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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
The Great Immigration Scandal
The Great Immigration Scandal

When Home Office immigration caseworker Steve Moxon was sacked for blowing the whistle on what he said was widespread abuse of the government's managed migration policy, he was denounced by many as being a xenophobic agitator.

Two years on and after a host of admissions of failure from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) his views are increasingly being accepted and his original exposť is now seen by many as prophetic.

In a revised an updated second edition of his book The Great Immigration Scandal, Steve Moxon - who has appeared on and reported for Newsnight about immigration - assesses the interim developments and explores possible resolutions.

The Great Immigration Scandal is out now, published by Imprint Academic.

Read the extract below and leave your comments and reviews here.

By Steve Moxon

The mother of all messes

Understanding the origin of the astonishing attitude of the political classes is a key to understanding what has gone wrong with the IND and with the Home Office as a whole, and why it is that John Reid can openly slap down his own department as 'dysfunctional' and 'not fit for purpose' and be largely correct. It is increasingly recognised that the origins of the Home Office's woes go far back, albeit appallingly exacerbated by New Labour's cavalier attitude to immigration levels, and its news management 'target culture' hold over the civil service. The question of the cause of the great immigration scandal is sometimes posed as a choice between:

(a) The deliberate (but carefully concealed) policy of ex-socialist internationalists to undermine traditional English culture and nationhood (hence the enthusiasm for the EU).
(b) The control of inflation by importing cheap labour, thereby overcoming Labour's historic record of economic incompetence.
(c) The incapacity of Whitehall to deliver on policy issues (or to organise a proverbial p***-** in a brewery).

Well it's a bit of each and it's also more complicated than that, not least in that all three are linked. Recent years have witnessed the appointment in high places of those whose politics accords with our Left-orientated political masters; who might be considered good at radical thinking but are useless at radical action: certainly not the sort of drastic remedies required for the practical running of a large organisation that is drifting toward the rocks.* Compounding this is the creaking old style of public administration, overwhelmed by the demands of the modern world - hardly unforeseeable when you consider how senior civil servants are selected and rewarded. How does Oxbridge brilliance in the classics provide a remotely adequate test of the managerial skills needed for policy delivery? Many Sir Humphreys have no practical experience at all, having been fast-tracked straight from the elite universities. It is well-known in the senior civil service that the management skills needed to deliver services at the coal-face don't tend to be rewarded, just as academics are not valued for their teaching ability. An internal civil service staff survey found that in the Home Office just six percent of staff thought that poor performance was dealt with effectively. A major IPPR (Institute of Public Policy Research) report in August 2006 found a dire problem across the civil service in the absence of external public accountability and effective performance management.

There are also major problems endemic in civil service (and particularly in Home Office) culture that are the same as those that bedevil individuals within the political classes generally - and I don't mean merely the prioritizing of presentation over content. There is a chasm between themselves and ordinary people; a complete failure to understand how ordinary people live their lives. Specifically there is the leftist do-gooder's inability to grasp the central concept of 'the tragedy of the commons'. There is also a much more serious chasm in the stance of 'political correctness fascism': the great backlash against ordinary people by the political Left that leads to absurdities such as the assumption of the inalienable entitlement of overseas nationals to settle here taking precedence over the rights and interests of British citizens. It is convenient to mask utter failure with the great imperative of the day - 'equal opportunities and diversity' (EO&D). The Home Office, being the lead department in government in this regard, has disappeared down a blind alley, treating EO&D as an end in itself and a raison d'etre for its existence. The joke recently circulating is that the whole department is being run and staffed as if full of 1970s sociology graduates. It is in a very real sense a retreat from not just commercial reality but from all reality.

*At the same time the politicians in charge of departments the size of the largest companies (the NHS is the second largest employer in the world) are former college lecturers, trade union officials, policy wonks, publicists and lawyers: people hopelessly out of their depth when it comes to running anything. It's very hard to find a senior Labour politician who has ever held down a proper job.


There is a more down-to-earth problem that will ultimately kill off immigration lunacy. Currently we are passing up the key benefit of a country that has matured demographically. Stabilised or lower rates of reproduction and an ageing population are an opportunity rather than a problem. Especially from a 'green' perspective if we are to have any sort of sustainable future, but in general from a quality-of-life perspective, this should be cause for celebration. Reduced population is the result of collective will: it is an outcome that at root we all, whether consciously or unconsciously, desire; albeit that it may be defensive. It is anything but some kind of decline that we need a policy to reverse. To try to do so will simply cause people to behave in the same way but more so. We have to adapt whether we want to or not. We should be sharing the experience of several countries on the continent of the pay-off of moving towards a high wage economy that in particular boosts the pay of the lower paid; but because of immigration we're experiencing the exact reverse. The competition from mainly unskilled labour is severely widening inequalities. The danger this poses is the removal of the last vestiges of incentives to work for large swathes of the former working classes.

So ultimately the politics resolves to economics and this will decisively entrench opposition to mass immigration by the bulk of the population, who will continue to move in the opposite direction to the cosmopolitan convergence of the major parties. The corrosion of trust in mainstream politics will leave democracy an irrelevant rusting hulk, open to whatever predatory shoal happens to be passing. Who knows where we may end up from there? As Frank Field put it recently:

Let us rewind the cameras to before the last election. The parties are about to issue their manifestos. What would have been the reaction if Tony Blair had included the following passage in Labour's manifesto?

'We intend to pursue an open borders policy. We will welcome all comers from the new EU accession countries. We intend to allow unlimited access to our labour market even if other European countries refuse to open their borders. We know that this policy will depress wages, make it difficult for students to find holiday jobs while ensuring that it is impossible to move one million people from incapacity benefit into work and persuade an additional 600,000 single parents to take jobs. Yet we believe the gains outweigh the losses.'

There would have been uproar.

The question, of course, is how we can continue to call ourselves a democracy in the light of such mendacity. The majority will never share the identification of the political class as citizens of Europe or the world. We are more concerned with where we hail from, where our families reside, and (at a push) our country; an experience of life as necessarily grounded in community - 'social cohesiveness' in the lingo. The elite wants no community with us, but instead a world for itself that is both separate from and at the apex of the country the rest of us inhabit. They will not win, human nature will. And human nature will always insist that community is something we cannot do without.

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