Pointless Cruelty is the Tory Policy 183

Today the government publishes to parliament its proposals on the residence rights of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit. The EU has already , on 12 June, tabled the offer of full continuation of current residence rights to UK citizens in the EU after Brexit. This includes the right for British expats not only to remain in the EU country of current residence, but the right to continue to move residence around the EU.

By contrast May’s offer, which was amplified by David Davis with Marr yesterday, is peculiarly restricted. From a cut off date to be announced, EU citizens resident in the UK will be able to stay here, and after five years residence will qualify for a right of settlement.

What is the purpose of this mealy mouthed formulation, as opposed to matching the EU by immediately giving EU residents living here the right of abode? In effect, for the vast majority, it will mean precisely the same thing.

EU citizens resident here will in effect be able to remain permanently if they wish. But they will lose the entitlement if they move around. So a Polish man living here who, at some point in the next few years, has to return to Poland for a few months to tend to his sick mother, will lose his right abode in the UK. A French academic at a British university who leaves on sabbatical for a year’s teaching at Harvard will lose his right of abode in the UK. A Dutch employee of Shell posted out to Malaysia for a stint will lose his right of abode in the UK. Anybody who takes too extended a holiday abroad will lose their right of abode in the UK.

What on earth is the point of this?

The very large majority of EU citizens resident here will be able to qualify, and the small percentage being disqualified by moving abroad during the qualification period are likely to include the most economically active. The numbers penalised will be too small to have any substantial immigration impact. There is no result but pointless cruelty to a few.

Support for Brexit, and a massive percentage of the Tory vote, is motivated at base by a hatred of immigrants. May panders to these racists by inflicting otherwise pointless nastiness on a statistically insignificant number of foreigners, to disguise the fact that the Tories are accepting the reality; it is an economic necessity for the UK that EU citizens contributing massively to GDP can stay. The Tories cannot stomach the hated language the EU employs of “rights” of citizens. So the government rather adopts the language of immigration regulation, and qualifying criteria, where nobody has any “right” to anything.

Finally the Tories have to face the fact that a formal international agreement on reciprocal rights of abode between the EU and the UK, is not just a matter of domestic British jurisdiction. The international agreement will require an international judicial mechanism to oversee its enforcement. The xenophobic detestation of the – heavily British influenced – European Court of Justice means that the Tories will not accept the obvious body. David Davis conceded yesterday some international arbitration mechanism would be required, and seemed to postulate a new international tribunal including British judges. Exactly like the current ECJ before the UK leaves, in fact.

So that’s the Tories for you. Pointless new international organisations, pointless immigration bureaucracy, and pointless nastiness to foreigners to keep their knuckle-dragging tendency happy.

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183 thoughts on “Pointless Cruelty is the Tory Policy

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  • Becky Cohen

    “So a Polish man living here who, at some point in the next few years, has to return to Poland for a few months to tend to his sick mother, will lose his right abode in the UK.”

    They’d do that even if he wasn’t an immigrant: if his mother was the householder and he gave up work to care for her then when he could meet her needs no more and she needed 24 hour care they would put her in a nursing home, take the roof over his head as payment and throw him out onto the street. The rich half don’t have a clue how the poor half are suffering.

    • Ishmael

      I was watching May get disrespected in the street on twitter. And read the snobbish dismissive condescending attitude toward those who only show utter contempt. Trying to paint those ordinary people as bad for expressing themselves.

      No, they don’t have the slightest clue what people go through or they would get it. They have a class consciousness (brainwashing) that actually precludes them feeling properly about other human beings.

      • Laguerre

        The massive disrespect can’t last long, but they don’t have a respected replacement. That’s why she’s still there.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Not necessarily. Local authorities do indeed have the power to do that, but they also have the power not to do it: to allow the former carer to remain in the home and not take it into account in the calculation of assets. No doubt that discretion will be withdrawn from them if the Conservatives remain in power – and, of course, it is an outrage that the matter is within the local authority’s discretion in the first place. Carers who have no other abode should have the right to remain in the home in which they cared for their loved one.

