Sunday, October 28, 2007

Britain: A country wrecked by unlimited immigration

One of the most telling points in the excellent piece in yesterday's Daily Telegraph by my colleague Jeff Randall, on the dishonesty of government statistics, was to do with immigration. Slough says it has so many immigrants it needs more money: the Government says it hasn't. For decades, bare-faced lies have been told by our rulers about immigration.

When Enoch Powell was vilified in the late 1960s for drawing attention to the problem, the then social services secretary, Dick Crossman, ordered officials to conceal what he and they knew to be the true figures. Is this deceit still going on? Perhaps. But - and this may be even worse - the difference between the statistics and reality may be down to sheer incompetence. The truth is that we have no idea how many people are in this country. That is a scandal.

We have no idea because this Government decided, when it came to power in 1997, that it would be a good idea to stop proper enforcement of border controls. Jack Straw, our smug so-called Justice Secretary, was home secretary at the time, and was responsible for this. His successor, David Blunkett, boasted continually about getting tough on illegal immigrants, promising round-ups and deportations of those with no right to be here. It never happened.

The result is that parts of the country, notably in and around London, are suffering from terrible overcrowding. Coupled with the Government's insane decision to allow unfettered rights of access to Britain by the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004, this has put a crippling strain on housing, the health service, schools and the police.

Immigration is not a racial problem: it is a problem of numbers, and one the Government not only refuses to admit, but will not even attempt to quantify. This week, we were told there were 11,000 foreigners in our prisons - one in seven of those inside - and the Government, with typical incompetence, is struggling to negotiate deals to have these people serve their sentences back home.

Yesterday, an independent body called the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit said that the Government's plans to build three million new homes by 2020 were not nearly adequate. Of course they are not, because of the state's determination to allow unlimited immigration and, with it, the end of the indigenous cultural identity. The tensions of what used to be called "multi-culturalism" are dangerous enough: but so are the practical issues.

Large parts of England will be concreted over to accommodate all these new people. There will have to be new roads, railways and airports. And since we are already full up, and our public services buckling, where are we going to put everyone?

Labour has covered up its failure to control our borders by saying that our economy needs immigrants. Well, if you are determined to have a welfare state that tolerates about eight million economically unproductive people of working age - the unemployed, those in "training" and those on various benefits because they believe they are unfit for work - then of course you will. It is time someone got serious.

The present Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has hardly put her head above the parapet on this one. Between now and the next census in 2011, she might like to do a little housekeeping. That means locating and deporting all those with no right to be here. It would not be that difficult.

More here


In the cause of equal rights, feminists have had much to complain about. But one striking piece of inequality has been conveniently overlooked: lifespan. In this area, women have the upper hand. All round the world, they live longer than men. Why they should do so is not immediately obvious. But the same is true in many other species. From lions to antelope and from sea lions to deer, males, for some reason, simply can't go the distance.

One theory is that males must compete for female attention. That means evolution is busy selecting for antlers, aggression and alloy wheels in males, at the expense of longevity. Females are not subject to such pressures. If this theory is correct, the effect will be especially noticeable in those species where males compete for the attention of lots of females. Conversely, it will be reduced or absent where they do not.

To test that idea, Tim Clutton-Brock of Cambridge University and Kavita Isvaran of the Indian Institute of Science in Bengalooru decided to compare monogamous and polygynous species (in the latter, a male monopolises a number of females). They wanted to find out whether polygynous males had lower survival rates and aged faster than those of monogamous species. To do so, they collected the relevant data for 35 species of long-lived birds and mammals.

As they report this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, the pattern was much as they expected. In 16 of the 19 polygynous species in their sample, males of all ages were much more likely to die during any given period than were females. Furthermore, the older they got, the bigger the mortality gap became. In other words, they aged faster. Males from monogamous species did not show these patterns.

The point about polygyny, according to Dr Clutton-Brock, is that if one male has exclusive access to, say, ten females, another nine males will be waiting to topple the harem master as soon as he shows the first sign of weakness. The intense competitive pressure means that individuals who succeed put all their efforts into one or two breeding seasons.

That obviously takes its toll directly. But a more subtle effect may also be at work. Most students of ageing agree that an animal's maximum lifespan is set by how long it can reasonably expect to escape predation, disease, accident and damaging aggression by others of its kind. If it will be killed quickly anyway, there is not much reason for evolution to divert scarce resources into keeping the machine in tip-top condition. Those resources should, instead, be devoted to reproduction. And the more threatening the outside world is, the shorter the maximum lifespan should be.

There is no reason why that logic should not work between the sexes as well as between species. And this is what Dr Clutton-Brock and Dr Isvaran seem to have found. The test is to identify a species that has made its environment so safe that most of its members die of old age, and see if the difference continues to exist. Fortunately, there is such a species: man.

Dr Clutton-Brock reckons that the sex difference in both human rates of ageing and in the usual age of death is an indicator that polygyny was the rule in humanity's evolutionary past-as it still is, in some places. That may not please some feminists, but it could be the price women have paid for outliving their menfolk.


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