Saturday 26 October 2019

British population has grown by eight million in the last twenty years

In the 20 years before Labour came to office in 1997, despite Margaret Thatcher's government's British Nationality Act 1981 which sought to prevent all but family members of British subjects (secondary immigrants) from settling in the UK, the British population rose by 2 million. 

According to official figures from ONS (the Office for National Statistics) just out, in the 20 years since 1997 it has grown by 8 million. That increase comes from immigration and high birth-rates among immigrants. 

Philip Johnston in the Daily Telegraph says that
The greatest failure of modern British governance was to encourage mass immigration to the UK and fail to prepare for the impact it would have. It is at the root of much that afflicts the nation today, from the agony of Brexit to the near-terminal pressure on the NHS and the housing crisis with all its attendant consequences. As figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed this week, the last 20 years have seen the population rise faster than at any time in history.

I was persuaded by a glowing review by Peter Oborne to buy a very big, heavy and dry book called 'Blair' by (now Sir) Anthony Seldon. It is 755 pages long and I found it unreadable. Looking in the index 'immigration', which is the by far the biggest and most long lasting legacy of Mr Blair's 1997-2007 government, has only one entry. Looking it up, the passage informs the reader that Mr Blair was preoccupied by reducing the number of asylum seekers admitted and promised in 2003 tougher restrictions on immigration than Labour had ever passed. Mr Seldon, as he then was, wonders why he wasted much time and energy on the issue and it achieved nothing except to deflect criticisms in the right-wing press.

Perhaps this was the point. Sir Anthony Seldon did not mention the astonishing immigration statistics in his book and the media very rarely mentioned them either, at the time or since.

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