (roughly the same proportion as British-born humans, funnily enough) are honest, law-abiding etc, Green has found the policy to be extremely hard to deliver. Hard, that is, without eviscerating the student visa system, which accounts for a very large proportion of immigrants to Britain, and contributes £40bn of exports to the economy. This covers a large variety of institutions, from dictators’ children at Eton to scientists/engineers at Russell League Universities to young people studying at London’s language schools to small private further education colleges offering FE/post-graduate courses (CoI – I work at one of these). But what all of these institutions have in common is that they bring people into Britain who are naturally dynamic and open-minded, usually multi-lingual, seeking to study and improve their lives, in all probability gaining a positive view of the country and potentially putting down roots, as well as bringing along aforementioned £40bn of business and in the long-run tax revenues and disposable income. People who are a far cry from those people who in the charming words of Trevor Kavanagh of The Sun, doyenne of the PTXs: “crawl off the boats knowing only two words of English: asylum and benefit” (largely because these people exist only in Kavanagh’s diseased psyche).

Yet that Daily Mail headline is too important, so Green has decided this sector is ripe for the chop. No matter that education is the UK’s 7th biggest export, and no matter that in a time of unprecedented austerity the country is relying on its big export sectors to avoid economic collapse. Those things are not as important as appeasing the PTXs, who will probably never be satisfied until anybody who with just a hint of brown in their skin has been shipped back to Foreign, or possibly to a concentration camp Immigration Removal Centre. From a party traditionally seen, for all their other faults, as pragmatically pro-business, this is shameful.

Today, after a consultation process, the Home Affairs Select Committee have become the latest critic of the ill-conceived, dangerous, and unworkable plans to gut one of UK’s best, most profitable and most-prestigious export sectors. Green has repeatedly stated that the intention is to protect “reputable” education providers while preventing “abuse”, but as Mark Easton pointed out in this great blog post last year, their plans for drawing this distinction are flawed, and based on half-baked assumptions that are not true. The current system has adequate measures in place to deal with flagrant abuses of the system, and so-called “bogus colleges” are regularly closed down under existing rules. The HASC point to evidence from Australia and the United States, where their HE/FE sectors contracted seriously after the introduction of similar restrictions, and reports that the Australian government are apparently gearing up for an aggressive marketing campaign to attract prospective foreign students do not allay fears that the UK stands to lose a lot of competitive ground. The report is worth reading, and recommends in no uncertain terms that the government reconsider most of the measures in their proposals, or even remove those on student visas from net migration figures altogether, on the basis that they are not immigrants, but visitors/customers, 97% of whom do not settle in the UK (according to the Home Office’s own figures in 2009).

All this should make Green think again, but they have those PTXs to think of, those “descendents of the war dead”, making Britain proud by cowering in their living rooms daydreaming about Islamist Pederasts hiding under their children’s beds and plotting to blow up their house prices, demanding UNDER 100,000 BROWN PEOPLE, as if it were not an arbitrary number, whose implementation would cause huge damage to the economy and no doubt cause rampant human tragedy in its wake. Green is discovering the trials and tribulations of a Conservative in power, and the problems that come when your assumptions lack any evidence, your arguments lack any reason, and your prejudices lack any basis.

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3 Comments »

  1. Nothing will make Green think again. The obnoxious sod has made a career out of this and he’s putting a wall round Britain based on the ridiulous idea that the government has to know exactly how many people there are in the country at any time.

    Good blog btw

    Comment by Chris — March 17, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  2. […] his attempts to paint himself as a man of the centre-ground. They have pressed ahead, however, as I have blogged previously, with the plan to reduce net immigration from around 250,000 to “the tens of […]

    Pingback by Clegg must speak out on the most damaging cut of all « Bolivia Newton-John's Blog — April 14, 2011 @ 9:41 am

  3. Some genuinely select posts on this internet site , bookmarked .

    Comment by African mango — April 19, 2011 @ 10:46 pm


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About author

Bolivia Newton-John is an enthusiast from South East London. She will be mostly writing about society, anthropology, politics and entertainment, though hopefully in a less pretentious manner than here indicated. Bolivia Newton-John likes diplomacy, irony, and seeing the big picture. Bolivia Newton-John dislikes misanthropy, self-importance, and censorship.

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