But today, a different argument was offered by Nigel Farrage of UKIP when he said:
"I'd rather be poorer with fewer migrants"
“If you said to me, would I like to see over the next ten years a further five million people come in to Britain and if that happened we’d all be slightly richer, I’d say, I’d rather we weren’t slightly richer, and I’d rather we had communities that were united and where young unemployed British people had a realistic chance of getting a job.This is a different approach from that of most mainstream politicians, who automatically assume everybody wants more money and base all their actions on that assumption. But being better off economically is not the same thing as being better off personally, and during my lifetime, there have been occasions when I felt quite well off, although financially I was almost stony broke. Politicians generally think that money is the solution to everything, whereas "Quality of Living" to most people is defined by much more than money. Politicians can't understand the concept that it is possible to be happier with less money.
“I think the social side of this matters more than pure market economics.”
A friend of mine is an accountant and worked for one of the top city firms when he was younger, no doubt earning the high salary that such firms pay. But now he is working in the west country for a small local accounting partnership, certainly earning far less than he could have done in the city, and yet he is far more content with life. Why? Well he can jump in his car and be at work within 15 minutes or so and not face an hour or more commuting each way. He can afford a home which is probably comparable with that which he would have been able to afford near London, but at considerably less cost. There is not the hassle of clients as with city firms, nor does he come home late each evening as a result of having to work late. In exchange for money, he has a family life, fresh air, along with countryside views and walks; both he and his family are able to lead less pressurised lives and have time to engage in other activities.
This illustrates the very point which Nigel Farage is making, that probably most of us would be quite content not to be slightly richer if it meant we could cut back on immigration, especially as, unlike my friend, they have never had the extra riches in the first place.
Nobody has ever asked the British people what they want, politicians always assume it is money or state provided services. Nigel Farage appears to be the first politician to question this assumption.