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Famously an aide to Tony Blair said that the purpose of immigration was to fundamentally change the nature of British society and to "rub the Right's nose" into diversity. That is, change the voting base of Britain so that the Left would have a permanent monopoly on power.

So some Upper Middle class Leftist (who of course does not even remotely have to fear the immigrants that he wants to import given his likely residence in a leafy and safe, that is, White, suburb) in the LRB (famous for its endorsement of Palestinian terrorism and its interesting, dare I say nuanced, line on Islamist violence) preaches the benefits of more people from the Third World? Well knock me down with a feather. Who would have guessed that someone who loathed his own society would be happy to see it destroyed?

Apart from a few accusations of racism, mostly implied, what does this man say? Well he wilfully conflates the sort of highly skilled, highly educated immigration you see in a place like London - and yes, it is no doubt good for you to live near a lot of Japanese investment bankers - with the sort of low skilled, mostly unemployed, high crime communities like the Somalis and perhaps the most famous of all, the Muslims of places like Bradford. The former may be a benefit while the latter may not. He should at least try to look at the social problems of those horrible suburbs full of oiks where he would never set foot.

Still his standard of proof is wonderful:

A friend in Bradford – a professional, leftish woman of Pakistani origin, working in education – told me that what he has to say is ‘unscientific’, based on ‘cheap anecdotes and quite frankly baloney’.

Well that convinces me!

Almost despite himself, Goodhart ends up painting a relatively optimistic picture. ‘We have come a long way in a short time,’ he writes. ‘A country that less than a hundred years ago believed that it was its right to control the destiny of many “lesser breeds” has now invited them across its threshold and learned to treat them more or less as equals.’

Which is nice but misses the point. We can all agree racism is horrible and should go. White communities have largely taken that to heart and rejected racism. But the important question is whether those immigrant communities are willing to forgive and forget. Black America clearly is not. Asian Britain appears unwilling to either. It is all very well and nice to pretend we can all love each other, but if one side is determined not to, we can't.

Denying those minority communities any agency, refusing to accept they can have their own opinions on the subject but are just a blank canvas on which liberals can project whatever ideas they like, is absurd.

Jonathan Portes quotes Goodhart

"To have millions of long-standing residents sitting at home on benefit while poorer foreigners come in and take the jobs that they should be doing makes no sense for the country as a whole; it creates a kind of Saudi Arabianisation of the labour market. The number of British citizens on out of work benefits has fallen from a peak of about six million in the early 1990s but even in the long boom it never fell below 4.5 million."

and then says that this must be false because of the "lump of labor fallacy". Portes appears to know that in a welfare state things aren't so simple but clings to the fantasy that the welfare state can be abolished (or severely restricted) so that Open Borders will be viable.

Goodhart knows better.

"So some Upper Middle class Leftist (who of course does not even remotely have to fear the immigrants that he wants to import given his likely residence in a leafy and safe, that is, White, suburb)"

BTW, where do you live?

"Which is nice but misses the point. We can all agree racism is horrible and should go. White communities have largely taken that to heart and rejected racism. But the important question is whether those immigrant communities are willing to forgive and forget. Black America clearly is not."

Do you have any suggestions about what, as a Black American, I should forgive and forget? Obviously, all of Black America should be listening to you! Do you even have an idea of what "Black America" is? Here's a hint: It's probably a little more than the canvas on which you project your own absurd ideas. On the other hand, I did not have an opportunity to attend the "Black America" meeting last week. I'm sure you attended and even recorded the minutes!


Black Americans should have some appreciation of the impact of immigration policies dream up by people living in " leafy and safe, that is, White, suburb(s)". They don't ravage the lives of the advocates (who generally profit from Open Borders) but those who actually need jobs to live and support their families.

See the work of the "Black American Leadership Alliance Mobilizing Against Immigration Reform". The first two paragraphs of their Open Letter follow.

