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By Philippe Legrain 6 COMMENTS

To mark Refugee Week, openDemocracy are publishing a special series on immigration. Read my article on why, since governments conspire to deny people the right to cross borders freely, pretending to be a refugee – or trying to enter Britain through other irregular means – is hardly terrible.

Posted 18 Jun 2008 in Blog
  1. John Bull says:

    Mr. Legrain,
    I always find your work laughably shallow and badly argued seemingly reliant on annecdote, innuendo and emotionalism, rather than good hard factual, scientific based arguments.
    If you actually had the guts to post on one of the tough, intellectual anti-immigrant sites, you would be torn to shreds.

  2. John Bull says:

    Oh, and by the way inflation in Britain is running rampant (so much for your notion that immigrants screw prices down by screwing the working class),unemployment is predicted to rise sharply, the number of new housing starts is the lowest since 1945, ecomic growth is non-existant.
    Your ridiculous book over and over again stressed the economic ‘benefit’ of Blair’s opn-door immigration to Britain.
    Sorry, it just ain’t happening – therefore you and your book are worthless trash.

  3. Bullsh.... says:

    John, if you read the fantastic book ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ (writted in 1908) you will see that immigrants were even used as scapegoats for Britain’s social and economic problems back then.

  4. John Bull says:

    …..As usual your overpowering intellect refuse to actual debate on facts and arguments but quibbles with innuendo, opinions,slogans and anecdotes.
    The fact is that your execrable tabloidy little book m’makes’ the case that mass immigration is the be-all and end-all of economic growth.
    Now, as we can see it just aint’t happened….leaving the Legrain emperor with no clothes – and a rather flaccid diminunitive penis waving about in the breeze.

  5. Francesca says:

    I am glad I found you (completely by chance). I do not agree with all your ideas, but I find that you have courage and believe in what you say. Bravo! I wish there were more people like this around
    Good work

  6. daggett says:

    John Bull, I agree that Phillipe Legrain would be torn to shreds on any anti-immigration site, but at least he should be given credit for allowing his critics to post comments which utterly demolish his case on his own site. Each time I visit the site, I am pleasantly surprised to find that all the posts that shoot him down in flames are still here. However Phillipe Legrain should now acknowledge the arguments against his case and either show us where he is wrong, or else, acknowledge that he is wrong and stop peddling the .

    I commend an recent article How mass migration has devastated the social fabric of Britain by a current resident of the UK on how, contrary to the strident assertions made by Phillipe Legrain, the UK has been turned into a crowded slum by mass immigration.

    It’s long past time that we put the claims of immigration advocates to be motivated by compassion for fellow human beings were placed under the microscope. What they do makes every person in the countries receiving immigrants poorer and the poorest in those countries are hurt the hardest. Only a small selfish minority benefit at the cost of the quality of life of everyone else, the environment and future. I heard striking confirmation of this when I listened to an Australian talkback show, Australia Talks in 2004 (then called Australia Talks Back). That program was bizarrely devoted to the supposed problem that the already hyper-inflated housing prices were not rising fast enough to suit Australia’s property speculators. An economist working for the Real Estate Institute Australia, as I recall, stated repeatedly that this will be fixed as soon as immigration was raised again, which the right wing Howard Government duly did. Consequently Australians now face impossibly unaffordable housing prices. Only those on massive incomes or those who have inherited their homes can hope to live in a free standing house, that every Australian who was prepared to work hard for a few years and save could previously aspire to owning.

    How Australia got into this mess is explained in Sociologist Sheila Newman‘s Master thesis of 2002 “The Growth Lobby and its Absence : The Relationship between the Property Development and Housing Industries and Immigration Policy in Australia and France” which is downloadable as a 2.5MB pdf file.

    I also commend Mark O’Connor’s review of Book Review: Immigrants: your country needs them.

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