Is Britain full?

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
pwa
Posts: 10561
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Is Britain full?

Postby pwa » 18 Oct 2015, 8:24am

Apologies for the simplistic title, but it has the virtue of being short.

The population of the UK, after decades of minimal growth, has increased rapidly in recent years. Immigration, both from within the EU and beyond, has contributed. The birth rate has gone up. And we have the migrant crisis, including the Syrian refugee issue. Most of us will have some sympathy with the people who want to come to the better off countries of the EU. We would like to help. One way of helping is to accept people into the UK. But how many?

The UK has a shortage of housing already, without extra people to handle. New housing would (at least in my area) mean building on green fields. It would mean more traffic. The towns would grow and the villages between would grow. Quality of life for people who enjoy the countryside would suffer. It can be argued that immigration brings economic benefits, but for those competing for lower paid jobs it drives down the wages offered.

I feel all sorts of conflicts on this issue. Any thoughts?

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17384
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby Vorpal » 18 Oct 2015, 9:01am

There are many and many poorer countries than the UK with higher overall population density.

IMO, part of the problem is the expectation for everyone to have detached homes. High population density, as in cities, is much easier to manage well with apartment buildings. In most other European countries (I don't have experience with the highest population density countries), there are family-sized apartment with 3, 4, and even 5 bedrooms regualyl available on the market for sale or rent. People don't expect to live in detached homes, even in cities. And newer apartment buildings can be built fairly self-sufficient with heat pumps and/or solar panels providing heat and electricity.

It's not necessary to build on green fields; it's possible to build on brown field sites, or remove aging and underutlized buildings and replace them with sustainable housing. Current government policy, however is to restrict the housing market to keep prices high, and people borrowing money. Home owners in the UK like that, and it helps the government paint a picture of economic health.

As for the jobs... under current government policy it is a problem. I expect that the British economy can absorb the new immigrants without a big impact, but I'm sure that there will be some impact. I don't think it's fair to think of them as competing only for lower paid jobs, though. Many of the Syrian refugees are well-educated and come from middle class backgrounds. Many of them will prefer to come to England because they already speak English well. They will, I am sure, be able to contribute society as soon as they settle and deal with their most immediate problems.

http://www.ibtimes.com/europe-refugee-c ... ar-2089018
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16964
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 18 Oct 2015, 9:10am

You need to separate the issues of migration with refugees.

Economic migrants don't put their children on a rubber dinghy and try to cross a sea in it.

I have some sympathy with limiting economic migration, but that's not an option any more. Refugees we should be welcoming with open arms - but doing so as a united europe/world.

The reported border closures around the southern EU are disturbing in that regard.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

pwa
Posts: 10561
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby pwa » 18 Oct 2015, 9:18am

Vorpal wrote:There are many and many poorer countries than the UK with higher overall population density.

IMO, part of the problem is the expectation for everyone to have detached homes. High population density, as in cities, is much easier to manage well with apartment buildings. In most other European countries (I don't have experience with the highest population density countries), there are family-sized apartment with 3, 4, and even 5 bedrooms regualyl available on the market for sale or rent. People don't expect to live in detached homes, even in cities. And newer apartment buildings can be built fairly self-sufficient with heat pumps and/or solar panels providing heat and electricity.

It's not necessary to build on green fields; it's possible to build on brown field sites, or remove aging and underutlized buildings and replace them with sustainable housing. Current government policy, however is to restrict the housing market to keep prices high, and people borrowing money. Home owners in the UK like that, and it helps the government paint a picture of economic health.

As for the jobs... under current government policy it is a problem. I expect that the British economy can absorb the new immigrants without a big impact, but I'm sure that there will be some impact. I don't think it's fair to think of them as competing only for lower paid jobs, though. Many of the Syrian refugees are well-educated and come from middle class backgrounds. Many of them will prefer to come to England because they already speak English well. They will, I am sure, be able to contribute society as soon as they settle and deal with their most immediate problems.

http://www.ibtimes.com/europe-refugee-c ... ar-2089018


I don't doubt the worth of most immigrants, Syrian or otherwise. I have worked with a few and they have been a pleasure to know. My own concern is primarily a wish to live in a country with a population density no higher than we have at present. I feel sick when I hear predications of a UK population of 90 million by some point in the not too distant future. Even if everyone were earning enough, that would not be a place I would like to be. But on the other hand I don't want to turn back people in desperate need. I'm not sure there is an answer to this.

