Greens call to scrap immigration targets


by Jim Jepps    
8:19 am - September 15th 2011

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The Green Party autumn conference declared its absolute opposition to the Coalition’s immigration policy this weekend. It called for the immigration cap to be scrapped and for a “real review” of this country’s border controls that “take[s] into account the full benefits of immigration”.

The Party opposes the cap on the basis that it is socially divisive. It rejects the argument, put forward by many supporting the cap, that immigration harms the economy, saying rather that it has many positive effects.

The Green Party is for liberalising our current immigration controls to help ensure that individuals are not left vulnerable to exploitation and ill-treatment by virtue of their immigration status.

I said to Camden journalist and blogger Richard Osley:

diversity is something to be celebrated rather than be constantly treated as a problem. The current muddle headed Coalition policy does not even have the backing of employers and will certainly be used to restrict the rights of those who did not happen to be born in this country. To those who argue that migrants can be used to undercut wages and divide and rule I say that the answer to exploitation is not to regulate the exploited but to regulate the exploiters.

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, said

The immigration cap is a dishonest policy which sees migrants treated as the cause of problems they have had no part in. There are serious issues around housing, casualisation at work , and the need for improved public services but we cannot address these by blaming immigration.

The Coalition have not defined the problem that they are using such a blunt tool to solve and that’s why the Green Party is calling for a real review that takes into account the full benefits of immigration rather than simply treating migrants as a problem to be managed.”

The motion reads;

“The Green Party reaffirms its commitment to a liberal immigration policy. Everyone is equal no matter what the colour of their passport.

The Coalition’s policy of introducing an immigration cap restricts people’s rights based purely on their nationality, harms the economy and is not conducive to a free and happy society.

The Green Party is in favour of a real review of border controls that takes in the full benefits of immigration and stops treating those who are not native to the UK as a problem.”

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About the author
Jim Jepps is a socialist in the Green Party and formerly blogged at the Daily (Maybe). He currently writes on London politics, community and the environment at Big Smoke.
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Reader comments


I assume the Greens have changed some of this then?:

http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/2008/02/vote_green_go_b.html

2. So Much For Subtlety

So the Greens give up any pretence at being a genuine environmentalist party and become, openly, the Far Left shills they really are?

I don’t know. Is that an improvement?

There can be nothing sustainable about a UK that adds ten million people every decade. It is a choice: either the environment or population growth at these levels.

The Coalition’s policy of introducing an immigration cap restricts people’s rights based purely on their nationality, harms the economy and is not conducive to a free and happy society.

So they want Africans to all have a vote in British elections? Of course people’s rights are based purely on their nationality. That’s what a nation is.

Do you know what’s ironic? Caroline Lucas was telling us a while ago that we need an “open and honest” discussion of overpopulation. What’s the single factor behind population growth in Britain? Yup, that’s right: immigration. (Some environmentalists – Richard Heinberg, say – have written on how mass migration conflicts with sustainability.)Do you know what’s ironic? Caroline Lucas was telling us a while ago that we need an “open and honest” discussion of overpopulation. What’s the single factor behind population growth in Britain? Yup, that’s right: immigration. (Some environmentalists – Richard Heinberg, say – have written on how mass migration conflicts with sustainability.)

(That was an accident, by the way. I didn’t think the comment was so brilliant that everyone should read it twice. Mods? Help?)

5. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

Awful, awful politics, what sort of monkeys have got running the show over there?

Keep shtum and let the CBI hoist Cameron by his own petard.

Do you know what’s ironic? Caroline Lucas was telling us a while ago that we need an “open and honest” discussion of overpopulation. What’s the single factor behind population growth in Britain? Yup, that’s right: immigration. (Some environmentalists – Richard Heinberg, say, have written on how mass migration conflicts with sustainability.)

(Note to mods – there’s a botched copy of this in the spam folder. For obvious reasons, don’t accept it.)

@2

The Green Party have a global approach to sustainability, not a nationalist one. There is nothing at all that is ecologically unsustainable about people immigrating to the UK – indeed, they are likely to have less children here than they would elsewhere.

Shame the Green’s don’t have a rational power policy, really.

What I do know is the UK system is broken. Anyone who can walk into a O1 visa in America is someone who should not be rejected from ANY country on skills grounds!

