It Is Racist To Be Worried About Immigration 282


The wealthy right-winger Yvette Cooper has just been on television intoning Labour’s new mantra “It isn’t racist to be worried about immigration.” This should be challenged robustly at all times. Above all, it is very, very racist for politicians to go around saying “It isn’t racist to be worried about immigration” when they are using it nakedly and cynically to bid for the votes of racists.

I can never recall any by-election that got as much BBC publicity as that in Rochester, not even Hillhead or Warrington. The BBC and media establishment are continuing their massive promotion of UKIP at all times. The Labour Party is responding by pandering to racism. Yvette spoke of the “race to the bottom in the labour market”. The country’s real problem is the race to the bottom in the fascist market.

Promising 1.000 new uniformed border guards as their headline policy initiative is a pretty impressive spurt by Labour in this fascist race.

It shows how sour politics have gone when it takes the Confederation of British Industry to inject some sense from a liberal perspective into the immigration debate. Over 60% of CBI embers say that immigration has benefited their company. Only 3% believe it has hurt their company. Immigration is a tremendous boon to the British economy. Without it we would be deep in recession. Nor is it in the least responsible for the growing wealth gap. The period of highest immigration into the UK coincided with the period when social mobility and social equality were making the most progress.

That people still fall for the old con-trick astonishes me. Don’t blame Britain’s 100 billionaires, multi millionaire bankers or grasping landlords for your poverty – look! blame that foreign-looking poor man over there. He is eating a bit of cheese. He has taken that cheese from the mouths of your children!

It is primal and it is ludicrous, but the appeal to atavism can work and Labour are seeking to profit from it.

The Labour Party’s deliberate conflation of the unrelated questions of corporate, banker and executive rapacity, the exploitation of the workforce, and immigration is deeply, deeply, shameful. There was very little Yvette Cooper said that Nigel Farage would not second. But that, after all, was the purpose of the exercise.


282 thoughts on “It Is Racist To Be Worried About Immigration

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  • Reluctant Observer

    Jay says “There’s only one market!”

    Come on, don’t be a sap. Have you never gone to some restaurant or workplace, to find everyone there just happens to be Polish, for instance? Wonder how that happens. Couldn’t be anything to do with the fact that a bundled deal of accomodation plus the work allows for less than the minimum wage to be paid, could it? How about when an entire crew of migrants ends up working a bunch of farms, only to dissapear again when the work dries up. Don’t suppose that weakens the local workers’ bargaining position, do you?

    I’m also very glad Mary found her foreign-staffed hospitals to her satisfaction. Shame the countries where these staff came from are no longer benefiting from their service. Guess they’ll just have to muddle along with second rate staff, right Mary?

    Are we so fully employed over here that we need foreigners to do the menial jobs now, and are we incapable of training our own people to do the skilled work? Who benefits from all this anyway? Don’t suppose for a moment it could be the very well heeled, while our own part-time, zero hours workers need benefits and food banks because of their poverty level wages.

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    “Are we so fully employed over here that we need foreigners to do the menial jobs now, and are we incapable of training our own people to do the skilled work? Who benefits from all this anyway? Don’t suppose for a moment it could be the very well heeled, while our own part-time, zero hours workers need benefits and food banks because of their poverty level wages.”

    Those opposed to immigration in the US claim the same damage. However, immigrants often take jobs no one wants, so that part of employment is straw. Most folks would prefer not to clean privies or stoop over 10 hours a day picking cabbage.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    The weakness of this post of Craig’s is that it does not really attempt to address the question of the benefits or negatives of immigration per se but focusses rather on the use various political parties are making of the issue.

    Thus, apart from highlighting the CBI’s line that most of its members think immigration has been “good” for their companies ( a position which Domestic Extremist answered very effectively at the beginning of his post), there is no analysis of the economics of immigration and the question of non-economic consequences is ignored entirely. There is no examination, either, of what has brought about the phenomenon.