"Dear Members of Congress,

We, the undersigned members of the Black American Leadership Alliance respectfully address this letter to Members of the Senate Gang of Eight, the Congressional Black Caucus, and to Senators from those states having the highest rates of black unemployment. We write in our capacity as leaders of the Black American Leadership Alliance, a Washington, DC-based organization whose primary mission is to further the economic and social interests of the black community. We write to express our serious concerns with Senate Bill 744. Given the fact that more than 13% of all blacks are unemployed - nearly double that of the national average, it is our position that each Member of Congress must consider the disastrous effects that Senate Bill 744 would have on low skill workers of all races, while paying particular attention to the potential harm to African Americans. Credible research indicates that black workers will suffer the greatest harm if this legislation were to be passed. We are asking that you oppose Senate Bill S.744 because of the dramatic effect it will have on the availability of employment for African American workers.

Many studies have shown that black Americans are disproportionately harmed by mass immigration and amnesty. Most policy makers who favor the legalization of nearly 11 million aliens fail to acknowledge that decades of high immigration levels has caused unemployment to rise significantly, most particularly among black Americans. They further fail to consider how current plans to add 33 million more legal workers within ten years will have an enormously disastrous effect on our nation’s jobs outlook. With respect to African Americans, well respected researchers from some of America’s most venerable universities have found undeniable links tying large-scale immigration in the U.S. to declining rates of employment for America’s black citizens. The National Bureau of Economic Research recently issued a report asserting that 40 percent of the decline in employment rates for low skilled black men in recent decades was due to immigration. Studies by Borjas and Katz, professors from Harvard University, found that immigration reduced the earnings of certain native born laborers by as much as eight percent and other demographic groups by 2 to 4 percent."


To a shocking extent, the Open Borders crowd amounts to Latinos asserting their superiority to blacks. Are these really the folks you want to get in bed with?

From "The Unexploded Grenade" (

"So what was Aide 1 talking about? It’s hard not to notice that his dismissive attitude (and his reference to underclass-style behaviors of those who “don’t want to do it”) corresponds to a common attitude among Latinos toward African Americans. I’m not the only one who suspects that this–and not “complementarity”–is the unexploded grenade buried in the Lizza transcript."

Dear Peter Schaeffer,

I'm a nice white lady who works in a large, famous black neighborhood that shall be nameless. All day I see young black (African-American, so called) lounging around during what are customarily called working hours. The only employed black men in the nabe are Africans, by which I mean guys named Mamadou and Adimola. These work as managers in the local chain stores. Meanwhile every bit of manual labor in my large Eastern seabord city is being done by brown guys speaking Spanish. Including obvious city contract work.

But what do I know, I'm just one person, seeing things in her worm's eye way. Still, it's nice to be not heard.

"1. Jonathan Portes on British immigration."

I continue to be fascinated by how articles on the economic effect of immigration like this don't mention the terms "cost of living," "rent," "housing," "home" and so forth. Isn't it obvious that this issue isn't just wages, it's wages and expenses.

Tory Cabinet minister David Willetts explained the simple economic logic back in his book "The Pinch" in 2009:

Willetts nicely lays out one reason why the Blair-Brown Bubble in London did so little to alleviate unemployment among young Englishmen in blue collar cities like Liverpool (just as the Bush Bubble in Las Vegas didn't help American workers in Cleveland, as I pointed out in on July 7, 2006). He writes: "Quite simply, high house prices were one factor sucking in immigrants."

Willetts observes, "The young man from Liverpool does not see why he should live in more cramped conditions than his family back in Liverpool occupy". In contrast, the immigrant crams into a house with many others from his country. "His willingness to be under-housed gives him a labour market advantage and it is greater if house prices are higher". In turn, sucking in immigrants creates a vicious cycle, driving up housing prices, which drives out more natives.

Moreover, remittances sent home from London to Liverpool buy a lot less in Liverpool than remittances sent home to a poor country:

"So it is not that our Liverpudlian is somehow a bad person compared to our Pole. It is that he or she cannot capture similar benefits for their family by under-housing themselves in London."

