Why Immigration Concern Is Racist 104

Since 1979 UK governments have deliberately and systematically pursued policies which prioritised the speculative financial industries of London and damaged large scale manufacturing. The apotheosis of this policy was the massive transfer of money from everybody in the land to the bankers in 2008 by Gordon Brown.

There are two major results of this forty year policy. The first is that the deliberately engineered manufacturing decline has caused social and economic devastation in the UK outside South East England. The second has been an astonishing accumulation of wealth in a tiny number of hands as income inequality levels have risen to the highest disparity in all of human history, wealth centred in South East England.

This has naturally led to rising discontent among many people in many areas, despite the concentrated use of mass communication media under elite control to spread narratives to contain or divert discontent. But as unrest has continued to threaten control, a particular diversionary narrative has become dominant.

In truth, the cause of mass poverty amidst great wealth is the existence of state structures which direct economic activity to the exclusive benefit of a tiny elite of the ultra-rich. But rather than the ultra-rich who control the state structures, ordinary people are encouraged to blame their own lack of access to resources on immigrants. A false narrative is created whereby the cause of poverty is not the billions and billions monopolised by the ultra-rich, but rather that poor foreigner over there.

This is an argument of stunning intellectual paucity. It depends on a totally false narrative of an economy as a thing of fixed size. In fact, immigration is a massive driver of economic growth. If immigration really made countries poorer, then the United States would be the poorest country in the world and Germany the second poorest. That is plainly untrue. Immigration is not the cause of poverty, quite the reverse. It is only the benefit of millions of energetic new migrants that has prevented deflation in the UK these last few years.

Yet, despite being obvious nonsense, the argument sticks. The ultra-rich succeed in diverting the anger of society at inequality of resources, away from themselves and onto that poor foreigner over there.

And why does this obvious nonsense work? Because it appeals to a deep-rooted, basic, instinct of atavism. Because it appeals to a xenophobia that transcends logic and intelligence. Because it is a simple appeal to racism.

Concern about immigration is racism. A racism deliberately whipped up to divert people from their real enemies.

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104 thoughts on “Why Immigration Concern Is Racist

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  • fred

    It isn’t corporations exploiting the immigrant workforce.

    It’s simple arithmetic, pensions are paid by the contributions of the workers. People are living longer, there just aren’t enough young people to pay the pensions of the old. The baby boomers of the 50s and 60s are getting to retirement age and thanks to our health service are likely to live to ripe old ages, they do not have enough children to pay for their pensions, we have to import workers.

    It’s no different to any other ponzi scheme, you have to keep getting more investors or it collapses.

  • Loony

    Resident Dissident – Why would free movement of labor result in labor obtaining more reward and capital less?

    Would it not merely lead to a global convergence of labor rates? So the reward to labor in the 3rd world rises but is offset by a corresponding fall in the the 1st world. Given the population differential between 1st and 3rd worlds this will result in a precipitous drop in 1st world labor rates.

    Ongoing technology changes (e.g. robotics) is likely diminishing the demand for labor everywhere thus putting further downward pressure on aggregate labor rates.

    If you own a coal mine or a steel mill then it has a fixed location and can be taxed. If you own facebook then it can be located anywhere at all where tax rates are low. Therefore technological change makes it easier for capital to avoid taxes (i.e. avoid contributing to public infrastructure).

    This means you either dismantle public infrastructure or you make up the shortfall by taxing labor more heavily. You have problems in taxing labor if labor rates themselves are under pressure – which they are.

    The more people you import into the 1st world then the more pressing the need for public infrastructure. The more you need public infrastructure the less able you are to provide it. To mix cultural vernacular “Ipso facto – you’re fucked”

  • Courtenay Barnett

    “We live in a world of chaos where strong commercial ties between clans of mutants develop violence and war to accumulate wealth and who regard liberalism as a threat to their existence.”
    So true.
    The Great Depression.
    Glass-Steagall Act 1933 ( to regulate banking and finance – so as not to have a repeat Great Depression)
    Fast forward – we deregulate and repeal Glass- Steagall.
    Now – American manufacturing capital migrates to China and what then?
    • Environmental standards?
    • Uconions?
    • Pensions?
    • Workmen’s compensation?
    • Etc………………
    Hey – this is China – not the U.S. of A – so much greater profits at the price of loss of US manufacturing jobs – but the US consumer gets good products at cheap price.
    Over now to Donald Trump:-
    Where are your hats produced?
    Which workers make your brand name shirts?
    Why did the Polish workers come over – to provide jobs for domestic workers – duh – huh?
    And the game goes on>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>and on>>>>>>>>>>and on…

  • Loony

    Resident Dissident – I could go on for hours and I probably will.

