The UK government wants migrants to spend at least five years living in rural parts of the country, as a way to combat depopulation and “replenish” aging communities.
Migrants to Western countries like the UK usually prefer to settle in urban areas, leading the government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to believe special measures are needed to ensure rural areas do not miss out on the “benefits of diversity”.
These special measures were set out in the MAC’s new annual report published at the beginning of December. The measures are aimed, in particular, at contributing to the government’s bizarrely monikered “levelling-up agenda”, described as a “moral, social and economic programme for the whole of government” to “spread opportunity more equally across the UK”.
Rural areas such as Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are among the poorest in northern Europe, as well as being home to older populations. Increases in the proportion of people over 65 in rural areas are driven in part by internal migration from cities. Places like London and Birmingham have seen net outflows of over-65s in recent years, and a net influx of younger people.
The Great ‘Replenishment’.
A similar scheme has been mooted by the devolved Scottish government, with the nation expected to witness a particularly acute decline in its rural demographics in coming decades. The MAC claims that although the demographics of regions like Scotland and Wales are a priority, rural areas across the entire UK could use more migrants.
Professor Brian Bell, who chairs the committee, says migrants could fill jobs in sectors like agriculture, fishing, and hospitality, many of which are caused by younger people moving to cities. To facilitate this, they suggest even lower skill requirements for visas than already exist.
“You would essentially have a rule that said you can employ workers in those rural areas with a lower skill requirement than the normal route,” Bell said. “Agriculture and fisheries are obviously big employers in various rural communities and then hospitality as well. Many areas in these areas will rely on hospitality, so you might be talking about bar staff, waiting staff, cleaning staff, that kind of thing. If you’re going to have a rural pilot, it needs to have a more liberal policy than the skilled worker route, or else what’s the point because the skilled worker route already exists.”
The MAC also reckons that migrants on new, rural visas should be tied to the countryside for a period of around five years, until they have won the right to settle permanently. After this period, they would be free to move where they chose.
Canada has used similar incentives to attract migrants to rural areas.
In 2016, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, said his government needed to do more to encourage migrants to settle outside of major cities like Toronto and Vancouver. “There’s a significant feeling that Canada does need more immigrants, partly because we have an aging population, and so we need more young blood to keep our economies going,” he said. That year, the country’s Atlantic provinces announced a pilot program to do just that, as part of their “Atlantic Growth Strategy”. The program has been hailed as a success for retaining migrants in their new rural communities.
Both Canada and the UK have seen unprecedented levels of immigration in recent years. In July, the country’s Office for National Statistics announced that annual net migration into the UK had reached a whopping new record of 504,000, compared to the circa 300,000 per year which spurred on the Brexit referendum. In the late 90s, net migration was lower than 50,000 a year.
The news that rural areas will now be forcibly diversified should leave many, if not all, Conservative Party voters wondering why on Earth they ever voted for the party in the first instance. What difference would it have made if they’d voted Labour instead? If anything, they might feel better – or less worse – about the current situation. Yes, they’d still have to face record immigration and forced diversification, but at least they wouldn’t have a dagger in their backs.
Truth is, the Conservative government, like countless governments across the West, left and “right”, is determined to continue to use immigration as a tool of social engineering, regardless of what the electorate says. One of Tony Blair’s advisors famously admitted that the 12 years of mass immigration under the last Labour government were a deliberate policy designed to “rub the right’s nose in diversity” and change the country irretrievably. Now the “right” is rubbing even harder, and the country is changing faster than ever.
The euphemistic language of “replenishing” local communities in order to “level them up” can’t disguise the brutally obvious fact that the British government is choosing to replace its own citizens in their communities with people from other countries. Pro-natal policies like those adopted in Hungary, where Victor Orban’s government has introduced tax cuts and loan forgiveness to encourage native population growth, are never considered. Why not?
Belief in any kind of deliberate planning – sometimes referred to as “the Great Replacement” – to use migrants to replace native populations excites vicious denunciations and cries of “conspiracy theory!” especially from the left, even as evidence of its very real nature continues to mount. Outside Hungary, pushback has been sporadic and largely uncoordinated, with the exception of the Brexit vote and Eric Zemmour’s recent candidacy for the French presidential election. At the head of his newly formed “Reconquest” party, Zemmour made demographic change a central plank of his campaign platform. In an electrifying announcement speech, in which he extolled the virtues of the French, their history and culture, he addressed the camera directly and said, “we will not be replaced”.
The fantasy of total Western self-effacement is now being given powerful fuel by climate change. In her new book, Nomad Century, which is being given plentiful media coverage, Gaia Vince claims that more or less the entire population of the Third World should be deliberately relocated to the West in advance of climate change making large swathes of the planet uninhabitable. This “planned and deliberate migration of a kind humanity has never before undertaken” would require the creation of new megacities across the Global North, the adoption of a global plant-based “sustainable” diet, and the dissolution of all existing forms of identity and political affiliation.
Vince is far from coy about what this would mean for the current inhabitants of the West, but she reassures the reader not to worry. “[T]he pale skin of Europeans is very recent in human evolutionary history. The original Americans, Europeans and Britons were dark-skinned until their land was colonized by pale-skinned Eurasian steppe people some 5,000 years ago in Europe, and by their descendants more recently from the sixteenth century in the Americas.” “Pale-skinned” Europeans are just a passing thing.
While Vince’s plan may never actually materialize in the form she advocates, there can be little doubt that climate change will be used as a justification for massively increased migration to the West. In a landmark judgment in 2020, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that a state cannot send migrants home if they are deemed to be at risk from the effects of climate change there. This is a clear precedent for making climate change a cast-iron reason for migration to the West from virtually anywhere else in the world. The recent call for “climate reparations” from developing nations, and the snivelling acquiescence of our leaders, shows that our elected representatives have chosen – again, without consulting us – to accept collective guilt on our behalf. Punishment will follow.
Call it what you will – the Great Replacement or now the Great Replenishment – that thing that definitely isn’t supposed to be happening definitely is.