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What is the left-wing position on immigration?


1:05 pm - September 4th 2009

by Carl Packman    


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Recently blogger Left Outside noted, in his entry on Dan Hannan’s praise for Enoch Powell, that:

Discussing immigration is difficult in this country, often it descends into one side calling the other racists. Or more commonly, a writer beginning a piece by stating that it is no longer possible to discuss immigration in this country, without being accused of being a racist. I don’t think that this is a particularly healthy way to conduct debate.

Not healthy indeed. But who is lagging behind? Dialogue on asylum, immigration, migration is very important, but little is said by the left on the subject other than to denigrate the position taken by the BNP.

But to leave a void instead of valid ideas, leaves the issue in the court of the far right and does nothing to counter the argument that the leftist attitude towards migration is anything other than mere contrarianism.

In today’s current political climate especially, there can only be one thing as bad as a policy where all immigration and asylum is curbed (more or less in line with how the BNP stand), and that is an open door policy. For this is the sort of argument sympathised by libertarians and hardcore free marketers of the Milton Friedman ilk who embrace a pick of the workforce for as little payment as possible, and a constant wave of unemployment just in case that cheap worker gets silly.

Another reason why the left needs its voice heard on immigration is because who a country accepts or denies as being legitimately in need of political asylum may be wrong.

Take homosexuals for example. Diane Taylor reported for The Guardian in August 2004 that following the murder of gay activist Brian Williamson a letter published in the Jamaica Observer the next day read, “To be gay in Jamaica is to be dead.” The article by Taylor further announced that Jamaica was on the British Home Office’s “safe country list” and applications of homosexuals were often dismissed unsympathetically – which paints a different picture than that the far right would have us believe about Britain’s so-called “open-door policy”.

Another example is the case of Pegah Emambakhsh, an Iranian lesbian who escaped Iranian prosecution against homosexuality, after her partner was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death by stoning. At first in 2007, her asylum demand was refused by the UK government, but after a concerted campaign she was granted asylum.

Illegal immigration, too, leaves wide open the opportunity for trafficking and exploitation of the type that occured in Morecambe Bay with the cockle pickers. This is not the reason why the BNP oppose illegal immigration, theirs is a whole host of nonsense such as preserving white identity, racial segregation and “flooding”.

A leftist opposition to a borderless country – against leftists who do support such a thing – seeks to disuade the opportunities for the unpalatable forces in the world to hijack and exploit people who are either escaping tyranny or seeking a better chance.

It needs to be made explicit that it is possible to embrace migratory travel and justice without appealing to the unpalatable argument that immigration is good because immigrants do the jobs natives wouldn’t want to, or that immigrants will work for less than natives do.

The notion that the left can pursue these opinions are temporarily lost, and should be found. Understandably it takes a brave contingent to start of such a debate, but hopefully such a day will present itself, it might even put the politics of immigration into a perspective that not only disects the nonsense peddled by the right and far right wing press, but also draws the dominance of the issue away from the far right, thereby disuading white working class voters away from the lies and race hate produced in the ranks of the BNP.

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Carl is a regular contributor. He is a policy and research analyst and he blogs at Though Cowards Flinch.
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Reader comments


In today’s current political climate especially, there can only be one thing as bad as a policy where all immigration and asylum is curbed (more or less in line with how the BNP stand), and that is an open door policy. For this is the sort of argument sympathised by libertarians and hardcore free marketers of the Milton Friedman ilk who embrace a pick of the workforce for as little payment as possible, and a constant wave of unemployment just in case that cheap worker gets silly.

And this is where all the left’s noble but clearly disingenuous talk about not letting ‘morally arbitrary’ factors impact life chances goes straight out the window. What could be more arbitrary than being born on one side of an imaginary line in the ground? Instead you prefer a half-hearted and vulgar national socialism dedicated to improving the lives of a select few in wealthy countries.

One comment in and we’ve already got a reference to ‘national socialism’.

Do we really need more evidence this subject can’t be discussed sensibly on the left?

I am not on the left (partly because I actually do believe in unrestricted immigration), but I – perhaps foolishly – meant national socialism in the literal sense of the words, i.e. socialism in one country for the benefit of workers in one country, rather than meaning to imply something akin to Nazism.

I read this post twice, and I’m still not exactly sure what that author’s view is.

I think the argument is that more lefties need to articulate a pro-immigration but anti-noborders position on migration which neuters a right-wing discourse on the subject.

If so, the idea that “starting” such a debate is “brave” is a nonsense. After all, that’s exactly the government’s approach. They’ve extolled the virtues of immigration and what it can do for the country whilst introducing ever-more-oppressive immigration controls in the hope that it will take the argument away from the Tories & the far-right. It hasn’t. It’s only emboldened the far-right and dragged public discourse further to the right.

And on the points about exploitation, if you have immigration controls then without a system of border controls resembling the USSR’s (and these days, probably even with them) you will always have “illegal” immigration, and if you have “illegal” immigration then exploitation will accompany it.

If we want to drag public discourse on immigration further to the left, it won’t be done by people attacking those on the left who are for open borders or no borders. If you don’t accept either of those positions, fine, but instead of attacking those of us who do, why not join with us in attacking those parts of the system of immigration controls that you do oppose.

Dan; I see myself more as a socialist who sees the function value of borders as a way of clarifying the existence of possible vulnerables (or homo sacer if you will) as opposed to ‘keeping people out’ so to speak.

timf; I hear what you say but I’d feel it more useful to attack both sides, since I think both open borders and closed borders are equally as extreme, in the existing political climate (by which I mean predominantly capital centered). Of course I see it as necessary to criticise portions of the left if I think they are damaging the overall structure of the left on issues such as immigration.

If you think those on the left who oppose immigration controls are capital-centred, you don’t really understand the position(s). Arguments about migrants propping up the economy and being willing to work in jobs others don’t want to do are not even close to being the fulcrum of our arguments. They are sometimes employed as an aside. And comparing us to extremists on the right who want to completely close off borders would be offensive if it wasn’t so ridiculous. It makes you look silly.

By all means disagree with us, but attacking the left to try and get the mainstream to take you more seriously is not a tactic befitting of serious people. It’s the kind of thing Compass do.

Where is the evidence that increased immigration leads to a long term decrease in real wages?

Libertarians favour immigration because it leads to more efficient outcomes (employees and employers have more options about who to work with). That doesn’t imply lower wages or fewer public services. In fact, I believe I saw a post on here a while back explaining that globalisation is by no means inconsistent with (efficiently run) welfare states. Anti-immigration conservatives, like MigrationWatch, are happy to jump on any trough in wage increases as evidence that immigration is keeping the working classes down, but are you guys aren’t in the a habit of taking those kind of claims at face value.

Of course, there are issues of social cohesion that surround immigration as well. But assuming communal rights don’t trump individual rights, I think it has yet to be demonstrated that immigration (in itself) systematically harms any particular set of people in the long term.

Why would there be a unified left-wing position on immigration? I’m slighty baffled. And @Dan, why can’t I be left-wing and in favour of open borders?

(Open borders) … is the sort of argument sympathised by libertarians and hardcore free marketers of the Milton Friedman ilk who embrace a pick of the workforce for as little payment as possible, and a constant wave of unemployment just in case that cheap worker gets silly.

Also sympathised by some on the left (like myself) for different reasons. Much as it may feel ideologically dirty, being in agreement with Mr. Friedman on one issue doesn’t (shocker) automatically make it wrong.

Packman:

Another reason why the left needs its voice heard on immigration is because who a country accepts or denies as being legitimately in need of political asylum may be wrong.

But hang on, immigration and asylum are two different issues: extending the criteria for granting asylum to include fear of persecution on the grounds of sexuality is a separate debate from one about the general levels of allowing migrants into the UK to live, work and settle. That latter debate may be difficult for the left partly because of the perniciousness of certain tropes used by anti-immigrastion groups and individuals, for example:

‘The boat is full’ (the idea that there is an optimum population size for the UK, that we know what it is, that anyone who disagrees is in favour of ‘everyone’ being allowed to come in; that governments are incapable of running the economy and the country to allow for population growth)

‘Capping’ (the idea that we can accurately predict how many immigrants the UK needs, allow that many people to migrate, and then stop, regardless of the kinds of people they are. This argument is always fun because the size of the cap always declines towards ‘none’ like Lear’s daughters haggling over the size of their father’s retinue)

‘Stop all immigration now!!!!!’ (this ignores the legal movement of people within the EU, so either it means no-one is allowed to migrate to the UK; or just the ones from outside the EU [sorry, USA] or it’s just code for all the non-white people, in which case it’s racist business as usual)

New Labour have not been averse to using dog-whistle tactics to shore up its ‘credibility’ on both immigration and asylum. On the other hand, the points system (however flawed) at least acts as a valve to determine a range of people that are allowed to migrate and not just a crude total (think taps or valves). After that, any economic, cultural or political benefits of immigration can be argued in both historical and contemporary terms.

This “let’s just talk about this without descending into accusations of racism” approach won’t work. There’s no need for borders. Why should we have to turn the world into a series of prison compounds and impose restrictions on how people come and go? Borders as they stand know are a fairly recent invention. As I understand it Victorians (if they could afford the fare, which was a big if) could pretty well come and go as they please.

It isn’t just a matter of “immigration”, although one of the problems here is that governments in every country insist that they have created an earthly paradise which foreigners will queue to get into. Britain’s a great example. Millions of British people have left over the years, many more than the number of people who have come here and yet we still hear about immigration being a problem.

There is no argument in favour of border controls that doesn’t take a racist viewpoint. If you insist that you are “having a mature debate about managed immigration,” then you are being racist and you should be ashamed of yourself.

12. Carl Packman

timf; no, I don’t think those on the left who oppose immigration controls are capital-centered, I think the current political climate is capital-centered, and this climate does not vindicate the left, so lets not get confused over this.

You also say;

“Arguments about migrants propping up the economy and being willing to work in jobs others don’t want to do are not even close to being the fulcrum of our arguments”

I’ve heard this argument a thousand times over, and it sticks to the back of my throat when I hear it, because it is no reasonable justification for migration. But if you don’t feel implicated by my arguments timf then notice that I’m rallying against the portion of the left who do use this, and in general the left, which I am a part of too, who if they are not ducking out of the immigration question, then their voices are not being made loud enough.

And @Dan, why can’t I be left-wing and in favour of open borders?

Sure you can, it’s just I have never met anyone on the left who takes opposition to migration controls with anything like the seriousness it deserves. By almost any measure, they are the biggest source of injustice in the world today – so it really irritates me when leftists who espouse principles that should put them on the right side of the argument proceed to neglect it, or even (like in this post) take the opposite view.

It seems to me that the immigration ‘debate’ is all about symptoms. A good left/internationalist approach would help to mitigate the reasons for economic migration so that there may be some form of naturally equilibrated migration that could only really be objected to by racists and xenophobes. My view, all other things being equal, is that people quite like living and working in the place they think of as home.

Address the reasons that people move, rather than attacking the people that do…

14. That is easier said than done. Countries with reasonably well developed systems of justice and a rule of law are fairly uncommon throughout history and even though we have many more these days, they are institutions that are notoriously difficult to transplant. They are also, I believe, a key reason that people immigrate from their homes.

16. Luis Enrique

Carl & others,

There’s a great book on immigration, available for free here with lots of ideas that might appeal to the left.

17. Michael Donnelly

May I argue that in case of the modernised ‘left’, it is the EU which serves as the barometer for immigration policy.

Hence the reason why Conservatives and neo-fascists on the right aim to not only close our border to immigration but sever the link to Brussels. Or in the right-wing governement of Italy’s case, pursue immigration by force, whilst remaining under the guise of the eurocratic.

Meanwhile, the European Union will continue to dictate policy by allowing certain new member states.

For example: the mass immigration of Polish and Bulgarian economic migrants to our shores was as a result of the EU given the green light to membership, which comes with certain benefits including easier migration between member states. The Home Office could declare a barrier to a particular mass migration from a country or countries, but nonetheless the final decisive factor in the success of that barrier lies with the elected and non-elected representatives of the 27 member states at EU HQ in Brussels.

To summarise, the right remains individualistic and petty when it comes to immigration. Whereas the left has engaged with modernism and realised thatr it need not have an individual national position on immigration, as it’s coalition in the EU will make it’s position clearer and more effective through collective ideology.

#12: “if you don’t feel implicated by my arguments timf then notice that I’m rallying against the portion of the left who do use this”

Fair enough, but in that case I think you’ve picked on a straw-man, as I don’t hear these arguments being made nearly as often in support of open borders as arguments from fundamental equality of people, or from humanitarian principles, or rights-based arguments, or from the solidarity of the working class/against exploitation.

In fact, the arguments you’ve identified are made more often by those who want a less brutal immigration system but which maintains some level of controls.

#13: “I have never met anyone on the left who takes opposition to migration controls with anything like the seriousness it deserves. By almost any measure, they are the biggest source of injustice in the world today”

Hi. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Tim; most people seem to think I’m reasonably left-wing. Other than electoral politics, migration is my biggest area of activism. (I also know plenty of people for whom that’s true who are also left-wing.) I’m not sure I quite agree immigration controls are the biggest source of injustice in the world (capitalism/the unequal distribution of wealth are certainly up there, for example!) but it’s amongst the runners, yes.

“Where is the evidence that increased immigration leads to a long term decrease in real wages?”

It doesn’t exist Nick. Won’t stop the anti-immigration lobby repeatedly shouting it though.

My position on immigration is that we should adopt an ‘innocent until proven guilty’ approach, which essentially means come in if you want – and we’ll only stop you/throw you out if we can prove that you being here would harm others. So basically anyone without a criminal record. I would, however, also keep restrictions on access to benefits – but to balance this out I would prosecute for incitment newspapers who asserted immigrants were being given benefits (i.e untrue journalism on the subject – something to bankrupt half of fleet street).

I commented on your interesting view at your own site, Carl. I can’t be arsed to repeat myself nothwithstanding the relevance of the debate, So I”ll repeat most of what I said:

I agree that the Left (and those styling themselves liberals) have pussyfooted around their position on immigration for too long, and have allowed the nonl-libertarian right to dominate the argument, to the extent that the UK has become a violent and intimidating place, if you’re not from here. We have a lot to answer for, therefore, and a lot to get right.

And as a self-styled left libertarian, I disagree with your conclusion that an open border policy is worse than the ’solutions’ proposed by the BNP, and by Hannan if he comes to have proper influence (and he may). As with Enoch Powell’s (anti-)immigration stance (referred to in Left Outside’s OP), it is predicated on the primacy of the nation state, rather than the liberty of the individual to do what they want as long as they do not hurt others. Sadly, I think the argument that advocating free migration is merely tto condone the free market is a cop out from the real challenge of allowing free movement of peoples and freedom to collective action (Polyani and all that).

I’m not suggesting that this is an easy political argument to win in the current environment, but I do think the Left has to get back to the basics of its political philosophy, accept that free movement and free association are sine qua non’s of socialism, and then go about working how we manage the process of international reform, and concomitant restructuring of power relations, to allow that to happen.

If you can be arsed, I wrote about these matters at utterly tedious length, in the context of this winter’s Convention on Modern Liberty, and it’s at http://www.bickerstafferecord.org.uk/?p=526. I may cheekily ask Matt at Bloggerscircle whether he’d signpost to it now, as not many people read it back then.

21. Donut Hinge Party

We’re moving into that murky puddle which will force us to define ‘the left’ again.

If we assume it consists of the following (which is what I signed up to).

1. The right for a man to swing his fist where he wishes is absolute until it meets the nose of another.
2. No child should be punished or detrimented by the actions of fortunes of their parents.
3. The greatest minds, hearts and souls can come from anywhere.
4. There is no such thing as a Lost Cause when it comes to people.
5. Collectivisation of essential services provides the infrastructure for an educated and healthy society and workforce.

Then we see that claims of “The Left” being opposed to immigration are farcical at best unless an individual is referring to Stalin’s view of “Socialism in one Country.”

10. redpesto. The UK and in particular , England is one of the most densely populated countries in the World. There is likely to be water shortages in SE England over few next few years. The cost of land makes infrastructure projects expensive to construct. Even in the last 15 years immigrant labour has reduced the rate of increase of the incomes unskilled and unskilled Britons. This has only increased the differential between labour and executive salaries. During a recessesion and in particular, the construction industry, the competition between immigrants and Britons for jobs is only likley to increase the eduction in salaries.
The left wing middle class humanities educated types who work for the government have more less ignored the need to ensure Britons have the education to enter high value industry. I cannot think of a single Labour politician who is a craftsman, technician, scientist or engineer, who has any significant industrial expertise.