@2 Uhm. Over fifty countries nationals are “Commonwealth Citizens” – while they’re subject to border controls, if they’re legally living in this country they can vote in ALL elections if here. Oh, and Irish citizens living here, and they’re NOT subject to border control.

And EU citizens can vote in elections except for Westminster, of course. (Except the Cypriot and Maltese, who can…)

Rights are based on far more than that nation’s own people.

…indeed, they are likely to have less children here than they would elsewhere…

And use more carbon.

The Green Party have a global approach to sustainability, not a nationalist one.

Ummm, think global act local?

There is nothing at all that is ecologically unsustainable about people immigrating to the UK – indeed, they are likely to have less children here than they would elsewhere.

Well, because people in this country frequently consume considerably more resources than in the countries where many migrants come from, your statement is incorrect.

Of course, if we in the UK were to reduce our own consumption, then this would not be the case – but I reckon that if it were so, then there would probably be few fewer people wanting to come here in the first place.

11. So Much For Subtlety

7. Ciaran

The Green Party have a global approach to sustainability, not a nationalist one. There is nothing at all that is ecologically unsustainable about people immigrating to the UK – indeed, they are likely to have less children here than they would elsewhere.

I think you mean fewer children but so what? Extinction of a local species is still extinction of a species. And I am looking forward to their “It doesn’t matter a damn how much CO2 we produce as Africans do use much petrol” carbon ideas.

There is, of course, a lot that is ecologically unsustainable about population movement to the UK. At least there is if you think, for instance, food miles matter. Do you? If you do you would have to accept that moving more people to the UK so we produce even less food and have to import even more is not a good idea. Personally I think food miles is rubbish but I am not a Green.

8. Leon Wolfson

Over fifty countries nationals are “Commonwealth Citizens” – while they’re subject to border controls, if they’re legally living in this country they can vote in ALL elections if here. Oh, and Irish citizens living here, and they’re NOT subject to border control.

And EU citizens can vote in elections except for Westminster, of course. (Except the Cypriot and Maltese, who can…)

Rights are based on far more than that nation’s own people.

So basically you’re saying the right to vote in the UK is not solely based on whether you’re a member of Nation A, but also of Nation B, C, …. and F, right? In other words, it is a still a right based on your nationality. Your point is?

More evidence that the Green Party is a solid option for anyone concerned about social justice – as well as science-driven policy.

~~~

3. BenSix

There’s nothing “ironic” about this announcement – you’ve simply confused / conflated the issue of so-called global overpopulation with immigration in to the UK. They are different things.

I think that says far more about your prejudices and biases than anything about the Green Party or Caroline Lucas.

~~~

7. Ciaran

> …they are likely to have less children here than they would elsewhere.

Exactly. The only ‘solution’ to so-called overpopulation is to pull people out of poverty and give them what we all take for granted: water, food, shelter, security.

I am amused by the way the usual ranters can’t make their mind up whether they’re more angry at poor people having large families or immigrating here for a better a life.

~~~

8. Leon Wolfson

> Shame the Green’s don’t have a rational power policy, really.

They do. It’s just that you don’t understand it.

In fact, the Green Party has the only sane energy policy. The Tories and their LD lapdogs are intent on handing billions to French and American corporations for nukes that will take 10+ years each to deploy. Far too slow and expensive and unreliable to make any impact on ACC mitigation – never mind the implications of a ‘Fukushima’ on this crowded island.

~~~

9. BenSix

> And use more carbon.

So, is that a reason to make scapegoats out of immigrants or to reduce our per capita CO2? Clue: it’s the latter.

And why have you switched from so-called overpopulation to carbon pollution? It’s almost as though you don’t have a coherent argument….

