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Bucephalus

Immigrants Refuse To Adapt To Local Customs

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There is a group of European nationals who, in their hundreds of thousands, are leaving home to set up in other countries, pushing up property prices, using local services and failing miserably to learn their hosts' languages or to integrate properly into their communities.

It is estimated that three million of these people have upped and left to settle elsewhere. Who are they? Poles, Czechs, Latvians? Er, it's us, actually. Historically, we British are probably the most mobile people in the EU, notwithstanding the recent movement of eastern Europeans westwards in search of work since their countries joined in 2004.

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Some people huffed and puffed themselves up into high dudgeon last week at the prospect of another wave arriving on our shores when Romania and Bulgaria join the EU. One headline asked: "How many more can we take?" Yet this question is largely academic since, as citizens of the EU, they will have unfettered residency rights even if the labour market is closed off to them for a year or two; and if they can travel to this country and live here, they can soon find jobs on the black market if any are available. The alternative is to veto their entry or to leave the EU.

But while we seem to get into a lather when the Eastern hordes begin to trek west, we are more sanguine about our right to travel and settle abroad, though nowadays we tend to consider ourselves "expats" when we get there, rather than immigrants.

In our hundreds of thousands, we Brits have decamped to French villages, Spanish coastal resorts and further afield, not just to work for a while before returning home, but often for good. And judging by yesterday's ICM poll suggesting 10 million Britons would be happy to go and live elsewhere because they are fed up with Tony Blair's high-taxing government, this trend shows every sign of quickening.

It is, of course, arguable that the two phenomena are related: that a lot of Brits are leaving because a lot of foreigners are arriving and they don't like it. But we do seem to operate some double standards here. While we spend a lot of time debating what immigration means to Britain, little thought is given to the wanderlust of this island race. For 400 years, and until relatively recently, Britain was not, as some are wont to describe it, an immigrant nation; it was an emigrant one. Since the Mayflower sailed for the New World in 1620, there have been few occasions when net migration to the UK was positive.

Of the millions of Europeans who journeyed from Europe to America in the 19th century, one third were from Britain and Ireland. Passenger statistics show that between 1853 and 1913, an astonishing 13 million British citizens left the land of their birth, bound mainly for North America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Some came back; but cumulative net emigration was equivalent to 13 per cent of the population, mostly those aged between 18 and 45.

Among the avalanche of population statistics published last week, three stood out. One was the settlement figure for last year, which has risen by an extraordinary 30 per cent. A second was the record number of nearly 500,000 foreign nationals who came to Britain to stay for a year or more, double the number in 1997.

But a third statistic indicated that emigration is on the rise once more, with 207,000 British nationals leaving the country in 2004. This was the highest number since before the Great War, when, as A J P Taylor noted in his English History 1914-45, the outflow was running at 300,000 per annum and more young men were leaving the country every year than died on the battlefields of Europe.

So while more foreign nationals are coming here and staying on, at the same time more British nationals are leaving. That is why the current trends are so different from those that have gone before. Of course, the Empire saw many Brits settling overseas; but there was little inward migration to Britain at the time. The motor for population growth was the high birth rate.

The changes taking place now are unprecedented. This is not, as it has become in recent weeks, a superficial story about cheap plumbers and hard-working Polish waiters. It is about a fundamental and significant change in the way the country looks, sounds, thinks and feels.

Cumulatively since 1997, 1.6 million British nationals have left the country and 806,000 have returned. At the same time, 2.93 million foreign nationals have arrived and 1.41 million have left. So, for every two Brits that leave, one returns; but for every two foreign nationals that arrive, only one leaves.

In 1998, the net annual outflow from the country of British nationals (ie the difference between those leaving and coming back) had dwindled to 22,000. By 2004, this had risen to 120,000. Over the same period, the net inflow of non-Britons grew from 106,000 to 342,000 a year. Most of the overseas nationals who stay are from the Commonwealth or are described as "other foreign". EU nationals tend not to stay. Between 1997 and 2004, 594,000 EU nationals came, but 412,000 left.

Millions of Britons live abroad. There are 250,000 second homes in France that are owned by British nationals, though it is impossible to know how many of these people have made France their permanent base, since they no longer need a resident's permit to settle permanently. According to the Institute for Public Policy Research, which recently launched a project to take a detailed look at the British diaspora and the implications of emigration, one in 12 UK nationals may be living overseas.

