Angloslavia was originally a term coined by Ken MacLeod in his science fictions series about The Fall Revolution. If you have not picked these four books up, you should do so, now! The term is utilised here as a playful reference to the current flow of immigration from East Central Europe into the United Kingdom. This flow has serious consequences due to the interplay between immigration and public services. East European workers naturally respond to the market incentives provided by New Labour’s decision to open up Britain’s employment market. This improving migration is combined with an inflexible public sector which is not geared towards dealing with such a large increase in local populations. This inflexibility is due to the incompetence of New Labour’s administration, since they appear to have undermined, indeed destroyed, the Northcote-Trevelyan ethos of the mid-Victorian civil service, that ensured Britain’s civil service was more competent than most for a while.
A massive rise in immigration next year could trigger a devastating crisis in Britain’s schools, housing and welfare services, according to a secret Government report leaked to The Mail on Sunday.
The document reveals that every Government department has been ordered to draw up multi-million-pound emergency plans after being told public services face catastrophe as a result of the hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans pouring into Britain.
The government faces disaster if the courts, applying European law, conclude that all East European immigrants are eligible for the same benefits as United Kingdom subjects. A large influx will either force up taxes to pay for the extra services and benefits required, rewrite the rules to ensure that public services remain remain viable through radical reform, or do nothing.
One of her [Home Office Minister Joan Ryan] biggest fears is that the courts may force the Government to scrap its restrictions on East European immigrants applying for council houses or benefits. At present, they receive some benefits only if they register for work – which one in three don’t do – and earn full benefit rights after they have worked for a year.
Ms Ryan says: “The legal basis for this is precarious and there is a strong risk of a successful challenge. This is a concern.”
Benefits will provide an additional incentive for immigration from Eastern Europe. The pressures that this will place on the welfare state may provide a force for accelerated reform, since the free market will provide services cheaply and more efficiently, if given free rein.
So far, the addition of cheap flights to Eastern Europe, the added mix of Slavic tongues to polyglot London and the chance to taste more beers from exotic climes, has proved an exciting experience. Let us give the same chance to Sofia and Bucharest.