The Mayor of London says that the city might not prosper without immigration


The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has stated that the city will not survive economically without immigration but added that all immigrants should be encouraged to integrate into British society once they arrive. Speaking at an investment conference, Johnson, who has graduated classics, compared the current state of London with Sparta and Athens.

It is well known that Athens was open to newcomers during the antiquity while Sparta was a closed society. According to Johnson, it is better to follow the example of Athens. ‘Look at Athens and Sparta’ he said; ‘Athens was an open city and Sparta kicked people out. Go and look at the ruins of Athens and Sparta now and ask which of the two cities made the greatest contribution to civilization’.

With his opinion, the mayor of London seems to be a direct challenge to the current ruling conservative and Prime Minister David Cameron, who promised to reduce the net immigration to tens of thousands people per year. It is very unlikely however that the targets will be achieved.

The reason for this is that according to the National Office of Statistics most of the immigration is coming from the European Union and therefore it cannot be reduced since EU citizens have unlimited right to live and work in the UK. Mr Johnson said the ‘tens of thousands’ pledge ‘was a policy failure of politicians, saying they wanted to control immigration which they couldn’t do because of free movement’.

The criticism of Johnson seems to at least partly confirm the rumours that Johnson will run against Cameron on the next parliamentary elections in 2015. Mr Johnson and Mr Cameron were at school together at the famous EtonCollege and later studied at OxfordUniversity.

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