We're a Small Island
The Greening of Intolerance

by Sarah Sexton, Nicholas Hildyard and Larry Lohmann

first published 7 April 2005


Far-right groups in Britain are increasingly using environmental and social justice concerns -- expansion of housing, wildlife protection, urbanisation, unemployment, indigenous peoples' rights -- to argue against immigration. This is part of a political strategy adopted by the far-right in recent years to make their racist ideas and goals seem more respectable. As a result, far-right groups often seem, from a superficial point of view, to be saying the same thing as progressive environmentalists. Whether they like it or not, environmentalists are drawn into debates on immigration, refugees and asylum seekers.

Because racism is a political strategy for dividing people from each other and for blocking attempts to live with difference, countering these statements with various facts will have limited success. Rather than distinguishing between "environmental" or "social justice" issues and those related to "immigration", far-sighted environmentalists are linking up with a broad range of people and movements who have to deal with racism every day as a matter of strategy, process and structure.


This presentation was given at the London offices of Friends of the Earth (England and Wales)




(by Sarah Sexton)

For those of you who remember your school days, or if you have 16-year-olds among your family and friends, you'll know that April/May is nearly GCSE exam time,1 a time of revision, panic and ... set books. One on this year's syllabus is A Tale of Two Cities. (If you were expecting me to say Bill Bryson's Notes From A Small Island, or even better, Andrea Levy's Small Island, they're for next year.2)

Charles Dickens's story about London and Paris is set at the time of the French Revolution, 1789 onwards, a time when the English hero—I won't tell you what happens at the end just in case you haven't seen the film—didn't need an official British passport to travel to another country, although British sovereigns had long issued documents requesting "safe passage or pass" to anyone in Britain who wanted to travel abroad.

It was in 1858, some 70 years later, that the UK passport became available only to United Kingdom nationals, and thus in effect became a national identity document as well as an aid to travel.3 A Tale of Two Cities was published one year later in 1859.

These days, students are encouraged to do more field work than when I was at school. But even though I have a UK passport, despite being descended from Protestant Hugenots who fled France during the French Revolution that provides the backdrop for Dickens's story, and from Catholic Irish immigrants, I couldn't get to Paris recently because of strikes on the cross-Channel ferries.

So today I'm going to stick to just the one city, London. But—more problems—London has expanded so much since Dickens's time that I have amended my "chosen topic for today" to "London and the South-East" or rather to: "A Tale of Two (or more) explanations of one city".

I used to like multiple choice in exams because I felt I had at least some chance of getting an answer right, and today I thought that we could have a collective go at being the exam setters rather than the exam takers.

I have ten quotes all about the South-East of England: can we come up with some multiple choice answers? The one that's right; the one that's nearly right; the trick one that seems right but if you think about it is very wrong; and the one that's clearly off the wall.

  1. "In the South East, ______ [are] preventing many people from buying properties in the area in which they grew up."

  2. "_______ sharply increases the demand for new houses and, if it carries on at current rates, will increase demand for homes by two million by 2021, pushing up the pressure to build on green belt land, pushing up house prices, adding to congestion, overcrowding in the South East and pollution."

  3. "________ makes the UK a more unbalanced country because around three-quarters of __________ the South East and London."

  4. "To avoid a housing crisis, Britain needs to build a million more homes in the next 20 years because of _______________ "

  5. "The South East as a whole contains a disproportionate number of _________ "

  6. "At least 90% of all _______ are _______ the south-east of England."

  7. "The South East of England [is] where most ________________"

  8. "At least two-thirds of all ______ are ______ in the south-east of England."

  9. "Current patterns of ___________ do not contribute to the economic development of other regions of the UK."

  10. "___________ makes little contribution to the economic development of the UK."

And the correct answers are:

  1. "In the South East, house prices are spiralling, preventing many people from buying properties in the area in which they grew up. Workers earning average pay are also struggling to get on the housing ladder as prices are getting out of reach."4

  2. "The immigration-led rapid growth in population sharply increases the demand for new houses and, if it carries on at current rates, will increase demand for homes by two million by 2021, pushing up the pressure to build on green belt land, pushing up house prices, adding to congestion, overcrowding in the South East and pollution."5

    This multiple choice question, incidentally, is very similar to the third of five essential freedoms that the UK Independence Party identifies on its website: "freedom from overcrowding".

