Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Immigration: Mistake or policy?

Jamie Oliver: Migrants are tougher workers

Employers like Jamie Oliver are sick of UK workers because so many of them are workshy whingers. The blog world is symptomatic of Jamie Oliver’s complaint... it’s full of lefties advocating higher taxation, so that they can afford to create/buy workshy votes and xenophobic Johnny bedsits banging on about immigrants taking the jobs they don't actually want. The UK needs new blood but unfortunately the UK workers they replace can't go anywhere (who would have them?), so we’ve ended up with a chronic housing shortage. How many people are there really in the UK? 70 million? 80 million? I just got home on a Ferry. The ferry signs are in English, French and Polish. At least 1 in 3 people on the boat were Eastern European. Be under no illusion, immigration is not a mistake, it's a policy

Posted by flashman @ 12:45 PM (2150 views)
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32 thoughts on “Immigration: Mistake or policy?

  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Rising accomodation costs + falling real term wages = zero incentivisation

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  • I recall saying that to flashie a couple of weeks back.. There will be no manufacturing / engineering recovery in the UK until engineers are paid better. You hace people like me shuffling away from electronic design into billing software.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    There is some truth in that.

    Ask an Australian bar owner who is best workers are, he’ll tell you it’s British migrants.

    Ask a London bar owner, he’ll tell you it’s Australian migrants.

    So if all the hard working Brits overseas came back to the UK and we chucked out all the hard working foreigners, the net effect would be precisely ZERO.

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  • “Rising accommodation costs + falling real term wages = zero incentivisation”

    That’s the point. Our indigenous workers don’t like the above, so employers/the government get immigrants to do the work instead. It’s a Grapes of Wrath thing.

    “There will be no manufacturing / engineering recovery in the UK until engineers are paid better”

    They don’t need to pay (UK engineers) better. There are plenty of foreigners and immigrants who will gladly do it for what’s on offer.

    Real wages are stagnant while the economy grows because UK workers have little pricing power. The UK is becoming more competitive via immigrants who will do it for less. We’ve been doing this on and off since the 50s. The only difference is that the government used to be honest about it.

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  • mw: I think you might be comparing apples to apples. Aussie and Pomm tourists are from similarly wealthy backgrounds and whist they are abroad they need to work hard to support their touring. A better comparison would be between UK builders are Eastern European builders. UK customers generally think that Eastern European builders are harder working and Eastern European builders think that UK builders are unbelievably lazy. I can’t do the proper equivalent comparison because no UK builder would work in Eastern Europe (yet) and an Eastern European customer wouldn’t hire a UK builder if their life depended on it

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  • So Jamie Oliver worked 80-100 hours a week in restaurants ‘in his twenties’. Not much of his twenties. He was 22 when he started the Naked Chef TV show and had a bestselling cookbook.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Falling wages aren’t the issue; it’s the accomodation costs. That’s what makes the UK labour market so uncompetative. All the govt are doing by maintaining asset prices are ensuring we remain uncompetative. That’s why the CBI bangs-on about the need for immigration when that’s just a mealy-mouthed way of saying cheaper workers. We’ve priced ourselves out of the game.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Flash comment 5, I am comparing like with like.

    What about British expat engineers working in the oil business all over the world? What about Auf Wiedersehen Pet?

    It is a simple fact that migrants (if they are not here to sponge off the social) are harder working. It’s self-referential, self-selection.

    That’s why the USA/colonies did so well when it still welcomed immigrants, it’s part of the reason why West Germany did so well after 1945 – everybody in the East with any drive and gumption b-ggered off to the West, so on average, people living in Western Germany were harder working.

    See also Israel – millions of ambitious Jewish people went there from 1920s onwards, what happened? It’s the flower of the middle east. Whereas the Palestinians in refugee camps just sit about moaning and achieving nothing.

    None of this means that we should look down on all unemployed British people (a few hard core cases yes, but they are a minority). They’re unemployed because of high taxes on business and the means-testing in the welfare system. The British people are no better or worse than any other nation in this regard.

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  • @mark wadsworth –

    You could also apply the same logic to the UK.

    Everybody in the Country with any drive and gumption b-ggered off to London leaving unemployment higher in the rest of the country. you could then say that anyone in Wales, the southwest, north etc. are there because they are lazy and sponge off the social.

    🙂

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Khards, yes, we observe the same with “hard working ambitious” people moving to London from the rest of the UK*.

    Half the people in London are immigrants from abroad and half of them are from elsewhere in the UK. You hardly meet any “real Londoners”, there is practically no such thing.

    And I’m not blaming unemployment in Wales etc on the Welsh. I’m blaming it on “the system”. It is the system which sets a cut off point so that above the line, business and enterprise can thrive but everything below the line is doomed to a life of welfare. Even in London, there are plenty of people “below the line”.

    * As a matter of fact, when I finished school in 1984 in Leeds, Thatcher had compeltely messed everything up for us and it was grimness all round, so I went to Germany where getting a job or an apprenticeship place was easy. Then in 1993 I moved to London.