      I have known people in precisely this situation who have remained in the home after the cared-for has entered residential care. J

  • Adrian Evitts

    It’s as plain as a pike-staff to any objective observer that any deal that the UK may be able to negotiate with the EU will be on inferior terms to that which she currently enjoys as a member of the EU. And yet the politicians will not sanction overturning the result of that referendum. We are saddled indefinitely with the consequences of a snapshot of public opinion, procured under false pretences, and indicating a small margin of victory. Nuts.

    • Julian Turnbull

      I agree with you. But, (no criticism intended), you miss out two quite extraordinary facts, which are becoming clearer.

      At least £500,000 of funding for Brexit was expertly funnelled through Northern Ireland, which has different election accountability laws to the UK, thus avoiding scrutiny or penalty. It’s strongly alleged the DUP had a part to play.

      The offshore company Cambridge Analytica (and others, it is becoming clearer), owned by an extreme right-wing American multi-billionaire, had a huge part to play in the Brexit campaign using social media to influence people through paid, unaccountable and cleverly targeted political advertising.

      “… A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on …” Winston Churchill.

      (I am a staid, phlegmatic, retired old bod living in a tiny Saxon village in the north of England, having travelled the world several times, not remotely interested in ridiculous conspiracy theories, but having looked at the facts as I can discern them, they do seem to have traction).

  • John Goss

    Many of those of us who voted remain envisaged such problems. Everything that was bad before Europe became united will be back, general agreements on tariffs and trade, milk lakes, cereal mountains, visas and restrictions where everybody visting a European resident here may be vetted for suitability to visit. It is going to be a mess. There may even be borders with Scotland again if it gets independence to avoid smuggling, and Eire. As a net importer everthing will cost more and we sill not be able to afford a holiday abroad.

    What is more we will be despised by the rest of Europe for having tried to scupper the ship. Quite rightly in my opinion.

    • glenn_uk

      Interesting. Would you care to put a figure on the maximum reasonable sustainable population of the UK – 100M, maybe 200M? There are several billion people “out there” who would undoubtedly like to settle in the UK.

      Perhaps one is racist for not immediately concluding they should all be welcomed aboard at once?

      There are true horror stories out there, every human is an individual. But this is the real world – is our capacity truly unlimited?

      Until an individual recognises this and is willing to put actual finite figures on our finite resources, it’s kind of difficult to take their “All Aboard!” urgings seriously.

      Having a few nice friendly Poles moving into the area is one thing. Having a large influx who want absolutely nothing to do with us, or our way of life, is another. That is going to change the way we’ve shaped ourselves over many generations – why is it racist to point that out that obvious fact?

      I say again, calling people racists isn’t cutting it. It didn’t work for the Brexit referendum, and it’s still not working. What did Einstein supposedly say about doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result? How’s that “racist!” slogan working out?

      • CameronB Brodie

        Hud on a minute. That’s my first comment today and was directed an nobody in particular. My intention was to provide some academic insight, not to point a finger anywhere other than at the increasing cultural introversion that appears to be a happening thing in particular parts of the northern hemisphere.

        Perhaps you’ve has a hard day?

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Especially in the social ‘sciences’, academic insight tends to be someone’s opinion, albeit better informed than that of the stereotypical tabloid reader. And confirmation bias is omnipresent. I’m assuming your supposition that the West is guilty of cultural introversion is based on your position wrt the dichotomy ‘populist nationalist vs (neo)liberal globalist’

          So you may care to take a look at the other side of this:

          One of the reasons why parts of Western society fell so comprehensively for ideas of multiculturalism and the weakening of national identities and borders was an intense complacency about the stability, unity and strength of Western states. The European Union itself only worked—for a while—because the states that pooled some of their powers had real powers to pool and felt confident enough to lend some of them to the EU. Elsewhere in the world, people remember very well that they have no grounds for such complacency. These grounds for complacency are now also disappearing in the United States and the West, as political, cultural, ethnic and religious cleavages deepen and—in the absence of strong new ideologies dedicated to reunifying nations—risk becoming irreconcilable.


          It’s an interesting article.