P.S. To pre-empt the tedious ranting about so-called overpopulation:

* Population explosion is over, it masks complex causes of poverty and inequality, hunger is not the result of too many mouths, population growth is not the driving force behind environmental degradation, population controls have a negative effect on basic health care, population alarmism encourages apocalyptic thinking that legitimizes human rights abuse, threatening images of overpopulation reinforce racial and ethnic stereotypes and scapegoat immigrants and other vulnerable communities, overpopulation views stand in the way of greater global understanding and solidarity. http://popdev.hampshire.edu/sites/popdev/files/uploads/dt/DifferenTakes_40.pdf

* Overpopulation worries are a potentially racist distraction. Overpopulation is the wrong issue, overconsumption is the right one. 40 years ago, women were having 5 or 6 children each. Now the average is 2.6 – very close to replacement level fertility rate of 2.3. Fertility rates continue to fall. http://www.theecologist.org/Interviews/409152/fred_pearce_overpopulation_worries_are_a_potentially_racist_distraction.html

More evidence that the Green Party is completely out of touch with the electorate.

More evidence that the Green Party is an irrelevant clique of well off people.

Good on the Greens with the added benefit of annoying the narrow-minded little nationalists.

Intriguing that some people who generally do not give a shit about carbon, energy usage and overconsumption of resources suddenly use that argument when it comes to Johnny Foreigner coming here to use resources. The way to alleviate our overconsumption of resources and energy use is through reducing our per capita demand for those things by wasting less and using energy more efficiently. Certainly not by restricting the intake to this country of people who already exist. The same argument that I would apply to Greens who misguidedly and pointlessly attack oil companies from the supply side. If one wants to reduce oil use only measures that reduce the demand for oil will achieve any results. Attacking supply will achieve nothing.

Education and prosperity is already reducing the growth in the world’s population. The fertility rate is declining almost everywhere and the reason population is rising is because people are living longer and improvements in infant mortality. Therefore, the world population will continue rising to a plateau before declining.

14. birdie

> More evidence that the Green Party is an irrelevant clique of well off people.

Yeah, the Green Party, that well-known political enclave of millionaires and billionaires. lol.

Do you make this shit up yourself? Or are you handed a script of wingnut soundbites to vomit up?

…you’ve simply confused / conflated the issue of so-called global overpopulation with immigration in to the UK…

No, I haven’t. The Greens discuss overpopulation in the UK. Immigration is the main factor behind population growth.No, I haven’t. The Greens discuss overpopulation in the UK. Immigration is the main factor behind population growth.

And why have you switched from so-called overpopulation to carbon pollution?

That’s like complaining because someone “switches” from tax havens to the debt. The two aren’t independent of eachother.

…you’ve simply confused / conflated the issue of so-called global overpopulation with immigration in to the UK…

No, I haven’t. The Greens discuss overpopulation in the UK. Immigration is the main factor behind population growth.

And why have you switched from so-called overpopulation to carbon pollution?

That’s like complaining because someone “switches” from tax havens to the debt. The two aren’t independent of eachother.

19. Leon Wolfson

@12 – Since when is telling the poor to turn the lights and heating off “rational” ?

Nuclear power is safe, clean and only moderately expensive.

“never mind the implications of a ‘Fukushima’ on this crowded island.”

Yes, let’s look at Fukushima. An earthquake several orders of magnitude higher than has ever hit the UK, and far stronger than the plants were designed to take.

Fukushima Dai-ichi, based on a 60′s design, had issues, including a meltdown into it’s catcher, as a result.
Fukushima Dai-ni, based on a 70′s design, had a temporary loss of power.

Designs used these days are far, far safer than Dai-ni’s. It’s like claiming that power looms should be banned because of the safety record of looms and kids during the industrial revolution. Thanks for, as Monobiot notes, helping prove that nuclear power is SAFE.

Wind power, on the other hand, has a *terrible* safety record, and if it was held to remotely the same standards….

The greens cannot claim any stake whatsoever in science-based policy as long as they deny the clear evidence in front of them on power. No, keep on hating the poor.

20. Leon Wolfson

Oh and here’s one of the major alternatives, right here; Fracking

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/08/31/shale-fail/

I don’t think that produces enough energy to…

What? Oh, fracking.

17. BenSix

> No, I haven’t.

Yes, you have. I read your blog post. You’re hammering on about immigration and then you cite Lucas, as though to prove your point, where she says:

“The absence of an open and honest discussion about this issue means most people don’t give much thought to the scale of global population growth in recent years.”

*Global* population, not immigration in to the UK. You are conflating different issues.

> That’s like complaining because someone “switches” from tax havens to the debt.

Don’t muddy the waters with pointless analogies.

