Dame Louise Casey’s review into ‘opportunity and integration’ is finally out. Commissioned a year ago by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, and finished some time ago, there were fears that this review would remain ‘on ice’. Casey – who also led the government’s review of the Rotherham child-grooming scandal – is nobody’s idea of a push-over and the new government was said to have been wary about releasing the report in its current state.
One can see why. Although it will take some days to read and absorb the entire 200-page document, it is clear from the executive summary that Casey has pulled few punches. In particular, she has highlighted the segregation and illiberal attitudes which are the direct result of the mass migration of recent decades. The present government may have been right to worry about this review because among other things, it shines a light on the period during which the present Prime Minister was Home Secretary.
However, one thing remains overwhelmingly obvious from all this: the UK is still some way away from having a serious discussion about our immigration policy. Of course, whenever one says this, voices of the illiberal left scream that we seem to spend all our time talking about migration. That may or may not be true, depending on your perspective and reading habits, but we certainly don’t spend any time having the conversation we should be having.
For instance, it is clear from the Casey review – as it was from the Cantle report (published 15 years ago under a Labour government) – that whatever its benefits, mass immigration also has huge and possibly uncontrollable negative effects on the cohesion of British society. This affects almost every area of British life. For instance it affects housing. In order to cope with immigration at the current rate, this country needs to build a new house every few minutes. The ‘housing shortage’ in Britain is talked about as though it is a native phenomenon – as though the British people just keep needing more and more houses. In fact we only need to keep building on green-belt land and covering over our beautiful countryside with new houses because we keep importing more and more people. Why do we do this? Why do we need to keep doing it? What is the cultural enrichment that we failed to get from the first few million Pakistani and Bangladeshi migrants which we will only be able to really enjoy from the next few million?
Even after learning the downsides of all this, our politicians remain too scared to tread through this minefield. One result is that we now have people able to present all immigration as a bad thing. In fact, I can think of very few people who mind the presence of, for instance, Parisians in London. Yet while EU migration into the UK is the easier issue to focus on, it is non-EU migration into the UK which most bothers people. And as the Casey review once again shows, it is these non-EU migrants who present the most problems for our country both in the short and long term. So why does this present government not do something about this? Why did Theresa May as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister continue to allow non-EU migration at such historically high and unsustainable levels? The Casey review reminds us of the vast social problems that come from such mass immigration. But what do we get out of it exactly?