On June 23, England and its partner countries in the UK vote on whether to quit the European Union. For most who will vote LEAVE, the key issue is to take back control of our borders and end the flood tide of immigration. The great American writer Jack London spent months of the year 1902 in the poorer eastern neighbourhoods of the city which bears his name and wrote of his experiences in “People of the Abyss”. (You can listen to the audiobook on YouTube.) In the later years of the reign of Queen Victoria, the influx into east London of three hundred thousand immigrants from Germany, Poland and Russia reduced wages, miserably lowered working conditions, and led to foul and overcrowded housing. A people for whom life had always been a struggle were reduced to penury. For the capitalist class it was good news. Uncontrolled immigration has long been the most powerful weapon in the class struggle; it might be called a law of economic history. (American capitalists prayed for the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free to come and fill their sweatshops.) Karl Marx got a black eye when the Soviet Union collapsed, for all that he would have deplored the reality of the regime which trumpeted his name. We don’t hear much about the class war these days and poor relief (by whatever name) may have something to do with that. Moreover, educated people with non-manual jobs of diminishing reward are disinclined to see themselves as proletarians. The interests of each class within society are necessarily different and in a natural state of conflict. Class conflict is not dead and the old middle class are the victims in America and England. The median salary in the US has not risen for a generation (and by some measures has fallen) whilst remuneration of those at the top climbs to ever greater multiples of that of the average worker. Yes, the greatest weapon in the hands of the ruling classes is immigration -- driving down wages through competition whilst driving up rents through demand. The fall of middle class America has coincided with the arrival of fifty million hispanics. Can anyone believe this is a coincidence? In tiny beautiful England (a fraction smaller than Greece but with nearly five times the population) the sheer lack of space, and a desire to preserve our precious countryside, constrains housebuilding -- yet in my own town of Cheltenham the fastest rate of housebuilding in a century fails to keep pace with the influx of Polish immigrants. A young man of my own generation in unglamourous industrial employment could earn enough to support a wife and family, and the rent of a decent home might consume no more than 15% of his income. House ownership was not an unrealisable dream. Many a housewife had a part time job as much for interest and company as real need. Today, fifty years on, many married women must work full time not from any desire to do so but from necessity to pay the mortgage. For the majority of young people in England, who will never be able to afford to buy property except by parental or grandparental assistance (perhaps in the form of death), there is the prospect of seeing forty percent of their net income go in rent for the rest of their lives. More and more children live with their parents well into adulthood. Unconstrained immigration within the EU worsens the shortage of housing and drives down the remuneration of labour towards Eastern European levels. Our TV and radio programmes repeated address the question of whether membership of the EU is “good for business” or “good for the economy”. But neither business nor the economy is a living breathing human being. Employers are people; workers are people. I watch and listen in vain for someone to point out that their interests are not the same -- and meantime it is practically always the business owners who are interviewed. I think that kind of skews things against those who depend on selling their labour to earn a living -- maybe by enough to decide the outcome of the referendum.