I don't like the glass fullness expression. In my mind, whether a glass is half empty or full, depends on the action it is being subjected to. For example, when you are drinking from a glass, you would properly say it is half empty because the action is to empty the glass. If you are at the bar and it is being filled with Guinness, then it may be said to be half full.
So it is with immigration and resources. Immigrants both consume resources, but they can also be productive. If I am not responsible for meeting their resource consumption, then I face no financial cost. If however immigrants are productive, it may mean I can enjoy access to more goods and services, perhaps I can have a vital operation or even more customers for my business. It won't cost me anything to enjoy these benefits, unless I am forced to pay for the resources they use.
In terms of a housing shortage Gavin, can you please point out where it is? If I wanted to move to anywhere in the UK, I would be able to find fairly easily properties for sale, or to rent. The limiting factor would be the cost and practicality of the choice. Meeting costs is related to what we earn (in the absense of state subsidies), which is normally related to our productivity. Therefore, it is restrictions on productivity which would be the limiting factor on housing availability, not the number of people.
I have throughout these posts refered to immigrants who are independent - and I mean those whose earnings from their productive efforts are such that they are not prevented from meeting their own housing needs. I have said where such independence can be achieved, then no arbitrary restrictions should be placed on their coming here as this would be harmful to us.
Are you seriously saying we should prevent such immigrants from coming here *because* they may be more valuable to us than some British people who are less skilled and less productive? Shouldn't you instead be working on the fact that our public education system, which costs tens of billions, is failing to give our kids the skills they need to achieve independence when they grow up?
You should read Atlas Shrugged Gavin, and then form an opinion.
"One cannot simply leave it to the individual to build housing for his own benefit with total disregard to the effect that this will have on his neighbours or the environment. That, however, seems to be where your philosophy that it is the individual's responsibility to find housing would lead. It would be a disaster."
Gavin - there are landowners in this country. There is the recognition of property rights in this country. What I am calling for would not result in a free for all. People would have to purchase land, or enter into a contract with the landowner to allow them rights of use (which both parties enter into voluntarily). They would then do whatever they wanted within the limits of their own property. This does not mean they can destroy the environment (apart from on their own land), or ruin the property of their neighbours - as this would be an act in violation of someone else's property rights. Such a violation would be dealt with through legal process.
It would also mean for instance, the disastrous affair at Dale Farm wouldn't have occurred - saving us millions. So what if a bunch of people are choosing to live on land that they own. Part of it was officially for use as a scrap yard or something - and nimbyists are complaining because they would prefer to live alongside broken up cars than people. That's the sort of incongruous values we don't need to protect.
In answer to your question:
"Just to ask the simple question again, Jono - do you now accept (as you appear to do from your numerical example) that the majority of the pressure to build new housing in this country is coming from immigration, not from natural growth of the population?"
No. The pressure on housing as I have explained is due to a lack of independence. This is due to reasons of productivity. The unemployed or underremployed are the cause of the pressure on housing (which is primarily a pressure on low cost housing), and they are a mix of immigrants and existing residents. I don't have the figures as to the mix - but the point is it is productivity which is the cause of the pressure. Is UK productivity low? Go and check the figures and you may be surprised.