This is a very controversial subject, and those on the Left or considered liberals are not supposed to even discuss it except to say there should be unlimited immigration/emigration in and out of all countries. This is, in my view, an idealist concept which would be fine if we had a level playing field as in worldwide Socialism, but the fact is we don’t.
Within the European Union which I’m very much in favor of, there is free movement across national boundaries. However the problems occur because there is no level playing field, and this is because there is no federal structure and therefore no central EU control over prices, wages, etc. So many Poles were going abroad to work at one point there were not enough men left to run the fire stations in Poland, and women had to take over. Unlimited emigration and immigration causes not just problems for countries with high immigration, but also for those with too high emigration. The GDR (East Germany) knew this when from 1945-1961 there was an open border in Berlin and the FRG (West Germany) and West Berlin poached many of the GDR’s best professional people. All GDR citizens who got to West Berlin or West Germany were guaranteed West German citizenship, so the Berlin Wall and inner German border installations were an economic necessity, though the minefields and shootings were illegal and not justified. Financial measures could have controlled emigration (hefty deposits for GDR citizens visiting the West, refundable when they returned), and measures could easily have been brought in to stop West Germans and West Berliners stripping East German shops of subsidized foodstuffs meant for GDR citizens. Similarly, in Berlin itself, before the Wall went up Berliners were obtaining cheap, subsidized flats in East Berlin and high paid jobs in West Berlin, depriving the GDR authorities of taxes as well as the expertise of people trained and educated in the GDR.
In the UK at the moment there are many inner city areas where the local indigenous population has been swamped by immigration. Alien culture has taken over in some areas. State schools are over 90% ethnic, butchers’ shops are all Hal-al as are take-aways, even meat counters in some big supermarkets are Hal-al. Meanwhile the burkha is still tolerated in public, and who knows who could be hiding behind it? Shops have been robbed by men wearing the burkha, and it is an excellent disguise for terrorists. Along with a ban on public wearing of the burkha, there should be a ban on any other clothing which covers the face such as masks and balaclavas. What is the point of CCTV if faces cannot be identified?
Then there is Enoch Powell’s supposedly infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech when he warned of the consequences of unlimited immigration. It has come true. Every month it seems drug-related gang violence claims the mainly black teenage victims of gun and knife crime. If this isn’t ‘rivers of blood’ caused by an alien gang/drug culture, what is it? Of course it doesn’t help that police on the beat have largely been removed from our streets, and to see such a police presence is a very rare sight nowadays.
The bottom line is all countries have the right to control both immigration and emigration. The USA is one country, so there is unlimited movement between the states. The EU is not one country; it has no federal structure, so until it does and there is a level playing field in wages and prices unlimited movement between countries is not practicable. It is not good for countries swamped with immigrants, and it is not good for countries starved of workers because so many have gone abroad, which the GDR regarded as treachery. To leave your country unable to function properly because so many workers have fled abroad instead of staying to fight for better conditions at home is, if not treachery, at least irresponsible.
Socialists and liberals should be fighting for higher wages and better working conditions in countries in the underdeveloped world or where wages are low. Cooperatives should be encouraged in these countries so workers there can escape from the clutches of multinationals who exploit them for cheap labor.
Meanwhile, immigrants must learn to assimilate into the local culture. While retaining their own culture, they should respect the culture of the country they are living in, learn the language, etc. Hal-al and kosher outlets and abattoirs should be strictly limited. Schools should introduce ‘bussing’ as happened in America to insure a healthy mix of pupils – neither all-white schools nor all-black ones.
I speak as the son of mixed-race parentage. My father was Greek-Cypriot, and neither he nor his relatives bothered to assimilate into the country properly. Even after 50 or 60 years few of them speak proper English. My dad never learnt it properly, and the marriage break-up with my mother was caused by trying to import Greek-Cypriot chauvinist ideas into his British marriage. He said things like: ‘women and dogs remain in the house’. They had arranged marriages in those days in Cyprus, and he even tried to arrange one for me with a Greek-Cypriot girl cousin, but I was having none of it. This was because Greek-Cypriot culture does not accept the gay lifestyle and insists everyone should be married to someone of the opposite sex. My father told me how someone from his village, who was gay, was forced to marry a woman. My father himself came to England to escape an arranged marriage. We don’t want such culture imported into British society.
All immigrants should be required to speak English fluently within a few years of living here. They should also be required so respect the national culture. This means the burkha in public is not acceptable, nor are arranged marriages, or gang warfare. All these are alien to our culture. Hal-al and kosher meat should be available to Muslims and Jewish people, but should not be forced upon the indigenous population.
Unless these issues are addressed by Socialists and liberals, far-right groups like UKIP and the BNP will continue to gain ground. But it is not enough to just deal with the current problems caused by too many immigrants in certain areas; it is essential to create a federal structure for the EU so we have a level playing field, and to work for fair wages and better working conditions worldwide.