There's been a lot of talk about illegal immigration into the UK, especially those crossing the channel in small boats.
This, of course, makes me wonder. Why are they vigorously waving this bright red flag. Is there something they're trying to distract me from?
So I looked at some numbers. Year ending June 2022, the total long term immigration to the UK was 1064 thousand. In the year ending June 2020, it was 711 thousand.
The number of EU nationals has fallen from 312 thousand to 224 thousand. The number of British immigrating has risen from 90 to 135. The number of non-EU has risen from 309 to 704 thousand.
In other words, immigration has risen by 50%; immigration from non-EU by 128%
Illegals? 52 thousand in 2022. Cross channel in 2022? 46 thousand. Death by drowning in 2022? That's five. Not five thousand. Five.
So, the furore about cross channel illegal immigration does look like an attempt to distract from the huge rise in legal immigration from non-EU sources.
And where are they coming from? India, Poland, Pakistan are the top three.
We were promised by the Tories, a few years ago, that they would bring net migration down below 100,000 (2017 Tory manifesto, Theresa May). It is now 500,000. I think that they are trying to cover up their failure to reduce legal migration, by getting people steamed up about channel crossings, which are a tiny part of migration. It's the old "Look! A squirrel!" strategy.
Personally, I'm in favour of more people coming to the UK. My own grandparents were immigrants, from what is now Poland. We're short of young people in our labour force.
But I'm very much against this "Look! A squirrel!" strategy for covering up the failure of Tory policy.