    Unfettered free movement of labor will likely result in a marginal temporary improvement in 3rd world labor rates, but a permanent and catastrophic collapse in 1st world labor rates.

    This is all apparently necessary in order for the high priests of anti racism to grant absolution to the newly impoverished western masses.

    There are too many people, too few resources, and too much ju-ju economics. Everybody is fucked be they Marxist, Keynsian, or Neo-Classical, fundamentally racist or fundamentally anti racist.

  • Laguerre

    RD “if more freedom was given to labour to move where it wants then labour would be rewarded more and capital less.” That’s a hoot. More labour available equals less price.

  • Old Mark

    ‘If immigration really made countries poorer, then the United States would be the poorest country in the world and Germany the second poorest. That is plainly untrue. Immigration is not the cause of poverty, quite the reverse.’

    Here are a few facts culled from Chris Caldwell’s excellent study of recent immigration into Europe (‘Reflections on the Revolution in Europe’) that expose as tawdry the ‘immigration brings wealth’ argument as it relates to modern welfare states (ie NOT necessarily the US, where immigrants have to work in order to survive).

    ‘For immigrants to help the welfare state, they and their descendants must pay more into welfare than they take out. They don’t work or earn enough to do that… In the Netherlands for instance, 40% of immigrants get some form of government assistance.’

    ‘According to the Institute for the Future of Work, while native Germans between the ages of 20 and 65 pay out more in taxes than they collect in services, Turks do that only between the ages of 28 and 57’.

    ‘By 1997, only 12% of immigrants arriving in Britain from what used to be called the ‘New Commonwealth’ (the nonwhite parts of the former British Empire)were coming for work’.

    The argument that immigration is a wealth generator for the receiving countries also ignores the giant sucking sound of remittances sent back home by the immigrants to their home countries, to the benefit of these countries of origin and to the detriment of the multiplier effect of consumer spending in the western countries where the remittances are made. Here is Caldwell again-

    ‘According to a World Bank internal document, a quarter of a trillion dollars in remittances were wired around the world in 2006… Transfers to El Salvador, mostly from the United States but also from Spain, now make up a sixth of that country’s economy, and Moroccans, mostly in Europe, sent 3.6 billion Euros home in 2003’.

    Finally, Craig’s hymn of praise to the unalloyed benefits bought by immigration focuses entirely (if misleadingly) on economic arguments, and is silent on the cultural impacts. Caldwell’s book in subtitled ‘Can Europe be the same with different people in it ?’ He deals with this point succinctly at the closing of the book’s first chapter-

    ‘The economic benefits immigration bought were marginal and temporary. They now belong to the past. The social changes immigration bought,however, were massive and enduring. Accomodating more ethnic groups does not mean adding to what Europe already has. It means altering what Europe already has. Immigration is a poor fit with the welfare states that have been a cornerstone of European identity since the Second World War. It complicates efforts to build a European Union. The Islam professed by roughly half of Europe’s new arrivals sits uneasily with the European tradition of secularism.’

    ‘The rest of this book will ask whether you can have the same Europe with different people. The answer is no’.


  • jake

    Can someone explain to me in what way someone fleeing for their life and leaving their home, family, job/business can be regarded as the FREE movement of labour?

  • punklin

    “The bottom line is that we don’t have the resources to be a national charity, even for half the population we already have.” (Ba’al Zavul)

    Prove it!

  • Rehmat

    I agree with Mr. Murray. Anti-immigration is sort of racism because it’s based on the immigrants’ color and religion. For example, many European leaders have said that they would only accept Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq.