Willetts sums up:

"The crucial proposition therefore underlying the economics of immigration in Britain is as follows. The larger the proportion of earnings consumed by housing costs, the greater the benefits of under-housing and the greater the price advantage of immigrant labour. It was not despite the high cost of housing that immigrants came to the house price hotspots in Britain to make a living—it was because of them."

He goes on to add:

"People are not willing to accept under-housing for ever. It may be bearable if you are single and in your twenties or early thirties. … But it is much harder having a baby in circumstances like that."

Most discussion of immigration and immigration policies misses the point. Of course some immigrants create negative externalities, and of course the perpetrators must be made to pay, perhaps, on average, by being denied admission.

However, for a country like the US of A [and Canada, I might add], with lots of land and lots of capital, to have a quite restrictive immigration policy is incomprehensible.

Do you know where your great grandparents were at 10 PM 100 years ago today? What university degrees did they have?

"Do you know where your great grandparents were at 10 PM 100 years ago today?"

Have you noticed how most advocates of massive immigration are living in the past? The problem with this obsession with immigraiton of 100 years ago is that time only flows in one direction, so "ourselves and our posterity" always end up living in the future.

Everyone lives in the past. Notice how often Americans bring up the founding fathers and what they had intended?


"Everyone lives in the past"

The Open Borders is utterly dominated by Statue of Liberty nostalgia, tenement slum nostalgia, resentments about discrimination in 1834, 1877, 1920, etc.

The restrictionist community is focused on concerns about the future. A single quote from Samuel Huntington should suffice.

"The persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages. Unlike past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other Latinos have not assimilated into mainstream U.S. culture, forming instead their own political and linguistic enclaves -- from Los Angeles to Miami -- and rejecting the Anglo-Protestant values that built the American dream. The United States ignores this challenge at its peril."

Big difference.

I just think it's ironic to flexibly invoke concerns about the future when convenient and at other times a pressing loyalty to doing exactly what the founding fathers must have intended.


Neither the immigration restriction community nor the Open Borders crowd invoke the founding fathers all that much. They (the founding fathers) didn't write that much about immigration. What they did say can be used to support restriction even though the founding father generally favored the immigrants America was actually getting (highly skilled back then). Quote from Jefferson

"The first consideration in immigration is the welfare of the receiving nation. In a new government based on principles unfamiliar to the rest of the world and resting on the sentiments of the people themselves, the influx of a large number of new immigrants unaccustomed to the government of a free society could be detrimental to that society. Immigration, therefore, must be approached carefully and cautiously."

Peter, Huntington is wrong about one thing - previous immigrants did not assimilate all that well into mainstream American culture. As can be seen by the fact that they pushed the Democrats to the Left and continued to vote for them in large numbers. Ethnic communities in the north provided the basis of a series of Democrat victories from FDR onwards. It took Reagan to win over those "Reagan Democrats" (ie usually White Catholics who did not like many of the policies of the ever-Leftward-moving Democratic Party), even if it was temporary.

However notice the Republicans have not been able to win over the richest community in America - the Jewish American vote goes solidly Left. It does not matter of Obama is the most pro-Palestinian President since, well, FDR probably. It does not matter that they vote against their economic interests. None of that is important. Their solid dislike of mainstream WASP America is such they will not vote Republican.

The flow of Hispanic voters and the higher African American birth rate simply makes the extinction of the WASP vote, the Classical Liberal small government politics that has always been a consequence of that culture and hence the economic growth that goes with it inevitable. But it was already suffering from the Irish, the Italians and the Jewish communities' lack of support. The difference is one of degree - the Irish were fairly close to the WASPs and so the mainstream was not changed that much, Italians a little more, Jews even more still, Hispanics? Hard to say but probably a fair bit.

Rahul, you think it is ironic to look at policies and examine the consequences?

"Rahul, you think it is ironic to look at policies and examine the consequences?"

No. What I think is ironic, is to do it selectively.

e.g. We ought to have guns because someone long ago said so. Gay marriage is wrong because that's against original definitions. etc.

There's friction between utilitarianism and literal constitutionalism and opportunism in switching between these ideologies conveniently.

