Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Home Forums Discussion Forum Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Kim Sanders-Fisher

For me one of the worst consequences of Brexit will be an end to the ‘Free Movement of People,’ with the severe regression to a state of more restrictive travel than ever existed before we entered the EU. I don’t travel so much any more, but we have trapped our young people, who have literally become ‘Prisoners of Mother England,’ with greatly diminished options for any escape to the continent. They now face a dystopian nightmare situation of extreme exploitation in an economically crippled post-Brexit Britain where they cannot afford to live independently due to insecure zero hours contracts and soaring rents. I feel guilty for the part that the selfishness among many in my generation contributed to this catastrophe so I’m determined to campaign for a brighter future. Erasmus remains a shining example of what can be accomplished, but there are other avenues for democratizing free movement expanding possibilities for young and old, both rich and poor alike, through a concept I call: ‘Collaborative Circular Migration!’

Sadly EU free movement is polluted by Corporate greed with labour moved around to maximize profits, this angered Brits as there were few examples to demonstrate how this EU policy might enrich the lives of the working poor in their struggle for survival. In the Byline Times Article entitled, “Labour Must Confront the Conservatives’ Immigration Lies Or Continue to Lose. The likes of Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Nigel Farage will continue to capitalise politically on Labour’s unwillingness to portray immigration as a benefit to Britain,” argues Mike Buckley. “In the Summer of 2018, the commentator Stephen Bush argued that pro-Europeans were in crisis because no one would argue in favour of immigration. ‘While Labour’s Remainers sound cautious about defending the rules of the club”, he wrote, “they will struggle to make the case against Brexit and for European engagement.” Buckley agrees, noting that, “Remain’s failure to argue for the benefits of immigration and rebut Leave’s lies ceded a key issue to the populist right.”

Buckley says that, “By the time of the EU Referendum in 2016, public concern about immigration was at an all-time high. What was true for Remainers is true for Labour now. Just as Remain allowed the Leave campaign to own the immigration issue, so Labour cedes it to the Conservatives, with the result that their narrative wins by default. The Conservatives consistently poll as the party best able to handle the country’s asylum and immigration system. Their narrative shifts the blame for poor public services, low wages and job insecurity away from the true culprits, deindustrialisation, the financial crisis and austerity, to an easily identifiable and powerless surrogate: immigrants and all that can be tied to them, including the EU, the elected elite, lawyers and judges.”

Buckley reports that, “The Home Secretary Priti Patel’s new immigration system is the logical conclusion of this. She will restrict immigration from people without certain qualifications or below an income threshold. The pitch is that by restricting immigration to what she terms ‘skilled’ workers, the UK will benefit from the ‘brightest and the best’.” This is the morally bankrupt system I refer to as ‘Scavenge, Exploit, Deport;’ qualified professionals will be recruited from developing countries that could not afford to train them. They will come here on limited visas to work for lower salaries with no covered benefit obligation or workers rights, exploited, but uncomplaining due to the constant fear of deportation to assure their compliance with poor working conditions. This strategy is why the Tory Government little or no incentive to invest in UK training, it is just cheaper to scavenge disposable workers from overseas. Brits will learn the hard way that competing in the job market against EU Citizens with equal rights offered us far better prospects.

Buckley sticks to the economics in faulting Patel’s immigration system, saying that, “The problem is that her system is based on lies and will fail to meet the needs of the economy. Restricting migration to skilled workers will hamper economic growth and create labour shortages in key sectors. ‘Everyone suffers when migration is switched off,’ writes Sean O’Grady, ‘higher taxes, less cash for public services, fewer people there to work in them. You will simply wait longer for the nurse to turn up, because he or she will have gone back to Portugal or Slovakia.’ This matters for our economy and public services, all the more so as the Coronavirus pandemic endures. It matters too for the Labour Party. Consistently polling behind the Conservatives on this issue hampers its ability to win power and makes it harder to give its own explanation for Britain’s crises. If Labour cannot bring itself to explain that migrants are not the culprit, it will find it hard to explain the Conservative failures of austerity, Brexit and under-investment.”