Consequently, employers have welcomed immigrants which has undermined the ability of working class people to negotiate higher wages.
Therefore I do not see how immigration has benefitted the working and lower middle classes employed in industry or agriculture. Employers, the upper middle classes and upper classes have benefitted from cheaper labour.

“It needs to be made explicit that it is possible to embrace migratory travel and justice without appealing to the unpalatable argument that immigration is good because immigrants do the jobs natives wouldn’t want to, or that immigrants will work for less than natives do.”

There is another entirely decent leftish argument in favour of unrestricted immigration. I ascribe to it myself (although with reservations about immdiate access to welfare systems etc).

Marginal utility.

We all know very well that an extra £100 to a millionaire is not worth as much to him as the same amount is worth to someone who has £50. This is one of the arguments in favour of progressive taxation for example.

But anyone who lives in (or was lucky enough to be born in) a rich country like the UK is vastly richer than someone born in a slum in Burma. So exactly the same calculus is possible: that *even if* open immigration leads to the native Brit worker being worse off the gain to the Burmese slum kid is so huge that the sum of human happiness (or technically, utility) has been increased thus it is a good thing.

The UK and in particular , England is one of the most densely populated countries in the World.

The UK is the 52nd most densely populated country in the world, with a population density of 246 people/km^2. England on its own would be the 28th most densely populated country, with a population density of 383 people/km^2.

Too much skirting around the issue here as usual. Nobody wants to appear anti-immigration cos some daft twat will shout racist and if they say they’re pro-open borders, some other twat will call them a neo-liberal. So we’re all somewhere in the middle, huh? Can’t be specific, cos once we’re specific…someone will accuse us of being racist or an economic determinist…etc etc depending whereabouts on the spectrum we alight…Can’t say we’re just in favour of movement within the EU cos someone will triumphantly announce “Oh..so you’re OK with white European immigration but…blah, blah..etc”. Can’t make a point about the number of indigenous unemployed (can I say “indigenous” without looking like a crypto-Little Englander) cos then we’d end up looking like Norman Tebbit. Can’t fuckin win can ya?

I’m surprised nobody’s tried “inviting immigrants over here and giving them jobs and subjecting them to Western employment conditions is a form of cultural imperialism or Eurocentric Employment supremacism…it would be more culturally authentic to pay them in line with rates in their country (or culture) of origin”. Would that make me a neo-liberal free marketeer…or would it make me a deluded post-modernist? Either way, I could afford a butler, chauffeur and cook for the price of three bags of KP nuts a day. It’s a bloody minefield.

As it happens, I consider myself firmly on the left and I regard immigration as a lever for wage control (…where’s the evidence? someone’s dying to ask), a slackening of employment rights and a necessary mechanism in the creation of the free market holy grail of a hungry, desperate “flexible workforce” (with all the horrors which that little euphemism conceals)….OK..don’t tell me…I can’t be left wing…I’m a nasty little racist…it’s tantamount to waving a BNP membership card in your face..etc etc to which I reply…”FUCK OFF DICKHEAD”. Anyone buying into open borders from a humanitarian perspective is a useful idiot for the corporate elite.

@Tim Worstall

We Agree! It’s taken a while but we (mostly) agree!

@Charlie2 “The UK and in particular , England is one of the most densely populated countries in the World.”

Well…

1) We are 52nd or 51st in the World. The top quartile, but nothing terrifying.

2) However, that does include some small Islands, dependencies, city states etc. which could be argued are unfair to include (although, I’m sure the people living there would think otherwise). So if we take them out we end up with, in descending order of population Density: the Palestinian territories, Taiwan, South Korea, Netherlands, Lebanon, India, Rwanda, Belgium, Haiti, Japan, Israel, Sri Lanka, Philippines, El Salvador, Burundi and Vietnam all ahead of the UK. 16th…

3)But I suppose, if you want to refer to England only (for no particular reason that I can work out, I don’t judge all the US on New York, or all of Germany by Saxony) then England has a population of 51 million and a land mass of 50,000 square miles. This gives a population density of a little over 1,000 a square mile. Excluding islands, city states, and dependencies, this still places us behind the Palestinian territories, Taiwan and South Korea. Not great, but not terrible and if it becomes so terrible living in England due to water shortages people might (just might, I know to some it would be terrible) move to Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland.

Moreover, immigration as Tim pointed out improves the average well being of everyone. I would further argue that immigration is at best only a small contributing factor (if one at all) to growing gap between rich and poor in this country (internationally, through increased living standard to the migrant and remittance payments home, it almost certainly reduces inequality).

What’s the main cause? I might call it class war… but that’s quite a contentious phrase. Let’s call it an organised attempt to smash the bargaining power of labour by capital. Robbing man of a wage that reflects his dignity as a human being, not just a wage earner.

Anyway, I imagine a lot of the arguments here will already be covered here. When I foolishly got into an argument with some anti-immigrant trolls over a Quaequam Blog and had to fisk them silly.

27. Carl Packman

timf (18);

a ‘straw man’ you say, I’m not misrepresenting a position, the open-door policy is one idea that perverts the true core of a leftist position on immigration. This could go back and forth all night, my main focus in the entry was to point out that significant volume has not been made about the true position of the left, which doesn’t help in countering (far-) right wing opinions on the matter, and worse still suggests (as can be seen clearly by scanning the comments on this thread) that the left has a tendency borderlessness. I’d be the first to admit that words like borders, nations, controls fill me with fear. If I overheard somebody in a pub in Essex where I live talk about borders, my first thought would be oh shit they’re racist what do I do. And to be honest 9 times out of 10 they will have ideas that are racist. This, I feel, is a kind of microcosm of printed ideas on immigration, the right talk about it, state their position, are nasty but concise about their position, whereas the leftist position is lagging somewhat, and I’m glad also to see that people have opinions on the subject that are left wing and realistic, humanitarian and non-contrarian. Its just these ideas are low in volume, and I still feel that Left Outside had a point when he said discussing immigration in this country is difficult. From what direction of politics is this hot potato most difficult? You guessed it.

Paul (20);

I did reply on my own comments thread, I don’t know if you saw it, I thanked you and perhaps you’ve noticed that on this edit of my entry I have noted the libertarianism of the Milton Friedman ilk, so as not to imply, necessarily, left libertarians such as yourself. I have also taken into consideration your comments on Kant which feature on your mega long entry on this very subject, have the blisters on your fingers cleared up yet I ask? My reply tom your comments, Paul, are here

Okay, I’m going to go a bit crazy and quote Carl, quoting me

Discussing immigration is difficult in this country, often it descends into one side calling the other racists. Or more commonly, a writer beginning a piece by stating that it is no longer possible to discuss immigration in this country, without being accused of being a racist. I don’t think that this is a particularly healthy way to conduct debate.

Not healthy indeed. But who is lagging behind? Dialogue on asylum, immigration, migration is very important, but little is said by the left on the subject other than to denigrate the position taken by the BNP.

Do you, monkeyfish, honestly think what you just said is helpful?

29. Carl Packman

@Left Outside;

“an organised attempt to smash the bargaining power of labour by capital”.

Oh ok, class war (just say it mate, get it off your chest!!).

30. Mike Killingworth

[25] I think that’s a very good point, monkeyfish – most “leftism” is little more than a knee-jerk reaction against various kinds of right-wing politics and if those tiresome rightists between them cover all the possible positions a certain kind of “leftist” is immobilsed. We shall see this clearly if there’s ever another referendum on the EU (irrespective of the question on the ballot paper) – some of us will simply be paralysed, not wishing to be seen to be lining up with Big Business on the one hand or the BNP/UKIP on the other.

Leftism is really about economics – it tends to the view that the more economic surplus is captured by workers and the less by capital the better. (This is a very simplified account, it has nothing to say about pensions for instance.) Immigration is not really about economics, despite dear old Tim W’s best efforts, or at least it’s not only about that, it’s also about culture.

And this is where the left hits the buffers, because there is no clear left-wing position vis-a- vis culture in the way that there is about economics. The logic of the position that Tim puts forward is that there is no justification for the nation state. I think this is inescapable – the most that can be said is that for purely practical reasons political administration should respect linguistic boundaries as far as it can. And even that may not be very far.

“Do you, monkeyfish, honestly think what you just said is helpful?”

Helpful to whom exactly? Or do you mean the ‘debate’?

I’m not trying to be helpful…or ‘debate’. This particular debate is one that always rapidly descends into question-begging and then name calling.

Instead I’m stating a position and contending that whatever knee jerk reactions come my way..I consider myself of the Left.

Maybe not the new trendy relativist left..but the Left all the same..and to my mind a much more authentic and potentially efficacious left. ie. one that looks after the interests of the working class.

#25

The trouble with seeing immigration as a tool of wage control is it imputes more powers to the state than it actually has. Without pulling out of the EU, killing tourism, restricting higher education and putting into place a physical border apparatus – on an island country – which would make the USSR look like an outdoor picnic hosted by Mother Teresa and Mary Poppins, the UK can’t stop “illegal” immigration. There is very little that the government doesn’t already do that is possible to do to restrict immigration. What’s more, immigration policy doesn’t tend to have much impact on levels of immigration – world crises like wars, famines and economic disasters tend to have a much greater impact.

The only realistic (but incredibly difficult solution) is to allow unrestricted immigration and encourage new workers to join unions and work together with existing workers to raise wages and conditions for all. Like I say, very difficult, but not as unworkable as trying to stop immigration.

Carl,

“the open-door policy is one idea that perverts the true core of a leftist position on immigration”

I don’t want to go round in circles, but still can’t see where you’ve stated why you think it perverts the true core of a leftist position on immigration, or indeed what you think the true core is.

Okay, that’s fair enough then. You have to admit you can come across a little confrontational.

I disagree with you, although perhaps not as much as you would expect.

I think your position with regard to opposing immigration because you see it as a means to undermine the working class sort of falls apart because immigration restrictions also a way to undermine the working class.

By arbitrarily keeping some people in an economy with lower productivity immigration controls suppress their wages, even if they can do the same work as you, as well. I would argue that, in general, allowing immigrants into this country would better their position more than it would worsen yours.

However, I think that improving people’s conditions where they live would solve everyone’s problems. Migration not a crime, but it is probably only a palliative. Getting the poor rich is what we need to aim for.

I was wondering, what level of migration would you think is okay? I mean at the moment are we just right, too much, or you could handle more?

35. Carl Packman

timf, one last time then, because it fails to see the utility value in regulating the movement of people (remember not curbing the movement of people – immigration is a duty – but putting it into correct perspective, paying attention to the importance of homophobia as a reason why certain countries should not be on the Home Office safe list for example).

“I would further argue that immigration is at best only a small contributing factor (if one at all) to growing gap between rich and poor in this country”

I argue that (although would hate to have to prove) that the increasing inequality within the UK is caused by globalisation.

But as said globalisation is also reducing global inequality and also making hundreds of millions of the poor not poor, then on the same grounds of marginal utility we’ll just have to suck it up.

The UK becomes more unequal as part of the same process that lifts hundreds of millions of Chinese, Indians and Indonesians out of destitution. Sorta a “tough shit but the nett effects are positive” kind of thing.

“I was wondering, what level of migration would you think is okay? I mean at the moment are we just right, too much, or you could handle more?”

Whose figures are you referring to when you talk of current levels of migration?

“By arbitrarily keeping some people in an economy with lower productivity immigration controls suppress their wages, even if they can do the same work as you, as well. I would argue that, in general, allowing immigrants into this country would better their position more than it would worsen yours.”

That’s a precarious balancing act you’re engaged in. And…Daily Mail blustering and right wing hyperbole notwithstanding I can assure you that I’ve both been priced out of jobs altogether and been forced to work for substantially less than 5 years ago through the effects of immigration on the building industry. I’ve also often sat in the pub with a gang of black plasterers who were calling Polish people names I wouldn’t like to repeat as a result of the same happening to them.

Anyway, how about the argument that a well paid workforce with a degree of job security might spend at a level which created an economy which, in search of greater productivity, raised wages to the point at which many of the indigenous unemployed were tempted back into the workforce by the promise of an income which actually made it worth their while. Minimum wage, casual employment is hardly a spur to anybody who has to house, clothe and feed children…it’s not even a remote possibility in most cases.

I’ve no issue with immigration whatsoever once employment rates are at a suitable sustainable level.

Well… The Chinese and Indian economies are hardly the beneficiaries of your sort of libertarian capitalism.

They have gloablised as a result of developing; not developed as a result of globalising. But that would be getting off track.

I think the left might have a problem with the “tough shit but the net effects are positive” argument to migration.

Well I think the idea is that the long run benefits for everyone might be higher with more immigration. Sure some construction workers find their market suddenly more competitive than they expected, but building get put up more cheaply, then they can move on to doing other things. And immigrants bring new demands as well as fresh labour supplies. You can only really tell by looking at the overall impact of immigration. Difficult to judge, but we are certainly all getting richer (in real terms). Even this recession is likely to turn out to be a slight dip.

As for the minimum wage stuff, I think it indicates that a more efficient method of distrubition would be some sort of basic income. Leave wages to the market but pay everyone an income anyway. That means any casual labour is earned on top of the income. If I am not wrong, this is not a million miles away from how Denmark organises its labour market.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a detailed post about immigration, from a left-wing perspective, advocating open-borders, but gesturing/outlining a way that the (non-Libertarian) rightist stranglehold on the debate could be broken in the long term.

Anyone interested:

http://thebadconscience.com/2009/08/27/empire-and-immigration/

It’s one of the few areas – drug decriminalisation/legalisation being the other – where I find myself in agreement with libertarians, ultimately.

I offer this up because, like Tim f @ 4, I don’t really understand what the OP is trying to say…

#Difficult to judge, but “we” are certainly all getting richer (in real terms). Even this recession is likely to turn out to be a slight dip.#

Well done “us”.

Although “we’d” love to know how our very real falling income equates to “us” getting richer. “We’re” really quite confused about this? Maybe when Polish and Lithuanian professionals start to arrive and halve the hourly rates of lawyers, accountants, dentists, architects etc., those clever folk might have more time on their hands to explain this curious phenomenon.

Maybe “real terms” relates to a realer, more authentic mode of living? Possibly spending more time with our kids because we’re forced to cram together in the one room we can afford to heat? Maybe it’s the comradeship and “oneness with nature” which comes from growing your own food on an allotment when we’ve been priced out of the supermarket?

There’s always the chance our straightened circumstances will engender a humility which stops us writing snide and sarky comments like this which question the authority of the new free-market Left? You know the one: the progressive Left. No longer burdened with working class whingers…the one whose function seems to be a free pass to a permanent student-politico adolescence. Now you can indulge your self-conceit and radical fantasies ad nauseam while feathering your pension, servicing your mortgages, running your two cars AND playing Lord and Lady Bountiful to the vibrant inhabitants of your multicultural utopia (in Starbucks mainly…and Svetlana of course, when she’s not busy with her chores…and once the kids are in bed).

Sod the working class…the knuckle dragging economic illiterates…can’t they see we’re all “richer in real terms”? We’ve got an au pair FFS!…and if she shapes up, we might even pay her minimum wage. I wish they’d stop moaning…anyone who complains about getting undercut by economic migrants must be a racist anyway…and they’ve got the BNP to look after them…we, on the “left”, don’t want anything to do with them.

Racist sock puppet

You’re just a racist sock puppet and not fit to lick Paul Sagar’s boots. He’d welcome them with open arms. His generosity, selflessness and humanitarianism know no bounds and…although a cynic might sneer that with an Oxbridge education, parliamentary researcher’s post and, presumably, a well-paid future of liberal media hackery ahead of him he’s unlikely to have an issue with immigrant competition, I salute him. It’s only my naked self interest that prevents me from embracing his passion for open borders…well that and the need to pay for stuff…and feed my kids etc. Still, to be honest, if I didn’t have the competition and could earn a little more, I’d probably blow the lot on Special Brew, plasma screens and new tattoos.

None the less I acknowledge my base venality and tip my hat to him…

…or I would, if there weren’t an army of fully qualified, servile Albanian peasants out there who could doff their their caps, tug their forelocks and perform an exquisite little curtsey in half the time, twice as cheaply and be bloody glad of the opportunity.

And who the fuck’s binky? Fuck this for a game of soldiers I’m off to the pub…at last.

#35

I’m sorry, but I still have no idea what you’re saying.

How can you regulate immigration without curbing it?

And how is immigration a duty?

Of course an open borders position “fails to see the utility value in regulating the movement of people”, it is for the freedom of movement of people. There is nothing intrinsically left-wing about regulating the movement of people. People are not simply units of production. They are not the same as capital.

