Immigration: simple solution, open the door!I'm of the belief that it's not the business of a free and democratic state to enforce strict, draconian curbs on international immigration, but this seems to be the perverse direction the debate on immigration in Britain seems to be taking.
What I find disturbing in this debate is the fact that freedom is ok for money - but when it comes to people, freedom, in fact, means the complete opposite. The Sun newspaper put it bluntly last year with it's 'No Skills. No English. NO ENTRY' front page, (which, in my mind bares an uncanny resemblance to the 'No Blacks. No Dogs. No Irish', signs put on the front of many homes in 50's Britain).
We need more freedom, not less.
When it comes to freedom, the liberal European intelligentsia and political elites are committed to just about every single freedom there is - well, in theory. They are forever talking about 'upholding' the rules for free trade, they constantly want to 'expand' the free movement of capital, they always want to 'open-up' new markets. Indeed, they devise new rules that 'force open' new capital markets - and keep them open, especially during times of crisis.
This really all amounts to the freedom of governments and states, awarding themselves the right to trample over basic human rights - such as the right to free movement across European boarders. No matter how you discuss this issue, the bottom line is whether or not human beings have the right to migrate to Europe or not.
Firstly, I want to get things straight here, Britain might be a small island, and Europe might be a really small corner of the planet - but that does not mean 'we're full up'. On the contrary, there's plenty of space for hundreds and thousands of people - in the UK alone. Contrary to popular belief we are not 'bursting at the seams'. In fact, people coming and going, as they see fit, does not constitute a real problem per se - people just think it's a problem, and it is this which is the problem.
In fact, the whole debate about immigrants and people flows says more about us as a society and our values, than it does about those who want to come here. It's ironic and sick that we live in a world obsessed with human rights and freedom, yet when it comes to the right of people to 'pass freely without let or hindrance', that right stops the very moment you hit these shores
People all over the world want to be free - they strive to free themselves from poverty or oppression. That is why they vote with their feet. Roger Donway in his essay 'The States of Freedom' argues that:
"We believe people want to be free: they strive and work to be free, and search out locations, governments, and situations where freedom reigns. Migration is the purest expression of individuals responding to differences in freedom, including economic freedom. We adopt a migration metric for economic freedom. If people are moving from one state to another, other things equal, we assert that this is a market-based response to differences in freedom. Ordinary people, voting with their feet, define freedom."
Donway writes for the ultra conservative think-tank: The Objectivist Centre, and was concerned with the internal migration within the US. But I think his view of freedom and migration is fair and universal, not just national. Indeed, it's a far more positive outlook than what passes for serious debate on immigration in Britain today.
Picture: Press Association. BBC News.