    One might almost be forgiven for thinking that what really underlies this post is a desire to boost the SNP by silently suggesting that this is a party neither of the “100 billionaires” (that would be the Conservative Party, I suppose), nor of the panicking and disguised “race to the bottomers” (that’s Yvette Cooper and Labour), and nor, of course, of the loud-mouthed, beer-drinking, turned-off masses (UKIP). If that is correct, then that is also manipulation of the immigration issue….

    I shall leave it at that for the moment as far as Craig’s post is concerned because various pertinent points have already been made in refutation by posters as diverse as Domestic Extremist and Baal Zevul (so far).

  • glenn_uk

    @Ben: “Most folks would prefer not to clean privies or stoop over 10 hours a day picking cabbage.

    Didn’t “Insane” McCain tell an audience they’d have $50/hour working such jobs, but they wouldn’t do it, on account of having to do it every day? Hell of a way to drum up political support! I imagine if they really did pay even a quarter of that, there would be no shortage of applicants. Also, didn’t farmers in Georgia squeal when the undocumented immigrants got ran out of town, because there was nobody to pick the crop when the time came?

  • doug scorgie

    Tony_0pmoc
    18 Nov, 2014 – 3:31 pm

    “I don’t agree with Craig, because without any restrictions, one of the most densely populated countries on the planet would be totally flooded.”
    ……………

    Tony, the UK is number 22 out of the most populated countries. China 19% of total world population; India 17.5%; the USA 4.43%.
    The UK 0.89%

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mr Scorgie

    ““If mass immigration is such a benefit to CBI member companies, then perhaps those companies might be willing to countenance an increase in corporation tax to help pay for the extra infrastructure (NHS, housing, schools….) needed to cope with immigration?”

    What you’re calling for Habbabkuk is a planned economy [which I would support] but you are an ardent neo-lib free-market supporter.”
    ________________

    No, you misunderstand. I am suggesting that corporation tax could be increased if the mass immigration which has taken place is so beneficial to companies (and, presumably, their bottom line).

    Nothing to do with calling for a “planned economy” except that any kind of taxation and the rates at which it is levied could be seen as “planning” of a sort.

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    ” because there was nobody to pick the crop when the time came?”

    Glenn;

    Most workers are paid through piece-work. I heard workers must meet quotas which in one case was the equivalent of 2000 lbs of produce per day.

    In addition, (OT) California recently passed a law releasing non-violent detainees (drug-use….shoplifting) to save money. Now the State has taken that to court to complain because they need the free labor. Unbelievable.

  • Ishmael

    This is why I keep mentioning your blog to friends and associates. I don’t know if it’s always racist in all cases, but in this case, and in most history, I certainly agree.

    How they twist reality on it’s head. Like “our foreign policy has nothing to do with terrorism” Well that’s obviously so isn’t it? What could possibly be wrong with bombing people a bit. Everyone does it don’t they? In fact i’m busy building a large atomic device now, in my bedroom. I’m calling it the justice maker. I wonder if a can public funding for it.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mr Scorgie

    “Tony, the UK is number 22 out of the most populated countries.”
    _________________

    Do you mean the “most populated” country or the “most densely populated” country, Doug, because Tony Opmoc was talking about the latter (as your own quotation from him shows) and there is of course a rather important difference between the two concepts.

  • Pete

    Craig, you surely know that the Civil Service’s Migration Advisory Committee analysed the purely economic pros and cons of immigration in a recent report. They analysed the effects of immigration not just on the economy as a whole, but also on different social classes. Basically it was beneficial for the economy as a whole, and for the “average” person, and even more so for the wealtheir classes and the big companies whom the CBI represents. However, for social classes 4 and 5 (semi-skilled and unskilled) the effect was clearly detrimental, both on job availabilty and on wages for those in work. That’s why these older,unskilled, white working class English people are turning to UKIP. It’s not stupidity or racist malevolence, justrational self-interest. Just as it’s also rational self-interest for the professional/managerial classes to favour immigration so they get cheap cleaners and nannies and waitresses etc.

