Given Entry into A Minefield

You know, I've been trying to think of a way to write about this for quite some time now (and the related subject of planning around it), but each time I've thought about how to write it I've always been scared that I'd come across as racist.

So here we go, lets give it a try and just write my impressions without putting any value judgements on it.

In my area we have a large amount of immigrants. For reasons that I presume are cultural many of these groups tend to start having children earlier than your 'native white' woman. They also tend towards having lots of children.

I tend to take more immigrant birthing women to hospital than 'native white' women. Is this just because 'native white' women tend to be financially better off and therefore own a car or have other transport?

Recently I've been finding that, on taking birthing women to hospital, they tend not to have any empty beds.

It doesn't end there.

Having lots of children places a strain on the ambulance service, the A&E departments and GP surgeries. When an infection starts spreading through the schools we get lots of calls to sick children.

If there are a lot of children in a house then all the children tend to get sick.

People who do not oppose immigration, and I count myself as a moderate member of this group, would say that if there are more people in the country then there are more people to work in the medical services industry.

Except that it doesn't work like that, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of, for want of a better phrase, 'minority ethnic*' ambulance people. For some reason it's less of an issue for nursing staff and GPs.

(Heh, maybe 'minority ethnic' people aren't as daft as folk would make them out to be – what sane person would want my job?)

This lack of 'minority ethnic' ambulance people is at least partly because the government doesn't give us enough money to hire more people. I don't think that the LAS recruited anyone for an eighteen month period recently.

But there is no simple solution, can you really tell people to stop having quite so many children? The majority of the people I go to aren't that rich (otherwise they wouldn't live where they do), so taxation isn't the answer. Where does the money come from?**

So we muddle along. Myself? I can see us ambulance people delivering more babies at home as birthing mothers get turned away from midwife units (the second child I ever delivered was born at home because of this).

A while ago I took two 'native white' women to the midwives, both in labour, one after another. Both shared the same first name. Both were on a Methadone program. I mention this à propos of nothing.

Oh well, so it goes.

UPDATE:Just watching the local news, apparently in my area three out of every four births is to an immigrant mother, which reflects my experience.

*Because, if you are born in England you are a native Englander. But I understand that it's not as simple as that.

**The first person to comment, “By not fighting unwanted, improper and pointless wars” wins a cookie for stating the obvious.

50 thoughts on “Given Entry into A Minefield”

  1. I'm with you Tom, not opposing immigration (I'm a white born & bred Brit living overseas myself, so what a hypocrite I'd be (OK I'm only earning my keep over in France but it comes down to the same thing doesn't it?!!), but feeling that somehow the UK will soon drown under it's own stupidity, kindness.However the only, very cynical thing that comes to my mind is, one day the UK may (let's hope) get tougher and fairer on immigration laws and a baby born in the UK has automatic rights to a GB nationality & passport doesn't it? And we all know that a GB passport is gold dust. And families related to that passport holder will have more 'solid' rights than those without, won't they?

    For legal and illegal immigrants, could having a baby simply be a safety net to not being thrown out of the country?

    You can't tax people with no money in the first place… and you can't tell people to cross their legs… and you can't presume that people of a non-UK origin are having babies for the 'wrong' reasons… and .. and .. and


    Or will we become like China and only allow one child per family, just as long as its a boy!! So much for human rights and freedom!!

    I wouldn't like to be the one making the decisions (good job I'm not actually!) – although I fear relatively simpler decisions/laws made some time back could have prevented the problem the UK now faces.

    One of my favourite sayings is 'it's NEVER too late' – but I fear this subject is being addressed a tad too late…

    Good topic but one that will have comments flying in from all directions like the Red Arrows in formation !!


    Oh yes … and where is the line drawn between 'FACT' and 'BEING RACIST'….?? A hard one that !!