Either you’re concerned about global population, in which case part of the ‘solution’ is allowing people to move from an area of the planet where they have little or no chance of escaping poverty.

Or you’re concerned with carbon pollution in the UK, in which case stop trying to make immigrants scapegoats and take some responsibility and start thinking about how we solve that.

18. Leon Wolfson

> Nuclear power is safe, clean and only moderately expensive.

lol.

> An earthquake several orders of magnitude higher than has ever hit the UK…

Are earthquakes / tsunami the only reason that nukes can catastrophically fail? Think hard.

> Wind power, on the other hand, has a *terrible* safety record, and if it was held to remotely the same standards….

Which area of the planet has been made uninhabitable for centuries or millennia by wind turbines?

~~~

For anyone fond of reality as opposed to Leon’s standard-issue nuke shill / useful idiot ranting:

* What Fukushima doesn’t change: the astronomical cost of nuclear. http://scienceblogs.com/classm/2011/03/what_the_fukushima_doesnt_chan.php

* Nuclear Power, The Economic Dirty Bomb. Nuclear power is capital intensive, lives on subsidies, thrives on false hopes and dies in debt. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article29928.html

* Stunner: New Nuclear Costs as Much as German Solar Power Today — and Up to $0.34/kWh in 2018. http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/06/06/237150/stunner-new-nuclear-costs-as-much-as-german-solar-power-today-and-up-to-0-34kwh-in-2018/

* Does nuclear power have a negative learning curve? Real escalation in reactor investment costs while solar and wind plummets. “New nukes have gone from too cheap to meter to too expensive to matter for the foreseeable future.” http://climateprogress.org/2011/04/06/does-nuclear-power-have-a-negative-learning-curve/

@15 BlueRock

There’s no need to get tetchy.

As a life-long deep green I have plenty of experience of the so-called Green Party, thank you.

No need to make anything up about the Green Party, what really goes on is bad enough.

*Global* population, not immigration in to the UK. You are conflating different issues.

Hrm – yes, I get your point. The Guardian did write “Caroline Lucas, has joined other leading environmentalists in calling for the smashing of what TV zoologist Sir David Attenborough has called the “absurd taboo” in discussing family size in the UK” but, you’re right, the quote refers to overpopulation generally. Fair enough. I retract the jibe at Lucas but it’s nonetheless true that her party is concerned with overpopulation in the UK so the point stands.

Or you’re concerned with carbon pollution in the UK, in which case stop trying to make immigrants scapegoats and take some responsibility and start thinking about how we solve that.

I’m not making migrants “scapegoats”. It would be great if you could get through a comment – just a comment – without charging your interlocutor with something heinous. Of course, there are loads of things we need to do to reduce our carbon output – in our own lives and in our institutions – but it’s nonetheless true that migration exacerbates the problem inasmuch as it leads to people adopting our habits. No, that’s no excuse for our habits, but it’s still the inevitable result.

It’s very straightforward.

Humans are consuming too much of the Earth. There are also too many humans consuming the Earth.

We are exceeding the carrying capacity of the biosphere.

On the local level, England is already one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It’s that massive demand that is causing the concreting over of land, the road-building, the decreasing quality of life from over-crowding, especially for the poorest, that the Green Party, rightly, complains about.

So why does the Green Party want to force us into even more over-crowding, even more house-building, even more factories and offices to provide jobs and goods, even more roads, which will all be increasingly demanded?

@23 – “We are exceeding the carrying capacity of the biosphere.”

Cite. From a peer-reviewed paper.

“England is already one of the most densely populated countries in the world.”

Urban densities are much the same in the first world. Overall, we’re a good third less populated than Japan (and that ignores the far greater proportion of unusable land there), and far less so than India or the Republic of China, let alone a bunch of smaller island nations and city states.

24. BenSix

> Hrm – yes, I get your point.

Thanks. I couldn’t remember if you were one of the rare intellectually honest commentators here, or the other kind. Now I know. Recalibrated. :)

> …her party is concerned with overpopulation in the UK so the point stands.

Yeah, sustainable population is a critical issue – but which point stands? There are a thousand and one facets to the immigration issue. A few thousand more re. global population.

Here’s one key point from http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/mg:

“Richer regions and communities do not have the right to use migration controls to protect their privileges from others in the long term.”