    During Western colonial era, European used even force to bring cheap labor from their Asian and African colonies to boost their industrial and agricultural sectors.

    Now since the “empires” are almost dead – every time their is recession – the White racists blame it on the immigrants.

    The US, Canada, Australia and UK were build by foreign immigrants. Eric Margolis, US-Canadian war reporter and author wrote in one of his books that when India was living its Golden Age under Mughals – London used to be a city of 15,000 unwashed people.

    There is White racism against White immigrants from Africa which is hardly mentioned by BBC, CNN or Fox News. For example, last year, Rodrigo De Campos, the leader of Brazil-based South African Front National (most probably a Zionist front) sent a petition to the Council of the European Union – asking its help to make its members accept White people from South Africa who want to return to lands of their European forefathers.

    “Based on the Israeli government’s policy of allowing all Jews the right to return to Israel, we believe it is not only advisable but morally obligatory that Europe should allow all white South Africans the right to return. As it currently stands, many white South Africans who try to apply for citizenship to European countries such as the Netherlands and UK are rejected. Many of these white South Africans seeking citizenship are direct descendants of the very same European nations that reject them,” said the petition.


  • Jemand

    It also smacks of 1st world arrogance and cold-blooded selfishness to advocate for the virtual theft of another country’s talents & skills. Is Craig equally enthusiastic about the immigration of unintelligent, unskilled, sickly and anti-social people? No. I think not. Only those with the material & corporate wherewithal, already paid-up education, sense of adventure & preparedness to work for low wages is what is expected & desired.

    In a world of diminishing resources, only the elites living in their protected bubbles are immune to the ill effects of overpopulation and free market, rat race competition. Craig, you belong in that bubble because you wouldn’t survive a day on the streets of your dystopic fantasy.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Listen fucker (I call you that since you call me dolt), if you think importing labor does not reduce the price of labor, then you know nothing of supply and demand which is the basic principle of economics.”

    Overall the cost of labour will increase – the fall in the west will be more than compensated by the rise in the cost of labour in the 3rd world. It is fairly basic economics that limiting the freedom of labour to move to where it can get the best rates will reduce the overall cost of labour – which is of course why you are a dolt. You are a racist because you think that defending the higher labour rates of those in the first world takes priority over that of mankind as a whole.

    And yes I have read Ha Joon Chang and he makes exactly my point – Thing 3 in 23 Things they don’t tell you about capitalism – I suggest you read it as well – or at least try and understand it.

  • Resident Dissident

    “That’s a hoot. More labour available equals less price.”

    There isn’t more labour available overall – the same amount is just free to go to those markets where it can obtain the bast price/conditions.

  • Resident Dissident

    Why is capital so keen to have freedom of movement if allowing freedom of movement reduces the overall return as Canspeccy and co claim?

  • Resident Dissident

    “a Korean immigrant who has excluded one English scholar from a cushy academic post.”

    Perhaps it has something to do with the Keynesian temple that is Cambridge’s Department of Economics realising that racism doesn’t work when it comes to advancing economic thought – as people like Kalecki, Sraffa, Kaldor, Chang and many others testify so admirably. Yet another argument why freedom of movement and cross cultural exchange is such a good thing.

    And yes Canspeccy I am a “fucker” and it produces the wonderful intelligent and cross breed children that you so detest.

  • Loony

    Punklin – There is not much to prove really. According to the ONS the UK imports some 46% of its aggregate energy needs and around 40% of total food consumed. These are rising trends.

    The UK has a persistent, and rising, trade deficit – currently running in order of GBP 34 billion pa. These raw figures are somewhat misleading as the UK typically imports things that are useful such as energy and food and it exports things that are harmful such as arms, financial services and a neo liberal ideology.

    It pays for the things that it cannot afford by printing money. Anyone that does not like this deal is either bombed or isolated.

    Sure there is racism in the UK – but, in general, it does not come from people who express concern over immigration. Rather it comes from the ignorant and arrogant mindset that believes that the third world exists for no other reason than to supply the British with anything they may desire at any price that the British determine they might like to pay. Meanwhile these same people have rammed down their throat a toxic mix of physical and financial weaponry.

