This Question Time panellist just nailed why Corbyn is right on immigration [VIDEO]

Support us and go ad-free

On Thursday 29 September, BBC Question Time from Boston, Lincolnshire tackled the issue of immigration. The question from the audience was: “Is Jeremy Corbyn out of touch with communities like Boston on the subject of unlimited immigration?” Panellist and author Bonnie Greer answered, and her response showed exactly why Corbyn’s stance is correct.

Greer said: “I’m not a politician, and I’m the only immigrant on this panel, so I’m not going to come up with any policy stuff.” She then made several statements regarding her thoughts on immigration. But how much of what she said is true?

Lincolnshire: left on its own

Greer argued:

This town, and maybe this region, has been left on its own… And I think it has to do with both parties, or maybe three.

The facts:

The two maps below go some way to explaining why people in Lincolnshire may feel they have been left on their own. On the whole, the most deprived areas tend to be the most urban. The least deprived are rural villages. And there is a distinct difference between east and west. As with much of the UK, there is an issue with inequality in Lincolnshire. [The first map shows areas of population, grey being “urban”. The second shows levels of deprivation, blue being the most deprived.]

lincolnshire-map-populationlincolnshire-deprivation

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

We’re all getting older

Greer said:

We live in an ageing society… There’s an economic argument for immigration. You need folks in here, because the country is getting older.

The facts:

A government report discussed ways of getting people to work longer, due to an ageing population. Couple this with the state pension age being forecast to hit 70 by 2040, and the term ‘work ’til you drop’ takes on a new meaning.

Greer also said there was an “economic argument” for immigration, and the government’s own advisors agree. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned in March that, if we cut immigration, either taxes would have to be raised or more cuts to public services would have to be made to compensate. As the OBR forecasts, higher immigration is actually good for public finances.

Lincolnshire: a microcosm of immigration and austerity the UK

The population in Lincolnshire has risen by 8.8% in the past decade; slightly above the national average. Forecasts show that, by 2032, the working age population (16-64) will not have changed. But the number of people aged 65-74 will have increased by 34%, and those over 75 by 101%.

According to the 2011 census, 7.1% of people in Lincolnshire were born outside the UK. This is well below the national average of 13.8%. But tellingly, Boston is the only place in the county where the number of foreign-born people is higher than the national average, sat at 15.1%.

In contrast to the increase in population, Lincolnshire County Council cut services by £30m between 2010-2015. And they’ll be cutting a further £130m in the next four years. The reason for the cuts? Government austerity, after public money bailed out the banks during the 2008 financial crash.

The problem in Lincolnshire is one of extremes. There are vast differences in population, wealth, poverty and deprivation across the county. And this is something that is the same across the UK. As I previously wrote at The Canary:

People are worried about immigration. But most people are not racist or xenophobic. What they are is concerned about their own families and the lives they lead. When they see the NHS struggling to cope, people going to food banks, families unable to get decent accommodation, or public services being cut, their natural reaction is to think ‘there’s not enough to go round as it is’. More people in the country means less for everyone else. That’s not racist. That’s common sense.

But what Greer was right to highlight is that, overall, we need migration. She was also right with her assertion that Boston had been “left on its own”. An increase in population with a decrease in funding doesn’t add up.

The argument Corbyn presents for unrestricted migration is one based on an increased funding of services, stopping exploitative employers using migrant workers to undercut wages, redistribution of wealth, and tackling inequality. Many of these are problems people face in Lincolnshire. If this was done, then migration, which the UK factually needs, would not be the challenge it is currently perceived to be. As Greer said about Boston in the US, people moved there because “they wanted to have a better life”. And if Corbyn’s plans are allowed to be meted out, then a better life could be a reality for everyone.

Watch Greer’s full answer:

Get Involved!

Read more articles by The Canary on Question Time.

Support The Canary, so we can keep bringing you the news that matters.

Featured image via Screengrab

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed