How will we increase UK net migration to 1 million per year?

My Granny Connie died earlier this year. Constance in name, constance in nature. She survived 96 years, got married “three blasted times”, played squash till she was well into her seventies and was the meanest Scrabble player I’ve ever come across. I loved her!

What’s remarkable about Granny is that her long life is no longer remarkable. A baby boy born today can expect to live till 89. I can expect to live till 81. We are all living longer than ever before.

At the same time we’re having fewer children. The popular saying “2.4 children” hasn’t been true since 1970. At my own birth as a power cut baby in 1974 (yes I knew I was exceptional for something!) the fertility rate has dipped below 2.0 children per couple and stayed well below it ever since.

That means we aren’t reproducing enough to maintain our population at the current level. We need immigration.

We need to have a balance of ages in our society— imagine going to a party where everyone was too old to pour the punch, or a tennis club where your creaking opponents could only serve under hand (I know right, how terrible would that be). Or more seriously, stumbling into a hospital to find that everyone looking after you was older than you were, or more likely desperately short-staffed.

Or imagine, you are being cared for in your home by a useless robot-come-vending machine who can do nothing but repeat pre-programmed platitudes?

Hey Siri! Which pills do I take today? Thank you

Do I really need to hear “It is I who should be thanking you” every day for the rest of my latter years?

What’s the alternative to struggling by or leaving it to the robots to care for us. Can we have more children? Not likely on the current social framework. And I don’t see “support for larger families” on any manifesto right now.

We have a planet of 7 billion people, many of whom are living in poverty and would only be too delighted to pass aged me my pills and talk about today’s news and weather.

The solution is to persuade people from other countries to come and live here. We want more ex-pats.

And people do want to move.

Did you know that if you move from Nigeria to America you could increase your salary 14 times! according to The Economist. That’s like getting more than your whole year’s salary every month! The wonder is not why you would, but why you wouldn’t.

The economic argument has been made many times, we all know immigration brings wealth, mainly to the ex-pats themselves but to everyone in the form of tax.

Global Future has said the current plans to reduce net immigration to an arbitrarily low level is “overwhelmingly undesirable” — that’s politics speak for a very stupid idea. Their report goes on to find the right level by quoting the UN:

The UN calculates that net migration would have to be above 1,000,000 a year — that is ten times the Government’s maximum long-term target for this to be achieved.

A million people a year? And right now we have a measly 200,000 and want to bring it down? Are we out of our minds?

Now I know statistics organisations can get numbers wrong so 50,000 here and there, no problem, but we need 800,000 more people a year — just to keep our country going at the current level. That’s too big to be a margin of error.

It’s time to move the debate on.

Let’s get our prospective politicians talking about the future. The real future, not just the next 5 years but the next 50.

Share this article with your friends. Ask people next time you meet — is it really true we need a million new people to come to the UK every year?

Won’t we need to build more houses for them (yes), more schools (yes), more healthcare services (yes). Of course we will. How will we pay for it — hey they make money, why don’t we tax them (yes). Brilliant, Sherlock.

I think it’s fine for immigration to be the topic of this general election. Let’s just make sure everyone is informed that the real problem is not that we have too much, it’s that we have too little, way too little.

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