Yesterday it was reported that a number of local authority chiefs had condemned the Government’s immigration figures, saying high and uncounted numbers of new residents were putting too much strain on services. I’m currently writing a book about the various changes that have occurred over the past thirty years in my own corner of South East London. During my research I interviewed a local GP, who works as part of a practice serving the whole area. He told me that the number of patients registered had increased from around 12,000 in the year 2000
to over 20,000 in 2008. An astonishing rise.
As David Goodhart pointed out in Prospect magazine a few years ago, mass immigration has profound consequences for the welfare state, not least that it could break the all-important notion of communality at its base. Of course, Goodhart, hardly a man of the Right, was roundly leapt upon by the usual suspects. He was right, of course; the people who feel strongest about the uses of welfare now are for the most part the very people it was introduced to help.