I totally agree with Buckley on, “Creating A New Narrative,” although it shouldn’t just be limited to the immigration issue. The ultra Zionist fantisemitisim ‘rabit hole’ massivly plays into the destructive Tory nutralization of all credible Labour opposition with Captain of Capitulation, Sir Keir Starmer leading the charge! Buckley says that, “The sad truth for Labour is that failing to defend migrants is a longstanding habit. As Nesrene Malik writes, just as the right ‘exploited immigration for cynical ends’, Labour ‘made its own cynical compact with this sentiment, using it, when needed, to show its own ‘toughness’ against the devious migrant’. Under New Labour, migration became a ‘legitimate concern’ and the Government pledged to look out for ‘the indigenous population’. Gordon Brown spoke of ‘British jobs for British workers’; Ed Miliband campaigned with ‘controls on immigration’ mugs. Jeremy Corbyn accepted the premise that immigration was at best a hardship to be endured, refusing to commit to keeping free movement.”

Buckley warns that, “The party fails to realise that if accepted wisdom is that immigration is bad for Britain only one party benefits: the Conservatives. A new narrative would be honest about the contributions migrants make to our economy and society, one that explains our need for migrant workers if public services and businesses are to thrive. There is no lack of evidence. ‘Migrant workers will be critical to the UK’s economic rebirth’ writes Personnel Today. ‘Without migrants,’ says Sean O’Grady, ‘there are fewer workers to support the old, lower tax revenues, fewer people willing to work in hospitals and care homes at affordable wages, and a generally lower level of spending in the economy, which is bad for economic growth.’ Economist Philip Inman writes how ‘study after study has shown the UK is a net gainer from migration, even the uncontrolled version courtesy of EU membership’.” This has led to immigration being referred to as a “shot in the arm for the local economy.” But an exodus of people, where we cherry-pick ‘the best and the brightest,’ has a severely detrimental and destabilizing effect.

Buckley reports that, “COVID-19 has further highlighted how dependent the UK is on migrant labour. Our hospitals, nursing homes and farms depend on a regular supply of so-called ‘unskilled’ labour. Numbers have been dropping in anticipation of new rules, causing sectors to cry for help. Farmers describe an ‘unsustainable’ shortage of workers. Health and social care faces shortages of nurses and care workers. ‘EU nurses no longer feel welcome in Britain,’ found the London School of Economics. 22,000 had left the NHS by December 2019, a number that will only have grown since then, contributing to this year’s fears of staff shortages as we head into Winter.” Costly Nightingale facilities are closing due to lack of staff! Buckley who is director of the campaign group ‘Labour for a European Future’ says, “The alternative to forming this new narrative is to continue to allow Nigel Farage, Priti Patel and Boris Johnson to set it. Fifteen years of that has contributed to four Conservative election wins and a hard Brexit. Labour needs to step up.”

While all of these economic realities are totally valid, sadly, I think that Buckley, along with so many other supporters of ‘EU Free Movement of People’ fail to accept; the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor. When untrustworthy, conspicuously wealthy, politicians touted the importance of immigration to our economy, those living in seriously deprived areas up north just equated their enthusiasm to more of the same ‘rich getting richer;’ policies that never benefited them. Well before the EU Referendum, as the toxic atmosphere towards ‘migrants’ was being stoked by the media, I had started looking at the whole issue in an entirely different way. My work on ‘Collaborative Circular Migration’ began following observations on a ten country ‘needs assessment of Anaesthesia care in sub-Saharan Africa’ in 2009. I saw first hand the damage that our scavenging of trained Medical personnel was doing to poorly funded Healthcare systems in struggling developing countries and I knew there had to be a better, more collaborative way forward.

A Nurse Anesthetist I met in Blantyre helped me to formulate a workable concept. She had trained in Malawi, spent time in the UK working within our NHS and then returned home. The core principle of ‘Collaborative Circular Migration’ is that it does not create winners and losers; it’s designed to be mutually beneficial to both people and Governments, both here and overseas. If we consider foreign Medical personnel adequately trained to join our NHS, then why not sponsor the training of UK students in stable countries overseas where it is cheaper to live and more affordable to train. We could use funds from our Foreign Aid Budget to improve the Hospital facilities where they would be trained by local practitioners who had spent time working in our NHS. The student cohort would be 50/50 British students paired with local students during training to create a strong bond that might endure throughout their professional careers. Local students could be sponsored with Foreign Aid funds with a commitment to a number of years service.

