As a socialist, I was hoping that the Labour Party would come up with a manifesto that was so attractive to working people in the north of England that they would decide that the gains would be worth having to put up with a diluted Brexit. Therefore, I am saddened by the party’s promotion of unrestricted migration as it is sure to be the nail in the coffin for their campaign to retain the support of traditional Labour voters in the north. Like it or not, the provincial working-class vote to leave the E.U. was mostly down to discontent with the flooding of English working-class communities with economic migrants (including, illogically, those who came from outside of the E.U.). These leave voters regard the “migration is good for you” lectures they get from politicians and activists who tend to live in areas unaffected to any great extent by rapid culture change, as patronising and hypocritical to the point that they will bite off their own noses to spite those doing the patronising.
What is needed is a realistic view of immigration, that takes into real account the views of those who will be affected the most by it. The cultural impact of immigration needs to be assessed and the desire for cultural stability needs to be taken on board as an acceptable point of view and not one to be stigmatised with accusations of racism and the like.
Jeremy Corbyn is correct in claiming that immigration “enriches the lives of all of us,” but he is wrong to assume that this refers to all types and levels of immigration. I am greatly enriched by fruit cake but if I eat too much of it I will become even fatter, and that is not a good thing. Furthermore, as I am a diabetic, my unrestricted consumption of fruit cake would inevitably lead to my death. The working-class communities of England are sincerely worried that too much immigration will lead (has already led) to harmful demographic obesity and that continued unrestricted immigration will lead to the demise of their culture. They have as much natural right to protect their native culture as any other native population and they should also have the right to decide how much of the culture of others they wish to bring into their own lives.