Former Archbishop of Canterbury says politicians must do more to limit net immigration to the UK.
He so very nearly has a point. But he’s got it wrong.
Of course it would be a bad idea for the UK population to rise to 70 million. That’s more cars, more congestion, more electricity and gas consumption, longer queues at the post office and the expansion of towns into green belts. Irrespective of any of those things, just do the maths – if the population increases by about 15 per cent, then either the economy is going to have to increase by at least 15 per cent or everybody, on average, is going to be substantially worse off, with a poorer standard of living.
Where he’s wrong is in talking about ‘immigration’, as though it is the cause of the problem. The problem is one of world wide over-population, and the only solution is by reducing the birth rate. And the best way reduce the birth rate is by campaigning for sexual equality and, in particular, for women to have access to contraception (including medical termination). Is that a priority for the Church of England?
In terms of the UK population, there isn’t any difference at all whether one extra bum taking your seat on the tube belongs to an immigrant or someone born here; but how do you reduce the birth rate, when having as many children as you like (whether you can afford to look after them or not) is considered an inalienable human right?
Carey seems rather cloudy on what his point is; he says he’s not in favour of a points-based system or in favouring Christians but also feels it is important that potential immigrants should be given priority if they understand our culture and parliamentary democracy which he claims, with scant regard for historical accuracy, to be based on a Christian heritage (rather than, say, the Chartist movement). One wonders also that if Christianity and parliamentary democracy are so profoundly interlinked, why there isn’t a parliamentary democracy in every Christian nation (such as the USA) and why so many non-Christian countries have adopted the system, from Sri Lanka to Bhutan. He says immigrants should be favoured if they understand British history; something which he clearly has trouble with.