I’m inclined to support the overall, long term benefits that Nick and Tim W (among others) have outlined. I also wish good luck to those who come to the UK in search of a better life. But I am in full time employment and relatively well off. If I was among the ‘indigenous’ working class, unemployed because I find job conditions at my level disagreeable but immigrants find them agreeable, I might not be satisfied by awareness of that long term benefit.

It seems to me that Left Outside was spot on when he suggested that “the left might have a problem with the “tough shit but the net effects are positive” argument to migration” – the left doesn’t address the immediate concerns of the indigenous unemployed, who therefore look toward those who promise more stringent controls on immigration (e.g. the dreaded BNP). From this point of view no-one can ‘win’ the argument about immigration, except those who promise to control it.

Luis @16, thank you for posting that link.

timf;

as a leftwinger, open-door and illegal immigration, usually the bane of the far right, seems to me counter productive for an egalitarian society. The silence of the left on the issue has meant that leftist opinion on the matter is usually perceived as anything-but-what-the-BNP-say, when in fact what the left needs is a practical blueprint to counter the view that we are all contrarians and have no real ideas on immigration other than anything-but-what-the-BNP-say.

Dialogue is what I want, and is the driving force behind my entry, but I also have an axe to grind with leftwingers who support a no borders policy, or who say little other, on the issue, than anything-but-what-the-BNP-say. But before we reach the world whereby utopian dreams of free travel and open borders are realised, a system designed to swallow up the homo sacer for cheap labour must be done away with, many people realise this, but if you think open-door policies can be acheived now, I mean right now, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot as one who wants to, simultaneously, achieve egalitarianism, and are doing nothing but rolling the carpet out for hardcore libertarians and free-marketeers. Ok?

#49

I don’t think open borders can be achieved now; after all, 98% of the population disagree with me about its desirability. (Although worth pointing out that if no-one argues for them, that won’t change.) But open borders and no borders positions aren’t necessarily utopian. They oppose immigration controls in the here and now where they operate, seeking to prevent them working using whatever mechanisms are available, from anti-deportation campaigns to supporting detainee resistance in detention centres. That’s actually a lot more realistic a position than your utopian vision of a new “system” that does away with cheap labour.

In the (admittedly utopian) hypothetical where we suddenly got a government that took what I think is a left-wing position on immigration, I don’t think they would abolish immigration controls immediately. I think they would dismantle some of the most brutal parts of the immigration system and maintain the appearance of managed migration (eg checks but no detention and deportations, and an easy-to-navigate legal process) while negotiating with other European countries to dismantle all controls together, making sure that one country abolishing immigration controls wasn’t an excuse for other countries to deal with political problems by deporting large numbers of people there.

Besides, as I’ve argued, no civilised state can prevent “illegal” immigration, except by legalising all immigration. There will always be people who overstay after entering the country legally. Even with greatly increased border checks, there will always be some people who manage to enter clandestinely. So there is absolutely no way for you to “do away with a system designed to swallow up the homo sacer for cheap labour” without doing the one thing which can stop people operating in a shadow economy with tiny wages, ie abolishing immigration controls and pronouncing all immigration legal. I also don’t see how you can have an “egalitarian” society where some people are deemed to be legal and some people illegal.

Uk Liberty

“I also wish good luck to those who come to the UK in search of a better life.”

and so do I. I can fully understand and sympathise with their wish to come to the UK..and I dare say I’d do the same in their place. But what I would like an answer to is this:

They travel to the UK to better their life…fair play to them. I resent the fact that their arrival has a negative effect on my earnings potential. (this is not some BNP inspired myth…my earnings have been hurt…I know there is a constant demand for “evidence” around here and you may try to dismiss this as an uncorroborated anecdote, but I turned up for work one morning and was told the going rate was now £40 per day…a bunch of Poles had arrived who were happy to settle for that). We are balancing my self interest against theirs…obviously, I know whose side I’m coming down on.

Since the defenders of an open door policy seem to fall (again anecdotally, but I’ll come onto that later) into either the free market (self-interested) camp or the would be humanitarian relativist (not directly affected) camp, then ignoring the former as right wing tossers, I’ll just ask the relativist camp: Why does the immigrant self interest outweigh my own?….presumably, because their need is “greater”, right? So, in that spirit, shouldn’t we go for the greatest need of all?

Why don’t we restrict immigration to those identified as the very poorest on earth…which would presumably put them a day or two from starvation? Or, those most persecuted…why not send the SAS to relieve, say, North Korean Prisons or rescue peri-pubescent Somali girls a day or two before genital mutilation?
Don’t bother answering, that’s a bit facetious I know…but if the argument comes down to the point where the justification for an open door policy is a basic: My birthplace is a fortunate geographical coincidence and I have no right to restrict the privileges of my birth to others, then surely healthy, relatively affluent Poles would come a long way down the list?

Anyway…I’ll end by asking Paul Sagar this: since your open door enthusiasm stems from a generosity of spirit and tolerance, you will surely have no hesitation in humouring me in a sincere request and try a little thought experiment?

Imagine you’re a few years older…middle-aged, in fact and straight…married…a couple of teenaged kids. I’m sure the prospect doesn’t appeal but with your level of tolerance an ability to empathise is a given. Let’s go a few steps further…you’re not quite as qualified…maybe a couple of GCSEs (O’levels in fact…remember you’re middle-aged) Grade Ds…say Geography and an “ology”. BUT…here’s the good news…you’re a shit hot bricklayer.

It’s nearly September…kids need uniforms etc…work’s thin on the ground but you’re one of the lucky ones…you turn up to work monday morning and the foreman pull’s you to one side. “Sorry Paul, mate…but the management’s decided it’s £35 a day…gotta cut costs mate…there’s a few Polish guys turned up who’ll do it”

Do you:

a) Say: OK I’ll do it…and I thank god for our liberal immigration policy’s ability to keep me lean, competitive and motivated.
b) Say: Can’t afford to…I couldn’t survive FFS…I’d be better off signing on.
c) Smack him in the mouth…shout “cunt” and storm off.
d) Go to night school and retrain as a bien pensant liberal journalist who doesn’t need to worry about this sort of thing (you might need to fake an Oxbridge degree and an impeccable middle-class attitude and have the luck of the friggin devil to pull it off and get any work..but who knows?)

Now…if you answered a, b or c, would your open door enthusiasm remain undiminished? If by some miracle it did, then I salute you…you are a secular saint. If it didn’t…would you consider yourself a) racist b) uneducated c) quite normal actually?

Please answer the question, it’s not some far flung hypothetical bullshit…it’s very real. And if you reply that you’d be a bit pissed but recognise the overall benefits then frankly you’re a full-on unimaginative bullshitter. Or, if you want…take your normal route and pretend you never read this.

#50

#In the (admittedly utopian) hypothetical where we suddenly got a government that took what I think is a left-wing position on immigration#

Because being left wing actually entails looking after the whole of humanity at any cost all the time? Even if you think this, aren’t there better, more effective ways of achieving this; methods that don’t play directly into the hands of capital along the way? (even if it’s an unavoidable “unintended consequence”?)

@timf;

well now Tim in an egalitarian society people can do wrong as well as right things, and it seems that where unemployment is a feature of today’s labour market political asylum should be prioritised over economic migration, again not saying anything about limits or curbs, just priorities. Priorities, rules, all the boring stuff, thats how we achieve equality. And I suppose one other thing, supposing we can never halt illegal immigration, does this necessarily make it right, my point here is to iron out all such antinomies notwithstanding what seems presently plausible, that is to say without the knowledge of the authorities the homo sacer can become swallowed up by the unpalatable.

However, a silver lining, you, Tim, are a voice on the left not ducking out of the question of immigration. You took a swipe at compass earlier, but if your passion for repealing immigration laws was taken to a place of ideas, a think-tank or whatever, then, lo and behold, we’d have a voice on the left debating immigration, my original contention. At the very least you could update provisional BBC?

#52

I’m not sure you’ve read much of what I’ve written in this thread; seems you just skim-read it and noticed that one sentence.

Not sure either that your comment there deserves a serious response – so I won’t go into great detail. Abolishing immigration controls wouldn’t entail looking after the whole of humanity, as the whole of humanity wouldn’t come to the UK. Most people prefer to live in the culture where they grew up. Those who do want to migrate are usually pretty determined about it and often manage it even against the odds, whatever the system of immigration controls. So why not stop dividing the working class into “legal” and “illegal” and allowing employers to use one group to undercut the other?

Carl – I’ll get round to updating it at some point, I know it’s been a while…

It has been a while, I enjoyed reading it, I only started blogging in May and it wasn’t long after that it stopped. Your always very vocal on here I’ve noticed though, do you blog anywhere else?

#However, a silver lining, you, Tim, are a voice on the left not ducking out of the question of immigration.#

and how would we clearly distinguish such a voice from one of a neo-liberal free marketeer…progressive grandstanding apart?

#You took a swipe at compass earlier#

Christ…you’re a maniac…Polly Toynbee’ll be mortified! You’ll be drummed out the Fabians…you’re feet won’t touch!

monkeyfish;

“and how would we clearly distinguish such a voice from one of a neo-liberal free marketeer…progressive grandstanding apart?”

Through sensible debate dear!

#So why not stop dividing the working class into “legal” and “illegal” and allowing employers to use one group to undercut the other?#

Oh touché Better still, why give the chance to undercut anybody? and just when have I ever even started to touch on “legal” and “illegal”? That’s your plaything…a justification to try and retain your delusion of a left-wing outlook…where does class enter your rationale? other than in some hypothetical tangential sense which doesn’t directly impinge on your mission to stay right-on?

I do find the idea that immigration hasn’t helped keep wages down a bit hard to understand. It must have done in the agricultural economy in places like Linconshire and Cambridgeshire.

And in food production factories that have a majority immigrant workforce, like some of the places I do deliveries to. (And I mean immigrant, not ethnic minority).

The massive City Link parcels depot between West Bromwich and Wolverhampton is working flat out overnight (or was a couple of years ago) and has a couple of hundred trucks moving in and out of it within a few hours.

They had large teams of agency labour doing all the work of unloading and loading the trucks, then wheeling the cages back and forth from bay to bay. There were teams of what I thought were Iraqi or Afghani guys being directed by someone who spoke their language who were obviously being exploited with poor pay and conditions.
Why else would there be so many of them if it was a decent job?

If you rang up their agency looking for work like that, I think you’d hear that the wages being offered were around minimum wage level.

Would they be higher if they were finding it hard to recruit people to work that night shift?

#“and how would we clearly distinguish such a voice from one of a neo-liberal free marketeer…progressive grandstanding apart?”

Through sensible debate dear!#

Or indeed with dismissive comments which duck the question…nice one. I congratulate you on your restraint…many of your ilk would have yelled xenophobe, at the very least by this point…you at least have the good sense to duck the issues and feign intellectual superiority. I’ll leave you two “real” lefties to your debate and your Coco-Pops.

# damon

I do find the idea that immigration hasn’t helped keep wages down a bit hard to understand. It must have done in the agricultural economy in places like Linconshire and Cambridgeshire.#

Then you’re an economic illiterate and probably a secret BNP shill matey. Or maybe you’ve committed the unpardonable sin of not walking around with your head up your arse. Either way…you’re no left-winger.

Would be quite happy for you to leave the rest of us to debate, mf.

Incidentally, do you think migrants are the only workers employers have used to undercut other workers? How about non-unionised labour? Agency workers? Female workers? (Should our response be to keep women in the home?) Organisation is the way to raise wages, not some doomed, impractical mission to restrict immigration.

#Would be quite happy for you to leave the rest of us to debate, mf.#

I just realised that mf means monkeyfish, and not motherfucker. whoops.

Monkeyfish,

“Or, if you want…take your normal route and pretend you never read this.”

Never been my normal route.

Try it this way around:

“You are a Ukranina bricklayer. You work hard, are good at your job, but live in an Eastern European country that still hasn’t recovered from communism. You have 3 kids and a wife who cannot work due to disability. You would like to go to the UK where you can earn more money and help your family out…but you can’t, because of the utterly arbitrary fact that you and your family were born in the Ukraine, a fact over which you have no control and did not deserve”.

etc

There’s a short version, rather than repeating your tedious crappy long version.

The point is, it’s utterly arbitrary to say to the Ukranian “no work in the UK for you!” simply because they are Ukranian. They don’t “deserve” to be Ukranian.

Now OF COURSE the British bricklayer with kids to clothe and feed wants to keep his job. Of course he will resent competition from the Ukranian brick layer. But what does that come down to?

Self interest. It’s JUSTIFIED self interest, of course. Who doesn’t want to keep their job and support their familit? But it’s still self-interest.

My point is, WHAT ON EARTH IS YOUR MORAL CRITERIA FOR SAYING THAT THE SELF INTEREST OF THE BRITISH BRICKLAYER TRUMPS THAT OF THE UKRANIAN? NEITHER DESERVED TO BE BORN WHERE THEY WERE, NEITHER CHOSE IT AND NEITHER ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR IT. YET THAT ARBITRARY FACT OF BIRTH IS USED TO SAY THAT THE SELF-INTEREST OF THE BRITISH BRICKLAYER TRUMPS THAT OF THE UKRANIAN.

Sorry, thought it should be spelt out in capitals because you don’t seem to be very bright. Mine is a very simple point about what is doing the work in immigration debates. It’s all very well pointing out that British workers want to be protected from competition – which is of course true – but then it’s morally inconsistent to ignore the effects of denying that competition to other peolpe who happen to be born in other countries.

Writing me an extended essay about how individuals justifiably want to be protected from competition does not address the moral point about the arbitrariness of birth in immigration debates when you consider both sides: the natives and the would-be immigrants.

And going for the ad hom jibes just paints you as nasty and unable to engage with reasoned discourse.

Clarification (not that it will help with Monkeyfish, who’d much rather rant about his preconceptions of what I’ve said as oppose to reading my reply):

When I say “justification” I mean “from the point of view of the individual wishing to be protected from competition”

That is, it is completely understandable and justified that an individual worker wants to be protected from competition to secure his/her job for the sake of his/her self and family.

Yet from the detached view of somebody assessing the claims of both sides – the present worker wanting to be protected from competition, and the potential worker wanting the chance to compete, both of whom have equal claims to self-interest – I can see no good moral argument which says “one worker’s self-interest trumps the others because he’s British”.

That position looks like one of the following: unjustified because ignorant and ill-thought out, unjustified because rooted in a patriotism that privileges British people simply because they are British (which is itself morally unjustifiable ceteris paribus), or unjustifiable because rooted in a xenophobia which says other workers can’t compete because they are foreign.

So which is it, Monkeyfish?

Alternatively, write me another nice emotive description about people who have under-threat jobs and families to support, ignoring the analytic points i’ve tried to make as well as the flip-side of your argument: all the *non*British workers with job skills and families to support who want the chance to do better.

I get Paul Sagar’s point very clearly. And this being a liberal website it’s a completely valid position. But is a less altruistic view also a valid one?
It might not be as humane, but it might be found to be more commonly held. That should count for something too.
Is it so bad for a country to put ”its people” first?
It seems that’s what most countries do.

damon;

a commonly held argument is that “you wouldn’t be able to go to [insert authoritarian country here] and do [insert freedom we have in Europe] so why should foreigners do that here” to which I usually reply, thats what puts the Great in Great Britain, we manage to balance a reasonable balance of economic stability (will take note of recession, will take note of existence of abject poverty, but nonetheless) with not doing what ‘most countries do’ and realising that puttings its people first. suggested that its people could never be extended to foreigners, and is therefore, a little out of date, what do you reckon?

Damon,

Is it so bad for a country to “put it’s peolpe first”?

In truth, a difficult and interesting question.

There’s a prima facie case that says: the government was elected to represent the people of Britain, not of Ukraine (or wherever), thus it has a duty to protect their interests, if necessary by restricting immigration.

But I think that just extends the point about abitrary preferencing of some self interest over others up to the state level – and that in itself doesn’t create a valid moral difference in the immigration debate, it just introduces thoughts about what a government owes its electorate.

Another thought goes the other way: yes it *is* so bad for the country to do that, when its people are already in the top 5% of the world population…and to make matters worse, there is a historical and causal connection between this nations wealth and the poverty of many others (see the post I link to above for more on this, specifically re British Empire).

The point is, i know it *feels* plausible to say “it’s morally acceptable for the UK government to protect UK citizens from competition” when you’re stuck in the moment, but when you separate the feeling from the underlying issues and assess them without emotive distortion, that feeling looks pretty hard to ground in moral reasoning.

