An English reader writes:
As you recently mentioned, immigration is a growing concern in England especially. This is not due to intolerance of outsiders (although there is always a small intolerant minority). Most Brits recognize that our culture has largely come about over the last few hundred years due to the melting pot of different races, religions and ethnicities - especially from the Commonwealth.
The issue is simply one of numbers, leading to pressure on housing, welfare, health and education services - England (not the UK) is the most densely populated country in Europe. It has 50m of the UKs 60m population, in a size of about 50,000 square miles. That would make it smaller than 31 of the States in the US. Imagine putting the population of New York [state], Florida and Illinois in space smaller than Louisiana. Now suggest adding the population of Nevada over ten years....this is what people are reacting to.
If the underlying problems (e.g. jobs, housing, education etc) are resolved, then the concerns would likely dissipate (except for the intolerant minority).
An American reader's thoughts:
You wrote:In three critical areas the Labour Party is seen among significant layers of working class people to have ignored their anxieties and denied them a voice: economic globalization, European integration, and mass immigration. Each subject has been declared off political limits.In the US, the white working class has been affected mainly by the first but not the second and third.
Obviously not by the second, but if your policy is to deliberately import large number of manual laborers (blue collar) you will of course lower the cost of that labor. If you don't believe this to be the case please come and visit me in Columbus, Ohio, and we'll do a quick tour of the ruins, on my nickel. (You can even bring the dogs). Huge number of jobs (construction comes to mind) that were once overwhelmingly done by working class whites (and blacks, I might add) are now done by illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Employers can pay them less, treat them like dirt, and know that they won't have to deal with unionization or safely complaints, as these employers can always threaten to report them to the authorities.
Two big reasons why our political class is disinclined to do anything about this:
1. The right side of our.political ruling class enjoys its fat checks from the corporations that profit by the lower labor costs.
2. The left side of our political ruling class gets a steady stream of new voters.