Dear Editor, It is natural that everybody, especially in countries suffering absolute poverty, should aim to improve the lot of themselves and their families.
Last week you printed two good articles on subjects briefly debated in the city council meeting – worklessness and Labour’s threat of extra housing on green belt land.
May I mention the elephant in the room that dares not speak its name?
A main cause of both problems is the huge influx of people coming into the city and their very high birth rate.
This increase not only puts pressure on employment and housing but also on education, health, social care and criminal and other services in addition to the costs of benefit payments.
We are having to expand schools (eg. Anderton J&I) where there is already barely space for a blade of grass.
Of course most people recognise the problem but dare not face it.
The problem is not limited to Birmingham. The UK is scheduled to receive another 10-20 million people. We live in a beautiful island but it is already desperately overcrowded and has limited natural resources and problems of assimilation. Our leaders need the courage to honestly recognise the problems of mass immigration and to reinvigorate effective measures to restrict it.
Over-population is also a world problem.
Our wonderful world has been remarkably resilient and mankind has been remarkably ingenious in creating ever greater wealth, however the ever-faster consumption of raw materials cannot continue indefinitely.
We all know about the depletion of the rain forests, the loss of wildlife habitat and the pollution of the seas as well as human malnourishment. World leaders need the courage to honestly recognise the problem of over population.
The recent summit in Rio failed to address this fundamental issue and failed to make much progress on sustainability targets.
As with the bankers the problem is not technical. In Birmingham, the UK and the world the problem is one of culture and moral courage to challenge the difficult.
Councillor James Hutchings