Carl, I just thought that Paul Sagar’s example of the Ukranian bricklayer was an opinion that only people with a revolutionary outlook could take.
There’s nothing wrong with opinions like that. I have one or two myself.
They wouldn’t wash with most people in the UK though.
How is Vanessa Redgrave regarded in this country?
Fine actress, but nutjob politics.
My point was that (as much as you might not like it) social conservatism has to be given some respect.
In the way that if you are an athiest, it’s still not right to be rude to people whose religion means everything to them.

That said. An open borders idea is very intriguing. Though it would mean the end for some particular cultures (as they have existed in the past). The Irish and the Danish for example (being small nations).

The moral point on borders is clear for anyone who holds any sort of left principles – discrimination against people on the basis of their nationality is wrong; allowing elites in different countries to use the nation-state framework to undercut the power of labor is wrong; creating aristrocracies of labor is wrong; disacknowledging the enormous amount of capital that was created through colonialism and neocolonialism that disproportionately affected sending countries is wrong; preventing human beings from traveling, working, or otherwise moving freely in order to maintain the stability of an elite-led state (i.e. all of them) is wrong; not acknowledging the connections between bias by nationality and those by ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and class is wrong.

The question, then, is largely strategic, and at a lesser level, tactical, right and based on your assessment of the current state of politics in Britain and more broadly. If your priority is to invest your political capital in maintaining services in Britain, ensuring (or rather, renewing) living standards for the British working classes, etc., then you would likely want to prioritise other areas besides migration. If your priority is ending the ideological hegemony of the nation-state framework and the state structures that accompany it (and capital-labor relationships) – then it’s a much trickier subject.

All this is to say that while the moral case if clear, the question of how to go about getting to a world without borders is far from clear. To draw an anology with a smaller portion of the problem – in my view, extending migration rights to people from Eastern Europe while not providing the same freedom of movement to other parts of the world is wrong; that former British colonies were excluded is a historical injustice; etc. But the flipside is – short of winning the ideological battle on borders and their connection to race and other issues, how are you going to mount a large enough political coalition that will support allowing large numbers of Jamaicans, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis who are working class by the standards of their own countries into Britain?

In other words, what is the manner by which you address race issues within Britain so that you can create a sustainable policy that supports working class people outside of Britain?

I’m not being entirely clear, but I wanted to put out there as someone who is vaguely left and an Asian person and grew up in the United states as the child of two professionals who immigrated after racist laws were lifted and lives in Britain now the very obvious – that these issues are enormously complicated not because the issue itself is complicated, but because the organising work and strategic work (down to what kinds of organisations you need) is complicated. Do you prioritise overcoming Capital in Britain or do you look globally or do you look at some other environment (e.g. like the United States or China or somewhere else that is an economic driver or will be) in whcih to fight or do you look at LDCs or something entirely different?

As a result, you’re not going to get a simple answer because there hasn’t been enough conversation on these issues starting from the standpoint that the moral case is clear and unavoidable but the strategic considerations need to be negotiated. This is tragic because, coming from the U.S., I can tell you that there is a great deal more infrastructure to do this in Britain than exists in the U.S. because the trade union movement still exists and has some clout in Britain compared to the U.S. there are obvious starting points – like combating the rhetoric that the white working class faces a race or citizenship bias rather than the obvious class bias (which is even evident in the data) – but assembling all these small points together into a coherent narrative that is convincing and politically sustainable in Britain AND works towards the goal of open borders is a difficult process.

timf

#Organisation is the way to raise wages, not some doomed, impractical mission to restrict immigration.#

OH Hallelujah! Finally a recognisable left-wing sentiment.

Might be tricky to pull off at a time when union power and influence is at a 50 odd year low and, outside the public sector, virtually non-existent as a force. All you gotta do now is to find a way that union’s can reassert their presence and simultaneously reconcile this with a potential stream of cheap, desperate labour with no history of union representation…historically, a factor which tends do the complete opposite. A tricky balancing act…akin to a high wire crossing of Niagra on a unicycle.

Carl

What happened to sensible debate “dear”? Not up to it…never mind. Pat yourself on the back, make yourself a a nice prawn sandwich on ciabatta, pour yourself a nice fairtrade coffee and assure yourself you’re a friend of the proletariat.

Your last comment directed anywhere near (at 12 last night, 8 hours ag) to me ended ” I’ll leave you two “real” lefties to your debate and your Coco-Pops.” Would you like me to debate that, or can you answer your own question here?

I was under the distinct impression that Bob Rowthorn, professor of economics at Cambridge, had set out the leftist position on immigration:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/07/02/do0202.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/07/02/ixop.html

“The injection of large numbers of unskilled workers into the economy does not benefit the bulk of the population to any great extent. It benefits the nanny-and housecleaner-using classes; it benefits employers who want to pay low wages; but it does not benefit indigenous, unskilled Britons, who have to compete with immigrants willing to work hard for very low wages in unpleasant working conditions.”

Professor Rowthorn is author of several books, including: Capitalism, Conflict and Inflation (Lawrence Wishart, 1980). His analysis of the effects of large scale immigration are expanded on in his study: The Economic Impact of Immigration (2004):
http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/Rowthorn_Immigration.pdf

See also the HoL Select Committee on Economics Affairs, 1st report of Session 2007-8: The Economic Impact of Immigration Vol 1.
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldeconaf/82/82.pdf

It is of perhaps more than passing interest to note that the chairman of the HoL Select Committee on Economic Affairs was Lord Wakeham, a regular member of Mrs Thatcher’s governments during the 1980s. Some may recall that Lord Wakeham was more recently a non-executive director of Enron and a member of its audit committee:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/enron-and-the-shadow-over-lord-wakeham-is-this-a-fix-too-far-for-the-ultimate-fixer-671909.html

Paul Sagar

“Try it this way around”

Er why? I thought the idea was for you to try and put yourself i the position that the British brickie finds himself…it can’t be that hard and it’s not as though it isn’t a very real and relevant issue in the debate. You’ve chosen to pass because you seem to thing that doing so would privilege Britishness over Ukrianianism. But the point is Paul…the British brickie finds himself in the position of remaining the British brickie..he can’t switch himself around into somebody else for the sake of argument.

So go on…give it a go…you’re the British brickie…drastically undercut…how do you feel now about an open door policy? Do you seriously just take it on the chin and think “Oh well, mustn’t grumble…it’s for the greater good…I’ve heard that nice Paul Sagar’s getting a cheap bathroom out of it” and saunter off to the job centre? At least admit you’d be mightily pissed off, not so well disposed to the Ukrainians and looking for a political solution, no?
What would you feel if you were told by the politicians that it was a “bitter pill…but for your own good…and furthernore you had a moral obligation to shut up and get on with it. (“it” being long term unemployment)

#Writing me an extended essay about how individuals justifiably want to be protected from competition does not address the moral point about the arbitrariness of birth in immigration debates when you consider both sides: the natives and the would-be immigrants.#

Oh I see…a moral crusade. Well, taking a leaf from your earlier post…the one where we can cheerfully shift perspective whenever it suits (how I long to be a relativist sometimes). Let’s look at the moral expectation of the British government…to whom do they owe their moral allegiance? You could always try telling me it’s to the UK’s overall economic prosperity but I don’t buy that one…not as long as “overall economic prosperity” remains a cover for corporate greed and maintaining a veneer of middle class affluence…just enough to bribe them into acquiescence and paper over the destruction and enslavement of the working class in low protection, low pay Mcjobs.

So, putting that to one side, we come again to the issue of the British and Ukrainian brickies…to whom does the British government owe its support? See, I’d have gone for the obvious answer…doh!…and figured the word British was a big clue…but apparently, it’s a trick question…their overarching duty is to …er…the whole of humanity it seems. Anything else would be xenophobic and an economic disaster…is that your position Paul? Hey…tell you what…how about this:…”ethical immigration policy”…nice ring to it huh?…remember our “ethical foreign policy”? Might be just as successful.

“And going for the ad hom jibes just paints you as nasty and unable to engage with reasoned discourse.”

Well maybe, but I’d have classed it as mild sarcasm personally; brought on by my frustration at encountering the same self-righteous, caricatured attitude which I believe makes an proper debate so difficult. It’s one that’s generally advanced most forcefully by those people who are least affected…viz:

#That position looks like one of the following: unjustified because ignorant and ill-thought out, unjustified because rooted in a patriotism that privileges British people simply because they are British (which is itself morally unjustifiable ceteris paribus), or unjustifiable because rooted in a xenophobia which says other workers can’t compete because they are foreign.#

Basically, says Paul Sagar…You advocate open immigration OR you’re ignorant Or a racist. That’s it Paul, in a nutshell…oh well…why do we even need a debate?..case closed. I wonder why LC even put up the article….what debate? There isn’t one. You reading this CARL PACKMAN…no need for a debate…you’re just providing a space for self-interested xenophobes to let off steam.

Carl

Whatever you like “dear”.

Back this afternoon. Do your worst comrade.

Immigrant labour has always been welcomed by capitalist countries, they tend to create a reserve army of cheap labour and then are conveniently blamed for any severe downturn in the economy which is usually caused by the excessive greed within the system.
32 mf
I agree, there is no left-wing party which speaks for the working-class, the best the left can do is attack the BNP, but unfortunately, this only assists the government by focussing upon immigration rather than the system itself.

75. Chris Baldwin

There is no one left-wing position on immigration, because there is no one left.

Paul,

… The point is, i know it *feels* plausible to say “it’s morally acceptable for the UK government to protect UK citizens from competition” when you’re stuck in the moment, but when you separate the feeling from the underlying issues and assess them without emotive distortion, that feeling looks pretty hard to ground in moral reasoning.

How would you sell this to the ‘electorate’?

@ monkeyfish, Carl and Paul

I’ve only just caught up with this debate, and there are so many levels to it, but may I say I wouldn’t be so dismissive towards what monkeyfish is saying.

Because at least monkeyfish is not coming from hollow issues of “race”, “nation” and “Britishness”, but he’s focusing on the current plight of many families of working class background.

And, for all bashing of “the left” here, we shouldn’t forget how the issue has come to be extensively poisoned by the tabloids’ maniacal rhetoric in the past 10 years.

Seriously, with their massive circulation they have (successfully) spread a succession of scaremongering rumours and lies that I wonder if the debate on immigration will ever slip back to normal, or even humane for f*** sake, standards.

Hence the ongoing confusion between economic migrants, asylum seekers, ethnic minorities and the EU. Hence the fact that, still, a massive portion of people in Britain keep saying that “they all wanna come here” and don’t recognise that the phenomenon of mass immigration is happening everywhere in Western Europe. Spain has become host to 10 million new people (that’s ten) since 2000, Italy not far off, and Germany and France regularly outdo the UK in every immigration table. But you won’t find the Daily Mail telling you about it.

What am I trying to say? That, practically, for all the electoral posturing of some parties, in the 21st century, immigration is impossible to stop. Wanna pull out of the EU? Easily said, but imagine how devastating it will be for, to start with, the 800,000 Brits living and owning properties in Spain. Ryanair would have a fit. Forget summer with the kids on the Algarve or Benidorm. Forget vomiting bits of livers out on the alleyways of Faliraki. Forget a lot of other, hefties stuff.

Like tim f said @33, without pulling out of the EU and erecting 8ft high barbwire along the entire coastline (and even that may not be enough) , the phenomenon will carry on. Just like it keeps doing in Italy in spite of the draconian anti-immigration policies implementing by Il Duce Berlusconi.

However, it would be utopian not to expect a backlash amongst large levels of the population. Many people are inherently conservative and territorial. Also, the way working classes are easily set against each other is historically tried and tested. Simply though, like monkeyfish points out and he’s right, are simply and legitimately trying to look after their family.

The solution is perhaps for all governments across the EU at least to ENFORCE higher wages and better working conditions. Increasing the minimum wage and enforcing it properly would be a start. “Yeah right”, you’re thinking, and who can blame you, but this should be the Left’s main mission and one that could unify large sectors of the population. And 12 years (+the prelude years) of New Labour have, alas, relegated debate on workers’ rights well in the background.

Casualisation of the job market has been devastating for all workers, irrespective of where they come from. It’s certainly been a blessing for the bosses, but it’s allowed, for the first time in modern history, the growth of MASSES of low-waged ununionised unprotected workers, with no guarantees, with no allegiance to the workplace and without -lest we forget- pension rights, holiday rights, sickpay etc. Think of all of the UK’s agency fodder, temping workers, call centre workers. These are millions of people.

I wrote not long ago, that the irony of this latest crisis is that it was brought about exclusively by those on top and that so many businesses went bust IN SPITE OF the bosses enjoying the most favourable condtions since the days of Charles Dickens. And look what they’re saying now? If we bring back basic improvements and guarantees for the workers, they say the economic system will go bust.

This we have to challenge

@75: “Er why? I thought the idea was for you to try and put yourself i the position that the British brickie finds himself…it can’t be that hard and it’s not as though it isn’t a very real and relevant issue in the debate.”

The British brickie could think a number of things.
He could think himself fortunate to be born a country where, even on benefits, his standard of living far outstrips 75% of the rest of humanity. He might have to cancel Sky+, but clean water, say, is unlikely to be a pressing problem.
He could try skilling up and changing vocations. According to you the brickie’s main interest is his economic remuneration, therefore he holds no overriding desire to remain a brickie. If Mr. Sagar’s Ukranians are coming in droves, he could start a travel and services company tailored to emigrating Eastern Europeans. (Please don’t try some right-wing “he wouldn’t be smart enough to do that” nonsense).
If he were a more philosophical brickie and was seeking ethical justification, he could consider a number of points. If he leant towards utilitarianism, he might realise that, in global terms, the greater good lies with a Ukranian brickie getting a job in the UK. If deontology was his thing, he might consider it simply ‘right’ for workers to be able to seek work in other countries, whatever the temporary damage to himself.

I think the problem with your analysis is, despite your constant claim to being “left-wing”, you actually take a very dim view of the “British brickie”.

#82

#I think the problem with your analysis is, despite your constant claim to being “left-wing”, you actually take a very dim view of the “British brickie”.#

Thank you doctor…I think you’ve got it…I’m a self-hating brickie with low self esteem. Did you diagnose me from a detailed analysis of my prose style…is the confrontational stance just a mask for a deep inadequacy? The purported antagonism towards liberals a secret cry for help? Christ you’re good…you should be on Jeremy Kyle or Richard and Judy.

Anyway, lets look at the diagnosis…

#He could try skilling up and changing vocations.#

Yeah he could try JobCentre plus…they’d fix him up with a course…maybe they’d send him here…

http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/new-deal-ymca-training-a-major-scandal/

Or his local college? If they weren’t already oversubscribed and offering tinpot, mind-fuck, no account qualifications…University…40,000 waiting list. Never mind this brickie’s got an entrepreneurial soul..

#he could start a travel and services company tailored to emigrating Eastern Europeans.#

So without any savings and not one word of any Slavic language…he starts a travel firm. Right…off to nightschool for “conversational Ukrainian”…then fix up an appointment with the bank manager..”So, Mr. Brick…you don’t have any experience of the travel industry, don’t speak the language and no substantial assets but you’d like to borrow £20 000 to launch an East European Travel service?”

I think the problem with your analysis is, despite your constant claim to being “left-wing”, you actually take a very condescending view of the problems facing the “British brickie”.

@BobB (74)

Thank you very much for directing us to Robert Rowthorne’s work, very interesting work. In his Times article he notes this, which rang scarily true;

“It is bizarre that the Labour Party, which still continues to insist that it is the party of the poor and vulnerable, should endorse a policy the purpose of which is the creation of what Marx called “a reserve army of labour.”

I’d obviously like to supplement “It is bizarre that the Labour Party [sic]” with “It is bizarre that the [New] Labour Party …”, but distressingly, this seems a reasonable argument by Rowthorne.

And of course, as someone has pointed out on the thread, the UK has its own homo sacer in the sense of ununionised, temp and agency workers, being exploited, so its not limited to migration, and so this is very much an issue that concerns jobs, working conditions, pay and representation.

Claude (81);

Nicely said. And briefly its monkeyfish’s low, ad hominem jabs at myself and Paul that has made me want to stop debating him, though I have been reading his posts, sometimes replying, and there are interesting.

I kind of agreed with timf that whatever the system you set up illegal immigration will persist but this should not mean we sit on our hands about it, for if anything illegal immigration seems to put pressure on the amount of political asylum seekers we should take in who take the usual route. And this seems rather unfair. So I am being realistic, but aiming to have a more or less representative number of how many people enter the country will help the Home Office on issues such as political asylum, but also ensure visitors get good treatment, know their rights, jobseekers allowances, all that stuff. This isn’t so controversial is it?