  2. “By not fighting unwanted, improper and pointless wars”There we go, word for word.I'll do anything* for a cookie.And on-topic, I think this is the one thing the statistics can't really cover – it's all very well for the HYSers to bang on about taxpayers and sponging and so on, but all a person's country-of-birth tells you about is their country-of-birth. It doesn't tell you whether they're on benefits or not, how long they've lived here, how much tax they pay, what other services they use, what job they do, whether they contribute to their community…*may not be 100% of truth

  3. As someone who has employed immigrant workers and has done the work applying for work permits etc. I can assure you that the immigration laws are mostly fine as they are. There is a requirement for the employer to prove there is a real job and that it cannot be filled by non-immigrant staff. There is also a requirement that the immigrant worker has the right qualifications and experience for the job. The immigration service certainly ensures this procedure is adhered to as I know from personal experience.The problem is in two areas – lack of determination to tackle ILLEGAL immigration and the ease with which wives/husbands/kids of current immigrant workers get leave to remain in the UK as well.

    The first issue is the toughest and any effort on the governments part to clampdown and deport these people brings a whole collection of bleeding hearts out of the woodwork saying how terrible it is. The government are scared stiff of being called racist so do nothing and try to divert our attention by talking about tough new immigration laws that are totally unnecessary.

    The second issue can be resolved by simply not allowing dependants a fastrack method of coming to the UK. In my opinion an individual makes an adult decision whether to leave his/her family to look for work or to stay with their family and do their best in their own country.

  4. As you say, there's no easy answer; but the truth is that as people migrate from one part of the globe to the other, cultural diversity increases and local economies need to adapt to cater for this. I wasn't born in the British Isles, but have made here my home, even have a kid who was born here.I think the answer lies with a general shift in thinking, the realisation that dynamics within the country are changing and approrpriate changes to legislation and funding for essential services. The problem is that we're always in a state of flux, so decisions politicians take are outdated by the time they are implemented and people still have a huge resistance to change.

    p.s. Can i have a cookie too ?

  5. Here's an answer about the recruiting problem – pay you all a DECENT WAGE and maybe the job will become attractive enough to pull in all kinds of people, including minorities! No need to tax poor people, jus redistribute the money away from ridiculous salaries for managers and outsourcing cleaning companies, and put a little bit of that into the salary of paramedics (and nurses please!) and it will make paramedics/ambulance technicians (and the nurses) happier, and a happier workforce, is a more efficient workforce!We need a paramedic for Prime Minister… or at least Minister for Health… I just don't think any of the paramedics are big enough assholes to get the job…

    Well, I end this by saying… Cookie? 😀

  6. I can see your point – but would you still provide 'emergency treatment' (as we do for any visitor to the country), and if so, where do you draw the line of what constitutes an emergency?Also how about children? They haven't contributed to society yet, but we still treat them on the basis that they *will* contribute.

    But yes, I can see how it frustrates people who have been living and working here for years to see other people come into the country and get for nothing the thing that we have paid our taxes for.

  7. Yes, clearly I'd want the system to be reasonable. And I take your point about what constitutes an emergency. Not easy to define.Perhaps children could “inherit” “credits” from their parents? Clearly there'd be difficult and – seemingly to some – harsh decisions to make in forging such a policy. But maybe we're too soft right now, which is probably partly to do with why people want to come here. I don't blame the immigrants at all. I'd do the same.

    The current model of the NHS came was created in a very different social climate to the one we're in now, which I'd suggest is why it's being over-stretched.

  8. There is another side to this. Immigrant workers who are working here with a work permit have to pay the same tax and NI as anyone else. Yet they are not entitled to benefits that a UK resident is entitled to so if sacked or long term ill have to go home. That's fair enough but while here they have certainly earned their right to free healthcare like any other worker.Once again the term “migrants” seems to be covering both those that are skilled and pay their way and those who abuse the system.

    You are making the same mistake as the government and not focussing on the real problem – people who abuse the fair systems we have. The focus should not be on who gets free health service but on ensuring we only allow in migrants we need or the very rare genuine refugee.

  9. that's a tricky one, the original point of the NHS was the safety net, under your scheme those who have nothing would end up paying the most, getting them into debt in order to afford their treatment. this isn't good for anyone.any means testing shceme is likely to cost more than it would collect.

  10. My understanding of third worlders coming into a first world country and having lots of kids is: At home, having lots of children guarantees your retirement. (The children are expected to care for their parents.)