What I also think is wrong is to kick away the proverbial ladder after escaping.


I think you are confusing legal analysis with policy recommendations. When deciding if something is constitutional, you have to determine what the constitution says about it, and using standard methods of interpretation, you have to consider what the original drafters meant when they wrote it. That's basic and unavoidable.

Sometimes in policy matters, people also quote the founders because they were great men and smart, in an appeal to authority. Not necessarily because the present is just like the past.

So Much For Subtlety,

"Peter, Huntington is wrong about one thing – previous immigrants did not assimilate all that well into mainstream American culture"

Let me offer a few comments here. First, prior waves did assimilate reasonably well into mainstream culture. Second, the past is prologue and provides no assurances about the future.

The history of assimilation can be looked at several ways, all of them revealing.

1. Perhaps the single most important point is that mass immigration was ended around WWI. The restrictive legislation of 1917 (the literacy act), 1921, and 1924 (Johnson-Reed) ended the great wave of mass immigration. Immigration continued on a much smaller scale and the composition was shifted. Because the new laws were based on national quotas, some countries were de-facto unrestricted (the UK, Ireland, etc.) while other reached their annual quotas rather quickly.

The immigration restrictions had several positive effects. Wages and working conditions improved for immigrants over time. Since most immigrants worked in manufacturing, wage gains in manufacturing were particularly positive. Sectoral differentiation (by accident) favored immigrants in this period. Manufacturing was booming and farming was in decline. Since the immigrant population was predominantly urban and employed in goods production, this was a plus.

Living conditions for immigrants clearly improved after mass immigration ended. The horrific tenements slums of the 1900 period were largely empty by the 1930s. Without new massive waves of immigrants, the prior cohorts were able to move up the social ladder into better housing (among other things).

The immigration restrictions of the WWI period clearly aided assimilation in practical ways (waves and living conditions). However, they also sent a very important message to the immigrant communities. America rejected 'diversity' and demanded that the immigrants embrace America rather than the other way around. There points were were well understood back then and it was widely understood that the immigration cutoff (substantial reduction actually) had accelerated assimilation.

2. The America of the 1920s and later was vastly better suited to assimilating immigrants than our nation today. We had a booming job market, no welfare state, middle-class unions (starting in the 1930s), English imposition, disciplined education, no multiculturalism, no bilingualism, no victimization ideology, intact families, rigorous law enforcement, etc. Beyond that, 'Americanization' (assimilation) was a widely embraced ideal and promoted heavily. Now we have the pernicious and very dominant ideology of 'diversity'.

3. In spite of much more favorable circumstances, assimilation took time. Some groups assimilated much faster than others, but three generations were typically enough to achieve earnings party with old stock natives. The mythology is that one generation was sufficient. It wasn't. Even well after WWII, ethnic differences in earnings, social status, etc. were measurable.

The political assimilation of 'Great Wave' immigrants was relatively slow but did occur. In this context, I will use the Catholic vote as a proxy for 'Great Wave' immigrants. By some measures, 1928 marks the zenith of Catholic alienation from the political mainstream. Al Smith got 90% of the Catholic vote (apparently) and was still easily defeated by Hoover. Indeed, he failed to carry his home state of New York (he was a former governor or New York). By the time JFK was elected, Catholic support for the Democratic party had fallen markedly. He won the Catholic vote, but by a notably smaller margin than Al Smith. A poll of Fordham University students in 1960 showed that most of the Catholic students favored Nixon over Kennedy (the Jewish students at Fordham favored Kennedy). Students at other Catholic schools favored Nixon as well.

Perhaps more relevantly, Eisenhower captured a majority of the Catholic vote in 1956. In subsequent presidential elections, Republicans were able to easily capture the Catholic vote (if they could win at all).

It's worth noting that in an earlier era, ethnics were polled separately and political differences by ethnicity were material. By the 1980s, this practice had essentially disappeared because ethnic voting patterns were no longer different enough to measure.