    "The UK population at 60 million is higher than ever before. We live on a small island. Our cities are overcrowded, our roads clogged up and our railways are grinding to a halt. Our doctors' surgeries cannot cope and the hospital waiting lists are growing. New housing estates are covering the countryside. In 2002, the UK government allowed in another 200,000 people. The UK Independence Party will put an end to mass immigration."6

  3. "Immigration makes the UK a more unbalanced country because around three-quarters of immigrants move to the South East and London."7

  4. "To avoid a housing crisis, Britain needs to build a million more homes in the next 20 years because of the increasing desire of people to live on their own rather than with others. Immigration only amounts to 20 per cent of the new demand for housing because immigrants tend to live in smaller houses with larger households."8

  5. "The South East as a whole contains a disproportionate number of the UK's major industrial and commercial companies. Nearly three-quarters of the sales of the 500 largest UK companies are controlled from London."9

  6. "At least 90% of all pension fund assets are controlled from the south-east of England, regardless of the employer's location or the location of the workers contributing to these pensions."10

  7. "The South East of England [is] where most immigrants settle."11

  8. "At least two-thirds of all pension-fund equity investment are invested in the shares of these largest [FTSE Financial Times Stock Exchange] 83 companies that are based or headquartered in the south-east of England, indicating an extraordinary monetary and corporate centralisation of financial flows."12

  9. "Current patterns of immigration do not contribute to the economic development of other regions of the UK."13

  10. "Although the UK pre-funded, employer-provided pension system provides considerable benefit and business to the financial system, itself based in London and the surrounding areas of the south-east, it makes little contribution to the economic development of the UK ... . Little of [UK pension fund money] is applied to new capital investment or business expansion or employment creation elsewhere, especially not in the other regions from which the supply of pension fund flows emanate."14

I chose these examples simply because at the moment I'm putting together a Corner House briefing paper looking at the world's supposed overpopulation of older people and what this means for pensions, healthcare and welfare. The paper takes a critical look at the supposed need for all of us to save more of whatever money we do happen to earn in private pension schemes that will be invested on the stock market—this is usually called gambling, but the current government calls it prudence.

To back up the need for more individual private pension savings, one argument that is repeatedly used is that there are too many expensive old people and not enough younger people earning money that can be taxed to pay for pensions and health care. One solution: bring in workers from abroad—and thus the specialised technical actuarial world of pension liabilities (old people—not their pensions—are now regularly described as liabilities) enters the emotionally charged debates on migration and population.

But I could have chosen other examples from other areas. The long waiting lists at National Health Service hospitals are because of too many immigrants, aren't they, as UKIP's website suggests? Or do they have something to do with the gradual backdoor privatisation of the UK's health system? The only legal obligation on a hospital that has been built under the Private Finance Initiative is to break even—so if a hospital's budget is spent, it may decide to close for a day, a week, rather than go into debt.15

Or I could have chosen the railway system. London's trains and tubes are overcrowded when everyone tries to get to work by 9 o'clock in the morning; this is because of too many immigrants and asylum seekers, isn't it? (The last time I did this—and the overcrowding was very unnerving as I nearly fell onto the tracks at Clapham Junction because of the throng—most of these "immigrants" were smartly dressed in suits.) Or is it because of the manner in which the British railways were privatised and because of the stronger lobby of the road building and automotive industries?

While the multiple choice exercise might serve to illustrate that there are several "causes" for perceived problems, I actually find it rather disconcerting to find that the "choices" of words or phrases can be virtually interchangeable.

I'm someone who likes to think that putting into public debates various facts or counter "facts" that are constantly and conveniently ommited from them—privatisation, corporate concentration, relationships of power—will shift and change the debates so that they are more "honest"—the author of the immigration quotes I gave, Antony Browne, who was the environment editor of The Times when he wrote his book, says that this is what drove him to write his book.16 In this sense, I suspect I'm a secret, would-be, specialised technical actuary or bean counter myself.

Mentioning other factors or facts can change debates—but it's not enough, and in some senses, marshalling these other facts is not really the point.