  11. Exactly!For centuries, the only reliable old age security was to have a shoeful of children. In most countries of the world, that is still the case. It's just in the sanitized West, we have devolved that responsibility on the government, and then cry foul when the demographics experts tell us that the baby boomers are going to suck “our” pensions dry.

    Perhaps immigrants to the West who have a lot of children will end up having the last laugh; several children who can take care of them in their old age. While the native-borns will be languishing in some hell hole of an old folks home, with no-one to visit us.

  12. Yeah, but with the planet's resources and environment being rather stretched as it is, I'd say it's extremely selfish for any couple to have more than two children, in normal circumstances.We need to reduce the population, not increase it.

  13. A very interesting topic, again!Many people are focusing on the Migrants who do not contribute to society upon their arrival to this country and who bleed the system dry. Yes, there are some migrants who are like this, but there are also some “Native” people who have the exact same mentality – I've spoken to people who know the system so well they can claim what they're not entitled to and get away with it (we're talking thousands of pounds a month each here).

    “or the very rare genuine refugee”

    The problem is that refugees are not rare. The UN defines what a refugee is and Britain is bound by International Law to recognise that definition. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates that nearly 22 million people world-wide come under its mandate.

  14. Raise the taxes on the rich, spend more money on the public services. Everyone gets a better life, and the rich get richer just more slowly. Simple AND effective. Pity not even a labour government wont consider this option nowadays. God I wish this was Scandinavia.Not to sure why you differentiated between 'native white people' and not just 'native people' Tom. Ive seen plenty of white families with 4+ kids living in poor areas, people of different cultural backgrounds still only make up 10% of our population, its hardly an invasion.

    Stinks of media hype, closed minds and the Government finding a scapegoat for the mess they made of NHS funding to me.

  15. People who do not oppose immigration, and I count myself as a moderate member of this group, would say that if there are more people in the country then there are more people to work in the medical services industry.I agree with you Tom – I doubt that this is the case. It seems to me that the majority of immigrants are either highly trained people (think doctors/lawyers etc), looking for better opportunities in the UK than they can get where they are from, or the complete opposite – poorly educated people looking to escape the poverty of their original home – which I believe they then find to be harder than they anticipated. This would leave little room for people to work in the 'middling' jobs, which would include nursing and ambulance work (please don't take the word middling as an insult – I'm seriously considering a career in the ambulance service at the moment)

    I'm not sure the problem can be solved, except by employing more medical staff at all levels. This costs money, therefore will never happen! The solution that will end up being used will be something along the lines of “lets overwork Tom and his colleagues even more!”

  16. > Stinks of media hype, closed minds and the Government finding a scapegoat for the mess they made of NHS funding to me.Looks the same to me. Nicely enough BBC illustrated it with a story of a Polish woman. I don't know, but it doesn't seem to me that the Polish (who mainly come here to WORK) tend to have loads of children.

    So basically, there's a huge influx of working (and sometimes highly professional people), who tend to be quite healthy (to go abroad and work quite hard), so they are not using much of the NHS, but are obediently paying the UK taxes – but, surprisingly, they are of a child-bearing age. So often the NHS services they use (again, paying their taxes) are maternity wards…

    Which obviously comes as a complete surprise to the government (who only wants them to pay the taxes 🙂 )

    Tom: I don't really think that your experience is all about those who moved to the UK in the last years (which is what the BBC story is about). I might be wrong though 🙂

    I must admit that I take it quite personally. I moved to the UK a couple of years ago from the now so dreaded Eastern Europe (I was offered a job, and.. well.. maths and physics phds are not in abundance in the UK really). And I find the talks about those eastern Europeans abusing the NHS and claiming benefits kind of unfair.. I pay the taxes here (quite a lot), I'm not entitled to ANY social benefits (as clearly stated in my visa), the only thing which I can use is NHS. And I indeed went to the GP three times since I moved.