Yet this kind of informs the legitimacy of borders – yes yes they are imaginary lines drawn up arbitrarily, and seem to posit nation-state before individual liberty on first glance as some would say – but in the sense that government can maintain checks on who enters the country without being rightwing or nannystatey, I see its justification.

The double edged sword about writing an entry on my despair at the left not taking real decisions on immigration other than to denigrate the BNP is that this in turn led to leftwingers discussing immigration, and for this I’m grateful. Its a good start. But where are our other Robert Rowthorne’s, where’s the new think-tank initiative, the right dominate us in the immigration debate, because there’s a lot of faffing around and skirting around the issue, and its counterproductive.

#Nicely said. And briefly its monkeyfish’s low, ad hominem jabs at myself and Paul that has made me want to stop debating him#

Oh go on then. One last try. I’m nipping down the shops but I’ll be back to answer any issues you have with my position. I’ll try and ‘play nice’, promise, but the attitude I’m detecting in certain other posters (see #82), while politely phrased, does hint at a certain elite detachment which rather irritates me.

81
I totally agree with your analysis, but to widen the debate to immigration, those on the left do not see migrants they see other working-class people. When the dialogue continually divides the two (as it does in most right-wing tabloids). the real issues get lost.
Post 82
This is a good example of what I mean.

@82 Kentron

Oh my god. I really do hope you read that back to yourself. Are you aware of how ridiculous, patronising and condescending your “advice” to “plebs” who could “try skilling up” is? One of the worst comments I’ve ever seen ever on Liberal Conspiracy. On a par with BNP-trolling.

84. Donut Hinge Party

How is the so-called left view being espoused by some of “my countrymen deserve better than other countries’ folk,” any different from the right wing view of “I deserve better than other people?” Surely it’s just a matter of degrees? I have nothing in common with someone who lives in Yorkshire, except for some approximation of a language (which I share with South Africans) and a commonality of tax (which I share with Spaniards). Geographically, I’m closer to the French than I am to the Geordies, but I’m supposed to care more about Tynesiders just because we live on the same land-mass?

As for racist sock puppet; of course I’ll let my own children into my house; even nice well-behaved foreign ones. Yours, however, I’ll kick in the face until they pass out and let die in a puddle of their own filth, just in case they turn out like you.

The main issue here is that “the left” in it’s most general form cannot have an answer that is satisfactory to others that self define as being on the left, not in a total sense. A leftist who see’s their scope as being somewhat nationalist, even if they approve of the idea of immigration, will see priorities in getting people here jobs. Those with a more global outlook will see open borders as an opportunity to let the jobless of the world greater opportunity of employment and thus working themselves out of poverty.

But the reality is that without going full blown left wing there is little way to get the whole of the world in to work, even in a country as small as ours it’s hard enough to get everyone in to work, immigration caps or not.

The right will have the easiest time with this argument as it’s the most simple (and simplistic). They can argue, rightly to some degree, that free trade and globalism will create the jobs that are necessary, and that a shortage of jobs both nationally and globally is inevitable…so why let people come here from job shortages in their own country and increase ours? (Note, this isn’t a view I agree with but I can see their argument as at least being logical, this is ultimately a disagreement over ethics and heritage after all).

As 88 says above, left or right wing if you argue against open borders (or significantly more open borders) then you’re arguing the same point…that ultimately of trying to solve the problems of your own historical boundaries before everyone else’s. That’s why I never think this is about a left vs right wing opinion on immigration, it’s a nationalist versus free movement internationalism.

For instance, the original post tries to pass off the open borders argument as the tool of the right wing (somehow) exploitation brigade, yet ignores that while lack of open borders provides an artificial boost to the employees of a single country it also relegates perfectly equipped and qualified potential employees world wide to suffer from their own poverty of opportunity purely based on the longitude and latitude of where their parents decided to give birth to and raise them.

Just like most of the arguments that center around this subject matter, mostly around the BNP, we need to stop claiming this is a left wing versus right wing argument…in fact the two CAN have absolutely ideologically sound views that, for different individual reasons, lead to the same outcome. The first comment stated national socialism as a reason here, and I fully agree…that’s the over-riding view point, whether it’s because you think your nations employees deserve the system to be set in a way that gives them more power in the job market, or because you don’t appreciate non-whites (though mostly unskilled) trying to integrate in to our culture.

Just for the record, Dr Annonymous @ 71 is quite correct.

When it comes down to practicalities, that’s when stuff gets really complicated.

My replies to “monkeyfish” were intended to show that the moral case prior to those practicalities is extremely straightforward. Dr Annonymous pinpoints where the debate becomes interesting and very difficult.

But I’m not going to bother responding to Monkeyfish anymore, because frankly I don’t like being abused. I’m sure he/she will claim that i’m being a coward, a snob or am unable to deal with his/her awesome points. Whatever. Maybe one day he/she will realise that abusing people isn’t a very nice or clever way to behave, and that’s why people choose to ignore him/her.

“Er why? I thought the idea was for you to try and put yourself i the position that the British brickie finds himself…it can’t be that hard and it’s not as though it isn’t a very real and relevant issue in the debate. You’ve chosen to pass because you seem to thing that doing so would privilege Britishness over Ukrianianism. But the point is Paul…the British brickie finds himself in the position of remaining the British brickie..he can’t switch himself around into somebody else for the sake of argument.”

He could indeed change himself, something you seem to implicitly accept through your response above, even if you don’t agree it is easy or feasible.

The issue with open door, that I accept despite being a big advocate of it, is that it has to be implemented with a wide range of other measures. Better regulation on employee remuneration, better education policy for mature and part time learners (currently abysmal as you rightly point out), a more global (or at least European) benefits system to aide those that are unable to get work despite a willingness to migrate. I’m sure that isn’t all that would be needed in a greater package of reforms.

But even without all these I personally can’t agree with the idea that just because our brickie will be feeling shitty, that a multitude of people from around the world with a significantly worse life should have to stick with that significantly worse life. And given the figures I’ve seen that show people that are in work tend to change career a significant amount, I think that using arguments about people that have skilled up in one area and get disgruntled when that doesn’t work out is ultimately a more historic rather than modern argument. The job market is such that it is just not feasible to rest on your laurels regarding your career path, thankfully, as the alternative is seeing huge levels of poverty return to the country.

88. Donut Hinge Party

Oh, well, anyone who wrote stories from the viewpoints of dogs MUST be right.

#Better regulation on employee remuneration, better education policy for mature and part time learners (currently abysmal as you rightly point out), a more global (or at least European) benefits system to aide those that are unable to get work despite a willingness to migrate. I’m sure that isn’t all that would be needed in a greater package of reforms#

Well indeed…and a proper return of union rights. I mean personally, I’ve no issue with closed shop agreements..always seemed to me to be a surefire measure against exploitation. I’m sure Paul Sagar and the ‘new’ left wouldn’t see it that way. They’d probably regard the closed shop as another example of unenlightened self-interest on the part of the membership. In fact..people’s take on the moral standing of closed shop deals would be a good measure of just how far their superior moral stance could be stretched.

There’s a clear parallel with the immigration issue but it clarifies things since all trace of racist, xenophobic or petty nationalist motives are removed. I wonder whether those on the ‘new left’ would ever support their reintroduction or would they applaud Thatcher’s resolve in doing away with such restrictive practices? After all it just another example of those horrible grasping unions looking after their members’ interests…the evil fiends.

#The job market is such that it is just not feasible to rest on your laurels regarding your career path, thankfully, as the alternative is seeing huge levels of poverty return to the country.#

Well I fundamentally disagree with this lot. I can appreciate that often certain skills become obsolete through the onward march of technology and workers in such a position have to move on. For various other trades…bricklaying included..the problem comes through a willingness of foreign workers willing to undercut them. The solution in such cases for indigenous workers is work longer for less or retrain…were that a realistic option.. Since so many of ‘us’ oppose hierarchies of labour, global exploitation etc. why is there no onus upon these foreign workers to refuse to accept the lower rate, undermining the industry as a whole?

There has been a sort of assumption that since we live in a prosperous society that we (or at least..some of us..by no means all) should be willing to make sacrifices for the good of less prosperous immigrants…why the asymmetry? Why shouldn’t immigrant workers refuse to accept less than the going rate and show solidarity…surely that would count as enlightened self-interest since eventually it would drive up their own rates?

Paul Sagar

#But I’m not going to bother responding to Monkeyfish anymore, because frankly I don’t like being abused.#

abused FFS! You’ve had a few sarcastic digs thrown your way…largely because you are clearly unaffected personally by this issue yet call on others to make sacrifices to meet your moral agenda. I’m not particularly familiar with your ‘work’ other than from CIF where the general pattern seems to be…an ill considered, self-righteous article gets slammed…you reappear spluttering with indignation…more ridicule comes your way…you skulk off with your tail between your legs. Any awkward questions..you shout Troll. Most impressive.

Maybe you should take up bricklaying. It’s not as though you’re setting the blogging world alight. The idea that I want to debate with you or get your take on anything is frankly hilarious. I’m only too happy pick your nonsense apart all day…whatever you think…respond or not, matey…do you suppose you’re bringing some special knowledge or insight to the discussion?…I won’t be losing sleep. Get over yourself.

90. the a&e charge nurse

[95] “yet call on others to make sacrifices to meet your moral agenda” – yes, a little hobby horse of mine (although I am not addressing PS particularly).

Take Afghanistan, politicos call for military sacrifices while ensconced safely in the UK.
Or NHS managers squeezing front line line clinical staff to paper over various cracks (while they are nowhere to be seen on nights, weekends or bank holidays).
The list is far from exhaustive.

The acid test for any liberal is whether or not they would sacrifice their child’s school place for a disadvantaged, non-indigenous family if meant their child being displaced from a reputable state school to an underperforming school on the wrong side of town?

If anyone is any doubt about the chasm between rhetoric and reality (in the fight for resources) then consider what shenanigans take place when parent’s scrap for a decent school place.

Paul,

There’s a prima facie case that says: the government was elected to represent the people of Britain, not of Ukraine (or wherever), thus it has a duty to protect their interests, if necessary by restricting immigration.

But I think that just extends the point about abitrary preferencing of some self interest over others up to the state level – and that in itself doesn’t create a valid moral difference in the immigration debate, it just introduces thoughts about what a government owes its electorate.

What does the government owe its electorate? Why would a nation be self-interested? A nation consists of its people. Its people elect the government. The government owes its electorate, the people, what they say it owes them (in the general case).

It seems to me that people are more inclined to be self-interested when they think times are hard. It is only natural that they would expect their nation to look after their interests before the interests of those who aren’t members of the nation. And, as I implied before, those who feel times are hard aren’t going to buy the arguments you and others have made in this thread and elsewhere. No, they won’t be satisfied with claims (no matter how well-founded) about how we will all be better off in the long term (and please remember I’m inclined to agree with you on this). They will ask, “what about my family now?” None of you have a satisfactory answer. What is the left’s position on immigration? If it does not satisfactorily answer, “what about my family now?” you may as well have no position.

(Anyone interested in immigration might be interested in the Oldham Independent Review.)

92. Donut Hinge Party

“The acid test for any liberal is whether or not they would sacrifice their child’s school place for a disadvantaged, non-indigenous family if meant their child being displaced from a reputable state school to an underperforming school on the wrong side of town?”

I’d be more pissed off if it was some middle class white kid with sharp-elbowed parents who rented a flat in the area to get in, personally.

#I’d be more pissed off if it was some middle class white kid with sharp-elbowed parents who rented a flat in the area to get in, personally.#

As pissed of as I was about a former NuLabour education secretary sending her dyslexic son to a private special school after closing down all the state run special schools in a spirit of ‘happy-clappy’ liberal ‘inclusion’.? That’s the stripe of liberalism on offer around here….

“I’ve got my principles…sound humanitarian principles…and you’re gonna have to suffer for them (and my conscience)…but don’t worry, there’s an upside..I can sit around with a smug, self-righteous glow… basking in my superior moral status. It might not do you any favours but if you even dare to complain, I’ll shout racist troll. I can do it too…just you watch me…How? you ask…isn’t it obvious…cos I’m a left-wing legend”

94. the a&e charge nurse

[98] That’s wasn’t really my point DHP – rather I was trying to suggest that ‘principles’ are soon sacrificed on the alter of personal cost, once the consequences are significant enough [like losing out on a good school place].

And I doubt if it’s just ‘middle class whites’ who are guilty of behaving this way, although some posses a certain kind of expertise when it comes to maximising social or professional opportunities.

It seems to me that the problem with discussing left-wing/socialist issues is that we only have capitalist language/ideology to use. This is constraining and inevitably debate always reflects that starting point.
96 100 a + e charge nurse,
Socialism is about giving all children a good education regardless of postcode. As another contributor has already stated, capitalism is quite good at setting the working-class/individuals against each other, this is not the nature of socialism.

#t seems to me that the problem with discussing left-wing/socialist issues is that we only have capitalist language/ideology to use. This is constraining and inevitably debate always reflects that starting point.#

An interesting and well observed point. However, one aspect which will inevitably arise is the extent to which people are directly affected by immigration, in terms of competition over employment and to some extent public services. I would say in broad terms that those most directly affected might be termed: skilled and unskilled manual workers; and those least affected might reasonably be termed: the rest.

Since ‘skilled and unskilled manual workers’ is a bit of a mouthful, it might be acceptable to simply call them ‘working class’. It’s then more than inevitable that the rest of the ‘capitalist language/ideology’ falls into place.

But jb, we don’t live in this socialist system, and are unlikely to do anytime soon.
So poorer immigrants head straight to and set up home in areas where housing is cheaper and transform it by their very presence.

I recognise that people look at these very multi-cultural areas of towns and cities in different ways. Hopefully it’s positive, but there are bound to be some people who don’t like it. Yesterday I was in Deptford in south east London. It is a quite facinating area to look around. The High street and market are so different now to how they were 20 or 30 years ago. It’s one of the most diverse places I know of. Many of the shops are African run, Many more East Asian run. In 2005 it was voted the best high street in London.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Deptford_Market_south.jpg

I do wonder how the different peoples get on with each other. Historically the area was very white working class with close association with the docks and shipbuilding.
If you look closely, it seems that the traditional white British population looks to be waning. There’s still some pubs and a pie and mash shop, but the places that seem to have the most vitality are the African and East Asian ones.
The hair and beauty shops were filled with loudly chatting African women yesterday.
These places look like centers of community.
There was one little enclave of white middle class people who were at the cafe that is an old railway carriage.
http://www.assemblyroom.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/deptford-3.jpg

The white working class and the newer Africans seem to get on OK as the African women (particularly) seem very open and direct. They call out to people to come into the shop or look at their stall in a way that seems familiar. I heard at least one calling customers ”darling” – which is nice I thought.

Open borders would mean that many more places would become like that. Which is a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view.
I like it personally. But does it increase poverty and cause alienation? And if it does, do we just blame that on a system which can’t fully provide for people’s needs?

@ 96 “The acid test for any liberal is whether or not they would sacrifice their child’s school place for a disadvantaged, non-indigenous family if meant their child being displaced from a reputable state school to an underperforming school on the wrong side of town?”

Only someone who didn’t have kids would ask that question. Firstly, no, absoultely not, and I don’t honestly believe that anyone (whether they self label as a liberal or not), would. That nice warm feeling from helping the disadvantaged would have worn off long before your own kids started their burger flipping career.
Incidentally the same outcome (disadvantaged kid gets into decent state school) could be acheived by said liberal sending his kids private and thus passing your acid test.

@ 98 “I’d be more pissed off if it was some middle class white kid with sharp-elbowed parents who rented a flat in the area to get in, personally.”

I don’t think that happens anything like as often as the BBC/Guardian like to pretend, although it may be more of an issue in London where population density means the range of schools avaiable in a given area is high compared to the rest of the country.
The best state schools tend to be (surprise surprise) in middle class areas. In exactly the same way that the best houses, shops, restaurants, art galleries and parks tend to be. No one sane would claims that the middle class “monpolised all the good parks” though would they, so whay apply that logic to schools ?

And what exactly is wrong with looking after your childrens best interests, when they can’t, and no one else will ?

@102

“Socialism is about giving all children a good education regardless of postcode. As another contributor has already stated, capitalism is quite good at setting the working-class/individuals against each other, this is not the nature of socialism”.

So why did a labour government introdce league tables, “parental choice” (LOL) and effectively dismantle the comprehensive system by introducing foundation schools, academies, etc. Could it be a tacit admission that state education is based on flawed assumptions about the equal distribution of ability ? I agree with you that postcode should be irrelevant and that everyone should get the best education they are capable of benefiting from.