All the debates about migration, immigration, overcrowding in the South East are clearly resonating on an emotional level with many people rather than (or as well as) an intellectual one that can be changed with "facts". People are insecure about their jobs, fed up with traffic congestion, worried about their hospitals and wonder what happened to the "good old days" when families sat down for meals together (could the fact that shops were not open then have something to with this?). Highlighting corporate concentration in the South-East or pension funds' lack of productive investment doesn't fix the problems of the railways nor mean that I'm not troubled by hospital waiting times.

To challenge the dishonest debates, we need not only to present these counter arguments—why does the UK tilt towards the South-East?—but also look at why the selective arguments seem so appealing to many people. But I also feel that those who ascribe the overcrowding and whatever other problems to immigrants are not really talking about traffic congestion or house building at all, but about something else.

Far Right Moves onto Environmental Ground

(by Nicholas Hildyard)

At this point, you may be thinking: "Well, this is all very interesting but what has it got to do with an environmental group like Friends of the Earth? Or indeed the wider environmental or green movement?"

The answer, I would suggest, is: "everything".

One reason for this is that environmental arguments are now being used to give racism a respectable face, and that this is already having practical consequences for Friends of the Earth and other environmental groups. Campaigners are already being confronted by environmental arguments being used to promote racist agendas—and they are deliberating how best to respond.

Here's a clipping from a local newspaper in Swindon that highlights how Far Right groups are using local struggles over the environment. It is prompted by proposals to build on a local beauty spot and wildlife area.

"Far-Right 'Hijacks Park Campaign'"

08 March 2005

Furious environmentalists last night accused the far-right British National Party of trying to hijack their campaign to save land next to a much-loved beauty spot. More than 14,000 people have signed a petition against plans for 1,800 houses, a university and offices on farmland adjoining Coate Water Country Park in Swindon.

On Sunday, the BNP distributed leaflets to about 1,000 homes in the town urging people to protest against the hugely controversial scheme.The party, which is increasingly active in Swindon, slams the Coate proposals as an attempt to "bury this beautiful site beneath a sea of concrete".

But it also claims the drive for more housing in growth areas such as Swindon is "inextricably linked" to the Government's immigration policies.

The leaflet claims five million economic migrants are set to come to Britain over the next 20 years, gravitating to big cities such as London and Birmingham.

This, in turn, will perpetuate a process known as "White Flight", forcing "hundreds of thousands of Londoners, Brummies and other Brits to start new lives in towns such as Swindon".

Last night, the Save Coate coalition co-ordinator, Jean Saunders, said: "It's despicable. The campaign to save this precious area of wildlife has absolutely nothing to do with immigration."

I can understand the response of Jean Saunders, the local person campaigning to save the Coate Water Country Park, who says that saving an area of wildlife "has absolutely nothing to do with immigration." At one level, she is right. But like it or not, the anti-immigration lobby has seized on "the environment" and created a connection with immigration, a connection that one cannot undo or counter simply by denying that it exists.

It is not just in the area of environmental protection that the connection is being made. The experience of a campaigner with an environmental organisation is illustrative:

"At a recent interview for a magazine, I was heavily quizzed on our immigration stance seeing as so much of the food industry is based on such labour. If it were more sustainable, and therefore used more labour, that would suck in more immigrants—that was his line!"

Nor is it just the old-fashioned skinhead-type of Far Right that is setting up the connections. Other groups elsewhere on the political spectrum that would deny any racism, such as Migration Watch, established by a former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, emphasise the environmental impacts of immigration. (They say less about the connections between the UK's support for repressive regimes, such as those in Saudi Arabia, and the creation of refugees and asylum seekers.)

The big spectre that Migration Watch raises is of the paving over of Britain due to a growing flood of immigrants, an argument similar to those raised in the "multiple choice" examples earlier:

"In 2002 net foreign immigration was nearly 250,000 while 91,000 British citizens left the UK. If immigration continues at these levels our population will grow by 7.6 million by 2031—equivalent to to seven times the population of Birmingham, of which nearly 90% will be due to immigration."17

One can of course easily debunk arguments such as these. For instance, taking a high initial rate of immigration into the UK and projecting it this rate into the future tells us nothing about how immigration levels will actually grow in the years to come. It is reminiscent of those at the turn of the 19th century who argued that if the number of horse-drawn hansom cabs were not curbed, London would be buried in horse shit. It didn't happen. And Migration Watch's predictions will not happen either. The future simply cannot be foretold through statistical projections.