Young@Heart
Posts: 117
Joined: 13 Oct 2015, 11:43am
Location: Carlisle

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby Young@Heart » 18 Oct 2015, 9:31am

The Bishops of England and Wales have called for an increase in Syrian conflict refugees form 20,000 to 50,000 over the next five years. A city like London could easily accomodate all of them with only a small increase in population density. The red tops have done their usual volt face and now brand the 'free loading scum' as war refugees.

Britain could easily take a population of 70+ million. Many parts the north east, Wales and Scotland have extremely low population densities and could very quickly and cheaply be scaled to accomodate foreign workers. More workers = more economic wealth and a richer, more diverse population imho.

Young@Heart
Posts: 117
Joined: 13 Oct 2015, 11:43am
Location: Carlisle

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby Young@Heart » 18 Oct 2015, 9:41am

I just had a look at population density for Scotland, where 85% of the country has a population density of <20 people per square mile.

User avatar
bovlomov
Posts: 4078
Joined: 5 Apr 2007, 7:45am
Contact:

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby bovlomov » 18 Oct 2015, 9:41am

Sorry to sound hippyish.

For a start, how about making the world a better place to live in? UK foreign policies have caused a lot of damage around the world - much of it in the middle east and Africa, whence refugees and economic migrants flee.

I'm not suggesting for a minute that the UK is responsible for all the ills of the world, but there's no doubt we have outsourced much misery, in the form of unfair trade, military interventions and support for despots. For that we have some responsibility to deal with the consequences.

More personally: it does bother me when I'm on the bus and I hear not a single British accent. 'I am a stranger in my own country' I say to my foreign wife. It's true, but I'm not sure what should be done about it.

pwa
Posts: 10561
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby pwa » 18 Oct 2015, 9:44am

Young@Heart wrote:The Bishops of England and Wales have called for an increase in Syrian conflict refugees form 20,000 to 50,000 over the next five years. A city like London could easily accomodate all of them with only a small increase in population density. The red tops have done their usual volt face and now brand the 'free leader's as war refugees.

Britain could easily take a population of 70+ million. Many parts the north east, Wales and Scotland have extremely low population densities and could very quickly and cheaply be scaled to accomodate foreign workers. More workers = more economic wealth and a richer, more diverse population imho.


Do you think they will be happy to hear that up North? I doubt it will go down well in Redcar at the moment. Here in Wales my own small village looks likely to double in size. The green field north of Cardiff have been eaten up by new housing over the past ten years. And it's no use thinking of trying to build up population levels in more remote areas because employers don't want to run a business in the back of beyond. They want to be no more than a couple of hours from London. Much of Britain's green, empty spaces are the upland areas like the Scottish Highlands or the Pennines, unfit for large scale development.

I certainly think Syrian refugees should be taken in greater numbers. But not purely economic migrants.

cjchambers
Posts: 840
Joined: 29 Jun 2008, 9:55pm
Location: Hartlepool

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby cjchambers » 18 Oct 2015, 9:58am

The south east of England is approaching full. Since this seems to be what many politicians/media types mean when they say 'Britain' . . . :roll:

Here is a map of the UK scaled according to population, from http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov ... index.html
popmap.jpg

User avatar
Cunobelin
Posts: 9555
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby Cunobelin » 18 Oct 2015, 9:59am

[XAP]Bob wrote:You need to separate the issues of migration with refugees.

Economic migrants don't put their children on a rubber dinghy and try to cross a sea in it.

I have some sympathy with limiting economic migration, but that's not an option any more. Refugees we should be welcoming with open arms - but doing so as a united europe/world.

The reported border closures around the southern EU are disturbing in that regard.


The problem is that there is no clear distinction between the two groups, and economic migrants do take the same high risk routes as refugees including the rubber dinghys

Freddie
Posts: 2329
Joined: 12 Jan 2008, 12:01pm

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby Freddie » 18 Oct 2015, 10:00am