          • CameronB Brodie

            As a supporter of Scotland’s self-determination, I naturally have space in my moral framework for a bit of culturalism. However, I also appreciate that Europeans have largely defined themselves since the middle-ages, against their perceived difference with the non-European “other”. I say perceived, as “race” is a biological illusion. We are all one people, differentiated by a multitude of ethnicity and associated cultures.

            Rather than blaming the other, why not address the failures of neo-liberalism and Thatcher’s ‘supply-side’ revolution. Schools and housing, not bombs and imperial wars of aggression, if you please.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Are you suggesting I don’t blame them? Check my prior posts if you can be bothered.
            I see you didn’t read the piece I linked to. If you want Scottish independence you are saying there is a recogniseable cultural, social, economic, whatever, entity called Scotland and you want it to be separate. If you want open borders, you are denying that you want it to be separate. Make your mind up. Never mind your moral framework, draw a Venn diagram.

          • Temporarily Sane

            It is a very interesting article indeed. Thank you for sharing it. Sadly, I suspect many on the liberal/left side of the political spectrum will read the title (nationalism!), conclude it is a ‘right-wing’ piece and condemn it on those grounds without reading any further. In fact the article is very ideologically neutral. It explains the failure of the EU project and American-led global capitalism from a perspective that does not rely on recycling the usual ham-fisted left vs. right cliches.

            It offers a serious, and very compelling, analysis that can’t easily be pressed into ideological service by the left or by the right. I recommend setting aside half an hour, freeing yourself from distraction, and reading it through. It is one of those articles that can be dismissed out of hand only by people who did not bother reading it.

      • Hieroglyph

        I too get a little annoyed at the cries of ‘racist’, or ‘sexist’ or ‘homophobe’. My own politics are left-leaning of course, but immigration is a complex beast, and cries of racism, I think, best avoided, where possible. And 50% of the country isn’t racist, so Brexit must have other causes, one should think. Strikes me also that Sinister Forces like a bit of divide and rule – it’s what Sinister Forces do, by their very (pathological) nature.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        Carried to its logical conclusion, an open door policy would permit every one of the billions of people not presently living in the United Kingdom to come and live here if they so desired. That is obviously absurd. Therefore, somewhere between zero immigration and several or many billions, there has to be a limit to the number of people who can come and live here. That is not a racist position. The question is when that theoretical limit has been reached. I have no opinion on the matter except that I think fears about immigration are grossly exaggerated. Also, if people do not want large-scale immigration into countries which can largely be regarded as safe havens, they need to elect governments that will stop doing some things and start doing others. Stop bombing other countries and creating refugees. Stop plundering the resources of other nations and bribing their governments to collude in piracy. Start encouraging domestic investment in agriculture and industry. Start encouraging the provision of a decent welfare state in every nation in the world, giving assistance if necessary. Generally speaking, most people prefer not to up sticks and go away from their families and friends and culture in order to scrape a living in another country. Making it more attractive to remain citizens of their own nation is the best way to control population movement, if it is thought to be necessary. That’s my take on it. J

  • CameronB Brodie

    Conference on Theories of Migration and Social Change

    St. Ann’s College, Woodstock Road Oxford
    Tuesday 1st – Thursday 3rd July 2008

    Helma Lutz
    Gender in the migratory process

    This paper summarizes the main arguments made by various authors over several decades for treating gender as a key category in the understanding of migratory processes. Starting with an illustration of the absence of women as much as gender in mainstream migration research, it presents several explanations for this phenomenon. This introduction is followed by a description of the state of the art. Subsequently, through the debate of current migration phenomena it is demonstrated how gender can be used in a conceptual framework. This framework, elaborated on various levels (micro, meso and macro) advocates the analysis of migratory processes within a broader framework of social change; using the case of ‘migrant domestic work in Europe’ the multifaceted aspects of a gendered analysis are used to demonstrate some of the present changes which can be observed in various national societies of the European Union.

  • Dave

    Is there a difference in numbers and quality that needs to be considered due to extensive multiplication of dependants?


    Abode with May, fast falls the eventide;
    The darkness deepens; Tories, you can’t hide!
    Trough of dis-May, Dystopia’s here to stay,
    But don’t let that get you down, abode, fiddle-de-dee!