    (Btw, I love the idea (that some suggest) of having to spent some time here and possibly prove something before I can go to the A&R, or having to deal with the abortion if I suddenly become pregnant – because birth is so much more expensive and I don't want to get a bill for many many thousands…)

    Of course, there are all sorts of migrants. And there are those who abuse the system. But I'm afraid a lot of problems are due to the lack of planning and the inability to think what will happen if 🙂

    Personally, I've never felt unwelcome here, and I really appreciate it. But those sensationalist stories are a bit annoying (as well as the myths about the rights of the migrants and so on), not that the problems don't exist…


  17. Totally agree with that!And I don't want to see people living on the same street as me, in the same country as me, dying or suffering because they happen not have met some arbitrary limit of points or credits – while we are giving away 50 BILLION to China, in the hopes they'l I dunno, buy a few low energy bulbs & put the recycling out….

    Wars aren't the only obscene waste of money and no-one – legal, illegal or native born – should have to fear for their health while money gets squandered by our stupid government.

  18. One child in the developed world uses many times the resources of several kids in a country with little electricity and poor access to clean water etc, so (with respect) it's not always as simple as that.Also, birth rates tend to drop drastcially, the more educated and financially secure and free women become, and also with falling child mortality rates, so that's another factor.

  19. It's much better from a govt's point of view to have two groups (native born and immigrants, for want of more subtle terms) fighting it out over limited resources, fuelling the kind of distrust and even aggression that makes people accept draconian law and order measures, than it is to simply fund what people need and have a right to.This comes up again and again with talk of limiting NHS access to the “really” needy, or those who don't “bring their problems on themselves” etc. And as long as we're blaming NHS problems on the other guy, we're not looking at the real issues of mismanagement and underfunding.

    While there are a significant number of timewasters and abusive NHS users, calling ambulances for broken toes etc, there are also a large number of timewasting and abusive uses of public funds – you only have to watch the news to see the amount of money, by the millions and billions, the govt throws into failed IT projects, public private partnerships, and so on.

    And don't even mention the war!

    As long as we're looking at the issue as being about the end users – in this case, women doing the scariest thing of their lives in a foreign country, who regardless of the rights and wrongs of immigration deserve the same quality of care as anyone else – then we're letting the real culprits off the hook.

    Finally, if birth rates had continued to fall in line with the predictions for white, native born women, and immigration had been severely limited, then we'd have had one very empty country by 2078.

  20. I would just like to recognise and applaud the use of the collective noun “a shoeful” of children. Well done sir/ma'am 🙂

  21. I suspect part of the recruiting problem is that a lot of countries don't have a full-time professional ambulance service. If you dial the clock back a few decades in Britain ambulance people were viewed by the Crippens of this world as hospital porters with a van.In time this will change..

  22. “can you really tell people to stop having quite so many children?”= Yes! (I'm not approving of this answer though…) but in China, don't they have a waiting list for having children? I think/ or heard, that you are only allowd to have one child per family due to over population! Probably a myth but I heard that if someone has twins you have to wait longer! The only thing is what if you get a rebeller? What would happen to someone if they decided to have more than one child?? BTW, that post was completely non-racist! It's sort of sad how careful you have to be nowadays and I'm certainly not racist, but I do get frustrated at somethings like the fact they have taken the holocust of the school curriculum because Muslims don't believe it ever happened and the fact that a Christian Charity Shop can't put up a nativity scene in the shop window incase anyone finds it offensive! We are becoming a little too politically correct!Any news on what the new book is going to be called? x

  23. Deng Xiaoping introduced the One Child Policy to China in 1979. Couples who want to try and have a baby have to attend a meeting in their village. It is here in which local advisors will hopefully give the couple permission to have a child. Once the couple has the permission from these local advisors a request for a birth permit can be submitted to the relevant Chinese Government authorities by the couple. Couples must get a birth permit before the women actually becomes pregnant! A number of penalties are in place for couples who become pregnant without a permit (including prison, forced abortion or having their baby given a lethal injection upon birth – some women are forced into having a lethal injection into the baby in their womb before delivery).Not really the sort of policy one would like to see in this country! China is never really a good example of anything other than what not to do.

  24. The Chinese system is based on making families pay a fine if they have a second child. It is being altered as time goes on (so that in the less populated areas, families are now allowed two children) and there are all sorts of ifs and buts (eg IF both parents are only-childs, they are allowed two children). Some better-off families just choose to go ahead with the babies and regard the fine as more of a birth-registration fee.Time will tell if it will work for China, but it would be bloody difficult to enforce in the West.

