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An upwardly mobile population

Freedom of movement is a simple principle and some countries are more attractive than others. Britain may have some 77 million by 2060, overtaking Germany as the most populous country in Europe . A happy result as this adds more energy to our mongrellous mix. Get rid of the welfare state and we may attract even more economic migrants, even more entrepreneurs and get even richer faster.

Still, good news brings out the illiberal. We have the Tories aping Labour, adding stasis to their statist hungers, with a po-faced limit on all immigration.

The Conservatives are demanding an annual limit on immigration, to take “into account its impact on the public service infrastructure” as well as a broader policy “to tackle other issues like family breakdown” and ageing.

The prize for chumpdom extends to greenery: with their wistful carry trade of ecocide and dreaming spires, with cyclists trading organic marrows between villages of happy farmers:

Rosamund McDougall, policy director at the Optimum Population Trust, has called “for stabilisation and gradual decrease to five million fewer people in Britain by 2050″.

“This population growth is absolutely unsustainable, in environmental terms, energy terms and food production. It will make life for British citizens significantly worse,” she said.

“Even if we comprehensively greened our lifestyles, the UK could only support 27 million people – less than half its present population – from its own resources.”

The green response to freedom of movement is illiberal restriction cast in a PC lexicon:

OPT supports immigration. We want to go on doing our share of protecting persecuted refugees as well as welcoming additional skills and cultures to our already rich mix of people. The problem is how many? Since we believe that our population density is now too great for our resources, we think that a just solution is to balance immigration with emigration to help reverse population growth. As around 350,000 people leave our shores each year, we suggest limiting immigration to similar numbers, to produce a neutral effect on our population growth. More asylum seekers could be accommodated if there is a corresponding reduction in the number of economic migrants.

This fundamental divide between liberals and greens has not been grasped by the general populace. If the greens are unable to attain the carrying capacity of the United Kingdom by voluntary means, where will they go in their quest for sustainability?

12 comments to An upwardly mobile population

  • permanentexpat

    Freedom of movement is a simple principle and some countries are more attractive than others. Britain may have some 77 million by 2060, overtaking Germany as the most populous country in Europe .

    ……..and smart money will be moving into the prayer-mat business.

    Get rid of the welfare state and we may attract even more economic migrants,

    ……..You are joshing, on both counts, doubtless.

  • Oh behave, permanent!

    You are right on both counts, of course, if we continue the way we are but somehow I suspect that ain’t Philip’s vision. Let us say on the road to Swindon iDave had a divine revelation and took Britain on a much more TradCon/Libertarian path. We’d be getting smart refugees from the Obamanation across the ‘lantic.

    “Get rid of the welfare state” is the key line. It means we don’t get potless, skill-less jihadis pitching-up because they’ve made life to hot for themselves in Yemen saying “I seeky Asylumy” we get smart folk from around the world saying “I’ve got this brilliant business scheme”.

    It is though (you are right on this permanent) not currently like that. That one can even argue, as the MSP (mainstream parties) do that immigration (as currently conducted) is “vital for the economy” yet in almost the same breath say “it should be limited because of it’s impact on public services” is the talk of the double-tongues. If immigrants are making a positive contribution to the economy then they’re also paying taxes and if they’re doing that then surely that’s good for the National Pencil Service or whatever.

    Nah, they above MSP argument is merely a way of playing to Daily Mail-ish xenophobia and simultaneously excusing the failures of the NHS et-fucking-cetera. Politically it’s bloody brilliant and it still means Right Honourable Gentlemen can have a Phillipina in the understairs cupboard for blow-jobs and dusting at a very affordable cost.

    (“dusting” means house-work – it is not to my knowledge a sexual euphemism though it might be. “… so I spent an evening dusting with two Brazillian ladyboys…” – The Diaries of Peter Mandelson, Harper-Collins, 2013)

    As to the rest of Phillip’s most excellent article… I can’t comment this early in the morning because I’m lacking in the piss and vinegar stakes ’till I’ve had me tea. Except if we’re gonna have to lose population then…

    I’m voting Rosamund McDougall out of the Big Britain House. I bet she mings anyway. I bet she’s a total munter with tits like spaniel’s ears and a minge you could lose a carrier battle group in.

  • Oh and I did have a point and not just an invective. Phillip, it’s not just the “Welfare State” it’s also planning laws. I live on the edge of a National Park and I fear to built a rabbit hutch.

