There is a moment in Charles Dickens’s travelogue, ‘American Notes’, when the author comes to realise the greatness of immigrants. “It would be hard to keep your model republics going, without the countrymen and countrywomen of those two labourers,” he reflects, watching a pair of Irish immigrants. Modern Britain does not lack for such insight. The evidence in favour of immigration is too compelling for political elites to misunderstand. Our problem is that today’s Dickenses are drowned out by xenophobic chants that say voters dislike immigrants. Recently, a political consensus has emerged around the notion that immigration is out of control and detrimental to Britons’ economic well-being. Politicians are falling over
each other to proffer unedifying soundbites such as “England belongs to the English”. Few are willing to say what they all know to be true: that immigration is not only beneficial but absolutely necessary for Britain to thrive.
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