However, voting patterns are not the most important aspect of assimilation in my opinion. The assimilation of American values is far more important. Once again, studies show that 'Great Wave' immigrants embraced the values of old-stock natives (personal responsibility, individual effort, hard work and education as the keys to advancement, national loyalty, limited government, etc.). Basically, 'Anglo-conformity' worked.

It is wrong to suggest that Jewish Americans don't like WASP America. More like they resent it. The American Jewish community remains (privately) obsessed with the efforts of WASPs to exclude Jews from elite society. The fact that many of these efforts were more than 100 years ago doesn't appear to matter. Nor does the fact that even with Jewish quotas in place, Jews were vastly overrepresented at Harvard and other elite schools.

The bigger picture, that America has been a wonderfully hospitable nation with immense opportunities for personal and professional advancement is subordinated to resentment of country club prejudice in the 1920s. As a consequence, American Jews define themselves as outsiders and vote accordingly.

As these notes should indicate, America was once a much better place for immigrants and their families. The historic advantages of assimilation, 'Americanization', Anglo-conformity, immigration restrictions, and a strong economy are all gone (along with quite a few other historic virtues). It's also true that the immigrants were better historically. They were much more likely to be skilled, educated, etc. The 'Great Wave' immigrants has much lower skill levels and the turn of American society against immigration was largely a consequence. Contemporary mythology emphasizes the role of nativism in the restrictions of the 1920s. Declining skill levels provides a different and more germane explanation.

I don't know who started the "We're a nation of immigrants" cheer (I think I would tar and feather him), but being something once doesn't make it perpetually good. We don't buy that argument that anything else that has been good should be repeated over and over. For example, saying we're a nation of married couples so every married person should remarry a different person every year for the next 50 years. Absurd isn't it? Or we're a nation of dog owners so every household should fill their home with dogs.


Conventionally, the phrase "A Nation of Immigrants" is derived from the title of a book JFK wrote in 1958. However, that is simply wrong. The phrase was widely used in the 19th century. I can find references as far back as 1873 and perhaps 1869.

The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, which, last I checked, is at least nominally still in effect. In contrast, Emma Lazarus's poem isn't, technically, the law of the land.

Peter, Thank you. I knew someone here would know,

I am sorry but is your argument really that because Canada and America have created wealthy prosperous countries that happen to be well endowed with space they have some sort of moral obligation to f**k it all up and become the same sort of Third World sh!thole India, say, is or the Congo always has been?

You know, I have to say I do not find that convincing.

My great-grandparents were not sharing their homeland with Islamist terrorists. Nor were their daughtered being groomed by gangs of rapists. But having sacrificed and worked damn hard all their lives to make their families and countries wealthy, I do not see why I should p!ss it all away and not leave my great-grand-children something even slightly like it.


"My great-grandparents were not sharing their homeland with Islamist terrorists"

Your argument is both stronger and weaker than you might realize. Your great-grandparents were certainly sharing their homeland with terrorist. Anarchists were a plague back then killing one president (William McKinley) and trying to kill another (FDR). They were responsible for numerous other crimes (Sacco and Vanzetti) and the Wall Street bombing of 1920.

Mainstream hostility towards radical immigrants was immense and did play a role in restricting immigration around WWI. Economic considerations were almost certainly a larger consideration. However, there was an anti-terrorist political component as well.

Positing that the anarchists of 1880-1936 formed a threat as great as Islam forms today is a red herring. It simply does not hold up under scrutiny.

The anarchists were fringe characters, poorly organized (they were, after all, anarchists!), woefully underfunded, and - most importanly - pathetically small in number and devoid of a mass following: the anarchists were, in short, a handful of passionate, almost entirely penurious crackpots. Islam, on the other hand, has opportunistically, by its tactics of Da'wa and jihad, pursued its rule-the-world doctrine for 1400 years and has taken over considerable swathes of the globe's landmasses. Further, Islam consists of a billion and half devotées, Islamic Da'wa and jihad are amply funded by Gulf potentates and by contributions from members of the umma wherever they reside; and although Islam suffers somewhat from its sectarian divides, those major sects are populated by vast numbers of adherents, and each one of these major sects has a long history of successful Da'wa and jihad and of very few, and then only scant, losses of territory to non-Moslem irredentism.

