I’m watching the following video:
Megan Greene and her dismissive quip about populism and other talking heads doing the usual whining about xenophobia and racism simply ignore the fact that there is genuine frustration regarding immigration. To those who have this rationale that ‘immigration always adds to the economy’ the reality is that it doesn’t matter how fast the economy is growing given that there is a depressive impact on wages associated with uncontrolled migration into the country. Assuming you have an economy rocking along at 6% in the UK you still wouldn’t be growing at a fast enough rate to not only provide employment but to also have a tight enough labour market that would also push up real wages as employers are forced to compete for employees. What I think is even more appalling is the idea of labelling what Nigel Farage suggested, a points based system for immigration, as some how ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’ because god forbid a country decides to have a selective immigration policy that fills in areas of great demand where there is a shortage of skills in a particular area where the country isn’t training enough. The sort of attitude that Megan espouses creates the very backlash against the ‘elites’ that many have talked about, the dismissive attitude which amounts to a polite way of saying, “shut up, your opinion doesn’t matter and the issues you face don’t matter since this should be only discussed by people like me”.
I personally am divided on whether the UK should have left the European Union but that being said, the ’stay in the EU’ campaign didn’t help their situation because, as Boris Johnson noted in this video ( link ) there was no long term plans to those issues he raised during the campaign which meant the average punter was sitting there, “OK, you want us to stay, you recognise there are issues….so what is your solution”. Unfortunately rather than address those legitimate issues that Boris raised you had the ‘stay in the EU’ campaign decided that slandering the alternative view point as ‘racists’, ‘xenophobes’ and ‘little Britain types’ rather than standing back and willing to listen to the concerns. Regarding the issue of the former communist countries joining the EU – why wasn’t there a plan to build up these countries economies before allowing them full membership? if you’re going to have free migration then it only works when all the member countries are roughly at the same standard of living and economic opportunity but what has been created is a draining of former communist countries of skilled workers which has undermined those economies, a lack of investment in those countries to ensure that movement is out of choice rather than necessity and then the rise of friction between local and migrant workers over the increasingly limited number of jobs or jobs that do exist but due to an abundance of employees you have employers being able to depress wages for over a decade which ends up screwing over all except for those at the top of the class structure. Again, the ‘stay in the EU’ have no solution to these issues other than to slander those who ask questions or question conventional wisdom. In the end it was the ‘stay in the EU’ who did more to undermine their message than what Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson could ever say in public.