Countering the specific arguments made by groups such as Migration Watch is important, but will not prevent them from being used. Because it is not the "facts" that make the arguments attractive: it is their political cover—the cover of reasonableness—that makes them useful. This cover enables anti-immigrant groups to state that it is not racist to raise concerns over the impacts specifically of immigrants on the environment, overcrowding, or the loss of land to urban development.

It is a mistake, moreover, to assume that the standard arguments of the Left will counter anti-immigration sentiment. On the contary, many of those arguments are being picked up and used by racist and anti-immigrant groups. Gone are the days when such groups were outrightly opposed to any suggestion or idea in favour of immigration. Today, they may concede to some suggestions or ideas—but then counter them by trying to move debates onto other ground, often using arguments that derive from the environmental and anti-globalisation movements.

For instance, I and others have in the past countered arguments that blame unemployment on immigrants by pointing to the impacts of globalisation and the free market on jobs in Britain. But this, too, is an argument that the British National Party was only too happy to endorse on its website in 2003:

"Nat West and Barclays Banks recently concluded that, after all the massive downsizing of recent years, more staff were now needed. They advertised that new jobs were available. The jobs enjoyed a 'zero-hours' contract arrangement. That is to say that no definite number of hours at all was promised, not even one hour a week. The unfortunate employee was supposed to sit at home waiting for a call that might never come. No sick pay, holiday pay, or pension, either."18

Recently, The Corner House has been working with Friends of the Earth and others as part of The Refugee Project network, which seeks to expose how UK foreign policy and overseas investment is connected with the creation of forced migration. We have been doing so in order to counter the racist view that asylum seekers and migrants are over here to scrounge off the UK state. In fact, many of them are over here because of the activities of our government and our companies in their countries of origin.

But in the dialetic of racism, it was only a question of time before even these arguments were picked up and used by the racist Right. Here is the BNP's perspective on the proposed Ilisu Dam, a large-scale construction project in south-eastern Turkey that would have displaced 78,000 people, mainly ethnic Kurds, if it had been built. UK involvement in the project, particularly that of construction company Balfour Beatty, was halted in early 2002 after a major international campaign in which Friends of the Earth and The Corner House played a major part.19 The BNP was a little late in picking up on the campaign, about 18 months late, but pick it up it did.

"Kurds lose their homes to arrive in UK", 15th October 2003

There are many reasons why the UK is being swamped with refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants. One of the most obvious reasons is the the UK is seen as a "soft touch" nation when compared to the dozen or so continental European nations that refugees from the Middle East have to pass through to arrive on our island shores.

However there are situations arising many thousands of miles away which compel residents to "up sticks" and relocate. How disgusted we should then be to learn that hard working British taxpayers' money is being used to help the UK construction giant Balfour Beatty throw 25,000 Kurds out of their homes? Is this really how we want our taxes to be used?

And just in case Friends of the Earth thought that its own commitment to social justice, equity and internationalism would immunise it against such approaches, here's a quote from a member of Friends of the Earth:

"[Immigration] leads—obviously, but indirectly—to even more destruction of the countryside and pressure on all resources of all kind ... If we have millions of people of many different races and cultures diluting each other's identities (and that on each continent of the planet and in each country), what sort of biodiversity is that? [And] who gains from all this? Well, the globalisers as usual."20

What is going on here? How has this mirror world developed, a world in which the rhetoric and arguments that groups like Friends of the Earth and The Corner House use to promote social justice are being played back to curtail social justice?

The answer lies, in part, in the political strategy that the Far Right and its fellow travellers have adopted over the past decade to make Far Right ideas more "respectable". Cloaking racism and intolerance in environmental arguments is one way in which this can be achieved—while simultaneously serving to recruit new sympathisers. This strategy was perhaps first developed by a New Right group in France known as GRECE (Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes pour la Civilisation Européenne), which has consciously sought out links with the environmental movement,21 and it is a strategy that accounts for much of the success of the BNP in recent years in local elections—indeed, the BNP openly acknowledges the influence of GRECE. An internal BNP paper outlines the strategy as follows:

"The right in Britain cannot proceed without more attention being paid to creating a bandwagon of ideas outside and above direct political campaigning ... There are more than enough fruitful issues for nationalists to run on outside the partly self-inflicted ghetto of the past years. Much does not even involve taking a side in racial terms, since it is universal to wish for a identity."22

The "bandwagon of ideas" that the European Far Right is now promoting includes anti-globalisation, the defence of indigenous rights, environmental protection, and a range of other "right on" struggles.