    But hey who cares about facts, don’t you know that there is a whole world of micro aggression to be uncovered, and hurt feelings to be placated.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    Resident Dissident

    “And yes Canspeccy I am a “fucker” and it produces the wonderful intelligent and cross breed children that you so detest.”

    I suspect CanSpeccy wasn’t calling you a “fucker” in the sense you admit being one.

    But I may be wrong of course.

  • Mark Golding

    Very true – not so loony:

    UK typically imports things that are useful such as energy and food and it exports things that are harmful such as arms, financial services and a neo liberal ideology.

    It pays for the things that it cannot afford by printing money. Anyone that does not like this deal is either bombed or isolated.

    That is the far reaching ‘B-side’ of Craig’s argument.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    Well, there have been some good and interesting posts on this page.

    I particularly liked OldMark’s post (at 00h52) NOT ONLY for its interesting content BUT ALSO for its informative and intelligent use of something OldMark has obviously read.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Resident Dissident
    11/03/16 11:04pm

    “There is something instinctive and inherent within people that leads them to fear those who are different, as anyone with small children will be aware”

    Yes, that is undeniable, but I hardly think it amounts to a “deep-rooted, basic, instinct of atavism” as Craig asserts. Fear of the unknown is an expression of the basic instinct of survival – will this unknown creature/person/object attempt to cause me harm? – but it is quite counterbalanced in most cases by the equally strong urge to curiosity and discovery, and, as anyone with small children will also be aware, it is absurdly easy for those of different races, but who share a common language, to overcome initial nervousness and interact fully and happily. This is one of the visible advantages of growing up in a multicultural society. My children have matured in a far more diverse environment than I did, and display hardly a trace of either racism or heterosexism. Gender is much more important, curiously.

    ” – but I suspect it is how that instinct is handled and explained by parents and others or not as may be the case, that really determines whether that fear develops into what is normally accepted as being racism.”

    I think that’s absolutely right. Initial fears can be either reinforced or weakened by parents, siblings, peers, and societal culture generally. I said earlier that the fear mongering is an appeal to economic insecurity, not to racism, and I stand by that. If it were good Anglo-Saxon Protestants – poor US citizens, say – who were trying to enter the UK, the fear would be precisely the same – penniless toerags coming over here stealing our jobs and our benefits and our facilities, etc etc etc.

    Kind regards,


  • Fredi

    Concerned your country is being given away? Then you must be a nasty racist.

    This is typical self hating, guilt ridden, liberal leftist nonsense. Usually spouted by those privileged enough not to have to live with the consequences of their rhetoric and policies.
    New Labour got away with this kind of PC sh1t for years in service to their corporate/banker masters, so just how well did that work out for us?

    Zionists use the same trick when people criticise Israel , they tar them with the ‘nasty anti semite’ brush. It’s just one of many ways vested interests use to shut people up when they point out the bleeding obvious.

  • Fredi

    If we want to play this game, then the SNP must be inherently ‘racist’ against the the British. Craig seems to think nationalism is ok for the Scots but ‘racist’ if the rest of us want some of it for UK.

  • Resident Dissident


    ‘The rest of this book will ask whether you can have the same Europe with different people. The answer is no’.

    Well of course it is – Europe and the World are in a constant state of change – and most of it is a good thing. I would recommend reading Orwell’s Lion and the Unicorn, which despite John Major’s misreading of it (maidens cycling to evensong etc.), explains how what is traditional actually changes over time. On the other hand we could go back to the good old days of bear baiting, killing Scots within the walls of York, slavery and putting children up chimneys. The real question is what changes and whether it is for the better or worse – not whether things stay the same or not. I believe that there is long chain of evidence regarding how many advances in all societies have arisen because of the impact of migrants changing established thinking.

  • tom

    In the run up to the referendum, in an interview with The New Statesman, Alistair Darling said that supporters of Scottish independence were “at heart” blood and soil nationalists, in other words fascists. So that’ll be you, Craig, and me as well. Except that it was a silly thing to say; just a nasty piece of invective which demonises folk on the other side of an argument. It’s exactly the same with your claim that “concern about immigration is racist”. Of course it might be, in some cases, just as a small number of Scottish nationalists may indeed be fascist, although personally I’ve never met or heard of any. Have you?

