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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A question of immigration

This BBC article has the first figures on immigration to the UK from the new EU entrants since May, when they joined the club. There was a large brouhaha at the time that we would be swamped by immigrant workers wanting to sponge off the benefits system. The article says that about 91,000 people have registered since May (some of whom may well have been here already illegally). As far as benefits go there have been 2,800 claims for child benefit, and less than 500 claims for unemployment benefit. So much for being swamped.

As a practical matter in my town the bus company, which has had a devil of a time trying to hire bus drivers, participated in all this by hiring some Poles. And they do a very good job too, and I am delighted to report. Although conservative I get really really riled by those portions of the right that seem to believe immigration, even legal immigration is, at best, a necessary evil, and that we would all be happier of Johnny foreigner just damned well stayed in his own country (NB: the Tories lost my vote in 2001 because of this). Well, I simply don't get that.

Of course, since I nurture the hope that one day I might myself emigrate westward about 3500 miles I might be biased.

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