Soapbox Steve Hassall: Hard-working migrants' home countries are losing out
HISTORICALLY, the subject of immigration has been something of a taboo or a "no-go" area for political parties to discuss.
While the situation is ignored by our elected representatives, it is us, the general public, who have to suffer the consequences of their ignorance.
I find it mindful to comment that, while things are bad at the moment, the situation is about to become much worse.
On the January 1, 2014, all current immigration restrictions will be lifted for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens wanting to come to the UK, giving 29 million people the right to come to live, work and claim benefits here.
This at a time when the UK is in financial dire straits, when our schools, hospitals and GPs are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people wanting to use these services.
It will come as little surprise that this is a directive from the EU and the UK Government has absolutely no say in the matter.
However this is not the point I wish to make.
Mass, uncontrolled immigration is a real issue, although the members of the three old parties would like you to think otherwise and actually advocate more of the same.
It is not an issue of racism, neither is it an issue of being anti-EU to actually stand up and say "this isn't right and this isn't fair".
Our struggling services and benefits system cannot withstand a further influx of people but, with "gold plated" handouts on offer, who can blame them?
But let us focus on the bright, young, intelligent and hard working who may decide to come to the UK. Would it not be better for them to stay in their own country and help improve its fortunes?
Are we not doing a disservice to both our economy and the economy of the country from which an immigrant comes from by encouraging them away from helping their fellow countrymen out of poverty?
Draining a country of its great and good can never be the answer to the problem.
Romania and, in particular, Bulgaria stand as two of Europe's poorest countries and the milk and honey that the UK foolishly gives out indiscriminately must be and will be a huge attraction but, until common sense prevails and we say "enough is enough", both our and their prospects will never improve, in fact, they will only get worse.