104
“we don’t live in a socialist system” – Unfortunately I have to agree, but my post really was about the language we use and the assumptions we make, even when we consciously think about it, it is still very compelling, as monkeyfish points out.
I realize that socialism is not going to come anytime soon so when I debate socialism it does tend to be in a theoretical sense.
But just to make a point, you referred in your post to people who would be labelled as ‘working-class’ eg street market stall holders, and their African/Asian backgrounds but I never hear Rupert Murdoch or Mohammed al fayed spoken of as immigrants or as part of the debate about immigration. It seems that goods and services and a particular class can freely come over borders with little or no restriction.
Also, I believe that the whole working-class suffer from alienation.

#105: “So why did a labour government introdce league tables”

The Labour government didn’t introduce schools league tables – the preceding Conservative government did. It did so because some local education authorities and some schools were (and are) failing to maintain good standards of education:

“[Labour] government figures show only 15% of white working class boys in England got five good GCSEs including maths and English last year. . . Poorer pupils from Indian and Chinese backgrounds fared much better – with 36% and 52% making that grade respectively.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7220683.stm

Schools with similar catchment areas were and are producing very different results in the school leaving exams.

Btw less than 7 per cent of school students are at so-called non-maintained (meaning fee-paying) schools.

105
I was talking about socialism not New Labour, I also referred to access to good education not whether there is such a thing as differing abilities

jb @ 106 ”Also, I believe that the whole working-class suffer from alienation”.
A fair point, but I was talking about the alienation that can happen between diferent cultures or groups that are ”forced” to live in this close (and poor) proximity.

For example, in Deptford I did wonder if the African and Chinese/Vietnamese communities would be really having much to do with each other, (though their children in school will have).
One of the problems that a place like that has, is that it will also be a center of the up to half a million people in London who are ”ilegal”. Walking around it’s hard to not fall into the crass game of ”spot the illegal immigrant”. The Chinese guys in the betting shop looked likely candidates.
It’s not just that they are Chinese, but that they look like they have come from China only recently. Same as when I visited the town of Shenzhen just north of Hong Kong, they were different to the Hong Kong people, and even there you could spot country people from outside of Shenzhen a mile away, in the way that they looked and dressed and stood about smoking.

In opposing racism completely, we shouldn’t ignore the issues that are raised when the worlds poor are all housed together side by side.

In this documentary he did about his own Somalian community in London, Raghee Omar mentions poverty and alienation within fifteen seconds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOxMelDdZUw&feature=channel_page

It seems there are similar problems with racism and alienation in Australia with the Somalian community there too
http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-08-17-voa14.cfm?rss=asia

When I mentioned a few things like this about Somalis in the UK the other day on another website, someone came back and said ”are the Somali’s this season’s community to be kicked about and vilified ?” …. suggesting I had been wrong to raise such things.
Talking about this is always difficult in liberal circles. Some people will suspect your motives and chuck out the R word (just to be on the safe side).

But refugees are poor! That’s why they live in poor areas… The Jews did, the Irish, the Ugandan Asians, the Huguenots all did too. But give refugees a chance, i.e. don’t subject them to unfair prejudice and they will make good.

It is very odd how inseparable refugees and economic migrants are in this country. Somalis aren’t really migrants are they? They’re refugees, if they went home, they’d be pretty a)dead b) tortured c)living in fear of a) or b). A lot of people encounter refugees as “immigrants” but the arguments on helping refugees are totally different from those on “open” versus “closed” borders.

Even Walzer, Mr Communitarian says we have a duty to refugees.

I think there is a solution to this empasse. Many of the costs that working class people bare are artificially inflated for the sake of various middle class interest groups. Food for the sake of usually rather richer farmers, housing for the sake of homeowners trying to build rental empires. Pubs and clubs for the sake of the nanny-state-public-heath-bureaucracy complex and the cartelised alcohol industry. And heaven help them if they ever need to engage a lawyer or something! Plus the fact that they pay for things like middle class journalists indirectly through their taxes.

Living well really ought not to cost that much in this day and age. If you tackled those sort of structural power inequalities, you could probably afford much more immigration without any harm to the working class’s quality of life. If you make everything cheaper, it doesn’t matter if wages are a little lower or stay stagnant.

105. Donut Hinge Party

D’you know what; I think I CAN tie local education standards to the influx of immigrants. True story; Our local infant schools have closed down and merged; even the senior school is being rebuilt (by immigrants) with less classrooms. And you know why? Because old people won’t roll over and die so their dependents can sell their houses to young people; our senior citizen population is going through the roof – damn nurses and care staff keeping them alive, and most of them are immigrants.

110#That’s why they live in poor areas… The Jews did, the Irish, the Ugandan Asians, the Huguenots all did too. But give refugees a chance, i.e. don’t subject them to unfair prejudice and they will make good.#

Yeah but that was in the days of assimilation before identity took hold. I’d say the jury’s out on their future chances. Time was assimilation was the natural way of things at least for the second generation. Now cultural preservation is an industry.

Spot on with the conflation of refugees / migrants btw.

#111

“Plus the fact that they pay for things like middle class journalists indirectly through their taxes.”

How? You mean the BBC? Education? This is what you mean isn’t it? I fuckin hope so because if one penny of my taxes has gone towards Toynbee’s traditional, terracotta-roofed, Tuscan porch I’m gonna go friggin ballistic. See I’ve already started alliterating like a lunatic at the mere suggestion.

#112

So why not set us all an example? I’m sure Paul Sagar would be happy to let you sacrifice yourself for a better and brighter future…it’s the Liberal way. I’m sure he’d make ‘a bit of space’ himself if his analytical powers and scintillating prose weren’t so vital for the nation’s moral wellbeing.

Infrastructure includes roads, railways, train stations, sewage works , water works, schools, hospitals, power stationsetc, etc. The price of land particularly impacts on the cost of building new roads and railways. The relatively high populations in urban and near urban areas mean the cost of land is high. The increase in the cost of land in Ireland has greatly increased the costs and delays in building new motorways . The construction of high speed railways, particularly in France but also Spain, is in part due to the lower population densities and cost of land. The land between Paris and the Channel is considerably cheaper than that from the Channel to London.

When considering immigration, thought needs to be given as to how the communities will get on with each other, such as Muslim Bosnians and Serbs, Israel and Muslims. Will former conficts be left at the border or brought into Britain?

Left Outside, I agree with your sentiments, and what you say about people making good is very often the case. 50% of the time, 60 or 70% – who can really say?
But there are also great big poverty traps that people (and whole communities) can fall into.
Being an ethnic minority and having refugee or immigrant parents while living on a large sink estate with poor housing and schools, must be a major disadvantage.
Somewhat similar to being white British … (or white other), and live next door, but a bit different as well.

Many more settled people people with children growing up would want to flee from AJ Nakasila and his friends. Diane Abbot MP didn’t want her son to be around that kind of youth cultue.
http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/dispatches/i4i+aj+nakasila+biography/1394447

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyCOusMxGGo

I can see that these young lads just need to be mentored and talked to and shown other posibilities in life. But in the meantime it’s not happening fast enough and this culture prevails amongst enough youth to make it a problem. Where’s the blame for all this? Racist white people? Capitalism?

Short of ”socialism”, I wonder what would need to be done to eradicate this difficulty that gets some ethnic minority young people from poor environments failing more often in school and starting off in in the jobs market.

About us having a duty to refugees @ 110. If things are so bad for people in Somalia, then surely we should be sending down the Royal Navy and some large cruise liners to pick up the people from that country and bring them back here?
Otherwise we are only helping the young fit and strong males who have the resources and guile to make it all the way over land and sea and then turn up at the home office to claim asylum.

This is one of the articles that I posted on that other website that was seen as Somali bashing,
About how the P-3 programme that the US was operating to re-unite families from east Africa (and several other places) with family members already living in the USA, was being abused by many of the people making applications, who were using fraudulent documents (bought and sold openly in places like Nairobi) had been suspended.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/12/10/ST2008121003553.html

But as all of these people clearly want to get away to America, maybe the liberal and humane thing to do would be turn a blind eye to this fraud.

According to this BBC Newsnight report in April last year about why London is different, 40 per cent of London residents were born abroad:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7368326.stm

Despite the number of immigrants, London is a very prosperous capital city by European standards. It is so prosperous that the tax revenues of its residents are supporting public spending in most of the rest of Britain. Taxpayers in London and the South East region are bankrolling the rest of the country. Try this map:
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23416323-details/The+REAL+north-south+divide:+South-East+is+'bankrolling'+Britain/article.do

The figures in that map of Britain are based on this study by Oxford Economic Forecasting:
http://www.oef.com/free/pdfs/finance_report(oct07).pdf

As for me, some of us are still nostalgic about doing the Lambeth Walk:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oimHJCURbo

@ 107

“The Labour government didn’t introduce schools league tables – the preceding Conservative government did. It did so because some local education authorities and some schools were (and are) failing to maintain good standards of education:”

Fair point but Labour didn’t exactly do away with them, they developed them into a national industry – a target for everything.

About us having a duty to refugees @ 110. If things are so bad for people in Somalia, then surely we should be sending down the Royal Navy and some large cruise liners to pick up the people from that country and bring them back here?
Otherwise we are only helping the young fit and strong males who have the resources and guile to make it all the way over land and sea and then turn up at the home office to claim asylum.

YES! Finally, that’s exactly what I’d propose. See here, at the bottom I pretty much proposed that yesterday.

But it’s also the answer to your question.

I agree with your sentiments, and what you say about people making good is very often the case. 50% of the time, 60 or 70% – who can really say?

Why have refugees traditionally done well here? Well because they’re the most resourceful, the least risk-averse and the most ambitious. The others sadly ended up dead.

They here because they made it. That’s why people slagging off asylum seekers/refugees/illegals/migrants so annoys me.

I’d support that Left Outside. What would happen afterwards would be the most interesting development to be a part of and see in one’s lifetime.
It would put the Windrush migrations in the shade numerically.

Actually dealing with the consequences is something you don’t go into too much (I did see your blog) … like where would the people live? We really wouldn’t want those army camps that the Ugandan Asians were first sent to on arival in the UK in 1972 being used again.
Have them pile in with people from their communities already in the UK in very particular localities?

I’m not being cynical here, I just don’t really see how it might work. A huge programme of building houses and infrastructure would be needed.

The only people I know who put foreward this argument in a consistent manner are the folk at Spiked-online (who many on the left can’t stand).

They are for open borders and massive building to a scale not seen in recent times.
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/issues/C137/

I’d guess that doesn’t sit too well with the people most concerned about global warming.

Perhaps the no platform for the BNP is based on fear. A huge number of the British public are seriously pissed of with immigrants coming to our country claiming free treatment on an already overstreched NHS. Hindering our education system by filling our schools with childen who cannot speak english. Claiming benefits when they when have not paid into the system. Being given social housing and attempting to impose their culture on ours. I have worked from the age of 15 to the age of 68 and outside of my basic OA Pension I recieve nothing from the state. Yet as I understand it some can come here and claim benefits for children they say they have left in their own country or even claim for second wives which for us is bigamy. The BNP speak up for the disenfrachised british public and the do-gooder brigade cannot defend against a system that puts immigrants and ethnic minorities before the indidgenous population.

@roy, I’m sorry but you just repeated a stream of lies you heard somewhere…

Well surprisingly it only took 115 comments on the thread for someone to explicitly embrace the BNP, and its of its typical terse clap.

Roy – what do you mean by the “indigenous population” ?

Dear Roy,

“I have worked from the age of 15 to the age of 68 and outside of my basic OA Pension I recieve nothing from the state.”

So apart from what you receive, you don’t receive anything? Okay, that’s a cheap shot. But can you explain how immigrants took anything away from you?

“A huge number of the British public are seriously pissed of with immigrants coming to our country claiming free treatment on an already overstreched NHS.”

The NHS would collapse without migrants, moreover, migrants use public services less than the “indigenous” population.

“Hindering our education system by filling our schools with childen who cannot speak english.”

Filling? In a few schools it is now a minority that have English as a second language. But only a very few. In the vast majority this is not happening. Moreover, many immigrant groups do exceedingly well in school, somewhat scuppering your argument.

“Claiming benefits when they when have not paid into the system.”

As has been pointed out elsewhere ad nauseam immigrants pay in more to the system than they take out.

“Being given social housing and attempting to impose their culture on ours.”

Two points in one sentence there.

First go here, read it. Immigrants do not take up social housing.

Secondly, where’s this culture imposing? You mean flagrantly having shops selling food they like? Or recklessly being in possession of “curly hair and thick lips”? Maybe being drunk in charge of a foreign accent? In reality a tiny proportions of muslims (I assume you are talking about “Mohammedans”) are a bit fundamentalist but any eurabia fear-mongering has been debunked time and time again.

“Yet as I understand it some can come here and claim benefits for children they say they have left in their own country or even claim for second wives which for us is bigamy.”

Huh?! No! of course not! This is lies, you have been fed lies and I am very sorry for you. But not that sorry, because rather than challenge those lies you have come here to parrot them.

“The BNP speak up for the disenfrachised british public and the do-gooder brigade cannot defend against a system that puts immigrants and ethnic minorities before the indidgenous population.”

That’s not true, the BNP are racist scum, hell bent on repatriating British Citizens because they’re not part of an Anglo-Norse-Celtic folk community. Immigrants are treated like crap, blacks and asians are more likely to be searched by the police, the media vilify asylum seekers. Refugees have been turned into bogey men…

I’m sorry roy. But you might need to reassess everything you’ve read on the subject of race, immigration and Britishness. I suggest starting with my post referenced above, then Carl’s, then all the comments below. Then try again.

119. Donut Hinge Party

In reponse to Roy.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/start/who-qualifies/new-arrivals-intro/family-not-in-UK.htm

Your family doesn’t live in the UK – can you get tax credits?
If you’re in the UK but your family lives in another European country or Switzerland, you may be able to get tax credits to top up your income. The tax credits you can get and the amount you can receive depends on how much money you’ve already got coming in and on your circumstances. You can only get tax credits for a child outside of Europe or Switzerland if your partner (if you have one) is a Crown Servant working abroad.
===
Child Benefit if your child lives with someone else
If your child goes to live with someone else, you may be able to keep getting Child Benefit for up to eight weeks. You might be able to get it for longer if you keep contributing towards your child’s upkeep.

Being present in the UK
To get Child Benefit both you and your child must be physically present in the UK. But you’ll still be able to get it if you’re out of the country for short, temporary stays, like on holiday.

If you’ve come to the UK but your child has stayed behind
There are different arrangements for Child Benefit depending on whether you are working and have come from an EEA country or not. You will still however need to be responsible for your child.

If you have come to the UK from a country that is outside the EEA or Switzerland you can only qualify for Child Benefit once your child actually arrives in the UK.

If however you have arrived from an EEA country or Switzerland, you can usually get Child Benefit even if your child doesn’t come to the UK.

Firstly it is true that immigrant’s use less of the NHS than British subjects do but that is only because there are at present less of them. I even after 53 years contributions still have to pay for dentistry, which the asylum seeker gets for free without having to go to the ends of the earth simply to find a dentist. Do asylum seekers teeth hurt more than British teeth? Furthermore If I go to the Dentist or Hospital I do not need an interpreter and my children did not need interpreters at school, interpreters are not for free.

I remember Hitler, he bombed me when I was a child in the East End just before I was evacuated, now he may well have gone over the top but at least he cleared all the foreigners out of Germany and he made the trains run on time. We can’t stop foreigners coming in and as for the trains you couldn’t make it up

We have over the last 20 years or so given way to a load of foolish do-gooders who have banished free speech, corporal and capitol punishments and swamped us with crackpot health and safety regulations.

We are turning into a more fascist state than even Hitler ran, we are told we cannot smoke, how much we can drink, we must not smack our children and at the slightest accident or misfortune everyone for miles around is offered counselling. Gypsies can ignore our planning laws and we have to spend millions of taxpayer’s money to shift them so as not to impinge on their “HUMAN RIGHTS”.

Well I am an old man but all you so called Liberals with your posh degrees remember this in future years as the quote of an old man who has travelled all over the world and done many things.

Sometime within the next 25 years Britain will erupt into anarchy as the immigrants take over. Hopefully I will not be hear to see it but I fear for my descendants

What Democracy ?

