Brexit is a response to changes in a world that is increasingly hard to get our heads around. It represents an understandable wish to stop galloping change lest we are thrown beneath its pounding feet. This fear is strongest in areas that have seen least change, including less immigration – and so, predictably – these are the most prominent ‘Leave’ areas. People in remoter communities have not had the adaptation experiences of those in cosmopolitan ones.
However, the vast majority of these changes are beneficial. In almost every way we are safer, healthier, more prosperous, better educated, longer-lived than ever before. You are much less likely to be hurt in an accident, especially road accidents, but including everything from falls to poisoning. If you take deaths from pedestrian accidents, you are 3 times less likely to be killed today than just 50 years ago, when there were less roads. less people and fewer cars.
In almost every respect we are less at risk than we ever were. So much so, that much of the risk we do experience is largely that which we impose on ourselves from poor choices. Yet our media don’t EVER reflect this improved picture of civilisation. The threat from terrorists causes much more alarm than that from cars. You are 100 times more likely to be hurt by a vehicle driven by you or your neighbours than by a terrorist attack. Terrorist fears are exaggerated by the media. Please don’t get knocked down while worrying that the bloke in the funny clothes is a suicide bomber!
Brexit is also a response to the idea there are too many people chasing too few resources. This is a modern expression of something that used to be known as the population bomb. But birth rates across the developed world are dropping and the growth in world population has been falling since the 1960’s. It is due to fall to zero or less by 2050/2070. This will be speeded up if we are willing to continue our investments in overseas development.
As soon as a population becomes educated and healthier with greater access to resources, birth rates plummet. Nonetheless, there is pressure on the UK to terminate its overseas development projects and investments. These are are surest means to a good reputation and reducing pressure on emigration to the UK from these places.
Populism however, views cultural purity – including race – as a desirable road to an improved society. There have been many expressions of this purity, but one of the most popular, supported by cognitive and moralistic biases is that we were a purer group just a short while back. This in turn drives the populist view that we should go back to how things used to be, if we want to make progress. It is the ‘good old days’ theory. It has little to do with realities, much more with a tendency to hanker for the ‘good times of yester-year’ as we age, when looking back becomes more rewarding than looking forward.
Additionally, it isn’t racial purity that drives progress. There are more important contributors, health, security, education and investment in public goods to name a few of them. However, race is in some ways a convenient justification for hostility that does not take uncomfortable facts into account – like our dependence on immigrants for a whole range of goods and services – and underestimates the dangers of seeking to exclude others from our society.
One such uncomfortable fact is the declining birth rate in the UK and in the West generally.
Here is a graph showing the falling birth rate in the UK:
In the analysis linked below, one of the hard-to-face consequences of our increased longevity and expectations of continued access to advanced healthcare procedures, the Independent points out how our growing ageing population can’t be supported by a shrinking working population, particularly in the types of work that many Brits no longer enjoy, like outdoor maintenance work, call centre work, nursing and care work; all essential parts of a sophisticated, civilised society.
This is not some lofty, theoretical debate; it can be experienced everywhere in the UK today. If you find yourself on public transport, in hospital, at school or college or speaking on the phone, you will be unable to avoid the fact that a good proportion of the people you meet; those driving you, serving you, caring for you, supporting you are…foreigners. They may be teachers, cooks, medical professionals, cleaners, carers or all of the above. The MSM only rails against immigration: it tells none of these important truths about our need for foreigners to its UK readers. Indeed, the MSM never mentions that immigrants from the EU are dwarfed in number by arrivals from countries outside the EU.
Unpopular as it may be, we need immigration if we are to continue enjoying public goods, like health, schools and roads. This is a problem all over the developed world, with the Japanese – the longest-lived nation on earth – experiencing some of the most acute crises, largely due to its racial purity policies. Japan is being forced to open itself up to foreigners.
If the UK Government is successful in its ambition to get net migration down to the ‘tens of thousands’ by ending freedom of movement, it will mean we find it harder to cope with the burden of an ageing population. It could also mean that your kids may have to take the kind of jobs they were hoping to avoid, through virtue of education or being a local in the employment market.
As we said, we are dependent on our foreign workers; particularly for low-paid public service roles.
Already, since Brexit, the number of overseas visitors working in the UK has fallen sharply. If we succeed in banning them altogether – as many would like – we will miss them more than we know. You’ll have to push your own wheelchair down the hospital corridor!