Behind this political use of ideas and movements, however, the old prejudices persist, as the BNP website makes clear:

"What is now being inflicted on white people is nothing less than a slow Holocaust all over the West. Such a description may seem far fetched at first, but consider the realities. A policy of permanent mass Third World immigration, without any mandate from our own people, is now in at least its fortieth year, with no end ever in sight. It is coupled with day and night propaganda encouraging us all to produce mixed race offspring. The end is inevitable—the end of white people.

"If we fail to take the opportunities now on offer, then we cannot blame anyone but ourselves if nationalism in this country continues to be a small-scale, demonised affair, attracting growing, mostly silent, sympathy, but never achieving the critical mass of votes or members to win power."23

... and Not Just onto Environmental Ground

(by Larry Lohmann)

We've given examples today about how anti-immigration movements (including racist movements) are using environmental arguments.

But they are appropriating other arguments as well: anti-war arguments, anti-racist arguments, feminist arguments, pro-mixed-marriage arguments, economic arguments, and so on. They are presenting themselves as the victims of injustice, of globalisation, of corporations, of warmongers, and, yes, of racism itself. And this has been going on a long time. It didn't take me long on the internet to compile the examples below from my own country, the United States, many of them from a single website that is very sophisticated in its anti-immigrant stance: http://www.vdare.com.

It all goes back to something Malcolm X once said: "Racism is like a Cadillac—there's a new model every year." Racism isn't a theory, a doctrine, or a set of beliefs. It's not a set of biological claims, cultural theories, statistical concepts, individual feelings, or even essentialist ideas. It's much more fluid than that. It's a chameleon-like political strategy for dividing people from each other, and a structural process of social control which blocks inquiry and the attempt to live with difference.

Because racism isn't a theory, you can't innoculate or immunise yourself against it just by using theory and facts. You're bound to get outmaneuvered that way. Nor can you keep it at arm's length just by sticking to your business and trying to exclude obvious racist wackos from your life or your organisation. In today's world, no one can "escape" racism. Ever-evolving racist practices have a way of worming their way into your life and your work, no matter what.

The only way of dealing with it, on the contrary, is trying to link up with the broadest range of people and movements possible who have to deal with racism every day as a matter of strategy, process and structure, who are the ones sending out the bulletins from the front lines, and who have thought the longest and hardest about what new forms it is taking and what has to be done—but who always need more allies.

This is why it's so important to do what Friends of the Earth is doing in making part of its daily practice not to distinguish between "environmental" issues and "refugee" or "immigration" or "social justice" issues. In particular, it's important to do what Friends of the Earth is doing in (for example) helping to forge practical—not merely theoretical—links between movements concerned with UK investment in destructive pipelines or dams abroad with refugee groups and movements concerned with the poisonous anti-immigrant sentiments now being given such wide play in the run-up to the UK General Election on 5 May 2005.

The Use of ...

Feminist Arguments against Immigration

"Women should be (ahem) manning the barricades against the current crop of immigrants, who come from the most misogynist locales of the Third World. But political correctness apparently has official feminists in its thrall. When groups like the Feminist Majority Organization do think about immigration, it is to rescue immigrant women. Instead, women's organizations should question the wisdom of importing millions of newcomers from women-hating cultures. American women's political rights, safety and social status cannot be helped by such a misogynous influx."

Brenda Walker, ex-Sierra Club

"The absurd preference for third world cultures in our immigration policy amounts to importing sexism ... Multiculturalism ... supports the continuation of the monstrous crimes against women [and makes an] accusation of racism against anyone who will not submit has intimidated Americans into believing it is desirable to welcome millions of immigrants from cultures which consider women inferior."

Brenda Walker

"Anti-Racist" Arguments against Immigration

"Let me emphasize here that the restrictionists of Congress do not claim that the 'Nordic' race, or even the Anglo-Saxon race, is the best race in the world. Let us concede, in all fairness, that the Czech is a more sturdy laborer ... that the Jew is the best businessman in the world, and that the Italian has ... a spiritual exaltation and an artistic creative sense which the Nordic rarely attains. Nordics need not be vain about their own qualifications. It well behooves them to be humble.

