Discussing immigration purely in economic terms neglects the need to talk about social, political and electoral realities. Labour must be conscious that the erosion of social cohesion caused by immigration can create significant challenges for the successful delivery of a left-wing programme
The spectacular rise in support for the UK Independence party has, at its root, widespread concerns among ordinary people that immigration has become excessive. The instinctive response of the intellectual left has been to dismiss these concerns as a mixture of proxies for racism and misunderstandings of economic realities.
The response from the radical chic has been social condescension: Englishness is naff and the St George’s flag risible. But these responses have in turn induced a dangerously debilitating reaction from ordinary people. They infer that political elites are disconnected from the realities that they themselves face. Roma arrive on the housing estates of Sheffield, not the lovely homes of Hampstead…
A member of the left is admitting there might be a problem? I can’t believe it: they seem to be responding to UKIP, which suggests that the only way to get results is by organizing politically.