    This doesn’t make UKIP and NuLab any less despicable and fraudulent, of course. But it DOES mean that this issue cannot be dismissed. Having said which, the real problem is not that we have mass immigration, but that we have the kind of low-skilled low-waged economy that consumes cheap immigrant labour rather than building up the skills of the indigenous population.

  • glenn_uk

    @Ben: That is, indeed, unbelievable. Do they have to be quite so blatant about it? Surely, it would benefit the taxpayers to subsidise farm workers’ wages to the tune of $10/hour or so, instead of incarcerating them too, just for the side-benefit of free labour that they provide. But then, there’s the prison-industrial lobby to think about.

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    “But then, there’s the prison-industrial lobby to think about.”

    That is spot-on. The prison guard union is/has been behind the fight against decriminalization of marijuana, so they are likely a party to the suit,

  • doug scorgie

    Further to Tony’s comment:

    Population density: the UK comes in at number 111. 246 people per square kilometre.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mary

    “When the racists here next need medical treatment from the NHS will they accept it from non British staff? During my ‘pathway’ this year, I have met with loving kindness from all nationalities under the sun. My GP who is second generation British Asian, sent me to hospital yesterday for emergency treatment for breathing problems. The houseman was Chinese, the registrar Greek and the two nurses Philippino and Irish. All super.”
    _______________

    Firstly, no one one here has been posting in a way anyone would call “racist”, so please control your jerking knee and leave off the immediate insults. OK?

    I am glad you got good treatment in the hospital, but there is no point in trying to generalise from the particular. I do not think that medical personnel account for more than a small proportion of the mass immigration the UK has seen since 2004.

    Amoung the specific questions your post raises are (cf, in this connection, Domestic Extremist’s post, above):

    – might it not be better if the status, pay and conditions of medical personnel were enhanced so as to make the profession more attractive to the indigenous population?

    – might it not be good if education and training in the UK were given more attention, thereby opening more attractive employment prospects for the indigenous population?

    – is the import of trained medical personnel from other countries a good thing for the development of those countries – ie, would it not be better for, say, the Phillipines or African countries themselves to reap the benefits of the medical personnel that has been trained there?

  • Jay

    @ Reluctant Observer

    None of which is due to the worker but the employer and the buyer.
    A worker is a worker.

  • Reluctant Observer

    Ben said ” However, immigrants often take jobs no one wants, so that part of employment is straw.”

    No-one wants these jobs because they are very hard work, and very poor pay. Do you not think that providing a decent wage, and better conditions, would encourage home-grown workers to do the job?

    So instead of improving wages and conditions, we just get in poor folk from other countries.

    Does that really sound like a winning formular to everyone, and is it “racist” to point out that there is a problem here?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mr Scorgie

    “Further to Tony’s comment:

    Population density: the UK comes in at number 111. 246 people per square kilometre.”
    _______________

    That is the all-UK figure which – as you know – covers very wide regional differences. Contrast the different population densities of the Scottish Highlands and the South-East of England.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    From Pete:

    Having said which, the real problem is not that we have mass immigration, but that we have the kind of low-skilled low-waged economy that consumes cheap immigrant labour rather than building up the skills of the indigenous population.
    ________________

    Exactly.

    And, as an additional comment: does the UK really need a continual increase in the number of Starbucks outlets employing large numbers of highly-educated foreign workers?

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)
    18 Nov, 2014 – 4:14 pm

    “…there is no analysis of the economics of immigration and the question of non-economic consequences is ignored entirely.”
    ……………

    So let’s have your analysis Habbabkuk.

    And while you’re at it answer this:

    Are you in favour of a planned economy?

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    “Does that really sound like a winning formular to everyone, and is it “racist” to point out that there is a problem here?”

