In recent times, due to the recent clampdown of personal freedom in Hong Kong, moves have been made by the British government to allow for the current 3.3 million British passport holders to be allowed entry to the UK. For many, this is great news, and shows that Britain has finally done something for the region. However, as someone who has sympathy with the people of that area and their cause, I feel that in the long run this is a legitimately bad idea. Here’s why.
The main problem is this; this is a government that has promised to reduce immigration, with the new points based system being implemented being the first step to getting that going. How is the possible importation of the 300K Hong Kongers eligible for this, let alone the 3.3 million overall good for that? Britain is a country whose problems with mass immigration have reached back for decades, as far back as the Blair era, whereby several moves were made (including abolishing the primary purpose rule, changing asylum requirements, allowing ten former communist EU countries to have open borders with the UK in 2004 among others) to cause a mass flow of immigration, against the wishes of the people. Now of course, Britain has a proud history of accepting occasional waves of this, from the Huguenots in the late 17th century, to the Windrush generation in 1948 and the Ugandan Asians in 1972. We’re not an intolerant society to this, and the record shows that.
But Blair’s era was different, not only were 2.2 million people accepted, making it the largest wave of immigration to Britain since the days of the Roman Empire conquering us, but there was a sinister undertone to it. There was definitely a cultural element to it, as confirmed by the words of former immigration minister Barbara Roche to former New Labour speechwriter Andrew Neather, who claimed that it was done to ‘rub the right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date’. It was a cultural attack against traditional Britain, of which the New Left represented by Blair and his ilk, wanted to undermine.
But people thankfully didn’t fall for it, eventually getting tired of the negative effects of mass immigration, whether they be community tensions, depressed wages, strained social services, increased crime in certain areas and the unintended side effects of it, like the problems with grooming gangs in the north of England for example. Survey after survey showed the public distaste for mass immigration, hence the continued votes to this Conservative government, of which promised to tackle it head-on, and won a landslide partially because of that.
So why is this the right cause of action? We bear some responsibility those in Hong Kong certainly it was our former colony until 1997 after all, but why is importing that many people a good idea? Given the clashes in culture and community from that high a number it seems rather silly. What is more worrying however is that it may be away by the government to try and increase immigration by stealth, knowing the voters don’t want it, but vested interests do.
We’ve so far noted the government reduce the salary threshold for migrants coming here, Boris Johnson openly wanting more immigrants and little action being taken mass illegal immigration during the lockdown. That’s not even going in to Johnson’s past record on the subject, mainly by recommending an amnesty for illegals, of which have never worked when they’ve been tried in Europe or the United States of America. Bottom line, this importation of millions from Hong Kong could be a way to awkwardly get the public on board with mass immigration in one instance, to lower the drawbridge later on without complaint. It’s not a good omen, to say the least.
There is also some hypocrisy in this move. Why is that while we rightly are concerned for our former colonists in Hong Kong, why are we ignoring the plight of others, in equally dire needs? The main example of this was the South African farmers, whose plight was heavily ignored by most major governments, pretending that all was rosy in the rainbow nation post-Apartheid. This is because their line of work made them the target for violent attacks, leading to many journalists like Lauren Southern and Katie Hopkins to take notice of what was going on, leading to more international recognition. This was made worse by how the ANC government, seemingly pandering to the Economic Freedom Fighters who were eating away at their votes, were planning to allow for farms to be reclaimed without compensation, leaving many of them defenceless against angry and violent mobs.
It had echoes of Zimbabwe, and barely anyone cared, leading to mass slaughter, and notably, when anyone did speak up, like US President Donald Trump and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, they were dismissed as evil racists not understanding of the region or its recent past. But their plight shouldn’t have been ignored, and their targeted killing was a stain on one of the more promising countries in a continent known for having ethnic conflict often tear it apart too many times before. If the former Hong Kong colonists matter, then surely so did the South Africans, often of British descent, of whose plight was similar to that of the Hong Kongers, and of whose skills as farmers could be put to good use. If Australia and Russia were kind enough to open their doors to them, we should’ve as well. If not, we are plain hypocrites, pure, and simple.
And some of the suggestions to bring this about are extremely stupid, to be polite. Why, in a country with bad problems with mass immigration and a greenbelt seriously under threat should consider building a ‘Freedom City’ for the new arrivals, which unintentionally Balkanises them? And why is it being considered for beautiful areas of the country, like the Isle of Wight for example? This is a cohesive country, not an economic zone with its people being economic units, and its about time some of the libertarian ideologues in charge pushing for this realise that, and find out that ours isn’t a land to be played around with like a game of Risk or Monopoly.
Also, it also doesn’t make sense from an economic standpoint. Given the possibility of an economic recession down the line because of the coronavirus, unemployment is possibly going to spike, probably for its worst period in decades. How is right to import this amount of people when that happens, especially given that greedy employers often hire immigrant labour because they’ll work for less and for longer hours than native workers. It’ll undoubtedly create tension in much of the areas where they come in to, with plans to house them and care for them not being drawn up yet either, which makes it questionable as to who benefits from letting 3 million immigrants into this country at all.
Now, I don’t want to be too harsh and dismiss this completely. I’m in favour of taking some Hong Kongers but has to be kept to a minimum of a few thousand at most. That is completely manageable and easier to integrate than letting in millions. Meanwhile, I do think that there have been moments in Britain’s recent history, our response to curtail immigration has been the wrong one, mainly that of making the Kenyan Asians stateless in the late 1960s. It still remains one of the more shameful episodes of our decolonisation from that period and was driven by the underserved mass panic that didn’t materialise into anything.
That being stated, this notion to import possibly millions of Hong Kongers isn’t wise. It amounts to little more than virtue signalling, all the while being arguably irresponsible as unemployment spikes due to the coronavirus lockdown and going against the desires of the British people to curb mass immigration, something they’ve been ignored on for years. It also showed hypocrisy on behalf of the establishment who rightfully are concerned for their plight, while ignoring the plights of other former colonists, like those in South Africa and Zimbabwe for example. Meanwhile, the inevitable cultural and economic tensions from such a high number of newcomers would be more to bear for many areas already dealing with such issues. It will turn to more fringe voices once again if the mainstream cannot be bothered to listen, and it’s about time we made our voices heard.
If you’re concerned, email you local MP, using this link. This is far too important to ignore.