Friday, October 23, 2009

MSM Moron of the Day: Philip Johnson

As regular readers will know, your humble Devil is married to an American citizen who has been a victim of the disgustingly unfair and draconian immigration system currently extant in this country.*

As such, I found last night's Question Time—during which Nick Griffin, Saida Warsi, Jack Straw and Chris Huhne tried to outdo each other in proposing ever more unfair, damaging and authoritarian legislation—enraging and thoroughly repulsive.

Of course, we should all note that the intelligentsia's fear of immigration is absolutely not in any way the same as the BNP's fear of immigration and you would be a fool and a racist to suggest such a thing.

No, these politicos were simply trying to pander to the bigotry and ignorance of a certain section of the British people suggest sensible ways of limiting immigration in order to defuse the more extreme views of Griffin. Which is, of course, much more sensible than trying to educate the viewers about the complicated arguments around immigration.

How fortunate for us all that the MSM also cannot be bothered to make that effort, as proved by a spectacularly moronic article in today's Telegraph.
Politicians appear unconcerned about the immigration-fuelled boom in Britain's population—despite the strain on schools, hospitals and quality of life. Unless we take action, the country will face an environmental nightmare, says Philip Johnston.

As I have pointed out, politicians do not seem to be unconcerned at all—in fact, they are outdoing themselves in their rush to close Britain's borders to skilled immigrants. But, leaving that aside, this article spouts some utter horseshit.

The first thing to note is that this country can hardly be described as over-crowded. In fact, the density of population in the country as a whole is pretty minimal.
Scale down the UK. To 99 football pitches.

All built up areas plus gardens would be 6 of those football pitches.

Of course, you might disagree or, more pertinently, point out that the South East is pretty densely populated. However, I thought I'd just put the whole issue into perspective, i.e. there's plenty of fucking space.

However, Philip Johnson's true ignorance and stupidity is shown in this paragraph.
Indeed, it has always been the case that in order to have economic growth it is necessary to have more people. Countries whose populations stagnate and decline are countries with no future.

Bzzzzzzt! Wrong! Thank you for playing, Mr Johnson, but you are totally fucking wrong. I am no economist, but even I spotted this hideous falsehood.

However, I shan't bother to explain why you are wrong, Phil; instead, I shall pass those reins over to Timmy.
If economic growth were a matter of just having more people then there would be no rise in the size of the economy per capita, would there? And given that we do have economic growth per capita then ….well, you see the problem.

It’s possible to make a weaker claim, that we can only have economic growth per capita if we have a growing population but that too is nonsense. The onward march of technology, our ability to add more value to resources over time will lead to continued economic growth.

There’s just one special case where the assertion might be true: if population if falling faster than growth per capita is growing. Take a reasonable historical (for the capitalist world) average: 3% growth in GDP per capita over the years. If population is falling at 4% a year then total GDP will be falling while the living standards are rising. And as it’s that latter that we care about, not the former, even in this special case we don’t actually care.

And this is why the commenters at The Kitchen who bang on about population decline are also consistently wrong. A declining population does not mean declining growth.

In fact, if growth continues at a reasonable rate and the population declines, this is immensely good news. Why? Because it means that individuals are all getting richer.

If I have ten quid, and have to divide it amongst ten people, then they each have a quid. If, on the other hand, there are only five people to divide that tenner amongst, then everyone gets £2. They are twice as rich. Excellent!

Needless to say, the rest of the article is the same old scare-mongering bollocks. Instead of some reasonable cost-benefit analysis of immigration, all that we get is MSM twats and political tosspots trying to outdo each other in pandering to the BNP-voting section of the population.

But, as I said, these people's fear of immigration is definitely not the same as Nick Griffin's. Definitely not.


UPDATE: in response to Andy's comment, I shall repost my solution to the problem.
So, here is my proposed solution, and it is a solution designed to be implemented tomorrow—that is, it assumes that we are still in the EU, etc. So, here it is: no immigrant may claim benefits until they have been working—and contributing tax (i.e. cash in hand work will not count)—for four years.

But wait! The EU will not let us treat EU citizens any differently to British citizens. Great! The same thing applies across the board, for British citizens too.

When National Insurance was first implemented, you had to have been paying in for a certain amount of time—and earned your "stamps"—before you could start getting payouts. To an extent, this is still the case, but other benefits are not, theoretically, part of the National Insurance system, so they are paid out without any requirement to have paid in.

This should stop, right now.

So, everyone—regardless of where they are from originally—gets treated in exactly the same way: no one shall receive any benefits until they have paid tax into the system for four years (an arbitrary number—we could make it higher, if you like, or lower—four years seems a reasonable time to me).