Democracy, in Britain is nothing but a lie.
From the dictionary the word should be deleted
Whilst democracy’s the slogan that politicians cry
The majority of us feel that we’ve been cheated
With political correctness forced upon us every day
Just in case the casual word may cause offence
If you have a strong opinion be careful what you say
Even though you may be talking perfect sense
When we joined the E.E.U. I’m sure we took the view
It would give a larger market for our trade
Yet now our mighty nation has a legal obligation
To abide by regulations Brussels made
The referendum was denied, the politicians lied
These decisions were decided by the few
It was no doubt understood, M.Ps thought it would be good
With a total disregarding of our view
MP’s pull out all the stops to try to fill our shops
With G.M foods that we don’t want to eat
Whilst cameras check our speed on roads where there’s no need
We’d be better off with coppers on the beat
If confronted by a crook and you land a good right hook
You may think that he deserved it, it’s his fault
When he is on probation you’ll be locked up down the station
To appear before a jury for assault
When travellers leave a mess, you’d be spot on if you guess
That authorities will turn an eye that’s blind
Yet drop a fag end in the street and before it hits your feet
You will get an instant ticket and be fined
If asylums what you seek and English you can’t speak
Benefits are paid for your welfare
But if your British and your old, your property is sold
To pay for any time you are in care
If you chastise your child, because he has run wild
That law will on your collar give a tug
For no matter what you say, do-gooders rule the day
Even though the child may grow into a thug
In the interest of fair play referendums are the way
The majority decide just where we go
We shouldn’t change our laws or take part in futile wars
To massage a political ego
When we are due a big election, parties vie for our affection
Promising the things they have in store
It fair gives us the hump, they should take a running jump
They must realise we’ve heard it all before.
It is hard to understand who governs our fair land
Or who it is that makes up all our rules
Our politicians bore us, or totally ignore us
Democracy in Britain! It’s for fools!!.
.

121. Donut Hinge Party

“I remember Hitler, he bombed me when I was a child in the East End just before I was evacuated”

Bloody young kids, coming out from the towns, claiming our fields, pushing up the prices of cream teas and raising the scrumping and scallywaggery rates of our village. Should go back to the cities they came from, and deal with their own problems.

Most of what you said there looked like a joke, at least Hitler ran out all the foreigners, trains, asylum seeker teeth. I’ve been to countries where I could’ve done with an interpreter, and I appreciate the thinking behind offering interpretation services. For what they’re worth they are not paid a great deal of money, I think you’re clutching for this argument roy, I think it’s time to admit that what you’d like to think about immigrants, and what actually happens in an immigrants life, are two entirely different things. And about Hitler, he used labour camps, but I suppose next you’ll be telling me about the upside of his full employment schemes.

Come on, hands up, who’s posting as ‘roy’? Paragraph 2 must be a parody, right?

Neil,

I think as roy says himself in para. 2 you couldn’t make it up.

I do agree with the last line of post 121

126. Donut Hinge Party

“we must not smack our children”

I know how you feel, Roy – I felt the same when they said I couldn’t thrash the wife. I mean, the switch was no bigger than my thumb.

Still I can get away with using it on elderly bigots. If they piss themselves with fear then no-one notices the difference, and by the time they compose their senile minds enough to think about reporting to the police, then they’ve forgotten what I look like – result!

Listen Carl,
I’ve got a mate who works at Haleswood and when they try to deport a failed asylum seeker they take them to the airport and if they kick off they take them back. They then try again later and if they kick up again the take them back yet again. They only enforce the illegal immigrant to leave at the third time of trying but each attempt costs thousands in transport, manpower and airfares

But here is something for you clever lot with your degrees and do-gooder nonsense

Under international asylum law the asylum seeker must seek asylum in the FIRST COUNTRY they enter upon leaving their homeland. Therefore 99.9% of so-called asylum seekers are illegal immigrant. (Look it up) They only want to come to Britain to enjoy the benefit system. No one is persecuted in Europe for his or her political beliefs. Gangs of them try to cross the channel every day and they are not trying to escape from persecution they just don’t get the benefits that they know they can claim of us. DO TRY TO KEEP UP!!

Down With The Nanny State.

I am now of the opinion, that the nanny state thinks we are fools
I have seen our society changing, I am staggered by some of the rules
No longer do we have the freedom to take risks after weighing the odds
When having considered the chances, put our fate in the lap of the gods
Banned are the daredevil heroes of which our great nation was proud
Adventure, thrill, exhilaration are simply no longer allowed
Today it’s all stresses and traumas caused by the slightest mishap
Not by bombs, poverty or starvation but by insignificant crap
We must not get upset or worried or ever receive reprimand
Our lives must be like Mary Poppins or we will be mentally harmed
Yet before councillors were invented and you were confronted with strife
You didn’t start whinging and whining you simply got on with your life
Now it seems kids can’t play conkers, at school unless wearing specs
And firemen’s poles are a hazard, I wonder what they’ll think of next
All workers now have to have footwear that has steel built into the toes
Plus high visibility jackets worn over their normal work clothes
What with PC and human rights rubbish and constant advice on our food
We should tell all do-gooders to “Stuff it” up somewhere decidedly rude
How do they think we all managed before all this twaddle arrived
Through wars, poverty, depravation a hell of a lot still survived
Nobody made a commotion if a schoolteacher gave you the cane
It was considered unmanly if you couldn’t cope with the pain
Villains broke rocks up on Dartmoor and murderers paid with their lives
Fisticuffs settled a dispute for only a coward used knives
Hooligans given a birching, till their backsides were blooded and sore
It’s hard to look tough when you’re crying so very few went back for more
So don’t patronise me with this drivel, my generations not dense
We have learned how to roll with life’s punches by just using sound common sense
If we could just gaze in a crystal and the next fifty years we could glimpse
Then I for one feel pretty certain we will then have a nation of wimps
None of us need to be coddled, we don’t need it all on a plate
Let’s stand up to all these busybodies and jettison the nanny state
The result of this do-gooder nonsense is not very hard to detect
By the loss of respect for each other and virtually no self respect
Gone are the days of the nit-nurse, and gone is the headmasters cane
Is society better off for it? well, perhaps we should all think again

All children in the small village school I went to after being evacuated were subjected to the cane or a clip round the ear. None were affected by it and even though there were only five classrooms in the entire school no one as i remeber left scool without the ability to read write and do basic maths. The classes usualy contained around 35 pupils each and you spent two years in each class with the same teacher teaching all subjects. Diciplin was maintained via the cane and parents if they found you had been caned usualy punished you as well.

It did no harm whatsoever and it taught respect

“It did no harm…”

It produced you.

130. Donut Hinge Party

Well, Roy, as your friend at Haleswood should tell you, they don’t get it. They can’t work, they’re put in a detention centre whilst their applications are processed, they get food and lodgings and if they fail and escape – well, then they’re ineligible for benefits; that’s pretty much a downside of being illegal. I mean, sure, if they’re in a house which gets set on fire, the fire brigade will put it out, and they can avail themselves of other passive services like roads and streetlights, but as for financial support? How would it get to them? It’s soup kitchens or crime – which is a separate matter – but certainly not state-funded benefits.

131. the a&e charge nurse

[130] “It produced you” – and many, many more (from the post war generation) with a similar outlook.

Few transcend the culture they belong to – don’t forget the world today is a very different place compared to the 1940s.

I wonder how long liberal aspirations would last if there was a global war, or a complete collapse of an essential resource like oil?

“I wonder how long liberal aspirations would last if there was a global war, or a complete collapse of an essential resource like oil?”

It’s poetry I fear for.

Have you stopped beating you wife Roy?

134. Donut Hinge Party

“Few transcend the culture they belong to – don’t forget the world today is a very different place compared to the 1940s.”

Oh, I can pity the old guy without tolerating him; like the mad mullahs who believe in harsh interpretations of sharia law. But by remembering what it is we’ve moved on from, through mockery and vilification if needs be, we determine our path forwards toward enlightenment not only of ourselves, but of our future. As we grow closer together, we see each others’ humanity, we muddy the borders between ourselves, and it becomes as hard to deny a stranger’s rights as we would our own.

They panic because they are about to die, and because they are confronted with a denial of the life they have led as noble and valid. Faced with accepting that you have been wrong all of your life, or of making devils of the world around, to know that you and only you were right in those last few years before oblivion, it is understandable that a man would rather die a valiant failed crusader than a misled fool.

DHP got there before me (#131) but your mate, Roy, has been selling you a few tall tales about illegal immigrants. Tell me Roy, going back to my original post, what do you think about Jamaica being on the home office safety list even though there regular homophobic attacks, or the attempted deportation of an Iranian lesbian who if sent back would have been hanged? Do these things make you grateful for human rights? They make me grateful.

Perhaps I was a little harsh; I was dismissive because it didn’t seem like Roy is making a genuine attempt to engage.

But my basic point was that the sentence “It never did me any harm” proves the point that corporal punishment etc legitimised violence and hence disrespect between people.

I also think that kind of discipline worked when the kind of jobs people were going into were factory line jobs where people just had to do as they were told. But where we need people to think for themselves, have ideas, and challenge things, to work in creative new sectors like IT, the drum-it-into-them-by-hitting-them-and-making-them-afraid approach just doesn’t work.

And at the risk of of tmi, my parents smacked me as a child, they’re not fundamentally bad people and I don’t think it was abuse or anything. I don’t even think we should outlaw smacking entirely. But it did damage our relationship, and when they tried to use smacking as a punishment for my younger brother, I would stand inbetween them and prevent it. He gets on with them much better than I do.

So too I know that if I’d been caned at school my instinctive reaction would’ve been to refuse to go to that teacher’s lessons and play truant instead. I’d have ended up with a worse education. Generations change and bringing back the birch wouldn’t necessarily help.

Carl – good points, and it’s also worth Roy asking himself why someone who had been beaten up trying to prevent their own deportation twice already would resist a third time just to live a life with no access to benefits, healthcare, work at a decent level of pay and the constant threat of arrest and imprisonment unless they were under even greater danger if they were deported.

Donut Hinge Party

Dont you know what illegal means as in illegal imigrant, it means against the law.
Therefore they are criminals and why should my/our taxes finance foriegn criminals.

They are NOT asylum seekers for the reasons I have previously stated, most have to cross several nations to get here. Why should I have to travel miles and then pay for dental treatment when they get it immedeatly and for free. Perhaps if when they get toothache we just leave them too it they would soon be longing to go somewhere else to get it fixed. They should be sent back with NO appeals why mess about processing ILLEGAL imigrants. They should apply to emigrate to the UK from the first nation they arive at on crossing their own nations borders.

In the 1960s there was great debate about hanging and corpral punishment both in the newspapers and on TV. One night they had the chap on from the Channel Island who actualy administered the birch. He was asked if he thought it was a deterent for crime. His reply was that A) He was the person who had administered this punishment for the previous 28 years. B) In all that time no one had ever come back for a second helping.

In recent years Tony Martin shot and killed a teenage burglar who had a whole string of previous convictions. Perhaps had he been birched insted of modycoddled
he may still have been alive today.

I love the way that the left always point people towards “research” that proves them wrong. As if Roy is gonna say, “oh thats ok then, I’ll convert to Islam after all”

Matt Munro;

what do you suppose we do then?

roy;

did you answer my question (#136) and timf’s add-n (#138)?

“I remember Hitler, he bombed me when I was a child in the East End just before I was evacuated, now he may well have gone over the top but at least he cleared all the foreigners out of Germany and he made the trains run on time. We can’t stop foreigners coming in and as for the trains you couldn’t make it up”

I’m sorry but even I can see this is wind up. Everyone knows it was Mussolini that made the trains run on time.

@ 141 There’s nothing you can do –

The problem is, to take the education example, even if Left Outside is correct in his assertion that “very very few” schools have majority non-english speakers as pupils, if Roys kids/grandkids go to one of them, even if’s the only one in the country, that is going to be the experience he bases his opinion on, irrespective of what the stats say.

143. Donut Hinge Party

Bah, facts! You can prove anything with facts.

Apologies for spamming the mostly converted, but if we’ve got one cornered it’s a shame to lose the opportunity.

http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/practice/basics/facts.htm#factone

“Asylum seekers and refugees do not get large handouts from the state
The vast majority of asylum seekers are not allowed to work and are forced to rely on state support, which is set at just 70% of income support.
Asylum seekers want to work and support themselves. Many do voluntary work while their asylum application is being processed.
Asylum seekers do not come to the UK to claim benefits. In fact, most know very little about the UK asylum or benefits systems before they arrive. (Home Office, Understanding the decision-making of asylum seekers, July 2002)
Asylum seekers do not jump the queue for council housing and they cannot choose where they live. The accommodation allocated to them is not paid for by the local council. It is nearly always ‘hard to let’ properties, which other people do not want to live in.
Asylum seekers do not get special perks such as mobile phones and help to buy cars. They are also denied access to many of the benefits others rely upon, such as disability living allowance.
Asylum seekers and refugees are law-abiding citizens
The vast majority of people seeking asylum are law abiding citizens. (Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Guide to meeting the policing needs of asylum seekers and refugees)
Many destitute refused asylum seekers fear approaching the police to report incidents of sexual harassment and assaults, avoiding contact for fear of being picked up, put in detention and deported. (Refugee Action report on destitute refused asylum seekers, 2006)
6.5% of the vulnerable women who presented to the Refugee Council’s project said they had been forced into prostitution or exchanging sex for somewhere to stay. (Refugee Council: The Vulnerable Women’s project, 2009)
In international and national law, distinctions are made between refugees, asylum seekers, legal and illegal economic migrants, minority citizens, travellers and others. These distinctions are all too easily lost by the media, and most particularly in the tabloid press. (Memorandum from UNHCR to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, 2007)
Immigration officers have the power to detain asylum seekers, even if they have not committed any crime.
Refugees make a huge contribution to the UK
Immigrants, including refugees, pay more into the public purse compared to their UK born counterparts. (Institute for Public Policy Research, Paying their way: the fiscal contribution of immigrants in the UK, 2005)
An estimated 30,000 jobs have been created in Leicester by Ugandan Asian refugees since 1972. (The Observer, They fled with nothing but built a new empire, 11 August 2002)
About 1,200 medically qualified refugees are recorded on the British Medical Association’s database BMA/Refugee Council refugee doctor database, 4 June 2008)
It only costs £10,000 to prepare a refugee doctor to practise in the UK. It costs £250,000 to train a doctor from scratch. (BMA in BBC News, NHS fails to use refugee doctors, 16 June 2004)
Asylum-seeking children contribute very positively to schools across the country. This in turn enables more successful integration of families into local communities. (Office for Standards in Education, The education of asylum seeker pupils, October 2003)
Asylum seekers are looking for a place of safety
There is no such thing as an ‘illegal’ or ‘bogus’ asylum seeker. Under international law, anyone has the right to apply for asylum in the UK and to remain here until the authorities have assessed their claim.
Asylum seekers are not economic migrants. The top ten refugee producing countries in 2007 all have poor human rights records or ongoing conflict. (UNHCR, 2007 Global Trends: Refugees, Asylum seekers, Returnees, Internally displaced and Stateless Persons, 2008)
Many refugees and asylum seekers hope to return home at some point in the future, provided the situation in their country has improved.
The 1951 Refugee Convention guarantees everybody the right to apply for asylum. It has saved millions of lives. No country has ever withdrawn from it.
Britain’s asylum system is very tough
The UK asylum system is strictly controlled and complex. It is very difficult to get asylum.
By using visa restrictions and the e-borders programme to strengthen the borders, the UK is closing and locking the doors to those seeking protection. (Refugee Council, Remote Controls: how UK border controls are endangering the lives of refugees, 2008)
Since 2005 people recognised as refugees are only given permission to stay within the UK for five years.
There were only 25,670 asylum applications to the UK in 2008. They have fallen by almost half over the last five years. (Home Office quarterly statistical summary, asylum statistics 2008 )
The Home Office detains roughly 2,000 asylum-seeking children with their families each year. (Save the Children, No place for a child, 2005)
Home Office decision-making remains poor. 23% of asylum appeals decided in 2006 resulted in Home Office decisions being overturned. (Home Office, Asylum statistics: 4th quarter 2006, 2007)
Poor countries – not the UK – look after most of the world’s refugees
The UK is home to less than 2% of the world’s refugees – out of 16 million worldwide. (UNHCR, 2007 Global Trends: Refugees, Asylum seekers, Returnees, Internally displaced and Stateless Persons, 2008)

Over 520,000 refugees have fled the conflict in Sudan to neighbouring countries, yet only 265 Sudanese people applied for asylum in the UK in 2007 (UNHCR 2007: Global Trends; and Home Office Statistical Bulletin: Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2007, 2008)

About 80% of the world’s refugees are living in developing countries, often in camps. Africa and Asia host more than three quarters of the world’s refugees between them. Europe looks after just 14%. (UNHCR, 2007 Global Trends: Refugees, Asylum seekers, Returnees, Internally displaced and Stateless Persons, 2008)

In 2008, the UK was ranked 17th in the league table of industrialised countries for the number of asylum applications per head of population. (UNHCR Asylum levels and trends in industrialised countries 2007 and 2008 )”

But maybe that’s just what ZANULIDIAMIEBORUSSIADOLFHITLEPOLPOTBBC WANT you to think.