A *lot* of our wealth is built on the back of the poverty of others – and we continue exploiting the poorest people so that we can have cheap burgers, mobile phones and £49 flights to Tenerife.

And re. global population from http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/pp:

“The Green Party holds that the number of children people have should be a matter of free choice.”

That’s a statement of inescapable reality. I’ve challenged many overpopulation drum bangers to offer a solution. Nothing so far.

“Green Party policies as a whole aim to reduce inequality, both global and local and to make educational and work opportunities available to all, throughout life.”

That’s the *only* solution to stabilising global population.

> …it’s nonetheless true that migration exacerbates the problem inasmuch as it leads to people adopting our habits.

Is that the end of the story? Hardly. Poverty leads to large families which leads to increasing stress on the environment and more people wanting a ‘western lifestyle’. Add in a few wars over dwindling resources and the cost of poverty is visited on all of us.

Here’s the uncomfortable truth: until the wealthiest of us start living sustainably there is no moral argument for anyone else to. The solution starts at the top, not targeting the poorest.

AFAIC, anyone who is upset about immigration doesn’t understand or is in denial of their own contribution to the ongoing rape of our planet.

Meanwhile, the bankers are thumbing through the Ferrari catalogue while sipping from a £1000 bottle of champers (because it’s mid-week, save the good stuff for the weekend). Priorities, people. Priorities.

OK Leon @ 24, I’ll bite.

UN bodies, biologists and the like have been churning out reports on our ever worsening global environment for decades; habitat destruction and fragmentation, species extinction, genetic erosion, degradation and pollution of soils, freshwater, seas and atmosphere, it’s all out there.

One little example of research here, from the Graun:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2005/mar/30/environment.research

Don’t the green Party believe any longer the ecological footprint models that say we here are consuming 3 Earths?

On to the density issue. You say “we” by which I take it you mean the UK, not England. You see, by far the largest numbers of people live in England, which is over-crowded, while Scotland, Wales and NI are sparsely populated. Obviously this grossly skews the UK statistic. It’s also the case that most migrants head for England, and specifically southern England, because that is where the power and wealth have been concentrated, thus worsening the problem even further.

Why don’t you tell me what the population density for England is so that we can compare it with other countries.

As for urban areas, well, quite apart from the fact that you can’t just separate off cities as though they are self-sufficient entities, huge numbers of English people don’t want to live crowded into cities, but they are being forced to by a variety of factors. Those who can afford to, often choose to live in rural areas and commute to where jobs are, thus worsening all the problems that the Green Party says it cares about. And where do people retire to? The countryside of course.

Increasing the numbers of people will only worsen the terrible disparities and inequalities that we are suffering under.

No, not the Guardian. A peer-reviewed scientific paper.

Overall, we’re a good third less populated than Japan…

Then again, the Japanese population is declining. And at a dangerous rate.

Everyone is equal no matter what the colour of their passport.

If this is taken literally, it means that the Greens would have a completely open immigration policy. This is completely unworkable, just as a policy of zero immigration would be.

31. Phil Hunt

> If this is taken literally, it means that the Greens would have a completely open immigration policy.

If it’s taken literally, out of context, distorted and if you make no attempt to read the Green Party’s policies on immigration, that’s what it means.

Links already provided by me and BenSix provide the tedious details why it doesn’t mean that.

@27 – Yes, what a great model to use for your ideal, given how they restrict immigration. Oh, hey…

33. Leon Wolfson

If you have a point and don’t want to appear a moron / troll, you’ll need to make more of an effort to communicate clearly.

36. Leon Wolfson

@33 – I’ve been perfectly clear. Your issues are your own, and accusing me of trolling is another clue to the vicious, poor and science-hating nature of your argument.

35. Leon Wolfson

So, that’s a no, you can’t articulate any coherent point. Got it.

38. Leon Wolfson

@33 – So, you have no answer for the arguments other than to lie and belittle. Because your position is logically indefensible, as is the entire Green party’s energy policy.

“Got it”.

I’d like to hear Ms Lucas discuss family size, emissions and sustainability.

Can’t be an easy one when you have three children of your own…

I’m not against the policy but I really can’t stand hypocrital politicians

oh, and this bluerock lady commenting above seems very aggressive.

Leon Wolfson: “Since when is telling the poor to turn the lights and heating off “rational””