Moreover, there was no Anarchist Brotherhood and the anarchists never had a coherent aim, organization, or plan, or money; while today there is a Moslem Brotherhood (whose aim of destroying the U.S. from within by exploiting the U.S.'s own institutions) whose operatives have penetrated into employment in the highest councils of U.S. law enforcement, judicial, military, intelligence, and policymaking bodies - and the Moslem Brotherhood is amply funded.

Atop all of that, no anarchists ever came to rule a nation-state, while Moslems have long ruled many nation-states, most of whose jurisprudence and many of whose constitutions are predicated upon sharia law. Even in Moslem-ruled states in which sharia is not officially enforced, or is only selectively enforced as a matter of expedience, nominally "secular" Moslem states often wink at application and enforcement of sharia - especially against resident infidels and minority Moslem sects - by their populations.

The key fact here is that almost none of the non-Moslem states which have has allowed Moslems to insinuate themselves into its population has survived as a non-Moslem state: once Moslems arrive they do not assimilate and they always cavil, connive, and scheme to bring down the state and replace it with a sharia state. There's an old 1950's pop song that inadvertently tells this truth: "You know it's Istanbul not Constantinople."


I wasn't comparing anarchism and radical Islam as threats to our civilization. They are, as you point out, vastly different. The best analogy to radical Islam might be Communism, which had vast and technologically advanced nations at its disposal. However, as sources of terrorism in the United States they are / were more comparable. The obvious exception was 9-11 which killed far more people than all of the anarchist attacks combined. The 9-11 killers were foreigners of course (not even immigrants). However, some of the anarchist killers were foreigners (visitors rather than immigrants) as well.

However, my real point wasn't to compare the threat of radical Islam and anarchism, but the political response. Some fraction of the impetus for immigration restriction around WWI was vast public opposition to anarchism / anarchists (almost all of whom were foreigners). For similar reasons, people have similar concerns about radical Islamists entering the U.S. today.

Peter S:

"The American Jewish community remains (privately) obsessed with the efforts of WASPs to exclude Jews from elite society."

I really love everything you say about immigration but I have to call BS on this. Maybe Bloomberg with his $26BN is privately obsessed with not getting into some exclusive WASPy men's club. Maybe the Temple Emanuel 5th Avenue Jews are. But frankly, I think you are 25 years out of date on that one.

I think most Jews are middle class people who are privately obsessed about their stock portfolios, the sinking value of their homes, the instability of the country in general, and well, stuff like that.

How big was the welfare state 100 years ago?

What was the demand for unskilled labour compared to today?


The U.S. and Canada don't have 'quite restrictive immigration' policies. Immigrants as a percentage of population are at or near historic highs. Worse, the lack of of 'quite restrictive immigration' has meant a massive influx of folks who impose 'negative externalities'.

The entire Amnesty debate in D.C. is about rewarding people who have cheated our immigration system with a winning lottery ticket (legal status) in spite of the fact that illegals are the folks most likely to impose 'negative externalities' once they get legal status.

Where were my ancestors 100 years ago? Living in the USA. At least one had a degree in Electrical Engineering.

From the article on British immigration:
in other words, to keep out Romanians or Bulgarians

We all know what "Romanians" and "Bulgarians" really mean, right?

I doubt if even a majority of a high IQ group like Tyler's American readers have a clue.

You have to admit, it's weird. "What, Bulgarians?! They can't be that much of a problem. I mean, I only know about Bulgaria from the board game Diplomacy, and that second James Bond movie...oh, that reminds me....right, now I'm getting it."

Well, the Roma and Sinti from Germany, Slovakia, Italy, and Hungary have been free to immigrate to the UK for years.

So just maybe, when the British talk about something like Polish plumbers, they aren't speaking in code words that Prof. Cowen's readers wouldn't understand?