You must be thinking, why would that matter a hoot to an unemployed lad from Sunderland? Well, that was just the very start of my concept for ‘Collaborative Circular Migration.’ How do you demonstrate any tangible benefits of the free movement to people in depressed areas where jobs are scarce, cash is tight due to Tory austerity and they can’t even afford a package tour to Benidorm? They voted for Brexit. It is entirely possible, and eminently affordable, to create mutually beneficial programs that do not just move cheap labour into this country, but offer opportunities for all, rich and poor alike, beyond the borders of the UK. Our young people should not be trapped unable to afford to leave home, while exploited by companies in slave labour fake ‘apprenterships’ that teach nothing, but common sense service skills. Foreign competition offering real skills with an opportunity for independent living, room and board plus a stipend would be more attractive, thus forcing UK exploiterships to shut down due to lack of participants.

Just as the Erasmus program is expanding from University tuition to a more comprehensive set of skills training options we must embrace the potential for training overseas. If it’s more cost effective to train plumbers in Poland why aren’t we setting this up? But what if little Johnny doesn’t speak Polish? He might be a UK born son of Polish parents, but if that’ not the case, despite the disaster of Brexit, it’s not too late for our Government to sponsor training abroad and if it’s properly funded there will be people ready to set up worthwhile programs even if that requires teaching our trainees in English. If you doubt that this is possible, I can report that the Medical school in Lviv in the Ukraine has been successfully training foreign Medical students in English to meet UK and US Medical qualifications for well over two decades! Beginning in 1961 the University provided education to foreign citizens. In1997 teaching of foreign students in English was launched and now 70% of the University’s foreign students study in English.

If there is Government approval and adequate funding to meet genuine training requirements, businesses will develop to supply that demand. Why should a ‘Gap Year’ be the exclusive privilege of wealthy college students? If a school leaver has few prospects beyond the perpetual insecurity of zero hours contracts subsidized by our benefit system, surely a stint overseas would offer an inspirational option? The programs already set up in developing countries bring much needed revenue to impoverished regions of the developing world. For young people, there is the enticement of independence and adventure, but some Gap year students go on to design new products or set up their own business. It would be more cost effective to support an out of work person overseas and it allows a valuable time to reset and realize that there are people who are a lot worse off in this world. Again this needs to be constructed as a win, win program where all participating countries and applicants benefit and there are no victims or losers.

When our Government encouraged EU migrants to come to the UK there was a distinct and very concerning age imbalance due to our rapidly increasing elerly population. The influx of foreign workers helped to even out that imbalance so that new contributors were paying into our tax system. But understandably, you cannot increase the size of the population without also increasing the services to support them. Not that they have ever demonstrated a disproportionate burden on the state, in fact quite the opposite, but they do need access to a doctor and of course they wanted to send their children to school. Instead of using their contributions in taxes to increase the capacity of local services, the UK squandered their input on an illegal foreign war that these new migrants had no say over. As we oust more EU nationals to appease the Brexiteers, our ageing society with fewer taxpayers to support the elderly will become a problem, especially if those now living in Spain feel forced through economic necessity to return to the UK.

Thankfully there is a ‘Collaborative Circular Migration’ alternative to combat this dilemma, supporting pensioners who wish to retire abroad to encourage them to do so. Right now there are significant disincentives that make no financial sense at all, like the frozen pension payments that apply to most countries outside the EU. Even if the pension is uprated, other benefits that a pensioner may be entitled to in the UK, like housing benefit, pension credit, disability benefits and PIP, are removed if they move abroad, despite the fact that these benefits would cost less overseas. If the UK could set up an arrangement with foreign countries, both within and beyond the EU, that guaranteed UK responsibility for all eligible pensioners, many nations would be competing for the opportunity to care for our elderly. Why? This would provide secure revenue and local jobs. For struggling EU countries like Greece it would provide a no penalty financial bailout; in Spain it would provide occupancy for complexes abandoned during the financial crash.

I want people to visit the UK to experience life here, not to escape destitutation in their own country; jobs created abroad reduce the poverty that drives migration, but what would be the benefit to people here in the UK? While not all pensioners would want to move abroad, it would be a truly universal benefit if the choice to do so didn’t require wealth or a really fat pension pot. For those who were liberated to make this choice, aside from freeing up much needed housing space, their departure would take logistical pressure off our NHS and Care services and, although our Government would still be responsible for paying for these services overseas, it would probably cost less than here in the UK. The Covid crisis will leave huge numbers of people unemployed and we should take this opportunity to reevaluate job roles and retirement. No doubt more people will continue working from home, but our retirement should be a gradual step down from more active roles to more experienced mentorship roles working fewer hours.