In this way, we can stop paying for people's lifestyle choices (including encouraging the feckless to have children); we can diffuse the resentment based on the "bloody immigrants, coming here and stealing our benefits" argument; we give people an incentive to pay tax rather than do cash-in-hand work; we stop people coming here with massive families in order to soak our ridiculously generous benefits system (and thus reduce immigration); we can remove these spiteful bars to non-EU immigrants working (and thus allow private companies to hire who the fuck they want); it will provide us with an incentive to ensure that our schooling is up to scratch (since natives will be competing with immigrants on an equal footing); it allows us to open our borders to those who want to come and work here (and neutralises Hayek's problems with doing so whilst a Welfare State exists); and, of course, we will substantially reduce our social security bill.

So, to be explicit, fewer (or no) border controls but also no benefits.

Those who want to work—native or immigrant—can work: those who don't will get no support.

* Should you be a non-EU citizen interested in working in this country, here's the Devil's handy guide to just how much it will cost you.


Andy said...

I accept your point that our immigration system is a mess. I accept that skilled immigrants are turned away and/or mistreated for no good reason. I accept that our politicians are currently reacting to this BNP nonsense in their usual snake like way. However, it feels like you are suggesting that all the immigration to this country is skilled immigrants, who desperately want to work and are being prevented from doing so.

What evidence is there to suggest that that is the case? Before your whole argument can reasonably be accepted, surely we need to know what proportion of immigrants end up contributing (once they're paying the same tax as me, I couldn't care less where they came from), and what proportion are merely using up services that I pay for?

I have exactly the same problem with useless benefit scroungers, but we've got enough of those of our own without importing more. Hence, there is (potentially, let's see the figures) an immigration problem. It's nothing to do with racism. I don't care were they come from or what colour their skin is.

My question then is: what's your point? Are you arguing for less border control or more border control?

Of course the ideal solution to the problem of immigration is to remove all borders, but simultaneously remove all benefits and taxes. As you say, there's plenty of space, come one, come all in the case that there is no need for one productive group to support another feckless group.

Rachel said...

One wonders if your concern would be just a great if you were not married to an American citizen whoc is .... etc.

And slightly off topic, let's see you pop off to the good ol' US of A and see how easy it would be for you to get a green card.

Special pleading methinks, and therefor easily dismissed.

Devil's Kitchen said...


Certainly my concern has been heightened by being married to an American because I was previously unaware of just how expensive, arbitrary, unfair and inhumane our immigration system was.

"And slightly off topic, let's see you pop off to the good ol' US of A and see how easy it would be for you to get a green card."

Wow! I hadn't realised that the phrase "two wrongs don't make a right" had so easily been dismissed.

Just because the US has a fucking stupid protectionist system of immigration does not mean that we have to.

"Special pleading methinks, and therefor easily dismissed."

Or, to put it another way...

"La la la la la la la I can't hear you la la la la la..."


Andy said...

Update acknowledged.

That's a perfectly reasonable suggestion. As well as solving a whole swathe of social problems, it has the added benefit of being immune to the charge of racism.

bella gerens said...

Actually, Rachel, DK would not need to get a green card - because he is married to an American citizen.

And while we're having a pop at the American immigration system, let's remember that if you fuck up your application because you're doing it all yourself and can't afford to hire a solicitor, the American government doesn't reject it automatically and keep your outrageous fucking fees.

And we might as well address your belief that DK's views can be easily dismissed because he knows someone who's gone through the process here. Apparently you think your own ignorance better qualifies you to judge whether or not the system is unjust. I can only hope that one day you are the victim of an injustice about which I know nothing, so that you can learn an object lesson in how not to be an asshole.

Wearysider said...

There is plenty of space, do we really want to be concreting over any more of that 'space', do we want to build on the Lake District? The Yorkshire Dales? etc.. Yes there is loads of space in the UK, England is another matter though, raw figures of space are massively misleading, should we concrete over every last acre of land? aside from it creating a truly fucking depressing landscape it doesn't take into account environmental impacts.

Our immigration system is a piss take, that through socialist dogmatic bullshit and our very special friends and masters the EU prioritises bleeding hearts and fellow comrades over people we genuinely want in this country, who will be an asset not a burden.
The current untenable system needs redressing not a wholesale pouring of concrete.

Anonymous said...

It does seem to me you have failed to differentiate.

Maybe it is a benefit to the UK to import doctors from india or Spain or nuclear scientists from Iran. Is it a good thing for India Spain or Iran?

But do we need poppy farmers from Afghanistan or goat-herders from Somalia? I don't this the Uk is big in opium or goat sausages.

Nick said...

