By Ralph Musgrave.
Mehdi Hasan is described by Wikipedia as a political journalist “from a British Indian background”.
In this New Statesman article, he puts forward the truly moronic argument that if every immigrant in employment stopped working for a week, the UK would grind to a halt.
Fair enough, I suppose. But then if everyone with blue eyes and brown hair stopped working for a week, the result would be the same. But we ‘blue eyed, brown haired’ individuals (of which I’m one) don’t jump to the dimwit conclusion that the UK economy, or economies in general, cannot function without people with blue eyes and brown hair.
I assume most readers can work out the flaw in Hasan’s argument for themselves. (So maybe they needn’t read any further.) But for the benefit of those that can’t (probably the many leftie thickos and PC numbskulls who read this website), I’ll spell out the obvious flaw.
To keep things simple, let’s assume that immigrants make up the same proportion of each trade and profession. For example, 5% of plumbers are immigrants and 5% of doctors are immigrants, etc.
Now suppose immigrants all suddenly return to the country they came from. Would there be a shortage of people to do plumbing and doctoring work and all other types of work? Well the answer is “no”, and for the simple reason that if 5% of the population vanishes, or returns to Pakistan or whatever, then demand declines by 5% and for the simple reason that immigrants themselves are consumers of the goods and services supplied by plumbers, doctors, etc, etc.
Doh!! (As our many American readers would say!)
Of course, it is stretching credibility to assume that immigrants make up the same proportion of those employed in every profession: e.g. immigrants are over represented in the restaurant trade, the NHS, and various other service trades. So if immigrants did all suddenly disappear, there would be a temporary problem: there would be a skill surplus in some trades and a skill shortage in others. And it would take time to retrain people in the trades suffering a skill shortage. However, I’m sure we could soon find people to make kebabs and takeaway curries, or even write stupid articles defending mass immigration, for instance!
Or to put it another way, if there had been no immigration over the last 50 years, would there have been any big difficulty in training the requisite number of doctors, nurses, etc?
The answer is no difficulty whatsoever, in my opinion. In fact, this country has been ‘exporting’ doctors and nurses (and various other highly skilled professionals) for a considerable period of time, so the problem isn’t lack of numbers.
In the century between 1850 and 1950 there was virtually no immigration compared to the recent levels of mass immigration, particularly since 1997 when Blair’s ‘New’ Labour came to power.
Yet it may amaze the likes of Mehdi Hasan, Britain still managed to train roughly the right number of plumbers, bricklayers, electricians, teachers, engineers, etc.
Amazing, isn’t it?