Because at least in the EU country I live in, neither Romanian not Bulgarian is a code word for anything - but then, the British are not famous for their racially accurate classification, as none of my actual neighbors are Huns, either.

You've got your stereotyper wrong; it was Kaiser Bill who said that the Germans were to act like Huns.


The Brendel piece is fascinating!

That said, I was surprised the see Chopin's importance acknowledged several times. Everybody with a passing familiarity with Brendel knows of his near-obsession with Liszt. How strange, then, that it is almost impossible to find even a trace of Chopin in Brendel's life.

So, Jonathan Portes turns out to be the guy who wrote the notorious secret report for the Labour government in 2000 that opened the immigration floodgates in Britain in order to "rub the noses" of the Tories in diversity.

How much of the current mania to demonize immigration skeptics is simply an unwillingness to admit, "I was wrong"?

"Civil servant Jonathan Portes, who wrote the immigration report, was a speechwriter for Gordon Brown and is now a senior aide to Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell."

lol, could this guy be any more evil? Literally electing a new people because he despises his countrymen...

He is saying the exact droll he said in 2000 as if nothing had changed. Because nothing has. His ideology is rock solid.

I found it interesting how words like "riot" or "cost of living" or "home" were not to be found in the T-shirt cannon piece.

I would like to re-assure MR readers that they can read Knausgaard's second book: he is of pure stock, he is enraged by men engaged in childcare.

On the off chance any gifted young pianists are reading this, Brendel's essay is very good (can't imagine why H.R. Haggin criticized him so much), but he is flat out wrong in saying that Chopin was the only important piano composer to "specialize" in the piano, and quoting Wagner as praising Mozart's "chromaticism" seems disrespectful and a good editor would have excised that quote.

People are obessively focusing on dweebs like Porter because that's all the breadcrumbs they get.
People like Porter, or for that matter Rubio or his aides, do not set policy. They are merely the underlings of the system.

The people who set these policies are the elites. Most of whom are not in government. Big businessmen, media barons and kingmakers(Peter Mandelson is a British example of someone very well connected). Peter Sutherland is another of these elites who push for mass immigration in Europe.

Read Tony Blair's biography. Not because it is well-written(even for a ghost written book), but because it lays out how power actually works, unwillingly.
Throughout the book you rarely if ever see Blair tremble at the thought of public opinion.
The only thing he obsesses about is how the media baron's will like him. That's why he flew out to meet Murdoch way in advance of his first election and spent the next 10 years being in paranoia of how the Murdoch papers would treat him. That's why Gordon Brown lost the election, because the papers turned on him.
Brown was always more of a leftist in many ways than Blair. He was also an intellectual, an introvert, not a glib socialite like his predecessor.
(This part of the reason why Obama is disliked within democratic circles and the leftist media, they can't wait to get another extroverted Clinton who treats them all like friends).

If people like Murdoch or other media barons were against immigration, which they are not, then we wouldn't even know the name Portes.
Finally, if you look at the actual statistics, by the time he wrote his memo, the high levels of immigration were already reached. The only thing Labor did since then was basically maintain the levels. So the decision to have mass immigration was taken well before his memo. He is more of a stenographer than a policysetter.

But I guess it's a more comforting narrative of a lone operative influencing the government rather than the truth that it is wide establishment consent to a policy.
This is why Austerity was never reversed either, despite all the economic evidence early showing disaster.
Establishment consent. And by Establishment, most of that is not elected.

1. Jonathan Portes on British immigration.

Interestingly, another take on this geographical structure explaining poverty and productivity or accomplishment more among White Brits than presence of migrants, is that migrants might tend to look a lot better than they due to favorable geographical structure.

Which could argue for substitution of migrants with native workers, and help explain why the awfulness of living with migrants is repeatedly expressed, while being less prominent on nationally aggregated data.

I wonder if people like Portes would look into that?

@Peter Schaeffer June 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm
"It is wrong to suggest that Jewish Americans don’t like WASP America."

I think the evidence says that they do:

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