    To generalise about fascism or racism in this way is dangerous. It categorises folk as “all the same”, and we know where that can lead.

  • Dec

    It is rare for Craig to be so unintelligent on a subject. Productivity in the UK is down because cheap labour promotes precisely the kind of iniquitous business structures he decries. But even if it were not so it is bizarre to argue that commercial value is what solely matters in a society (hence only a racist would sacrifice it), and the immigration strategy that optimises that is in any event not letting in refugees from poor countries, but skilled workers from rich ones. And I say this as a refugee from a poor country myself.

  • Old Mark

    ‘The real question is what changes and whether it is for the better or worse – not whether things stay the same or not. I believe that there is long chain of evidence regarding how many advances in all societies have arisen because of the impact of migrants changing established thinking.’

    Res Diss- when immigration was a fringe phenomenon in western Europe (as it was everywhere outside of France until the late 50s) it was easy to pretend that, like the Jews and Huguenots before them (I have several ancestors from the latter group btw), the current crop would advance and not hinder the development of their host countries. However the numbers arriving in recent decades, and the very different societies from which large numbers of these immigrants hail, render your argument untenable, as the costs in terms of the reduction of social cohesion and social capital demonstrate.

    Caldwell’s book includes innumerable examples which show how social cohesion has declined as a consequence of mass immigration, but I’ll restrict myself to some observations he makes about British Muslims, based on a 2007 survey undertaken by Policy Exchange.

    ‘This study showed that nearly a third (31%) of British Muslims thought they had more in common with Muslims in other countries than with their fellow citizens. Only half referred to Britain as ‘my country’. The sense of belonging to Britain was higher among those over 45 (55%) than among those 18-14 (45%).’

    I know from your previous comments here that you are a ‘liberal interventionist’ who is keen for the UK to continue to ‘punch above its weight’ in the world, including in the military sense. What Caldwell writes next, in terms of the military enlistment rate of British Muslims (who now constitute over 10% of the age cohort from which cadet soldiers are drawn) should give you food for thought over how likely this ‘punching above our weight’ scenario can continue-

    In 2007 there were just ‘330 Muslims in the British armed forces, a number than not even dogged recruiting efforts have sufficed to raise. Britain’s Muslims were joining the military at roughly one twentieth the rate of other Britons’.

  • Resident Dissident

    Old Mark

    I just don’t know how we coped with all those Anglo Saxons. As a social democrat I am for managed markets rather than free markets, and you will not that in by original post that I made it very clear that their can be legitimate concerns about immigration – but there is a boundary as to when shouting about those concerns rather than addressing them, mutates into something rather less pleasant. If you talk to sensible British Muslims you will find that they are more than concerned about social cohesion than you might expect.

  • Old Mark

    ‘If you talk to sensible British Muslims you will find that they are more than concerned about social cohesion than you might expect.’

    Res Diss- for example, are these ‘sensible British Muslims’ concerned enough to argue against the immigration of another generation of non English speaking spouses, thus perpetuating the cohesion of Bengali & Punjabi ethnic enclaves in the UK, rather than the broader social cohesion to which you claim they adhere ?

  • Roderick Russell

    @ Canspeccy 11.48 PM March 11

    I found your comment on Suhayl quite disappointing and not in accordance with the facts. Whether you agree with him or not, he has always expressed himself not only with eloquence but with courage; and it takes courage to fearlessly express one’s convictions and opinions where they can be very unpopular with the powers that be. These are qualities normally associated with men of integrity and of independent mind – quite the opposite of what you have written. Canspeccy, I rather hope that the 11.48 PM comment in your name was not written by you.

    Racism is about Prejudice. It is about selecting (or deselecting) people for jobs, friendships, etc. based on their perceived race and not their character/ability. Those who have travelled as much as I have and worked with (and befriended) professionals of so many different ethnic backgrounds, find that it is really not possible to be racist. I support most of what Craig has written, but not all. To my mind an immigration policy can be racist or not racist; it all depends on the selection criteria (including any implied criteria).

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