    I would be interested to see proof of, as you say, “the fact” that a Christian charity shop was actually prevented from having a nativity scene in the shop window. I don't mind admitting that I suspect this might be more along the lines of your charity shop being 'advised' against it, causing most nonChristians in a ten-mile radius to say “WTF?” (usually until someone higher up the ladder than the original advisor confirms this advice to have been ridiculous).

    As for the Holocaust thing… that's not a “fact” either.

    So you can stop being frustrated.

  25. Just a wee thought on your latest blog There seems to be a problem with discussions relating to immigration, ethnicity and rights of citizenship and that is what defines a persons nationality? As a former resident of Tower Hamlets, who returned to his native Scotland, I think of nationality as where and what you live and not where you were born. The majority of my former neighbours came form Bangladesh, Jamaica, Somalia, India, Ireland, Cambodia, etcetc and many of my English neighbours came from the north or Essex or anywhere but London. But, and I am sure I have not stood on anything dangerousyet, they all lived, worked, brought up families, etc..etc.. side by side without too much upset. Scratch a Londoner* and you will find the descendent of some immigrant in the not too distant past. So, getting to the point, when my six year old son asks me if he is English or Scottish because he was born in the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel I tell him he is Scottish because that is what and where he lives. I also discuss with him why this may seem important to some people who might wish to upset him by holding his place of birth against him as unfortunately there are many in Scotland who perceive the move to a more devolved Scotland as permission to denigrate all things and people not Scottish. Pathetic, I know, but I have acquaintances that still refer to Paki shops even though folks born and brought up in Scotland may run them. Anyway, just thought Id have a go at a definition and that I should put it in context.This is my first comment and I promise to be more succinct next time. Love the blog, keep on keeping on and if you do see that black dog** give it a kick and send it on its way.

    Oh and before someone says it, yes as my son was born at the Royal, and as both me and his mum are Scottish, he is a Jockney! Heard it!

    *Anyone who lives in London, natch!

    *SAD (18th Jan)

  26. Aha! I think I've found the charity shop thing as well. Turns out it wasn't a “Christian charity shop” and the reason for removing the Nativity scene wasn't “in case people got offended”. It was the Red Cross, and it was because they wanted to make a point of their neutrality, of their *not* being specifically Christian.Oh, and it was in 2002.

    Sorry. I'm very bored this evening.

  27. When you get down to the brass tacks of this topic it really isnt about immigration (myself being a product of irish immigration to this country in the 1950`s) it is about as someone so rightly posted earlier the abuses of the system.I go out to jobs and see 2nd and 3rd generations of families on state benefits that have a higher standard of living than i do and have never worked a day in their lives unfortunatley we have brought this problem on ourselves with the promise of taking care of people,does this little slogan ring any bells “From The Cradle To The Grave”.And as for immigration quotas,they are only a small percentage of the problem…Britain`s quota of immigrants is higher per capita than France`s but lower than Germany`s-other countries need to play their part in the perceived mass migration of peoples other than just keep herding them on……songat in france was a case in question where the french authorities turned a blind eye to the illegal migrants passing through their country(i know first hand i used to see them walking the roads whilst on my travels between germany and france) untill it was pointed out quite forcefully that we are an ISLAND and they must have stopped somewhere before illegally entering this country

    just my two pence worth :~)

  28. “like the fact they have taken the holocust of the school curriculum because Muslims don't believe it ever happened”That is a TOTAL urban myth, generated I believe from an e-mail spoof, originally sent out by someone who presumably knew people become very credible when given a chance to hate another group of people.

    As such, it has more in common with the Nazi propaganda about Jews that fuelled the Holocaust than anything else.

    It is NO part of Islam to deny tthe holocaust, and the idea that it's been taken out of the school curriculum is factually wrong and purely designed to stir up hatred against Muslims – in this case, Muslim children, which is beyond contempt.

  29. “Time will tell if it will work for China, but it would be bloody difficult to enforce in the West. “And, it's led to many families choosing to abort daughters until they get a son.

    Any vote for the Chinese system is a vote against women, whether it's the pregnant woman feeling her 3rd-trimester baby stop moving after a lethal injection, or the female fetus being scraped out of its mother, for no reason other than its gender.