For this next component of Collaborative Circular Migration it is necessary to consider the fundamental purpose of our Foreign Aid. A priority objective should be to stabilize Developing nations by helping to decrease poverty and increase financial independence. We often fail to accomplish this task. A large amount of Foreign Aid money is totally wasted on supporting highly paid functionaries who produce assessments that are never actioned. I witnessed this first hand out in Indonesia after the Boxing Day tsunami where so much of the relief funding was squandered on pampering Aid workers. Seconded to Cut Nyak Dhien Hospital, I was impressed by a thorough WHO funded assessment, but it was produced, filed then ignored while I had to beg NGOs for basic Medical supplies and equipment for the only Hospital left standing in Meulaboh, Aceh. Whether it was my influence or not, I just discovered online that one of the teams I approached, the Singapore Red Cross, did finally step in to totally renovate and upgrade that Hospital.

Although I think a good deal of Foreign Aid money is misspent, I was deeply saddened by the ruthless Tory Government decision to reduce the percentage of our GDP committed to this important priority. Since Covid has reduced our GDP it would already have amounted to less just when the diverse foreign diaspora working in this country to send Remittance money overseas will be too cash strapped to make such payments. This Remittance money far outstrips what we spend on Foreign Aid and it filters into the homes of impoverished families where it can achieve the maximum positive impact. This observation is perhaps key to spending our overseas Aid budget more wisely in future. Money paid to a family is spent wisely; it pays for a child to go to school, funds vital medical care or buys necessary tools for farming or work. The funding of agencies in developing countries allows their Government to divert money from a priority sector, like Healthcare or education, into defence spending or it might be partially lost to corruption.

There are ways in which our funding can target individuals, filtering down into communities to provide the security that eliminates the need for a desperate escape from the relentless poverty that spurs social unrest. Migration from developing countries is more beneficial to that country if it’s a temporary departure for an opportunity to work and acquire capital that is then invested back into that country. There are work sectors here in the UK where we still require unskilled labour, so why not create a special type of ‘Earn, Learn and Return’ (ELR) visa for temporary periods of work. The purpose of ELR is to maximize the total benefit gained during time spent working here, with a compelling obligation to return to a country of origin. A guarantee of return is accomplished with a dedicated ELR bank account and incentives. Providing room and board to migrant workers allows them to prioritize saving money, with funds deposited in the ELR account topped-up on the condition that the money isn’t accessible until they return home.

Remittance money to family could be sent home via the ELR account, removing costly transfer fees and topping-up the amount. Since this money isn’t paid in the UK, all top-up funds count as legitimate Foreign Aid spending. Funded short courses could focus on skills that are useful in the worker’s country of origin. Basic math and English for those whose schooling was lost due to conflict, solar panel set up, vector control, fixing bikes or a community Health outreach course, with paid weekend or evening attendance topping-up that ELR account to further incentivise training. It is our moral duty to offer refuge and to make the passage of escape from tyranny safe for asylum seekers, but during the period of their evaluation they could be accepted to work under the same conditions as ELR visa migrants. If an asylum claim failed they could be considered for resettlement elsewhere; they wouldn’t arrive destitute and they might also have acquired new skills. If a crisis or conflict is resolved refugees may decide to return home.

Our reckless foreign interventions have created the most significant driving force motivating refugee migration. The desperation is so great that no barricade or deterrent is significant enough to stop them coming, including the huge risk of crossing the Channel in an open boat! There should be safe ways to seek asylum, but we must focus on eliminating the desperation that drives migration; I believe that aspects of Collaborative Circular Migration can help accomplish that goal. In reality this toxic Tory Government has us ranting about migrants to detract from the devastation caused by a decade of austerity, squandering of public funds that amounts to embezzlement and their multiple chronic failures in office. I am convinced that the Tories stole postal votes to secure the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and I still hope that one day this will be exposed via a full Investigation, but there are multiple other corrupt practices that warrant immediate removal of this Tory Government or ousting the Tory Sovereign Dictatorship could take decades. DO NOT MOVE ON!