Monday, February 28, 2011

Indians and Pakistanis in Britain also likely to be anti-immigration

Populous is a respectable public opinion poll but the fact that the report of their findings was written by Nick Lowles rather raises eyebrows. Lowles is editor of the "Searchlight" magazine. Searchlight is a fringe-Left organization.

The questions asked, sampling details and all the raw frequencies obtained would have to be independently examined before the findings could be fully credited. The abstract of the report gives no sampling details, which is unusual in an abstract, and the full report was not yet online at the time of writing.

More Asians are now opposed to immigration than white Britons, according to a new poll which reveals that opposition to new arrivals now transcends race.

Research commissioned by the Searchlight Educational Trust found that 39 per cent of Asians, 34 per cent of whites and 21 per cent of blacks believed immigration should be halted either permanently or at least until the UK's economy was back on track. The findings are a stunning rebuke to the Labour government, which opened the doors to untrammelled immigration and then sought to brand voters ‘bigots’ who questioned the pace of change.

The report, titled Fear and Hope: The New Politics Of Identity, reveals that a large proportion of voters, across all races and communities, now have concerns about immigration. Immigration was held to have been on the whole a bad thing for Britain by 63 per cent of whites, 43 per cent of Asians and 17 per cent of black Britons.

The report also reveals that the failure of mainstream parties to speak out about immigration has opened the door for the possible emergence of a far right party.

Almost half of those questioned, 48 per cent, were open to supporting a new far-right party as long as it eschewed 'fascist imagery' and did not condone violence. And 52 per cent agreed that ‘Muslims create problems in the UK’.

The poll, carried out by Populus, was one of the largest studies carried out on the subject, based on 91 questions to more than 5,000 individuals.

It found that peoples’ attitudes to immigration were largely shaped by their level of economic optimism. Those who fear for their jobs and longterm economic wellbeing are more likely to be opposed to further immigration.

The Searchlight Educational Trust said the report 'throws down a challenge' to mainstream political parties to better understand what is happening in the body politic, the Trust said, warning 'dangers' lie ahead if these issues are not addressed.

The report’s author Nick Lowles said young people are more open to living in an ethnically diverse society. But in a clear warning to the political class, he said: ‘This report gives those of us who are campaigning against extremism nowhere to hide.

'The harsh truth is we are in danger of losing touch with the public on race, immigration and multiculturalism. ‘The attitude of all sections of the community to these complex issues is now running far ahead of the politicians and community leaders.’

Labour MP Jon Cruddas said the findings should ‘ricochet through the body politic’ as they showed the potential for the rise of the far-right unless mainstream parties acted soon. In a forword to the report, he wrote: ‘Put simply, unless political parties step up and provide a new language of material well-being, of identity and belonging, then these political forces might refract into more malign forms. As such, the political class has been warned.’

The level of net migration into the UK rose by 36 per cent last year, Office for National Statistics figures show. An estimated 572,000 people entered the UK on a long-term basis in the year to June 2010 while 346,000 emigrated.

Ministers want to reduce net migration levels, the difference between the two figures, to tens of thousands by 2015. To help do this, the coalition plans to cap immigration from outside the European Union.


Australia: An immigration skeptic from the Left

A Labor backbencher says Australia should curb its population growth by slashing the immigration intake - including skilled migration - and abolishing middle-class welfare measures that encourage people to have children.

In his submission to the government's inquiry into population, the Victorian MP Kelvin Thomson says Australia can sustain an ageing population by increasing the productivity of its present population, especially older people, rather than importing migrants and workers.

He also calls for an end to the baby bonus, the large family supplement and family tax benefit A for third and later children. The combined $3 billion in annual savings should be used for building the skills and qualifications of young people and abolishing HECS, he says.

Mr Thomson backs the government's intention to reform the welfare system, especially the disability support pension, to ensure those who are able to work, do so.

But he criticises the government's decision to speed up the rules for importing skilled workers, who come in on 457 visas, to help repair the flood damage in Queensland. "The claim that we will need more skilled migrants in order to cope with the flood damage is insulting and ridiculous," he says. "We were able to build the roads, bridges, schools etc that have been damaged by the floods. To suggest we have lost the skills needed to rebuild this infrastructure is insulting."

Mr Thomson says the reliance on skilled migration is "dumbing Australia down" and driving population pressures. "New arrivals come with a big infrastructure requirement. They bring their families with them and all require houses, roads, schools, hospitals, and many require English language and other forms of assistance."

He says the 457 visa program has become a business, spawning migration agents, labour hire firms and cheap labour for employers. There should be a labour market test for employers to prove they cannot obtain the labour elsewhere.

Australia's unemployment rate is 5 per cent but Mr Thomson scoffs at economists who consider this full employment. He says suburbs such as Broadmeadows in Melbourne have 15 per cent unemployment and labour should be obtained from such areas before being imported.


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