    I know fuck-all about the reflected-sound-as-of-underground-spirits but it seems to me that a large part of our echo-gnomic woes is due to the hyper-inflation of housing costs and the subsequent credit bubble. Seems to me that chepaer houses, more people might just mean more people doing more economically productive than buying ther latest crap outta China on the basis of the equity in “their” (miss a coupla mortgage payments and you’ll rapidly see “Who’s house it really is”*) properties.

    *Try not to imagine Loyd Grossman’s voice here…

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I am surprised that the Far Right have not tried to co-opt the Greens more to make their case, since there is quite a lot of congruence between the notion that our “pure” British island is being “polluted” by all those dodgy foreigners and the idea of the pristine earth being harmed by the activities of Man.

    People generally move to places where they will be happier and have a better chance in life. Remove the distorting incentives impact of the welfare state, insist on some basic groundrules for those who move to a state, and such freedom of movement should be normally a net plus for humanity.

    I remember several months back that a debate on the pros and cons of immigration got bogged down in a rather silly debate on whether immigration added or cut GDP by some tiny amount. This is pointless. As a general rule of thumb, letting people travel to live in places more to their liking is a good idea and the burden of proof should rest with those who want to prevent that.

  • This fundamental divide between liberals and greens has not been grasped by the general populace. If the greens are unable to attain the carrying capacity of the United Kingdom by voluntary means, where will they go in their quest for sustainability?

    The Stone Age, probably.

  • I hate to follow up my own comment, but how about this then?

  • M

    The welfare state will not be going away for years, if ever. Keep that in mind.

  • Kevin B

    It all rather depends on the primary reason immigrants are coming to these shores.

    “Come to Britain guys. Compared to the old country it’s a low tax, lightly regulated place* and the work opportunities are great! Also, you hardly have to pay any bribes** and the kids can get a world class education!”

    On the other hand:

    “Come to Britain guys. The welfare is great. You get free housing and we’ll have Sharia law installed in this area within a decade. Already the local council has agreed to fund our new mosque and madrassa!”

    At the moment, it’s a mixture of the two. Which way the balance tips will decide if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

    *Unbelievably, this is true for many places. Believably, it’s getting less true by the year. And not because a lot of places are getting freer. Thanks EU.

    **Highly related to * above. The more regulation, the more you have to bribe your way around it. This is known to us engineering types as positive feedback.

  • Rob

    “the UK could only support 27 million people – less than half its present population – from its own resources”

    And the point of this lame canard is…what? Is the rest of the world going to disappear?

  • Robert Speirs

    So, given the present level of welfare benefits in Britain – and they’re only going to increase – what should be one’s attitude toward letting in more freeloaders? And remember, the greenies don’t want a “sustainable” civilization. They want a Stone Age controlled by themselves.

  • John Rippengal

    So 77 million is a happy result is it Philip? How about 100 million – even happier then?? Or 200 million?
    But no doubt you will say these things are self correcting. Yes but correction in random feedback systems are mostly not benign but oscillatory ie a crash landing not a soft one.

    Apart from the simple numbers you take no account of what makes Britain attractive in the first place which is the culture of its people who created the world industrial revolution – among many other things. If you change it by massive influx of alien culture it will probably no longer be the attractive place for immigrants nor for those that have always lived there.
    Most immigrants come from countries with failed cultures which makes them the hell on earth they want to escape from. When they arrive in their destination country they try to propagate just the culture they are escaping from.

    Massive immigration leading to a high population rise especially in an overcrowded island is not good for any country and your piece is just plain bloody wrong.

  • Graham Asher

    As Milton Friedman said, you can’t have unrestricted immigration if there is ‘property in citizenship’. Getting rid of the welfare state has to come first.

    Also, whether you like people of other races and backgrounds or not (and I do: I am white English, my wife is black and one of my best friends is Iranian) it’s worth recognising that calling Britain a mongrel society is plain wrong, apart from being a tired cliché. Up to about fifty years ago England (and to a much less extent Britain, at least culturally) was culturally and racially homogeneous and had been for well over a thousand years. Absorbing Danes, Flemings, Normans, Huguenots and European Jews is not the same as getting along with Somalis, North Africans, and Pakistanis.

    Further (as argued by Steve Sailer) the existing population of a country – of whatever origin – in some sense owns that country, or at least owns its cultural identity, landscapes and cityscapes, and general feel, and has a right to preserve it by restricting immigration.

    These views are in no way incompatible with supporting free markets and free movement. It’s just that there are other property rights to be taken into account.