That is not Green Party policy. You’ve simply decided that it must be Green Party policy, apparently without even bothering to check first.

LW: “No, keep on hating the poor”

If you’d actually read the Green Party’s manifesto, you’d see it was extremely concerned with the welfare of the poor and income inequality, certainly proposing much more radical solutions on the issue than any mainstream party.

Just because (in your opinion) the Green Party’s energy policy seems unrealistic doesn’t constitute evidence that it was written as a dastardly plot to kill the poor by withholding their electricity.

Phil Hunt: “If this is taken literally, it means that the Greens would have a completely open immigration policy.”

No, it doesn’t, although this whole comment thread seems to be slating the Green Party based on this misunderstanding. The phrase you’re focusing on is about the current policy of discriminating against certain groups of nationalities when making immigration decisions, not about immigration decisions being made per se. Indeed, Green Party policy goes on at some length about criteria for immigration decisions, which I presume it wouldn’t if they thought no such decisions were needed.

I think just about everyone recognises that allowing total freedom of movement tomorrow wouldn’t be workable because of the huge economic gulf between countries. Green Party policy says just that (policy MG300).

Of course hardliners who want nil immigration (except for you know, the sort who aren’t really immigrants like CEOs, oh yes, and the girl their son fell in love with on holiday, she’s obviously a nice sort) are never going to be satisfied with Green Party migration policy, but it’s not an “open door policy”.

@40 – Oh, of course it’s not stated policy. It never will be.

But it’s what happens calling for policies which massively inflate utility bills, and unless the Greens are willing to talk about ways to deal with this for poorer people, it remains a *consequence* of their policy.

The Green’s manifesto spends a lot of time emoting over the poor. There is very little in there which actually helps them, and much which – like the policy to inflate power bills massively – which harms them.

Then it turns round and claims that it’s massive subsidies for renewable-obligation generators is “scientific”. To which I have only one response; My ass.

42. William Smart

Nuclear is safe, says who?

Compare the cost of insurance on a nuclear plant with that of a windmill …..

Well, sorry, no you cannot – because nobody will insure a nuclear station!

I was at the said Green Party conference where the rejection of the coalition’s immigration cap was debated. I was particularly dismayed that someone who wanted to oppose some, not all, of the motion as worded had to preface his position with comments that he was not a racist and that he had a mixed race family. I felt very sorry he felt the need to do that to placate the bullies.

Why is it that anyone on the left who suggests that immigration policies must be economically and socially sustainable for the sake of host country and migrant’s welfare, and therefore involve some level of controls – risks being called ‘racist’ by their comrades? What an absurd slur! But i hear the dreadful insinuation being made again here in various ways. Why do folk on the (far) left stoop to the BNP’s tactic of turning migration issues into polarised ‘race’ issue in every possible debate?

I would like a generous migration policy and an ethnically diverse culture where we can all continue to enjoy the huge benefits of immigration and migrants who have chose to work here. But I would also love someone on the Green Left to explain rationally how any government in the UK could possibly plan let alone provide in the short term to medium term the necessary housing, jobs, hospitals and schools if we implement a policy that must inevitably mean a very high number of poor migrants would enter the UK. Its not fanciful or alarmist to suggest that possibly they would come in their millions without jobs, homes or means. (I would here note current Green Party policy that say a migrant’s personal’resources’ i.e. wheather they have the ability to be even basically self supporting, are healthy and literate cannot be even a partial criterion for the right to migrate)

The Green Party’s migration policy combined with its generous social welfare policy looks on the face of it impractical. Thats even before we consider problems of social integration and trust and the political/tabloid induced backlash of a population who on average tend to the xenophobic at the best of times, but particularly during recessions. But I would like to be proved wrong on this..so show me how these uber liberal immigration’ policies have been costed economically, socially, and politically.

Yes, like Lucas I would like to live as a global citizen with open borders in an ideal world and this should perhaps be the long term aim; but at the moment to base public policy on such a utopian vision is wholly impractical. Demanding in effect an open borders migration policy or suggesting that migration controls are ‘racist’ is the real ‘distraction’ here: we need to tackle majority world poverty first – yes by massive transfer of some of our wealth to these other countries directly if necesssary. The answer to global poverty is not to invite the world’s poor and particularly all their skilled and educated workers to come to the ‘rich’ countries en masse . To my mind this supposedly redistributive policy sounds like a global version of Norman Tebbit’s ‘get on your bike’ answer to the unemployed of the north of the UK, back in the 1980s.