“But my basic point was that the sentence “It never did me any harm” proves the point that corporal punishment etc legitimised violence and hence disrespect between people.”

So why is it that post corporal punishment – we now have 2 generations who have grown up without it – we have a more violent, and obviously therefore less respectfull society than we had then ?

Carl
I have already answered your questions. They should apply to emigrate to any country of their choice from The FIRST COUNTRY they arrive at when crossing their own borders. Outside of that they are breaking the law.

What part of FIRST COUNTRY dont you understand? !!!!!

We think that’s a bad law. A spectacularly bad law, in fact. I don’t think you should have to be an expert in asylum and immigration law while fleeing for your life.

But for the record, what you’re talking about is the Dublin Convention, and you don’t have to apply for asylum in the first country you arrive at, you have to apply at the first EU country you arrive at. If you are a refugee from Darfur, you escape into Chad, then fly to the UK, the government can’t get you using the Dublin Convention even though you’ve stopped in Chad.

(By the way, just in case you’re one of those people who likes to complain about an EU superstate, thought I should point out that you don’t get to complain about that AND laud laws like the Dublin Convention and be consistent all at the same time.)

Well someone must have a pretty strange grasp of geography if they think the UK is the nearest EU country to Chad.
Nearest seems to have been interptreted by someone as “the first one I come to if I use a novel series of interconnecting flights”

I’m not an expert in airline schedules, Matt! Let’s a refugee from South Sudan got to Kenya, then. I know for a fact there are direct flights from Kenya to the UK.

The point is the law doesn’t refer to “nearest” country, it is the first one you arrive in, not including travel through.

However, as I’ve said, it’s a stupid law the only purpose of which is to make it easier for governments to deport asylum seekers. Like much of the asylum & immigration system, the laws are there specifically to criminalise migrants. (A good example is criminalising entry without accurate documents, when some asylum seekers have to destroy their documents/use false ones to get out of their country. That way you can stick someone in jail for six months and deport them for being a foreign criminal even if they’d otherwise have a right to stay here under asylum laws.)

Lets have a look at real facts

Do asylum seekers get free dentistry :- YES
Do they get free accommodation :- YES
Do they get free food :- YES
Do they get free medical attention :- Yes
Do they get some finacial benefits :- YES

Did they apply for asylum in any other country like France :- NO
Are their actions a breach of international asylum law :- YES

So then perhaps you liberal do gooders can explain why they shun seeking asylum in France and try instead to enter Britain illegally.

Thought not !!

Well, people are individuals and there’s no one reason why people enter Britain. They might be aiming for Britain because they have family already here and speak English, but end up claiming asylum in France and getting deported under the Dublin Convention. Or they might have paid a fee to get smuggled out of their country in the back of a lorry, end up in England and not even know where they are.

Anyway, you’re still confused about the legal system. People are only entitled to any kind of support at all (and by support I mean housing that is of such a poor standard that it’s illegal to house British people there, and benefits amounting to only 2/3 of unemployment benefit); after that (unless their asylum claim is accepted, in which you by definition they can’t be an “illegal” immigrant) they have to live on the street or clandestinely with friends/family with no access to any support.

Tim – Surely the point is – if I was fleeing a country because I though their secret police might tie me to a chair and attach elctrodes to my genitals I would go to the nearest place that I thought was safe, and unless I lived in Ireland or France that would not be the UK.
Roy’s point is – if you are genuinely fleeing persecution then travelling a significant distance in a vulnerable position looks like a fairly silly thing to do, unless you have an ulterior motive, and as the whole point of the asylum laws is to er provide asylum to the persecuted, nothing more or less, it seems a reasonable question. If it’s not answered then the suspicion remains that many people are, at best, seeking the country that will ask the fewest questions, or at worst, they are economic migrants, in all but name, in which case they should seek economic migration, not asylum.

Matt, not necessarily. If you were increasingly worried about your safety (these worries might grow over a period of time rather than appear overnight) then you might make arrangements to travel somewhere you already had contacts and family.

But as a general rule you’re right, and that’s why in world terms the countries who take most refugees are not countries like Britain and France but countries next to warzones and dictatorial regimes. It’s often forgotten that compared to many other countries we don’t accept many refugee at all.

So why is it that post corporal punishment – we now have 2 generations who have grown up without it – we have a more violent, and obviously therefore less respectfull society than we had then ?

We don’t: the significant rise in crime rates happened between 1965 and 1985, at which point all adolescent miscreants had indeed been thoroughly beaten.

if I was fleeing a country because I though their secret police might tie me to a chair and attach elctrodes to my genitals I would go to the nearest place that I thought was safe

I’d go to the first one I could get to where I could speak the language, knew some people, and generally thought I had a chance of building myself a new life. YMMV.

154. Donut Hinge Party

“Tim – Surely the point is – if I was fleeing a country because I though their secret police might tie me to a chair and attach elctrodes to my genitals I would go to the nearest place that I thought was safe, and unless I lived in Ireland or France that would not be the UK.”

No, you’d go to the country that was EASIEST to get to. If it’s a seven hour trek cross country bedecked with armed militia to get to your nearest neighbour or a 2 hour direct flight to a European hub, it’s a bit of a no brainer. And speaking of no-brainers, it’s Roy time!

You speak in sepia-tinged tones about Evacuees, Roy; people from a war torn area sending their kids into a place that owed them nothing. Can you really not see the difference?

‘Free accomodation’ Well, if you go to Lagos and try smuggle cocaine you’ll get ‘free food and accomodation’ there, too – bloody liberals.

Free medical attention – that’s just part of the NHS. Even Americans get free ‘medical attention.’ Dental and Optical care is to monitor pre-exisitng conditionsbefore they get worse.

Donut Hinge Party

What rubbish I never left this country and my father was actually fighting for its survival. The Dublin Convention is a red herring, before we joined the EU and signed up to these stupid conventions no one could emigrate to the UK even if you were in a country that was a commonwealth member. Have you never heard of the EMPIRE WINDRUSH? That tit head Blair has thrown our borders open to all and sundry he should be tried for treason. As for this human rights twaddle it is just a crooks charter and costing us millions

You may continue to look through your rose tinted specs but if you cannot foresee the approaching civil unrest you should go to specsavers. Having travelled to all five of the continents I realise that the vast majority of other nations hate us yet we allow these people to come here. Personally I couldn’t give a toss about sending asylum seekers back they have no respect for international law and therefore I have no respect for them and I do not care what happens to them. I have no doubt that you are very young and possibly a graduate for you clearly have no concept of the real world. Quoting home office dictum proves that you believe any do-gooder twaddle you read, they have no idea how many immigrants we have

Just think about this for a moment.

After WW2 colonial powers who had controlled many African nations and India for a century or two gave them independence. What was the result? Most of them immediately descended into civil wars and genocide it is people from these nations that we are importing. India gained independence via a peaceful protest but within months of independence it had descended into utter chaos and tens of thousands were slaughtered.

I haven’t read about all this in history books it all happened in my lifetime

People are only entitled to any kind of support at all (and by support I mean housing that is of such a poor standard that it’s illegal to house British people there, and benefits amounting to only 2/3 of unemployment benefit)

And is this funded by the taxpayer. the same tax payer who cannot get a free dentist or has been on the local housing list for years

I understand that recently in Birmingham residents were moved out of a large block of flats as they were considered unfit to reside in and too expensive to repair. However once they became empty they were all totaly renovated for ( youv’e guessed it) asylum seekers. No wonder the do-gooders want to silence Mr Griffin

Where’s Daniel Fuckoffman-Gill when you need him?

Roy, you’re a racist moron, good bye.

So why is it that post corporal punishment – we now have 2 generations who have grown up without it – we have a more violent, and obviously therefore less respectful society than we had then?
We don’t: the significant rise in crime rates happened between 1965 and 1985, at which point all adolescent miscreants had indeed been thoroughly beaten.
The dates you mention are quite significant it was after the relaxation on immigration that Powell made his famous speech (20th April 1968), which as you say coincided with a significant rise in the crime rate.
If I was fleeing a country because I though their secret police might tie me to a chair and attach electrodes to my genitals I would go to the nearest place that I thought was safe
I’d go to the first one I could get to where I could speak the language, knew some people, and generally thought I had a chance of building myself a new life. YMMV.
Furthermore if as you say people come here because they can speak the language why do we need interpreters in hospitals, schools, council offices and police stations?

Left Outside

I see that having lost the argument you have now resorted to the losers usual cant face the truth retaliation. Call you opponent a racist. how sad is that?

As comment #160, perhaps it would be most accurate to answer:

“we don’t have one.”

@Kentron, hahaha, true. Let’s try and flesh out a Left position. Roy, regardless of what others have said, the BNP aren’t left wing, so no, you can’t join in…

Fine, a good number of people here are in favour of open borders because it offers a “net” benefits and because immigrants enrich us culturally. Others are worried that migrants suppress wages, weaken organised labour, offer unfair competition, and can be more illiberal than people raised in Britain.

Moreover, illegal immigration is a problem because these people have no protection from exploitation. This again leads into those on the left who thing migrants cut wages.

Refugees deserve our help. I think most on the left are aware of the smear campaign which has been waged against them in the last few decades. But with round 15m people in immediate danger we need to help them.

Comrades, This is my 5 point plan!

1) Economic migration should be maintained at levels similar to now but labour laws tightened and a living wage introduced.

2) An Amnesty: We are all worried about illegal immigrants, some because they are exploited and others because they are exploited and pricing them out of the market. Similar to Strangers into Citizens; the left should support an amnesty for illegal immigrants. By legitimising these migrants positions we are giving them a better chance and removing the threat of illegal migration undermining wages.

3) Asylum Seekers should be eligible to work, those which cannot have their benefits brought up to a decent level.

4) A refugee resettlement plan is unilaterally implemented by the UK to help those who cannot reach the UK. Places would be offered to limited numbers of Sri Lankans, Darfuri etc. This would occur simultaneously with an international effort to get all developed countries to take more refugees.

5) We all sit back and pat each other on the back.

In all seriousness I think the above is a realistic project for the next 10 years. The amnesty is getting more and more support even on the right, asylum seekers working is such a no-brainer it’s hard to believe it was ever banned. We already have a very small refugees resettlement programme, this could be scaled up. And while pushing for more economic migration would be sacrificed by aiding refugees we are working for a greater good.

Once this programme is in place hopefully people will see that migrants aren’t so bad, and are in fact fucking brilliant, and we can all do 5)

@161: I agree with all your points, but is the problem not that it requires the cart to pull the horse? While your plan may decrease animosity towards immigrants in the long run, selling points like ‘increasing asylum-seeker benefits’ and ‘going out to Sri Lanka/Sudan to find more immigrants’ would seem difficult.

Difficult, as in, ‘would be an absolute goldmine for the Daily Mail(/Telegraph/BNP/UKIP/some Tories/general anti-immigrant right) to scream about, and use to make the immigration system even worse.’

I must admit, when I wrote my entry I didn’t think it would still be going 5 days later. I’ve missed out on arguments #142 – 162, but what I will say is roy #146, I think you know full well thats not a good answer, I think your first country solution is only based on a kind of paranoid mindset that asylum seekers are all coming to Britain to steal your dental care, if Britain is a place to cater for political asylum, and its not an interference (such as can be proven by most of #144) then I embrace this. I hear this intolerant argument a lot – you wouldn’t be able to go there and [insert nice thing here] – and I think that’s what is so necessary in the world, countries that will bend over backwards to help on an international scale. We all kind of suffer your paranoia here roy, but it makes me shudder to think how drastically bad it would be to live in a country run by people that think and do as you do.

Matt Munro #143;

so we should entertain error, on a debating forum, to help people like roy sleep at night or what? I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about entertaining error!

Lets just stop and think what we are doing for a moment

We will remove the rose tinted specs and think about whom we are allowing into our society.

In the early 1960s I was in Kingston Jamaica, It was two days after Jamaica got its independence. As an Englishman all made me very welcome.
I returned to Jamaica some 18 months later and it was a very dangerous place. The so-called democratic elections of a prime minister called if I remember correctly Mr Manley resulted in no less than 400 murders.

In Kenya (thought to be the most stable country in Africa) recent local elections resulted in gangs hacking each other to pieces with machetes and burning women and children alive as they took shelter in church halls very recently

Someone asked me on this forum if I still beat my wife well if I was an Afghan I would have a legal right not only to beat and starve her but also to rape her at will
And I could also have my daughters or sisters murdered if they were deemed to dishonour me.

Zimbabwe is beyond description and society there is non-existent

Even in South Africa people were having petrol soaked tyre’s put round their necks and set alight.

I first went to the beautiful island of Fiji in the 1960 and there were a few emigrants their from the Indian subcontinent. By the late 1990s they had taken over causing a civil uprising.

When did the last non-Muslim suicide bomber launch an attack in Britain?

I could go on and on but the stupid do-gooders have this fantasy that the people they let in here are all very nice and civilised. Has it ever occurred to them that some may be trying to escape retribution for their despicable deeds they committed in their own land and far from being innocent victims they just happened to be on the losing side.

Ethnic communities represent about 10% of the British population so I suggest that you watch crime-watch on TV where you will find that at least 60% of the wanted come from such communities.

All of the above is TRUE and these are the societies we are allowing into our mists.

Carl 136

It is ineresting that you mention the lesbian who would be hanged if sent back to Iran, this is the point I am trying to make .Whilst you are worried about the safety of this lesbian and condem Jamaicas imigration laws you are quite willing to allow members of a society who hang lesbians to come and live in our mists. i.e, Iranian so called asylum seekers.

165
I’ve just had a quick look at uk serial killers (mainly child victims), since 1987, there are a couple of women (Beverly Allit and West), but the rest are white males, maybe we should deport white males as they are clearly a major risk to our children.
BTW – have you ever heard of the IRA?
We allow asylum seekers into the country because WE ARE CIVILIZED

roy;

to suggest most asylum seekers are bogus is simply categorically erroneous, but to suggest bogus Iranian homophobic asylum seekers have any political weight on the ethics of British society is deluded.

By the way on the TV news last night it said that a new law has just been passed to try to prevent the estimated 1000 per year forced arranged marriges that young
Asian girls from Britain are forced into. That is about twenty a week, forced marrige is illegal in Britain. These ethnic minorities wish to live in our country but have NO intention of obeying our laws and we are reduced to make even more laws to try to prevent them abusing young women in today’s Britain

I told you I only tell the truth as does Mr Griffin.

Lets just stop and think what we are doing for a moment

We will remove the rose tinted specs and think about whom we are allowing into our society.

In the early 1960s I was in Kingston Jamaica, It was two days after Jamaica got its independence. As an Englishman all made me very welcome.
I returned to Jamaica some 18 months later and it was a very dangerous place. The so-called democratic elections of a prime minister called if I remember correctly Mr Manley resulted in no less than 400 murders.

In Kenya (thought to be the most stable country in Africa) local elections resulted in gangs hacking each other to pieces with machetes and burning women and children alive as they took shelter in church halls very recently

Someone asked me on this forum if I still beat my wife well if I was an Afghan I would have a legal right not only to beat and starve her but also to rape her at will
And I could also have my daughters or sisters murdered if the were deemed to dishonour me.

Zimbabwe is beyond description and society there is non-existent

Even in South Africa people were having petrol soaked tyre’s put round their necks and set alight.

I first went to the beautiful island of Fiji in the 1960 and there were a few emigrants their from the Indian subcontinent. By the late 1990s they had taken over causing a civil uprising.

When did the last non-Muslim suicide bomber launch an attack in Britain?

I could go on and on but the stupid do-gooders have this fantasy that the people they let in here are all very nice and civilised. Has it ever occurred to them that some may be trying to escape retribution for their despicable deeds they committed in their own land and far from being innocent victims they just happened to be on the losing side.

Ethnic communities represent about 10% of the British population so I suggest that you watch crime-watch on TV where you will find that at least 60% of the wanted come from such communities.

All of the above is TRUE and these are the societies we are allowing into our mists.

Roy, I needed a healthy supply of bullshit and over-generalisation to power my day…thanks for the refuel.

Roy’s cutting and pasting now. Just letting you know.


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