Last week, Theresa May addressed Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
You cannot have failed to notice the scale of the storm this speech caused in the press, however I thought it was tough, bold, and full of conviction.
Mrs May outlined a simple truth: Britain cannot cope with mass migration on its current scale.
“When immigration is too high…When the pace of change is too fast, it’s impossible to build a cohesive society. It’s difficult for schools and hospitals and core infrastructure like housing and transport to cope. And we know that for people in low-paid jobs, wages are forced down even further while some people are forced out of work altogether.”
Mrs May was simply stating the facts. The problem isn’t migrants, the majority of whom deserve nothing but respect and admiration for having the drive to travel overseas to improve their lives - and who often bring fresh ideas and new ways of thinking and working to our shores. The problem is the sheer scale of it!
Net immigration is up by more than 2.6 million since the late 1990s; not taking into account the estimated illegal immigration of about 700,000.
It commonly known that the higher the number of immigrant arrivals, the lower the chances of them successfully integrating into the recipient country. In many cases, new arrivals move into an area where there are many others from their home country and sleepwalk into segregation by setting up separate communities.
We also need to consider the huge costs of uncontrolled mass immigration to our economy in terms of pressure on housing, schools, other public services and competition for low skilled jobs. The more people you have, the more homes, schools, hospitals, buses and trains you need – and this all costs money.
Most immigrants work extremely hard to run many of our businesses and public services. But if we have 1.8 million people on the dole, then why on earth do we need hundreds of thousands more low skilled workers?
What we need in this country is a sensible debate about immigration – and as the EU referendum approaches – a debate about nationhood. That means we shouldn’t be afraid of acknowledging some home-grown truths about these fundamental issues.
Joe Porter, Youth Councillor and Chairman of Staffordshire Moorlands Conservative Future