What also seems to have slipped under the radar for most of us is that Green Party policy currently de facto supports an open door policy because of a fine sounding clause that suggests ‘involuntary repatriation’ should be stopped. Has anyone else noticed that on the face of it this means no immigration controls could be adequately enforced and so are rendered ineffective?
Current Green policy on migration is very confused – and confusing.
Any genuine Greens who want a thought through, generous yet sustainable and of course non racist migration policy, please say hi!

44. Leon Wolfson

@43 – Please, let em call me racist. I’ll skin em, being Jewish and willing to use it for advantage.

As I’ve said for a long time, immigration is a net positive economically, but some of that money needs to be specifically set aside for targeted local help where people are settling.

A policy of allowing skilled migrants from anywhere – points-based is fine, both Canada and Australia operate successful systems, but not the farce which is the current caps based system – but unskilled migrants only from the EU will work just fine, afaik.

This is quite apart from the *small* number of refugees we get. Mostly from the commonwealth.

Of course, I’m also not a green, since I have a rational energy policy.

@ 43. Philbuts

Your description of the Green Party conference does not match my memory of it. No one stood up and said “I’m not a racist, but…”

If you are “very confused” about the Green Party’s immigration policies, may I suggest you read them: http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/mg – very clear and concise. Of course this is a subject that will always require more discussion but your attempts to play the racist victim card is not constructive.

@44. Leon Wolfson

If you do not support a sustainable energy policy like the one offered by the Green Party then you presumably support fossil fuels and nuclear power. Neither of those technologies are good for the planet or its people. They are not sustainable.

The Green Party has a sane energy policy which will take us to energy independence – without risk of catastrophe from radiation or CO2. You can read about it at http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/en

47. Charlieman

@46. JaxW: “If you do not support a sustainable energy policy like the one offered by the Green Party then you presumably support fossil fuels and nuclear power.”

Nope, I do not accept that the Green Party’s energy policy is workable.

Misuse of fossil fuels is stupid. Appropriate use of fossil fuels is necessary as an interim measure; perhaps to build energy sources that provide energy for every minute of every day. Which may be nuclear powered sources.

And windmills should be inserted into the orifice where the sun does not shine.

48. Leon Wolfson

@46 – No, the greens are supporting fossil fuels, because governments, after the first frozen bodies are dragged out of the homes in spring, will need to find the power somewhere if they want to survive in power.

I support nuclear energy, which has centuries, at least, of power avaliable and is far safer than the alternatives.

The green plan is to price energy such that I can’t afford it. That’s ONE way of reducing consumption, certainly, but one only regressive treehuggers find acceptable.

49. MortyVicar

JaxW,

That is clearly correct – fossils + nuclear are not sustainable and are in fact damaging to society and planet. For those not in denial or determined to remain ignorant or who are liars it is clear as day.

The only thing to debate is how we move to a fully sustainable renewable energy society ….. which is not so easy when we have so many comments that are not attached to reality let alone knowledgeable about the subject (see the two before my comment!!!) It seems the rightwingers have found another issue to become hysterical over much like they do with climate change ….. and renewable energy is the solution to climate change so maybe it is not surprising.

Now we see Germany leave behind the deadly risk of nuclear energy with 20% renewable energy today and target for 40% by 2020 and 100% by 2050. The UK must follow this lead for energy security and prosperity.

50. Noel Fowlson

JaxW @ 45 – I was also at the Green Party conference and I never heard anyone say anything resembling what ‘Philbuts’ claims was said. I suggest that he is confused or lying.

Sadly, these threads are infested with liars, fools and trolls – just look at the level of stupidity directed at green energy here! We now know it works – it is powering more and more of the European grid while fossils and nuclear falls. We just need to speed up this process to avoid as much damage from AGW as possible.

I’ll be voting Green Party in the future – it is the only party with a vision for a sustainable future.


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