This renewed departure of so many Britons is exacerbating the demographic and cultural changes that have been wrought by high levels of immigration. In just four decades, the UK has been transformed from a country of net emigration to one of net immigration. Just imagine how will we look 40 years from now. It is a future that needs to be prepared for and an issue that needs to be openly discussed. Isn't it generous of our political lords and masters to give us, belatedly, permission to do so?

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In my view the damage has been done, the Labour Party have been chisseling away at this one for years in the background, labelling any dissenters as homophobic Racists.

The problem is going to expose itself in a decade or so, and I am sure that tough new controls on the movement of people, the expectations of citizens as to what is given by the state, will all change.

I think we will become a Europe of Transient workers, all scratching away looking for work wherever we can find it, the daily commute will become a luxury as people will have to leave their familes and homes behind in the endless struggle for a days work.

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Labour don't care about the cultural impact of mass immigration - if anything they will accuse the public of being intolerant and prejudice

They only care about it's effect of controlling wage inflation, peoples borrowing/spending and real inflation - hasn't worked so far - hence the recent rise in IR as well

They can only bluff IR rises so far before they risk crashing the housing market - so expect even MORE immigrants to crush your borrowing/spending.....

BTW Tony is addressing 'immigration' over the coming weeks - IMO he will focus on the cultural aspects to take focus away from the economic reasons (if people become more aware of inflation it could cause a economic damage - hold on, thats what we want isn't it? :lol: )

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And judging by yesterday's ICM poll suggesting 10 million Britons would be happy to go and live elsewhere because they are fed up with Tony Blair's high-taxing government, this trend shows every sign of quickening.

Exactly what tax do they think they will save by going abroad?

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Exactly what tax do they think they will save by going abroad?

This is people's ignorance of inflation impacting on their budgets showing through

They view tax cuts (like borrowing) as an simple to understand way to bridge the gap between their static wages and rising inflation....

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Uhm. This is not off topic put it back on main.

Poles rock. We need more of them. It is the lazy chavs up north we need to loose.

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Poles rock. We need more of them. It is the lazy chavs up north we need to loose

We would do well to send the Poles home and regain 2Million Jobs that can employ people who are willing to pay tax and contribute to society over the long term.

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We would do well to send the Poles home and regain 2Million Jobs that can employ people who are willing to pay tax and contribute to society over the long term.

If there is a HPC the poles or the majority of them will probably have to go home a HPC would destroy most of the house building programs. Or another case sit on their arses and claim benefits but with high unemployment coming mainly from the building industry where would the government find the money from lost taxes?

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Exactly what tax do they think they will save by going abroad?

As I understand it, China has 15% income tax and Panama has no tax on income earnt abroad (I believe many other countries will also leave you alone if you're spending money in the local economy but earning it abroad). You don't have to move to another high-tax socialist Western state.

In any case, even if you do move to another Western nation, the cost of living in the UK is so high that you can often get a better standard of living abroad while paying more tax: I suspect most people are more concerned about the lack of return from our taxes than they are about the absolute level. The British government takes more and more money from us every year and does less and less with it.

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I agree and it is certainly the case for me that my biggest gripe is that I pay more in tax, and see that I am entitled to less each year.

If we had a direct relationship between what we pay, and what we get, something tangible that we could see with our own eyes then the attitude may well change.

Taxes are fine, but you have to be getting something, or live in hope of getting something for it all to work, today this is certainly not the case.

We Pay, safe in the knowledge that if we fell on hard times, we would get virtually nothing at all.

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Guest AuntJess

I agree and it is certainly the case for me that my biggest gripe is that I pay more in tax, and see that I am entitled to less each year.

If we had a direct relationship between what we pay, and what we get, something tangible that we could see with our own eyes then the attitude may well change.

Taxes are fine, but you have to be getting something, or live in hope of getting something for it all to work, today this is certainly not the case.

We Pay, safe in the knowledge that if we fell on hard times, we would get virtually nothing at all.

I agree with you and Mark G. :) I think few would mind higher evels of taxation if they could see the benefits of same. The main people to benefit from our taxes ,seem to be lawyers, beaurocrats and MPs. <_<

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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