    Swift to its close ebbs out the Tories’ day;
    We’re fast approaching the demise of May;
    Change and decay in all around I see;
    O Thou who changest everthing, abode, yes, that’s me!

  • E.Rice

    Does this mew ruling apply to people form India, Pakistan, China, Japan and all other non EU countries or is it just discriminated towards Europeans?

  • mike

    Just two days after Seymour Hersh demolished the fake news narrative of the Syrian gas attack of 4th April – echoed, incidentally, by Emmanuel Macron – we have a countermove from the US about a similar attack that is being planned.

    Now, this means the meme has been sown and we are being prepared. So, within the next few days there will of course be a “gas attack” by the “vile regime” etc etc yadda yadda. Same old from the neocon crazies.

    If you couple this with the increased Israeli air support for the “moderate” head-choppers near the Golan Heights, then it’s clear that the Empire ain’t gonna let this one go. Hopefully, it’s their last fart in the wind, but if it signals a gear-shift then expect more burbling guff from Michael Fallon.

    Right now, the Beeb actually said the US has “potential evidence” of an attack !!

    This is desperate stuff.

    • Xavi

      The assumption is that virtually nobody watching or listening will treat such claims with scepticism. A sound assumption, given the degree of credulity that reigns among British politicians and journalists re Syria.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        You mean, no-one who actually matters. I should think a majority of the UK population at least won’t believe a word of it, but that is of course irrelevant.

        I also think large numbers of politicians and journalists won’t believe a word of it but will pretend that they do, or will persuade themselves that they do, because that is the way the game is played, so it is necessary to join in the charade. A classic coming demonstration of “Orwell’s Problem”. J

        • Xavi

          Sorry, you’re right of course. I did mean nobody who matters. Even someone like Corbyn has to be wary of implying scepticism of such obviously bogus stories, so deeply entrenched has the charade become. He’d be stepping way beyond the bounds of what’s acceptable.

  • mike

    Here is some gas-attack fluff from the BBC’s Jonathan Marcus: “The very public warning to the Syrian government against using chemical weapons is highly unusual. Such a step, which must surely be based upon detailed intelligence, might usually be delivered behind the scenes through diplomatic channels.

    “The use of chemical weapons requires tell-tale preparations such as the movement of particular units, the distribution of weapons to a base from which they can be delivered and so on, all capable of being picked up by US satellites or drones.”

    This really is pisspoor.

    Yes, Jonno, it “must surely be based upon detailed intelligence”! Just like Iraqi WMD a la Colin Powell, and mass rape, Gaddafi style, and Kuwaiti babies being thrown out of incubators…

    Plus, those clever US satellites and drones seemed to miss the columns of tankers snaking through the desert, laden with ISIS oil, on their way to Turkey. Not that Jonno or any other salaried stenographer will look too deeply into the ISIS oil trade, never mind the Libya/Manchester connection.

    Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling…

    PS The gas attack story has now dropped like a stone on the BBC website.

  • CameronB Brodie

    British colonialism has left a complex legacy that is further complicated by contemporary globalism. I think it unlikely that a strategy of isolation and cultural introversion will help us to untangle the mess we are in.

    Diversify Values or Value Diversity

    Australia’s search for a national identity has been a constant struggle, caught as it is in striving for unity in diversity against a backdrop of imagined communities (Anderson, 1991) in which diversity is often viewed ‘in radically asymmetrical relations of power’ (Pratt, 1987). With Assimilation there existed ‘an imagining of the national community in terms of a homogeneous way of life’. With multiculturalism ‘the national is conceived as the space within which many, ethnically defined, imagined communities live and interact harmoniously. However, according to Stratton and Ang (1994), the principle of tolerance is often challenged and this can lead to frequent tensions.


