Reverse Brexit, put EU’s managed migration policies centre stage


Reverse Brexit, put centre stage EU’s managed migration policies

Guardian Letters

Wed 12 2018

• As a staunch supporter of a final vote, with the hope of a remain but reform victory, I was alarmed by Polly Toynbee’s red line that supporting “curbing” EU immigration leaves only the option of crashing out with no deal (This cowardly blunder may have saved us all from Brexit, 11 December). To ensure this Continue reading

A left-wing Brexit is an oxymoron


Colin Hines – A left-wing Brexit is an oxymoron

October 3, 2018 EU politicsEU-InstitutionsNational Politics


Colin Hines is a staunch supporter of the United Kingdom remaining in the European Union, but he also argues that the EU has to be reformed to stop the increasing disaffection and the rise of the political Right using this discontent to win voters. As Continue reading

Amending the EU’s Four Freedoms – the only way to see off Europe’s extreme right

Amending the EU’s Four Freedoms – the only way to see off Europe’s extreme right

New Statesman 25th July 2018-07-27

Fight the right

John Lloyd’s chillingly comprehensive analysis of the rapid rise to power of Europe’s extreme right failed to offer proposals about how to reverse this trend (“The new Illiberal International”, 20 July What fuels this rise is the EU establishment’s Continue reading

Future of politics will be dominated by migration

The title off this posting and of the Guardian letter below is something that I have been warning about for many years and was the reason for writing the first two chapters of my book ‘Progressive Protectionism’ and my joint report with Jonathon Porritt: ‘The Progressive Case for Taking Control of EU Immigration – and Avoiding Brexit in the Process’ Continue reading

No effective opposition to right wing populism if ‘alt-liberals’ continue to call stricter immigration controls racist. Progressives’ focus on migrants’ interests must widen to also consider those in recipient countries and the countries they leave.

New Statesman Correspondence 1-7 June 2018


Taking on the populists

John Gray (Cover Story 25th May is absolutely right that the ‘alt-liberal’ view that the majority’s support for stricter immigration controls is racist is the main reason there is no effective opposition to the rise of right wing populism in the US and Europe.

There is a migration policy for recipient countries that is democratic, progressive and internationalist. This is one that meets the concerns of the majority with stricter border controls, but which also grasps the urgency of seeing all foreign policy, aid and trade agreements in terms of helping minimise migration globally. Progressive policies could range from increasing living standards for the poorer section of society through  fair taxation, limiting arms sales, decarbonising economies and reducing resource use.

Colin Hines

Twickenham, Greater London


Another key blind spot of the progressives’ view of migration (that was cut from the letter above) is their invariable focus on the desires of migrants, rather than also considering the interests of the majority in recipient countries or the economic and social effects on the countries they leave. Yet it is the former which is shaping the inadequately challenged rise of populism.


Why do progressives get it so wrong on migration

Guardian Letters

Monday 21st May 2018

• The usually excellent Aditya Chakrabortty’s outrage over the immigration debate conflates the duplicitous use of this issue by leading Brexiteers with a misinterpretation of what really concerns people. Accusing the vast majority who want controls on immigration as being anti-migrant and racist is unacceptable. As is denying that the rapid increase in immigration has made it more difficult to cope with stresses on social infrastructure and that it will continue to do so even when austerity is swept away. Also worrying was the anti-internationalist acceptance of continuing to take Indian doctors and skilled eastern Europeans “educated at someone else’s expense”.

For the left to regain credibility it must rethink migration and make a progressive case for limiting “new, large-scale, permanent migration”. New makes it clear that curbing future levels of migration involves no changes for those already legally resident in the country, such as the Windrush generation and those from the EU. Permanent has the caveat that foreign students are welcome to study here and workers fill vacancies here, but only for a specified period. Crucially, the UK must train its own population to prevent the shameful long-term theft of doctors and nurses from the poorer counties which originally paid for their education. There will also be the need for some exceptions, such as genuine marriage partners, civil partners or reunited family members.
Colin Hines
East Twickenham, Middlesex

Observer Letters

Sun 20 May 2018

The immigration conundrum

Nick Cohen is right that those who oppose a hard Brexit need to say what they would do about immigration (“We recognise the grievances of the left behind. But we have no solutions”, Comment). Central to this has to be the acceptance of the crashingly obvious – that most people want stricter controls over immigration. This could be achieved in a progressive manner if the goal were one of minimising “new, large-scale, permanent migration”.

What makes this approach progressive is that “new” makes it clear that curbing immigration involves no changes for those already legally resident, such as the Windrush generation and those from the EU. “Permanent” has the caveat that foreign students are welcome to study here and that workers fill vacancies here, but only for a specified period. Crucially, the recipient countries must rapidly train enough doctors and nurses, for example, from their own population to prevent the shameful theft of such vital staff from the poorer countries that originally paid for their education. Given there is bound to be the need for some exceptional academics and wealth generators, as well as genuine marriage or civil partners or reunited family members to settle permanently, then their numbers might be roughly in balance with the numbers of people emigrating.
Colin Hines
East Twickenham

Bernie Sanders opposed open borders for immigration

Bernie Sanders opposed open borders for immigration

The ever supportive Brave New Europe website highlighted this 3 minute clip from an interview with Bernie Sanders where he made the same point made in Progressive Protectionism that open borders are a bosses’ charter, in this case giving the Koch brothers as an example.

Automation’s job threats compensated by the Green New Deal



Should we fear or embrace automation?  Colin Hines

Guardian Letters

Sat 4 May 2018 

• John Harris is right to say the left has articulated no comprehensive answer to the existing and future threats posed to employment by automation. Key to this must be prioritising labour-intensive sectors that are difficult to automate, such as health, education and elderly care. Equally key is a climate-friendly infrastructure programme. Crucial to this will be to make the UK’s 30m buildings super-energy efficient, thus dramatically reducing energy bills, fuel poverty and greenhouse gas emissions. The housing crisis should be tackled by building affordable, highly insulated new homes, predominantly on brown field sites, and local public transport links need to be rebuilt.

This massive work programme would provide a secure career structure for decades, and would involve a large number of apprenticeships and professional jobs, as well as opportunities for the self-employed and local small businesses. It can be paid for by “people’s quantitative easing”, from fairer taxes, local authority bonds and green ISAs. Since such savers are likely to be predominantly older, this would also be a necessary exercise in intergenerational solidarity.
Colin Hines
Convenor, Green New Deal Group

Marx today would tell IMF to support protectionism

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Alarm bells ringing at the IMF

Protectionism is a logical response to national insecurity, but it doesn’t have to be left to the right, suggests Colin Hines

Guardian Letters

Saturday 21st Apr 2018


There is a link between your warning that the International Monetary Fund needs to change policy to ensure that the benefits of global economic activities are shared by the majority (Editorial, 20 April) and Yanis Varoufakis’s gung-ho ode to The Communist Manifesto (The long read, 20 April). Continue reading

Labour,Unions,NGOs-stop listing Brexit’s threats, reverse it instead

Labour,Unions,NGOs-stop listing Brexit’s threats, reverse it instead


Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to countenance a peoples’ poll on the Brexit deal is thought to be based on two major concerns – one his desire to respect the majority’s views on the need to control migration of EU citizen’s, which he appears to think can’t be adequately done if we remain. Secondly his adherence of the oft stated ‘fact’ that the EU has become a neoliberal, pro austerity bloc, unlikely to change. Therefore in an unspecified manner never detailed, we will somehow or other be better off outside it.

Continue reading