Freedom is an anathema to Migration Watch…

by Barry M-C on February 25, 2012

What is wrong about people choosing where they want to live? That’s called freedom.

As a Conservative, I believe in freedom under the rule of law. That includes the freedom to associate with whom I like, the freedom to trade with whom I choose, the freedom to sell or rent my property to whom I wish, the freedom to employ whom I feel is best suited to the task. When we talk about migration controls we are also talking about reducing the freedom of those already living here to do things.

There is a problem with people seeking benefits without first contributing; but whilst some migrants are guilty of benefit tourism, the vast majority of claimants were born here. If we are really serious about bringing welfare costs under control, that is where we need to focus our efforts.

Reform of welfare is vital, not least to prevent the wasting of so many lives on benefits and handouts.  Work is not just a means of material support, it builds self-respect.  Indeed, most migrants I’ve ever spoken to have sought to better themselves and their families by hard, honest paid-labour, not by seeking handouts.  And most people I’ve canvassed in the last 12 years of political campaigning who have been concerned about migrants haven’t been concerned about migration per se but have been simply irritated at the perceived inequity of those newly-arrived who are jumping entitlement queues.  We need a system of welfare that is much more one of a contributions-first for everyone, native-born and migrant alike.

Furthermore, as the extended order of the market society continues to expand and deepen, so too does the “carrying capacity” of the British Isles increase.  Technology and better institutional arrangements mean that more people can live and live better quality lives with more stuff than ever before.  We should celebrate that fact rather than decry it; more people means more inventions, more great works of art, more new ideas, in fact, more of everything… and it is made possible by freedom under the rule of law.

Unfortunately, freedom appears to be very much of an anathema to the folks at MigrationWatch.

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