Tuesday, 7 March 2017
It's Them Again
Obviously the Daily Express only reports fake news – a convenient dismissal of any inconvenient facts - but to those of us who have been baffled by how anybody taking benefits is contributing to the exchequer, this report makes complete sense. The story is a year old but it seems to have had little serious scrutiny and the mantra it exposes as false – that immigrants are a net benefit to the economy – has been heard again recently as part of the what-do-we-do-about-those-already-here debate. Yes, it ignores the productivity part of the equation, but if indigenous Brits are being undercut and displaced and not being trained, they become casualties of mass immigration, perpetually unemployable. How is that helping?
The woman in the BBC Question Time audience last week who pleaded “Who will serve our coffee at Pret?” (post-Brexit) was rightly derided for her naivety and narrow focus, but to her, those concerns were real. That smiling barista may be lovely and vibrant and diverse, with an exotic accent and a certain Italian charm; the ladies of a certain age no doubt thrill as they order their organic infusions from Antonio. But for every Latino lothario working for minimum wage in the service industry, there is a British youngster languishing in unemployment, denied the opportunity to develop life skills and a work ethos. This is not a problem that is going away.
Instead of playing ping-pong with policy, instead of simply pointing at the other side and blaming them we should leave aside the faux war between ideology and reality and we should be asking why is it that the British are not in those jobs? Pret a Manger are not alone in having a long standing policy of almost entirely recruiting foreigners – yes they are foreigners, no matter how much you want that word to mean something it doesn’t. East Anglian farm-labour gangs are often exclusively from Eastern Europe and many factories are staffed entirely by non-British workers.
Uncontrolled mass movement of labour, while being a delight to the coffee house set and the employers of au-pairs and cleaners is just one piece in the jigsaw of neglect for the British. Depressed wages push those in work into welfare dependency in a deliberately engineered move by the last Labour government. Tax credits are the CDOs of the benefit system – paying top-up wages from a reducing tax-take and forever chasing new Ponzi contributors in the form of more low-paid workers from abroad. Consumer demand up, average spending power down. Madness.
Free movement of capital allows large scale employers to site their operations, at a whim, wherever suits their short-term duties to their shareholders. Great for business, lousy for stability, job security, training and development. Many British youngsters, outside the genuinely university-worthy minority are growing up with little or no expectation of a stable wage and everybody knows what work the devil finds for idle hands.
Free movement of goods lets the UK car industry, for instance, import raw materials for production of basic parts, export them for assembly into more complex parts, re-import them for the manufacture of larger modules, re-export them for the production of vehicles which are then imported for sale. Does any of this strike you as efficient? And yet none of this kind of thing seems to come in for any real examination. Instead, when it is suggested we can contain and control these various economic supply chains nationally the abuse flows freely.
Education, training, citizenship... national belief; all have been allowed to fail, sacrificed on the altar of multiculturalism which has only even been the dream of bien pensant elites and their unthinking acolytes who, quite frankly, feel they are better than the rest of us. A prime example of this is Matthew Parris who feels empowered to gloat derisively as he expresses a desire to witness self-inflicted Brexit misery for the masses who dared to hope.
It really is as simple as them against us and ‘them’ are not prepared to examine the flaws in the system that ‘we’ are affected by. So it’s little wonder that that all the simmering resentment has finally boiled over and yet, no matter the rhetoric flowing down from above, it’s not the immigrants we despise, but those who put the British worker in competition – some would say conflict - with them. The British are as they always were – phlegmatic, pragmatic, stoic and true – it is the establishment who have painted us otherwise.