"What we do claim is that the northern European and particularly Anglo-Saxons made this country. Oh, yes; the others helped. But ... [t]hey came to this country because it was already made as an Anglo-Saxon commonwealth. They added to it, they often enriched it, but they did not make it, and they have not yet greatly changed it.

"We are determined that they shall not... . It is a good country. It suits us. And what we assert is that we are not going to surrender it to somebody else or allow other people, no matter what their merits, to make it something different. If there is any changing to be done, we will do it ourselves."

US Congressional Record, 8 April 1924

"No one should be better able to understand the desire of Americans to keep America American than the ... gentlemen from New York, Mr. Dickstein, Mr. Jacobstein, Mr. Celler, and Mr. Perlman. They are of the one great historic people who have maintained the identity of their race throughout the centuries, ... knowing that the loss of racial identity means a change of ideals. That fact should make it easy for them ... to recognize and sympathize with our viewpoint, which ... only demands that the admixture of other peoples shall be only of such kind and proportions and in such quantities as will not alter racial characteristics more rapidly than there can be assimilation as to ideas of government as well as of blood."

US Congressional Record, 12 April 1924

"It's time to exculpate the 1924 law-a law that succeeded in its aim of preserving the ethnic status quo for over 40 years. The law did indeed represent the ethnic self-interest of its proponents-albeit not 'racism,' if racism is properly understood as irrational prejudice."


"The Anti-Defamation League's 2002 Survey of Anti-Semitism in America concerns Hispanic Americans, one of the most significant and fastest growing segments of the American population, in which the poll found an extraordinary gap between those born in the United States and those born abroad. The survey revealed that while 44% of foreign-born Hispanics hold hardcore anti-Semitic beliefs, 20% of Hispanic Americans born in the U.S. fall into the same category... . For example, over half of foreign-born Hispanics (55%) agree with the assertion that 'Jews don't care what happens to anyone but their own kind,' compared to 26% of Hispanics born in the U.S."


"Immigration has inspired racism here that I never thought we had."

Fred Prehn, Wausau, Wisconsin school board, US

"While most residents spoke well of the immigrants as individuals, they thought that the volume of immigration had crossed some kind of social and economic threshold. Many sensed that their way of life is slipping away, overwhelmed by outside forces they are helpless to stop."

Roy Beck, Atlantic Monthly

"Schools that are more or less homogeneous are less likely to experience racial strife. Students who feel that 'different groups are held to different standards' will continue to come into conflict."


"Importing Hmong has been a disaster for America, and for the Hmong themselves ... In contrast, the French policy of settling Hmong in virgin Caribbean jungle seems to have worked quite well."

Edwin S. Rubenstein

Pro-Mixed Marriage Arguments against Immigration

"Increasing freedom to form love matches reflects the West's distinctive values such as individualism, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In much of the rest of the world, arranged marriages and inbreeding are the norm... . Not surprisingly, due in part to the nepotistic corruption, lack of civic trust, and general political fractiousness caused by their extreme endogamy, these pseudo-nations tend to get their butts kicked by more unified armies from countries where the breeding pools are larger and more inclusive... . Those who view white DNA as inherently evil would of course want to import as much non-white DNA as they can get away with. On the other hand, those who aren't white-haters should favor limiting immigration, especially if they think interracial marriage promotes social harmony. By expanding racial/ethnic immigrant enclaves, mass immigration makes it easier for immigrants to find mates within their own group... . In California, mass immigration is definitely slowing the growth in the rate of interracial marriage. The reason: immigrants appear to be about one third as likely to marry across the major racial/ethnic boundaries as are native-born Californians. So immigration is driving up the absolute number of mixed marriages—by raising the total population—but it is driving down the proportion of mixed marriages, by allowing previous immigrants to marry within their ethnic enclave... .."

