It’s sad to see the immigration debate once again reduced to the numbers game

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Saturday 16 November 2019 18:33
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Compliation of Boris Johnson talking to people who are not 'rich Remainers'

It is sad to see the immigration debate once again reduced to the numbers game.

Will immigration rise or fall is the question repeatedly asked of the MPs standing in the general election.

The question is entirely irrelevant and economically illiterate. Net migration (the difference between those going out versus those coming in) rises and falls according to the wellbeing or otherwise of the economy. If the economy is buoyant, then people will come in to work.

This is especially important in a country like the UK, with its rapidly ageing population – the ratio of under-18s to over-65s is closing all the time.

Equally, if the economy is in recession, there will not be work available, so people will not be coming into the country. Indeed, unless it is a worldwide recession they are likely to be heading out to other places that have the work required.

The numbers game is entirely irrelevant and has caused untold damage – including helping prepare the ground for Brexit – over recent years.

It is wholly premised on the idea that immigration is a bad thing, with migrants having a negative impact. The truth is the opposite. Migration is a good thing.

Where it can cause damage to the social fabric is if those coming in are being used to undercut the pay and conditions of the indigenous population – as long as this is avoided immigration is positive

Paul Donovan
London

Sick of Johnson’s tiresome tropes

I read Tom Peck’s insightful analysis of Boris Johnson’s Tory campaign bus launch which, as he so rightly states, extends the incredulity factor even further. The tropes of “oven-ready deals” and “Get Brexit Done” are so misleading and yet the electorate is so sick and tired of the subject that short-termism might even swing it for this party.

And that will be an iniquitous result because it should be flashed across the sky that this is only the start and will take much longer than his derisory six months to achieve a successful free trade deal.

His constant trashing of Corbyn and Labour’s policies becomes wearying and duplicitous. It is all so depressing and we still have weeks of this campaign which might indeed land this country with the hardest right-wing gung-ho government and then watch our country implode as that oven-ready deal remains frozen, because Johnson forgot to switch the microwave on.

Judith A Daniels
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Football as a force for good

Regarding your excellent article “Fifa facing scrutiny after exposing hundreds of fans to criminal prosecution for attending Qatar World Cup dress rehearsal”. While it rightly highlights that it is ridiculous that fans could be criminalised for watching Liverpool in Qatar, I would add Human Rights Watch also joins in criticising Saudi and UAE and Fifa for not protecting rights of people wanting to watch the beautiful game.

It shows the farcical petulance of the Saudi-led blockade, which does that country no favours at a time when trying to convince global investors to pump money into the Aramco IPO and promote its own tourism.

I am proud British teams are competing and highlighting the travesty of the blockade of an allied nation to the UK – the home of football. It also demonstrates how football can be a force for good from tackling racism to international relations, human rights and labour rights issues. Britain should be proud it’s at the heart of all these global issues.

Baroness Verma
Member of the House of Lords

Economising on research

The latest polls predictions economise on research. When was the last time a UK election polling forecast correctly predicted the outcome of an election? None of them for 2017.

So what is the function of these guestimates? Perhaps the polling business gives the patricians an idea of what the mob is thinking, and of how that thinking might be changed or shaped. It is the essential weapon in the mastery of populism by the elite.

Mike Bor
London

Depressed and worried for our children’s future

As a mother and granny, watching the myriad of political mediocrities wreck Britain and our families’ futures has depressed and worried me.

The added irony of knowing that those doing the damage will, due to their positions and income, and in some cases inherited wealth, be cushioned from the catastrophic effects, rubs much salt into that wound.

Imagine my joy as the electioneering gets into full swing.

If I’ve followed things correctly then, apparently, come 13 December, regardless of the acknowledged economically disastrous effects of Brexit (with or without a deal), we will all be given a free tree, a free foot massage once a week, and gold unicorns for breakfast every Sunday.

Thank goodness.

Amanda Baker
Edinburgh

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Empty promises and wild political lies

Listening to the stream of empty promises issuing from the mouths of the desperate political hopefuls is depressing in its predictability. None of the wild claims are the result of any research, which matters not as they have no intention of fulfilling them. But the fault lies equally with the voters, whose own lack of research allows them to believe even the wildest political lies. Otherwise, how did 17.4 million people consider that in the 21st century a country as politically feeble as the United Kingdom could possibly survive in doctrinal and economic isolation?

Matt Minshall
Norfolk

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