Vorpal wrote:There are many and many poorer countries than the UK with higher overall population density.
So, from a country that once was the envy of the world to a race to the bottom?
Vorpal wrote:IMO, part of the problem is the expectation for everyone to have detached homes. High population density, as in cities, is much easier to manage well with apartment buildings. In most other European countries (I don't have experience with the highest population density countries), there are family-sized apartment with 3, 4, and even 5 bedrooms regualyl available on the market for sale or rent. People don't expect to live in detached homes, even in cities. And newer apartment buildings can be built fairly self-sufficient with heat pumps and/or solar panels providing heat and electricity.
A family...growing up in a flat? The nearest park from where I live is probably over a mile away and I live in a small town. Given the current obesity problems in this country and the fact that children need to be able to play outside, even in these days with ever present threats from the motor car, I can't see how that would be a good development?
Vorpal wrote:As for the jobs... under current government policy it is a problem. I expect that the British economy can absorb the new immigrants without a big impact, but I'm sure that there will be some impact. I don't think it's fair to think of them as competing only for lower paid jobs, though. Many of the Syrian refugees are well-educated and come from middle class backgrounds. Many of them will prefer to come to England because they already speak English well. They will, I am sure, be able to contribute society as soon as they settle and deal with their most immediate problems.
I suppose it depends what you consider a refugee, let alone a well-educated, middle class one. If you consider the mainly young men who are roaming across Europe in search of the country providing the greatest benefits (it seems very few want to stay in Eastern Europe), throwing stones at police because they are denied entry and haven't stopped at the first safe country, leaving massive amounts of detritus behind them, raping young women in shelters, not drinking water or eating food that has a red cross on it, climbing through the windows of trains especially put on for them, when they could wait in a queue and get through the doors...if you consider these people refugees, middle class or educated, then I think we are working from different definitions.

The Syrians that come here will sequester themselves, their children and their culture away from the rest of us, as others from their religion have successfully done for the past 40 years and more. I have higher hopes for Eastern Europeans, that their children will for all intents and purposes become as British as anyone else, but immigrants are not immigrants, each bring their own culture and problems and some will cling to the culture of the motherland more than they will embrace that of their new country. We as a country are highly civilised, which it took a long time and a lot of effort to arrive at, because we have lived comfortably in practically a monoculture for some time, we don't understand multiculturalism and the sectarian dangers it brings. Yet, to suggest that it is anything but enriching, is to be a terrific racist, apparently (which shows how little, mostly through learned guilt for things they have not done, British people feel for their culture these days).

In 50 years (perhaps as little as 30) this country will not resemble the one it does today, those with old soft British values and culture will be few and far between and a new, emboldened culture, informed by the harder, more aggressive and cut throat atmospheres of the countries many immigrants claim to have wanted to escape from will prevail. Just look at the Scandanavian countries, if anything Sweden is more progressive and civilised than we are, but that only works if everyone subscribes to the same values. The Swedish, like much of Europe, are not replacing themselves with respect to birth rate, so they are being replaced by people who are Swedish in name, but not in nature. Sweden will become a foreign country and the UK will follow it.

I probably won't write too much more on the subject, unless Vorpal can say that the whole thread will not be deleted under any circumstance. I hope that others can be civil, if they want to disagree and hope my opinion (or others like it) isn't considered worthy of deletion, just because it is a dissenting (and therefore unwelcome) view these days.

User avatar
Paulatic
Posts: 4277
Joined: 2 Feb 2014, 1:03pm
Location: 24 Hours from Lands End

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby Paulatic » 18 Oct 2015, 10:09am

Young@Heart wrote:I just had a look at population density for Scotland, where 85% of the country has a population density of <20 people per square mile.


There's a good reason for that

Speaking as someone who lived for 30 yrs at 850' above sea level. It's hard.
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/

Young@Heart
Posts: 117
Joined: 13 Oct 2015, 11:43am
Location: Carlisle

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby Young@Heart » 18 Oct 2015, 10:30am

Many of the above knee jerk, unthought out opinions above were given by Australia in 1938/39 when they were asked to take 800,000 European Jews. The excuses got traction and as a result they only took 5000, when the country was in dire need of one millin + immigrant working population, to support it's burgeoning economic growth. Look how that turned out. 6 million gassed to death.

Britain is in fair part responsible for the misery and conflict in the far east and we must shoulder a fair responsibility for the fall out and the refugees fleeing, often for their lives from these regions.

Lest history, as it often does, repeats itself...
Last edited by Young@Heart on 18 Oct 2015, 10:34am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
al_yrpal
Posts: 7849
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: Cully
Contact:

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby al_yrpal » 18 Oct 2015, 10:32am

England is certainly now overpopulated in terms of housing and infrastructure. The roads groan as do the railways, the NHS struggles people cant get their kids to the schools of choice in many places. Our kids and grandkids stuggle to buy a home of their own because of the housing shortage largely caused by 3 million or more net immigrants in five years.Official figures are bunk.