    I didn’t suggest it was racist and living wage is a major issue, but how would you get skilled wages for unskilled work? Nationalizing private industry with mandated minimum wages?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mr Scorgie

    This thread is very much on topic and on track for the moment and I have no intention of contributing to steering it off track by responding to your points.

    1/. It is not my analysis which is requiredat this stage. That is a job in the first instance for our host, who introduced this subject for discussion.

    2/. My views on a “planned economy” – whatever you mean by that – are not relevant to the subject of this post.

    Thanks.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)
    18 Nov, 2014 – 4:41 pm

    “That is the all-UK figure which – as you know – covers very wide regional differences. Contrast the different population densities of the Scottish Highlands and the South-East of England.”
    ……………

    As you know Habbabkuk, population density is an average for the whole country.

    Tony said: “…one of the most densely populated countries on the planet…” (I.e. referring to the country of the UK).

    Perhaps you are coming round to recognising Scotland as a separate and soon to be independent country?

  • Briar

    Thank you. Cannot be said often enough. England has turned racist and cruel. This isn’t the same country as the one I grew up in.

  • Mary

    I expected those two replies from the usual suspects to my medical anecdote. I am sure that there are masses of job opportunities in Greece and Ireland where the economies have been raided by the IMF and the countries bankrupted and in the Phillipines where extreme poverty is the norm. The latter has been an occupied colony of the US for a long time. What do the Phillipine people get out of the deal? Not much

    Indented/quoted

    U.S. Troops Not Welcome Back in Philippines
    The following is the statement issued by former senators Guingona, Saguisag and Tañada plus several lawyers and concerned citizens regarding the military agreement to be signed between PH and US officials this morning.

    We express our grave concern over news that a new military agreement called the Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation (AEDC) will be signed between the Philippines and the United States during next week’s visit of US President Barack Obama.

    The agreement apparently aims to increase and prolong the presence US troops in the country, and as government has already announced, allow the US access to Philippine bases, the prepositioning of US arms, military supplies and equipment as well as the construction and maintenance of US military facilities inside these Philippine bases.
    http://warisacrime.org/content/us-troops-not-welcome-back-philippines

    There is a long standing relationship between the hospital concerned and Phillipino nurses. They come to work here to send money necessary for their families and then ultimately return. British nurses are leaving the profession because of the scandalous and insulting pay on offer. 1% offered. Inflation over the period in question 12%. Enough said.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)
    18 Nov, 2014 – 5:18 pm

    Mr Scorgie

    “This thread is very much on topic and on track for the moment and I have no intention of contributing to steering it off track by responding to your points.”

    “1/. It is not my analysis which is required at this stage. That is a job in the first instance for our host, who introduced this subject for discussion.”

    “2/. My views on a “planned economy” – whatever you mean by that – are not relevant to the subject of this post.”
    ……………

    Point 1/. Habbabkuk: Your unsolicited analysis of many threads and poster’s comments is ubiquitous. Why so coy now?

    Point 2/. You know full well what a planned economy is Habbabkuk and it is very relevant to the subject of this thread.

    Again you have shown yourself up to the readers of this blog to be someone who backs out when tough questions are asked of you.

  • Phil

    I always thought the idea that the UK is densely populated is a nonsense that conveniently, amongst other conveniences, deflects questions about land ownership. It strikes me as similar as saying “the UK is poor”.

    The truth is the land and money (not entirely unrelated) are just not being shared with you and I.

    I hazily recall an estimate (of course the land registry obfuscates) by Cahill that one tenth of land in England is developed upon. That’s little (un)crowded England. Once Wales and Scotland are included that figure goes way down.

  • CanSpeccy

    “Outgoing First Minister has decided to donate his Holyrood pension to a trust that will help young people in Scotland, Mr Salmond will give his FM pension of £42.501 PA to help others.”

    Sounds racist to me. He should have donated it to aid poor Rumanians or Ugandans or somebody, certainly not the oil-rich Scotch.

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