  30. I am going to University next year to train as a midwife. Unfortunately this is just one of the problems we are going to face in the coming years. Joy be with us, lets hope things balance out and quickly!Liz & Josh (20w 5d)

  31. Here is my opinion on the matter, i believe that our troops come home asap and as soon as they are back we close the doors to everyone coming in to this country.Then we give the government ,say 6 months tops to come up with a plan to sort out the mess the uk is in.The armed forces can be used in multiple roles to aid the country like tracking down illegal immigrants ,harbour patrols and aiding our police force,fire brigade and cos no-one will be getting blown up or shot in far away places that i couldnt give 2 tosses about ,armed forces medical personel could even help the nhs.This is only my opinion and i try not to be racist but its hard at times.

  32. Once you get the military policing the streets of their own country, you never get them off.Do you really want traumatised Iraqi vets coming straight back to the UK and pointing guns at you and your family? I don't – I want them out of Iraq, but I don't want them looking at UK civilians – Muslim or otherwise – as being part of the same joblot of people to be kept pacified.

    Your plan sounds more hellish to me than totally unchecked immigration, but it does (with respect) bear out my beliefs that the feelings against immigrants are being allowed to fester deliberately, so that people will embrace draconian measures.

  33. “The first person to comment, 'By not fighting unwanted, improper and pointless wars' wins a cookie for stating the obvious.”Which in the US many of us translate as “Letting the Americans do the dirty work”. That, however is a fight for a different day and probably a different blog.

    The immigrants having babies situation is a demographic bomb waiting to happen. Actually, it's a slow motion explosion that IS happening in Britain and much of the European continent. Despite the EU thing, I think of Britain as different than the rest of Europe, but I digress.

    The problem with all those immigrant babies is that they don't seem be be growing up considering themselves as British. Thus, some of them have no problem blowing themselves up and killing people on trains. France has a huge problem with that as does much of the rest of Europe. As birth rates among white women decline below the level at which the native population can sustain itself, the immigrant population continues to grow. You don't need a PHD in Mathematics to see where that will end up.

    I wonder what Britain will be called in 50 years and what form of government it will have?

    At least I was fortunate enough to have been there in the 1970s before this all began. I remember at the time that a lot of British citizens made jokes about the “Pakkies”. Who's laughing now?

    Yeah, I know. I'm just another xenophobic paranoid American cowboy.

  34. Oooh, an “America: World Police” comment – love it!”The problem with all those immigrant babies is that they don't seem be be growing up considering themselves as British. Thus, some of them have no problem blowing themselves up and killing people on trains.”

    And the Irish American immigrants and their sympathisers, who for decades openly funded the terrorist organisation IRA via NORAID, all of which which was tolerated by the US government and popular opinion in the States, were also immigrants who didn't seem to quite identify as part of the land they were born in.

    The IRA pretty much set the blueprint for using public transport, packed with civilian men, women and children, as a method of mass murder and mayhem, NORAID's supporters must be proud that tradition hasn't died out.

    So, it seems to be a problem common to all nations.

    (Arguably, ALL Americans except the minority Native population are immigrants, but that's also probably a different comment for a different blog.)

    But it's interesting how opinion has changed in the US regarding immigration, terrorism and indentity since the “good old days” of the NORAID fundraisers.

    The people killed, maimed or crippled by the IRA were no less real that the workers in the WTC for being overseas – any more than the estimated 80,000+ civilan dead in Iraq – America's “dirty work” that we're helping with – are less real than one American life.

    I was very nearly one of the IRA's statistics, in Wood Green 1992, and I've lost count of the times I've been delayed or had to cancel things due to “security alerts” during the IRA's heyday.

    Perhaps seeing the true horror of terrorism made those little collecting boxes in NYC & Boston seem a little less appealing?

    (The gist of this comment being, America has no moral highground left when it comes to unruly immigrants, terrorism and funding people who kill and maim innocent civilians. Just so's we're clear.)