Most of us want a home with a small garden to enjoy, we arent a nation of flat dwellers. We want to own not rent. My family generations back fought (and some died) to keep us free and we worked to build our country into what it is today with all it faults. We can accept some immigrants but the majority of us dont want any more than the numbers who emigrate. That way we can gradually correct the problems of overcrowding we suffer. An Oz points system sounds the fairest way to say who comes here and should include those from the EU. The overseas aid budget needs more careful management to see that it stops lining pockets of despots and unfriendly countries.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17384
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Is Britain full?

Postby Vorpal » 18 Oct 2015, 10:33am

Freddie wrote: A family...growing up in a flat? The nearest park from where I live is probably over a mile away and I live in a small town. Given the current obesity problems in this country and the fact that children need to be able to play outside, even in these days with ever present threats from the motor car, I can't see how that would be a good development?
Well, people manage it in other countries. Most apartment complexes I've seen in other European countries have play areas. In a few countries, they cannot get planning permision, unless a devleopment includes places for children to play.

Freddie wrote: I suppose it depends what you consider a refugee, let alone a well-educated, middle class one. If you consider the mainly young men who are roaming across Europe in search of the country providing the greatest benefits (it seems very few want to stay in Eastern Europe), throwing stones at police because they are denied entry and haven't stopped at the first safe country, leaving massive amounts of detritus behind them, raping young women in shelters, not drinking water or eating food that has a red cross on it, climbing through the windows of trains especially put on for them, when they could wait in a queue and get through the doors...if you consider these people refugees, middle class or educated, then I think we are working from different definitions.

Or perhaps we just read different papers :shock:


Freddie wrote:The Syrians that come here will sequester themselves, their children and their culture away from the rest of us, as others from their religion have successfully done for the past 40 years and more. I have higher hopes for Eastern Europeans, that their children will for all intents and purposes become as British as anyone else, but immigrants are not immigrants, each bring their own culture and problems and some will cling to the culture of the motherland more than they will embrace that of their new country. We as a country are highly civilised, which it took a long time and a lot of effort to arrive at, because we have lived comfortably in practically a monoculture for some time, we don't understand multiculturalism and the sectarian dangers it brings. Yet, to suggest that it is anything but enriching, is to be a terrific racist, apparently (which shows how little, mostly through learned guilt for things they have not done, British people feel for their culture these days).

I don't deny that immigration of all sorts brings problems as well as benefits. The problem comes when we overlook one for the other. the problems are solvable, but not if we ignore them.

Freddie wrote: In 50 years (perhaps as little as 30) this country will not resemble the one it does today, those with old soft British values and culture will be few and far between and a new, emboldened culture, informed by the harder, more aggressive and cut throat atmospheres of the countries many immigrants claim to have wanted to escape from will prevail. Just look at the Scandanavian countries, if anything Sweden is more progressive and civilised than we are, but that only works if everyone subscribes to the same values. The Swedish, like much of Europe, are not replacing themselves with respect to birth rate, so they are being replaced by people who are Swedish in name, but not in nature. Sweden will become a foreign country and the UK will follow it.

The world won't resemble the one it does today, and I don't think that we can expect it to. I hope that we can make the world a better place for everyone to live it. Sweden doesn't resemble the country that it did 30 years ago. They have already accepted many immigrants and refugees. And that hasn't come without problems. But people who become Swedish citizens are just as much Swedish as those who were born there, wherever they have come from, whatever other languages they speak. How far back shall you go to define someone as 'Swedish'? Or 'British'? WWII? 3 generations? 5 generations? What about people whose families left Britain a couple of generations ago and want to come back? What about people whose families immigrated to Britain in the 19th century? Or the 18th century? If you go back far enough, almost all of us are of immigrant descent. Britain likes to claim immigrants who do well in the world, even to the point of (supposedly) seeking out good athletes who want to immigrate http://www.rferl.org/content/athletes-s ... 45792.html


Freddie wrote:I probably won't write too much more on the subject, unless Vorpal can say that the whole thread will not be deleted under any circumstance. I hope that others can be civil, if they want to disagree and hope my opinion (or others like it) isn't considered worthy of deletion, just because it is a dissenting (and therefore unwelcome) view these days.

I can't promise it won't be deleted, but as long as discussion remains civil, and mods don't have to do too much work to keep it that way, the thread will remain. I would not personally remove a thread, or even a post just because I disagreed with the opinions expressed. I might do so, if the opinions were not expressed in a civil manner.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom