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How London Can Stay World-Leading City

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PeterJ
PeterJ  
4/29/2013 10:08:20 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Immigration
I do wonder how immigration reform will progress in the Congress this time around. I remain optimistic, though. Back to Arizona, we've seen many sides of this issue from Senator McCain, although this time aorund I think he brings a more measured approach to the debate.

richheap
richheap  
4/29/2013 4:13:34 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Immigration
Thanks Mary. Very interesting. That never reached the mainstream news on this side of the Atlantic.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
4/29/2013 4:00:16 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Immigration
Awhile back, the US state of Arizona passed some of the toughest immigration laws ever introduced in the country. The controversy has been enormous and ongoing, as people are raided and deported in record numbers.

As you say, Rich, I'm not holding my breath for a non-hysterical debate in this regard.

richheap
richheap  
4/29/2013 3:30:53 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Immigration
Weirdness in Arizona!? Please explain: I'm not from your country.

And yes, it is amazing when you look at the land use statistics. From the way some people talk, you'd think we're bursting at the seams. In fact, there's plenty of land out there to put up homes for everyone who needs them, including the people who want to live in the rural communities where they grew up.

But the immigration debate isn't really about physical space. It's about the pressure that a large amount of immigration puts on housing, public services and jobs. Immigration of the scale we experienced between 2001 and 2011 (which I wrote about before Christmas) is manageable when the economy is growing, but a lot more difficult to cope with in the sort of prolonged downturn we're in now.

My gut says we need more controls over immigration, but I also think multiculturalism is a good thing, shaping the kind of diverse country I want to live in. So I don't know what the right answer is. What we really need a non-hysterical debate, but I won't hold my breath.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
4/29/2013 12:39:13 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Immigration
It's amazing to me that Britain remains so relatively sparsely populated for such an old European nation.

Then again, Canada has managed to remain sparsely populated too, even as immigration has flooded the US borders.

There are lots of problems that go with immigration, but perhaps even more that follow so-called immigration reform, such as the weirdness that went down in Arizona not long ago.

richheap
richheap  
4/29/2013 11:00:23 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Immigration
Indeed there is. We want to attract talented people, but we also need to develop the homes and infrastructure they'll require. If that doesn't happen then we'll make London's existing problems worse.

Immigration's always a thorny topic here, as we're a small country and some people argue that we can't cope with mass immigration. Some people say things like 'Britain is full', even though only about 2% of the land mass of the country has been built on; and that London's far less densely populated than the likes of New York and Paris. Even so, David Cameron is talking tough, and we're also seeing the rise of anti-immigration party UKIP.

The current debate is whether Bulgarians and Romanians will flock to the UK in 2014 when EU labour market restrictions are lifted. Some fear they will, but there are other stories saying most Bulgarians and Romanians just aren't interested in coming to the UK.

This is a bit of background in case there's anyone out there wondering why immigration was a big talking point at a property conference.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
4/29/2013 10:39:42 AM
User Rank Staff
Immigration
Great post, Rich. When you mentioned immigration in the first paragraph, I was thinking immediately of unbridled immigration that was straining city resources. But later on, you mention the need to keep the window of opportunity open for talented immigrants. There's a balancing act in there, I think.

richheap
richheap  
4/27/2013 3:14:19 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Hurricane
Re: natural disasters. The other relevant point raised was the importance to London of a second Thames Barrier: if a business has to move from New York because a natural disaster affected its HQ there, it's hardly likely to move to London if it perceives there is a risk of a natural disaster there too.

Toby
Toby  
4/27/2013 1:52:08 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Hurricane
My recent visit to NYC and NJ (Hoboken, LBI) revealed the damage Sandy wrought in many different communities. That the downtown business community was so badly hit was a shock to me, and more so to them. I think while London may be challenged in rail investments, the new cycle plans are a ray of hope.

richheap
richheap  
4/26/2013 12:46:27 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Must not have been paying attn!
This is what London talks about when New York isn't listening!

Right, now where did I put that body armour?

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