Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Numbers Matter

SPOTLIGHT: There’s a big difference between properly managed immigration and the current state of affairs.

BIG PICTURE: In The Strange Death of Europe, Douglas Murray argues that immigration has spun out of control. Since the 1950s, he says, governments have consistently underestimated the number of people expected to arrive under various immigration programs.

For example, eight East European nations joined the EU in 2004. A report prepared for the UK government the previous year predicted that between 5,000 and 13,000 citizens of those nations would move to the UK annually due to these new circumstances.

Using the upper-range estimate of 13,000, that community was expected to increase from 167,000 to 297,000 over a decade (2004 – 2014).

But the experts were wildly wrong. Instead of 13,000, an average of 107,500 arrived in the UK annually. More than a million people who hadn’t been anticipated showed up in just 10 years. From just one part of the world.

These million people needed jobs, places to live, schools for their kids, and medical care. But because the system wasn’t expecting them, nothing had been done to prepare for their arrival. So affordable housing became scarcer and social services even more stretched.

TOP TAKEAWAY: Government estimates sound authoritative. But they’re frequently wrong, and there’s no feedback loop incentivizing the bureaucrats involved to raise their game. The harm caused by their mistakes doesn’t touch them. It’s endured, instead, by those at the bottom of the economic ladder.


The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam
Douglas Murray
  • According to UK government statistics, there were 1,242,000 East-European-born residents of the UK in 2014. If one subtracts the 167,000 who were already there in 2004, that’s an increase of 1,075,000.
  • I am the granddaughter, on my mother’s side, of East European immigrants. I’m grateful for the opportunities Canada provided, and remain highly sympathetic to people from Eastern Europe who endured the horrors of Communism. If I had a magic wand, I’d transform the hard working, long-suffering Polish population (and others) into millionaires. But none of that alters the fact that large, poorly-managed influxes of immigrants undermine the living standards of a nation’s most vulnerable members. That is reality.
  • my further commentary on this book, Immigration is a Class Issue
  • Muzzling the Tolerant, Celebrating the Intolerant
  • Swedish for Suicide

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This entry was posted on February 28, 2018 by in quotations and tagged , .