Anti-War Arguments against Immigration

"Lengthy American occupations [of Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Iran and Libya would inevitably bring a flood of immigrants to America from our new anti-Jewish protectorates—especially if ... anti-anti-immigration prejudices continue to dominate polite opinion. (Fortunately, [some] Jewish leaders are reassessing their traditional support for mass immigration in the light of 9/11... . Consider the cost that France is paying for once ruling Algeria. Jew-hating Algerian Muslim youths now hold the whip hand in many grimy French suburbs. The gendarmes and their political bosses worry that, if the Algerians are not permitted to run amok against the Jews, they'll riot against everybody—as the Pakistani Muslims did in Britain last year... The U.S. should relearn that lesson about good fences—and build our own version of the new Israeli wall along our Mexican border.

Steve Sailer, Institute for Human Biodiversity, US

Income-Maximising Arguments against Immigration

"The average two-income family earns far more today ... Yet ... have less discretionary money—and less money to put away for a rainy day—than the single-income family of a generation ago ... The brunt of the price increases has fallen on families ... competing furiously with one another for their most important possession: a house in a decent school district ... In their desperate rush to save their children from failing schools, families are literally spending themselves into bankruptcy. But what causes 'bad schools'? ... Bad students ... So let me propose one crass but extremely simple way to at least lessen the harm done in the future: Let's stop importing bad students from the rest of the world."


"The post-1965 immigrant influx has brought no significant benefit to native-born Americans and in fact is probably costing them money, through welfare and other transfer payments."

George Borjas, Harvard University economics department

"Aside from diseases that mass immigration imports, ... immigrants themselves are responsible for mammoth health care costs—which the American taxpayer has to pick up. The New York Times reports that 'financial pressures are spreading north into larger cities, pushing the overall unpaid bills well into the billions of dollars and straining a health care system already stretched thin by rising numbers of uninsured citizens, inadequate Medicaid payments, ballooning federal and state deficits and federal laws that allow United States border agents to wave through anyone who claims to need emergency care.'"


"Immigration enthusiasts often say ... that immigrants come for work, not welfare. But this is irrelevant: once here they can get welfare, whereas in 1900 workplace failure meant returning home. Some 40 percent of First Great Wave immigrants eventually returned home; now perhaps 90 percent of legal immigrants stay."

Peter Brimelow, US

Environmentalist Arguments against Immigration

"Now, after thirty years of massive immigration, legal and illegal, Americans are increasingly recognizing the adverse effects of international and domestic human overpopulation and environmental degradation. They commute on packed freeways. Airports and flights are congested. New buildings go up on space that always had been open. Familiar native wildlife vanishes, to be replaced by a few species of urban survivors. Farms and suburban lawns treated repeatedly with a cocktail of poisons approach the toxicity of Superfund sites. Immigrants pour into communities from Mount Kisco to Mountain View, leading long-time residents to move to maintain their quality of life ... the conservative leadership have incorporated the left's historic insistence upon growth at any cost into their dogma, insisting that there are no foreseeable limits. Since they place no value whatsoever on animal and plant species without immediate, measurable monetary value, the ongoing, worldwide mass extinction of non-human species is of no concern. While mouthing platitudes about government waste [name one wasteful program or agency eliminated by the Republican Congress], they support nearly all plans for subsidized highways, dams, and nuclear power plants and the below cost sale to extractive interests of the bits of remaining wilderness owned by the federal government. Among their top priorities are reversing or limiting American women's right to choose to have abortions and eliminating aid for international population control projects."


"The plains of Southern California filled up long ago. So the ever-growing population has been spilling into [more fire-prone] wild areas ... the driver has been population growth... . From 1982 to 1997 the total number of developed acres in California grew by 32 percent, but the per capita usage was up only two percent. Essentially all of California's population growth in the 1990s was due to new immigrants or births to foreign-born women. As low-income immigrants pour into Southern California's lowlands, crowding the freeways and overstressing the older cities' public schools, the middle class ... have responded by taking to the hills... . Unfortunately, the best-known remedy [for keeping wildfire benign], controlled burns, is disliked by people who live in the backcountry... Thus the policy has been to try to suppress all fires. This, however, causes fuel ... to build up each decade, inevitably leading to infernos... . Taxpayers across the country always end up chipping in, through government disaster loans, new federal firefighting and forestry management programs, lower stock market prices for insurance companies, and other forms of burden-sharing... . so much of the crisis traces back to the refusal to adequately enforce immigration laws. California desperately needs a slower population growth rate ... . The logical solution: cut back on immigration.

