Monday, April 09, 2007

U.K. exports professionals, imports manual workers

Britain's brains keep draining, while immigrants with relatively little education keep replacing them.
International migration is eroding Britain's skills base with an exodus of professionals matching the arrival of low-skilled foreign migrants, the Government is to be warned.

The number of Britons emigrating has jumped in recent years, with a growing proportion leaving professional or managerial jobs to work overseas. By contrast, the number of immigrant workers - many of them manual workers - has risen sharply.

Why should anyone be surprised? Who, having a choice, would choose to live in a country where crime is rampant but you can be arrested for defending yourself; free speech is dead and you can be charged with a "hate crime" for using the word "Pakistanis"; and where your rulers have set their sights on making you, if you are of Anglo-Saxon or Celtic ancestry, part of a minority group.

I feel almost guilty about writing one more post bashing Britain's leaders (not its people, many of whom if I read the signs rightly, are plenty unhappy about how things are going). Too easy. Fish in a barrel. I could do one posting a day under the "Britain self-destructs" rubric, just by linking to news stories from the scepter'd isle with little or no comment.

But it's worth asking: how has the United Kingdom come to this wretched state? A mere hundred years ago, not much in historical time, Britain was one of the most prosperous, self-confident, powerful, and respected countries on earth. Today it's a place its professionals can't wait to get shut of.

The number of reasons for social and political degradation of a country can be almost infinitely complex if you want to see them that way, but those who still count themselves as citizens with a responsibility for their nations mustn't take refuge in that academic cop-out. Look at the basics and let others fuss over the details.

You can't ignore the effects of two World Wars, the first if anything more than the second. The slaughterhouse of trench warfare in 1914–18, aside from its devastating psychological sequels, killed off many of the country's young men who would have played leading roles in its future. Both '14–'18 and '39–'45 were very democratic carnage, officers and enlisted men both suffering heavy losses, which I suppose is to Britain's credit. But you have to figure that lots of the smartest and most educated went down, and while they were no more important on a human scale than their working class compatriots, it's hard to doubt that the U.K.'s intellectual capital took a blow from which it has never fully recovered.

But the main reason for Britain's decline and fall into a death spiral of social breakdown and political correctness is, I have come to believe, the varying degrees of socialism that have prevailed for the past 60 years.

British leftists and pacifists (pretty much the same, until Hitler invaded Russia and they suddenly became hearty anti-fascists) hated Winston Churchill back in the '30s for constantly warning about the danger from Nazi Germany and the necessity of being prepared to fight it. Once Churchill had led the country to a successful conclusion of World War II, the country rewarded him by voting him out of office and electing the first officially socialist Labour national government.

Although in the years since, control of Parliament has gone back and forth between Labour and the Tories, those first postwar years of socialist rule seem to have left an indelible stamp. Even when under so-called Conservative leadership, Britain has accepted many of the principles of socialism: nationalized medicine, high taxes, council housing (what we Yanks call housing projects and have virtually abandoned, recognizing them as the failures they were), welfare, and most important for what we're looking at, a centralized state dedicated to social engineering. People are economic units of production and consumption; the government's role is to decide how they shall live (right down to how many "alcohol units" they should consume per day), speak, and think.

Ten years ago, Tony Blair was elected on a "New Labour" platform — his party abandoned the old leftist cant about workers owning the means of production, bleeding the aristocracy white, booting out U.S. miltary bases and all that. Scratch a New Labourite (and many a Tory quasi-Labourite), though, and you'll find the mental gears still turning the same way.

Certainly, the Left has had to shift its tactics. Beginning with Karl Marx, it based its expectations on the working class being the force de frappe that would do in capitalism and enforce equality. That continued to be the underlying theme through the 1980s, even as it sounded more and more hollow. The class warfare model wasn't working anymore. The working class was in many cases making good money and going on strike whenever some part of it didn't get what it wanted. It was more interested in football, booze-ups at the local, cheap flights to Spain, and betting shops than in being the Revolutionary Vanguard.

The present phase of Britain's sickening came when the Left realized that the island's indigenous population just wasn't good Red-flag-waving material. But wait! The world is full of the oppressed, many of them very possibly more pliable than the home-grown lumpenproletariat!

And so the visionaries opened a new front in the struggle for egalitarianism — importing as many of the wretched of the earth as possible. Toss out the dragnet in Somalia and Pakistan and other super-under-underdeveloped waste dumps and reel 'em in. They won't be co-opted by capitalist imperialism! We'll set the immigrant cat among the bourgeois pigeons!

Today's Left, instead of having an uncooperative lot of native British workers for their pawns, has retrofitted immigrants into position. Smart move. It seems to be working: everywhere in British life, anyone or anything that stands out from the herd is under threat, the educational system is being dumbed down and used to denounce everything about the country's past that once was considered an emblem of greatness, speech codes and legally enforced political correctness inhibit protest. Equality is quickly being achieved, an equality of ignorance and lack of qualifications.

The operation has been a glorious success. Too bad about the patient.


Mark Richardson said...

There are two British emigrant professional couples (with young children) living nearby in my street here in Melbourne, Australia. Really nice people and certainly a loss to Britain.

An interesting feature of the article you link you is that it reveals that the British Chamber of Commerce is no longer supporting unchecked immigration.

So it's certainly not the case that the Government is reluctantly going along with something demanded by big business interests.

Rick Darby said...

Britain's loss is Oz's gain, I'm sure.

By the way, you are mentioned in one of the latest postings on Lawrence Auster's site.

David said...

It's interesting to read the writings of C S Lewis circa 1950. Many of the factors now plaguing Britain were present then, and present in pretty virulent form. I have to believe the trend must have reversed and re-reversed at some points: if it had been straight linear down since Lewis wrote, the place would have long since completely disintegrated.

David said...

Also...I think it's difficult for Americans to comprehend what an overwhelming catastrophe WWI was for Europe.

The chapel at the French military academy at St-Cyr had a memorial with the names of graduates killed in France's various wars. I've read that for the class of 1914, it reads simply "The Class of 1914."