Multicultural fear

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Michael Fry (Perspective, 8 November) is puzzled about the widespread opposition to high levels of immigration across Europe.

He points to the United States as a country enriched by migration while omitting to point out that it has a public set of beliefs based around patriotism, the work ethic, a dispersal of political power and the civic worth of religion which has enabled it to absorb so many immigrants.

European countries west of Russia, by contrast, are not just much smaller but are post- national, elitist, increasingly wedded to multiculturalism and disdainful of religion.

The economic arguments he advances for large-scale emigration are ones previously ­advanced by New Labour and ­allied think-tanks, ones which Ed ­Miliband is currently no longer making.

It would be interesting to hear Mr Fry expound on why growing immigration to Scotland is more likely to produce a benevolent American outcome than the troubled European one.

Usually, it is professional ­middle-class folk, perhaps not unlike Michael Fry, who benefit most of all from immigration, especially the type which depresses prices for labour-market services.

Nor do they usually find themselves living adjacent to the ghettos which, contrary to his claim, now do exist in Scotland.

Focused immigration providing skills that are in short supply is to be welcomed but the form seen in many parts of England is a recipe for the social segregation that now stalks many of its cities.

Advocating demographic transformation when there is growing evidence of the downside is also a form of class war since lofty Hampstead and Edinburgh New Town intellectuals are essentially asking the lower orders to put up with depressed wages, declining social services, and communities sometimes altered for the worse.

These are the downsides of globalisation which are never likely to affect Mr Fry unless he advocates a dispersal of immigrants out of inner-city areas.

(Prof) Tom Gallagher

University of Bradford

Bradford