  35. It seems to me that whilst the ethinc background of certain groups may be more culturally predisposed to having larger numbers of children, this is their right and if they can afford to fund this themselves then why should they not.The only problem arises in the continued providing of social security benefits (and bigger council houses etc etc) on behalf of further children. Parents shouldn't be having children that they can't support fully on their own. Obviously the idea of licensing births is an unlikely solution in the UK, however providing child benefit only up to the second child seems perfectly reasonable.

    I say good luck to any family, whatever nationality, who can have and fully support a large number of happy, socially responsible children. It seems that this nation now more than ever needs large numbers of young people who are brought up to understand that you have to work for what you want and nothing is free.

    Economic immigration is not this country's problem, a hard worker from anywhere is an asset to the UK. It is the something for nothing attitude that exists across all races (especially sections of “native british”?) that needs addressing.

    There… rant over!

  36. Without getting into any argument over the benefits or risks of an increasing immigrant population, the higher birthrate among immigrants is part of a cycle that is as old as civilization. In time, the birth rate will decline, as the population goes through what is known as a “demographic transition”. In short, the benefits of life in Britain such as improved health care, working conditions, nutrition, etc result in a decrease in life expectancy, particularly due to a fall in infant mortality. A boom in population follows, since the group's normally high birthrate, which historically replaced those losses, is much slower to fall. But fall it will as the culture responds to the new situation. All cultures that transition from a rural, agricultural-based society to an urban industrialized one have gone through exactly the same thing. Including my Scotch-Irish ancestors here in the U.S.jack-of-all-thumbs

  37. Oh! Sorry!, I didn't really know if it was a fact, it's one of those things you talk about when you want to moan about something, like Health and Safety people, trafic wardens, and polititions! (and I don't hate any of those people- well not outside work anyway!). If it was an attempt to stir up hatred against Muslims, then that is completely pathetic and hasn't worked. It's sort of sad how crap peoples lives must be to start sending an email to people with fake facts in. Still, at least they're not drinking themselves to death and that 'email' will soon be forgotten about! Sorry that they weren't facts that I posted about!

  38. Thanks for relieving my frustration batsgirl! I love the way a story can be exageratted so much that it goes from a Charity Shop reinforcing how neutral its feelings about religion are, to the government forcing a Christian Charity Shop to remove a nativity scene! Yet another case of Chinese whispers!

  39. Actually, the activities of the NORAID people were not tolerated or approved of by most Americans. In truth, the activities of those people were unknown to a lot of Americans. I work in a city with a very high population of Irish people so I probably know more than most.Several people involved in raising money and/or getting weapons for the IRA were arrested and went to jail.

    The problem in America isn't immigrants. It's illegal immigrants. Big difference.

    You can also make the argument that the battle between the IRA and the British government was different in nature and scope than the battle being waged by militant Islam and just about everyone. Others may opine differently.

  40. “In truth, the activities of those people were unknown to a lot of Americans.”I agree, probably roughly the same Americans who think Saddam Hussein supported al Q'aeda, there are always people who manage to ignore any inconvenient facts.

    “The problem in America isn't immigrants. It's illegal immigrants. Big difference.”

    I think, with reference to my previous point, the best way of stating that would be “the problem to Americans isn't immigrants….” – most of those Irish Americans I mentioned were second or third generation children of legal immigrants – just like the UK-born babies you referred to as a “demographic bomb.”

    “You can also make the argument that the battle between the IRA and the British government was different in nature and scope than the battle being waged by militant Islam and just about everyone.”

    Yes, you could indeed make that argument if you think that some forms of terrorism and murder are more acceptable than others. I happen not to think that, but obviously we're all free to choose our views.

    It didn't feel different in scope to me or my family, suffering endless inconvenience and one very near miss from explosions that were partially funded, and morally supported, by US-born people.

    It probably doesn't feel different to the people still living with their injuries, either. “Scope” surely means different victims, at least, yet the IRA frequently and deliberately set out to terrorise and kill civilians.

    (As a general comment, I find it interesting that when America jails people without trial, tortures them even, that's also “different” to when any other nation does it…)

    It's a good job that the western policy of military strikes against nations whose citizens support terrorism hadn't been invented at that point!

    I agree however that the scope of Islamic anger since the mess in Iraq is going to be a problem for peace-loving people for a long time, though of course the war-mongers on this planet will thrive on it all.

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