Spot on that we have enough indigenous benefit scroungers.

The issue with the discussion about immigration is that people draw the boundary to make their point. ie. Immigrants pay tax. Ah but they also compete for jobs. Chavs then sit on benefits. You have to include all the effects.

At the top end, my view is that the more top end people we have here, the better. It becomes the place to set up a business so long as you get the taxation right.

At the bottom end we need to stop it. The no benefits until you have paid in kills two birds with one stone.

However, there is one change that's important. It should be done as self insurance. You have to save for unemployment. Then if unemployed, you have to spend your savings first, at a given rate before you get the help from the rest of us. Once you have two years saved, I think you should be allowed to take out a percentage tax free as a carrot.


Devil's Kitchen said...


"It should be done as self insurance."

I have private unemployment insurance. It costs a shade over £18 a month—and the payout rate is rather higher than Jobseeker's Allowance.

Now, can I opt out of NICs, please?


Xenophon said...

Devil, you are normally an intelligent (if rude) observer - but this is an odd article. Your point about space and football pitches is complete dung, as a moment's reflection might suggest. It doesn't matter if the population only occupies one zillionth of the total land area available - if less than one zillionth is usable/available for agriculture/suitable for building on, that population size will be a recipe for problems... Australia would give you an even better 'free football pitches for all' ratio - but no-one seriously advocates that the 'great bugger all' is useful for a growing population, or could take lots of people. A more relevant statistic would be to simply point out comparitive population density - and on that figure, the UK stands 52nd in the world, at 640 people per square mile (out of 240 countries). By comparison, mainland France is a 280... This country is overcrowded, and it's getting worse. It drives much of the day to day irritation and unpleasantness that we all face, from impossible traffic conditions to stupid property prices via general rudeness and 'me-first' ism... The lovely Bella hails from a nation with 80 people per square mile - don't blame them for wanting to keep the numbers under control, myself - they only have to look at us to remind them why it's worth doing.

Anonymous said...

Not all immigrants are the same.
The major problem is muslim immigration and aggressive Islam.

All your points are OK in a world where muslims are not using the demographics as one of their tactics to change European culture.
But they are using such tactics.

This is not a matter of racism; it's a matter of culture and politics.
You can forget all about freedom if Islam establishes and strengthens its hold.

James Strong

Angry Exile said...

xenophon, trust me: there's room here without getting into building houses in the middle of the Simpson Desert. I live in Melbourne, a city about five times the size of London and with about half the population. Aussies think the place is overcrowded but they have no idea. Yes, there are issues with resources, particularly water, but I think that's down to relative profligacy (the Victorian target of 155 litres per person per day is still higher than average UK usage) and a phobia about building more dams in recent years. Similarly power could soon become a problem due to eco-paranoia - we burn brown coal for electricity and Aussies are even more nukephobic than they are about dams.

Anonymous said...

"If I have ten quid, and have to divide it amongst ten people, then they each have a quid. If, on the other hand, there are only five people to divide that tenner amongst, then everyone gets £2. They are twice as rich. Excellent!"

A daft analogy - the benefits of growth are not evenly spread, are they?


Incidentally,we are competing with the whole world for jobs in our country,and they are cutting our throats on price,how can the ordinary married man ,with two children,a mortgage and all of the paraphinalia that goes with it,compete with a single pole who will accept a third of the married mans wage?he can not suddenly say ok i will work for the same because he has more commitments to service,consequently he is thrown out of work,while the employer can engage another two poles for the same price,and the problem escalates forcing more and more of the indigenous population onto the dole.Can you really tell me that an ignorant bangladeshi from the boonies is willing to pay my pension,the whole situation is a crock since we are only attracting the economically useless,the achievers are doing very nicely in thier own countries thank you.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"if you f**k up your application because you're doing it all yourself and can't afford to hire a solicitor, the American government doesn't reject it automatically and keep your outrageous fucking fees."

Erm, yes it does, actually.

My son had to apply for a working visa recently in the US, it cost him $600 (for a three-month visa, yes!), and the protocol was quite clear - any refusal, for any reason, and the money would NOT be returned. Happily, he was approved.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

DK, I like your immigration/benefits plan but there's one thing you missed - the tax paid should have to be real payment that leaves the British state better off, in order to qualify. In other words, public sector employment, whether direct or indirect (ie fake charities etc) would not qualify.

Of course, none of this will happen.

malpas said...

Do you not assume that immigrants are going to be fair minded and even reasonable.
What would you do if half of Zimbabwe thought the UK was a good opportunity?
And then they agreed with a certain leader that your land was their land. After all they do have guns. Not like the unfortnuate uk residents.