Steve Sailer, Human Biodiversity Institute, US

"The population issue in the U.S. is immigration," [former Colorado Governor Richard] Lamm says. "The Sierra Club has made a deal ... that they will stay away from population and immigration in return for votes. It's an unconscionable sellout."


Art-Loving Arguments against Immigration

"Hispanics have contributed far more drudgery than creativity to California... . But, then, has creativity ever been the strong suit of the Hispanic world? ... Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 [shows that] Latin America has been the least creative outpost of the West."

"The Beatles were hugely influenced by the music of the Mississippi River Valley, but they didn't have to emigrate from Liverpool to Memphis to listen to Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. They just played their records at home... Arturo Toscanini and Billy Wilder improved our music and movies. But the benefits to American arts of millions of poorly educated peasants are less clear, to say the least."




1 GCSE: General Certificate of Secondary Education. At the end of compulsory secondary education in the UK at age 16, pupils usually take several of these GCSE examinations in various single subjects.

2 Bill Bryson, Notes From A Small Island, Black Swan, 1996; Andrea Levy, Small Island, Review, 2004.

3 For the history of British passports, see http://www.ukpa.gov.uk/_history. For the history of passports in Europe and the United States, see John Torpey, The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship and the State, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

4 Worthing Borough Council website, http://www.worthing.gov.uk, accessed 5 April 2005

5 Anthony Browne, Do We Need Mass Immigration? The economic, demographic, environmental, social and developmental arguments against large-scale net immigration to Britain, Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society, London, 2002.

6 http://www.ukip.org/index.php?menu=fivefreedoms&page=fivefreedomstop, accessed 21 October 2004.

7 Anthony Browne, Do We Need Mass Immigration? The economic, demographic, environmental, social and developmental arguments against large-scale net immigration to Britain, Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society, London, 2002.

8 Joseph Rowntree Foundation, http://www.jrf.org.uk/

9 Richard Minns, The Cold War in Welfare: Stock Markets versus Pensions, Verso, London, 2002.

10 Richard Minns, The Cold War in Welfare: Stock Markets versus Pensions, Verso, London, 2002.

11 Anthony Browne, Do We Need Mass Immigration? The economic, demographic, environmental, social and developmental arguments against large-scale net immigration to Britain, Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society, London, 2002.

12 Richard Minns, The Cold War in Welfare: Stock Markets versus Pensions, Verso, London, 2002.

13 Anthony Browne, Do We Need Mass Immigration? The economic, demographic, environmental, social and developmental arguments against large-scale net immigration to Britain, Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society, London, 2002.

14 Richard Minns, The Cold War in Welfare: Stock Markets versus Pensions, Verso, London, 2002.

15 For more information, see Allyson Pollock, NHS plc, Verso, 2004.

16 "The rhetoric of 'truth-telling' is common to both the BNP [British National Party] and UKIP and is fundamental to their electoral strategies", believe three academics who are researching the political appeal of the British National Party (Stuart Weir, Helen Margetts and Peter John). See New Statesman, 24 January 2005; Stuart Weir, Helen Margetts and Peter John, "The Latent Support for the Far Right in British Politics: The BNP and UKIP in the 2004 European and London Elections", conference paper to the Elections, Public Opinions and Parties (EPOP) Conference held by the Political Studies Association, Oxford, September 2004.

When the leader of the British National Party was charged on 7 April 2005 with inciting racial hatred, he said, "I will keep telling the truth even if they want to send me to jail". (David Harding, "BNP leadership on race charges", Metro, 7 April 2005, p.5; Martin Wainwright, "BNP leader faces racial hatred charge", The Guardian, 7 April 2005, p.2.

17 http://www.migrationwatchuk.org

18 BNP, 15 October 2003, http://www.bnp.org.uk/news/2003_oct/news_oct10.htm

19 For more information, see the Ilisu Dam Campaign, ttp://www.ilisu.org.uk

20 David Topple, Member of Friends of the Earth, letter to The Ecologist, February 2004

21 See Nicholas Hildyard, "Blood" and "Culture": Ethnic Conflict and the Authoritarian Right, Corner House Briefing 11, January 1999, http://www.thecornerhouse.org.uk/briefing/index.shtml

22 Michael Newland, "The New Nationalism", BNP website

23 Michael Newland, "The New Nationalism", BNP website