    Chapter 6
    The media, government accountability, and citizen engagement

    The role of the media in the agenda-setting process is to generate salience for some issues, or particular aspects of issues, thereby drawing public attention to a limited set of current problems. It has to be kept in mind that selectivity is an inevitable, even necessary, aspect of information processing. At any given time there is an infinite number of problems competing for public attention, and it would exceed the information processing capacity of individuals and institutions alike if they had to deal with them at the same time. Since for ordinary citizens the media are the main window to the world of politics the public agenda usually reflects the media agenda, that is, people regard those problems as most important that have recently been given most salience in the news.42 These issues subsequently form the basis for opinion formation and public choices.

    Newsvalues generate a particular pattern of journalists’ selection of issues which might, or might not, coincide with other measures of political relevance. Partisanship can be regarded as a special case of agenda setting. Media that are aligned with a particular ideology or party will select issues that promote this cause while ignoring any aspects that have the potential to undermine its validity. In the Russian case where the national news media ignored oppositional candidates and parties it would have required extraordinary cognitive efforts for individuals to find alternative information. Like anywhere else, the business of everyday life – work, family, queuing – usually occupies the best part of people’s time and attention, and only few would take the trouble to find information from sources other than the media to optimize the quality of their vote decision. Thus when making their choices people could question the credibility of the information they received, but they were stuck in the limited world view of the official agenda.

    Noelle-Neumann in her theory of ‘spiral of silence’ develops a similar argument by demonstrating the effects of selective media salience on political conversations in face-to-face encounters.43 As she points out, people obtain the arguments for their own beliefs and opinions primarily from the media. If the media hardly cover a particular political party opinion building of those who support this party would be based on a limited range of reasons.44 Moreover, when talking about politics with others they would find themselves in a situation where they are quickly running out of arguments. If these conversations take place with like-minded others mutual encouragement and mobilization would be rather superficial. If – and this is the key argument of the theory – these conversations take place in mixed company these people would fall silent because they are unable to defend their view while supporters of a party that is well presented in the media would feel confident enough to express their views in public. They might not initially be in the majority, but their willingness to talk in conjunction with selective media coverage will soon make this view the dominant one in both the public debate and interpersonal communication. It will hence be the one that has the biggest impact on the outcome of the election….


  • CameronB Brodie


    [ Mod: The formatting errors were corrected on your behalf. Kindly take more care in future. ]

  • CameronB Brodie

    P.S. Space is not the same as place. One is not rooted in space but the local community. A sense of rootedness helps the individual to follow productive life-strategies. These subsequently allow the individual to transcend their need for security from their mother, or mother substitute (e.g. UKOK). In other words, they have the opportunity to escape from their fear of freedom.


  • CameronB Brodie

    [ Mod: Caught in spam-filter ]

    Perhaps this is over-cooking things a bit. 🙂

    Researching Migration in a Superdiverse Society: Challenges, Methods, Concerns and Promises


    The arrival of superdiversity raises a wide range of methodological issues that warrant further consideration by social researchers conducting research in superdiverse contexts. The complex multi-layering of population settlement that has emerged due to successive waves of migration means that identities, lived experience and access to services including welfare are played out in a plethora of different ways, often determined by the interplay of a range of socio-economic variables alongside structural characteristics, which influence the fundamental rights and entitlements of individuals living in the UK and in turn their settlement and adaptation experiences.

    This paper reflects on the limitations of ethno-centric research designs, which concentrate on ethnicity as the most important unit of analysis, and calls for more participatory and multidimensional methodologies that engage diverse participants and reflect the levels of socio-demographic complexity experienced in urban areas of society. It then moves on to discuss a number of specific methodological challenges associated with complex populations. In particular sampling and access issues associated with diverse migrant populations will be considered. The latter part of this paper discusses the adoption of a range of research approaches that offer promising potential in terms of better capturing and understanding the heterogeneity, complexity and fluidity concomitant with superdiversity as well as engaging a range of community stakeholders in the production of knowledge.


    1.1 Whilst it is acknowledged that in the past 20 years the United Kingdom, along with many other European countries, has entered an era described as ‘superdiversity’ (Vertovec 2007, 2010), social researchers have only recently begun to reflect on the implications of this rapid societal change in relation to the scope and design of their research. The changes brought about by superdiversity demand the development of new methodologies and ways of thinking about research that can inform new theory creation, policy and practice….


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