Why did Gordon Brown say “British jobs” for British workers rather than just “jobs?” John Denham wriggled out of this question this morning. I suspect the real answer is that Gordon Brown – a stickler for statistics – is painfully aware of a trend the media has never picked up on: the huge brain drain from Britain.
We’re so focussed on the 1,500 arriving here every day that no one really focuses on the 1,000 leaving every day. Figures from the OECD (pdf here) show more graduates, 1.3million, have fled Britain than any other developed country (even America, which has five times our population). On Brits deemed to have “high skills,” 15% have left to live abroad – the highest ratio in the developed world save for the notoriously itinerant Irish and Kiwis.
In Britain, high skills are used as a passport to get the hell out and go make money elsewhere. (Perhaps why every English-speaking country has had better economic growth than Britain since 1997). An economic exodus is underway, and only mass immigration is covering it up. More details in my column in The Business this week.
A question for CoffeeHousers: why on earth would bright graduates want to leave Britain?