Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Archimedes Principle

Landlords of pubs in Britain have long been aware that, if you try and put more than a pint of beer into a pint pot, it creates a mess. And upsets the local regulars who find their elbows getting soggy as they lean on the bar.
Archimedes had, of course, found out something similar many years before although he favoured bath water as a medium for experiment, finding that a foreign body or bodies, displaces the stuff that was there originally.
“Eureka,” he cried, and I had always assumed that this was a well know phenomena.
Judging by the British government's reaction to almost unchecked immigration into that fair isle, they've never watched a pint pot overflow nor have they heard of Archimedes.
Britain is a small island, land is at a premium and even if the natives aren't especially fecund, it would seem reasonable to allocate what space, work and benefits there are to them.
When the European Union consisted of states whose economic position was basically on a par, the idea of freedom of movement to work was a fine idea.
With the acceptance of less wealthy states, there was bound to be an efflux from the poorer to the richer. And who's to blame them?
But most of the European nations foresaw the consequences and introduced regulations to curb rampant immigration.
Not so the British who welcome all and sundry with open arms and, according to recent reports, often prefer to give jobs to those other than of British ethnicity. Of course, if you can get in illegally, so much the better, since you can avoid all those irritating bureaucratic regulations such as paying tax, and probably can get accommodation and public assistance into the bargain.
All nations require a degree of immigration to survive. London's East Enders are largely descended from Russian, German and other European émigrés who fled to Britain in the 19th. Century (my maternal great great grandfather was one).
But they were a small percentage of those that now arrive in the islands daily by bus, Eurostar or the underside of long distance lorries.
Britain has the least porous of all borders of EU nations yet seems incapable of protecting the interests of its own citizens.
Winston Churchill once warned of the perils of unchecked immigration from Britain's former colonies. He was denounced as being racist – but he wasn't. Just prescient. A glance at the make-up of the population of Britain's gaols should surely prove his point.
But there is good news for those of us who have to visit from time to time. The influx of cheap labour from Eastern Europe has created a distinct improvement in service in bars and restaurants in London. Their English might not be up to speed, but then neither is that of most of the English I hear, but they seem a good deal more cheerful and hard working than many of the ethnic variety.
So by all means let them stay!


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