Immigration Upends UK Politics

In 2019 Britain’s Conservative Party won in a historic landslide, but since then its fortunes have dimmed to the point where the party is universally expected to be ousted from power in the next election. This is not because Britons have again become fond of socialism. It is because the Tory government has failed to listen to the voters on the issue of immigration. In the Telegraph, Sherelle Jacobs writes: “The liberal elite’s assumptions about mass migration are crumbling fast.”

We may be on the cusp of the country’s second major political upset in seven years. The Reform Party is surging, even without the starpower of Nigel Farage, and the Tories face electoral annihilation over their abject failure to bring down the migration numbers.

The good news is that politicians on both sides may be grudgingly getting the message.

In the U.K., the principal issue is legal, not illegal, immigration. “Refugees” are central to the problem.

Jacobs points out that one rationale for mass immigration after another has collapsed. This one is particularly interesting.

Then there is welfare. Believers in the liberal orthodoxy think that the country cannot hope to produce more homegrown workers because millions of Britons are in no position to work. The entire “benefits blob” is adamant that there can be no grand movement to get people on benefits into employment because most of them are too sick.

Yet this is based on highly questionable assumptions. With mental health issues accounting for one third of all benefits claims, and a whopping 70 per cent of claims among the under-25s…

70 percent!

…compassionate liberalism risks collapsing under the weight of its own contradictions. It is surely not too hyperbolic to imagine that, based on current trends, we may be mere years away from a situation when even net migration of one million a year won’t be enough to offset a shrinking domestic talent pool. While the country must take mental health seriously, that should not stop the authorities from interrogating the increasing numbers of claims, and questioning whether the definition of poor mental health has been drawn too widely.

The idea that Britain needs to import huge numbers of stable foreigners because its own young adults are too emotionally damaged to be employable is appalling. This is one more adverse consequence of raising a generation that can’t cope, as we have also done in the U.S. But no doubt most of those who are deemed disabled by mental health issues could work in some capacity if they had to.

The liberal orthodoxy is also in trouble on refugees. … The basic reality – that only hard deterrence can settle the issue – is becoming impossible to deny.

That will mean challenging the inviolable status of some of the orthodoxy’s sacred and outdated texts, such as the European Convention on Human Rights and the Geneva Convention on Refugees. Any suggestion that Britain should leave the ECHR is met with derision that this would damage Britain’s geopolitical standing. But how can this position – which deems it more important that the UK adheres to international liberal norms than defend its borders – possibly hold? It flies in the face of not only the democratic will but also basic issues of national security, and faith in the British values of order, sovereignty and fair play, and can only invite the rise of a far-Right party.

“Far right” being what it takes, apparently, to implement the public’s will on immigration.

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