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  • mw @8. Before the massive influx of Russians in the early 1990s Israel depended heavily on the labour of Palestinians dispossessed by Israelis in 1948. Up to about 1992 about 150,000 Palestinians left their West Bank and Gaza ghettos to do Israel’s low-paid heavy and dirty jobs, this in addition to farmers and tradesmen from those areas selling their goods to Israel (which had taken measures to prevent Palestinians from developing autonomous economic relationships with Arab states). Israel closed the door to these Palestinians when the Russians (supposedly Jews, but many just economic migrants from Yeltsin’s kleptocrats) came in to do those jobs. Gradually the Palestinian territories were sealed off not just from Israel but also from each other. Israel’s economy then re-oriented itself to ‘security’ and counter-terrorism technologies.

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  • mw, I couldn’t agree more. I’m a big fan of (many) British workers and Britain itself. However there is a certain type of British worker that is amongst the worst in the world. I’ve built houses and run companies and my experiences are depressingly consistent with those of my contemporaries. On building sites the low paid teenage ‘mate’ is almost extinct because the little buggers won’t do the work. It’s how previous generations learned their craft but it’s not happening now which leaves a vacuum that gets filled by immigrant workers.

    Sibley, of course high housing prices don’t help competitiveness but you can’t ignore wages or the quality of workers. Immigrant workers ‘solve’ high house prices by cramming into small spaces and they are generally prepared to work more hours for less.
    If I had my way I’d build 5 million houses and spend billions on training British workers.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Icarus, I’m not denying that the state of Israel has done some appalling things from the Palestinians’ point of view, that is a separate topic. My sympathies lie with the Jewish people and I admit to being cheerfully biased about these matters.

    The European settlers in North America did appalling things from the native American indian point of view as well, see also “australia” and “aborigine” etc etc.

    Doth not change the underlying observation about immigrants being “more ambitious”.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    I suppose it’s all rather chicken and egg Flash. Immigrants tend towards the jobs with the lowest barriers to entry. As they increasingly take the place of the indigenous workers (who can’t compete on wages and living costs) it simply creates a negative feedback in that the UK workers are workshy.

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  • “Doth not change the underlying observation about immigrants being “more ambitious”.”

    Spot on. Sometimes it takes the precision of an accountant to stay properly focused on the point of a debate. Earlier I referenced John Steinbeck’s book The Grapes of Wrath. Anyone who wants to understand mw’s comment above should read this book. It’s also a cracking read in its own right

    Regarding a point brought up earlier about the quality of people ‘left behind’ in regions /countries. It is a completely taboo subject but any animal breeder will tell you the same thing. If the clever or ambitious people persistently leave a place, then the gene pool gets thinned out. I once read an article about how Catholicism breeds idiocy. In the subject country (I won’t name) the cleverest people from each village either got hived off into celibacy (via the priesthood) or they emigrated. This went on for generations with predictable and empirically measureable results

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  • “it simply creates a negative feedback in that the UK workers are workshy”

    Yes I suppose it does but these days immigrants are not only taking the jobs with the lowest barrier to entry. When I was a student, lecturers used to also tell us that our workshyness was caused by us being ‘post empire’. The empire was so long ago that it shouldn’t still afflict us but every time I think we’re finally free of post empire syndrome, I’m proved wrong by some idiot politician deciding to police another country.

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  • My Brother in Law used to work in the hotel trade .

    He worked hard and didn’t have much to show for it at the end of the weak but at least he had a job and was above minimum wage .

    Now most hotels are staffed by Eastern Europeans and both the companies and the work force operate a closed shop so people like my Brother in Law can’t even get an interview there .

    Our family has been able to club together to keep him and my sister and their children in their house , just about , but he’s not had a proper job for 2 years now .

    How the heck is my Brother-in-Law meant to support the family when the only jobs he can do which paid above minimum wage have gone to cheap labour from abroad ?

    Saying this got me a ban for “racism” from Richard Murphy’s site . Like most hardcore socialists he seems to despise poor people almost as much as free speach .

    The influx of cheap labour from abroad has caused massive hardship for the poor of the UK .

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  • mw @13 – the point I was making was that the Palestians were working hard and trading and generally acting like your ambitious East Europeans coming west (or Mexicans on Californian farms) until 1992-3, when events elsewhere caused the situation to change. This was a response to your “Palestinians in refugee camps just sit(ting) about moaning and achieving nothing”.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    That’s true flash, I suppose because each subsequent generation betters their lot.

    Very moving book in grapes of wrath though I think the jungle by Upton Sinclair maybe more appropriate, documenting European immigration to the US at the turn of the 20th century.

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  • Grapes of Wrath and The Jungle were both about push factors and false hopes about the situation in the destination country rather than about clever and ambitious people getting on their bikes and pursuing the main chance. Most emigration has been like that. Before Sinclair’s Lithuanians and Steinbeck’s Oakies seeking the land of opportunity that turned out to be anti-union and corporatist the main migrants to the Americas were slaves or, what turned out to be the same thing, indentured labourers. The latter were largely rogues, varlets, vagabonds and thieves forcibly transported after a few spells in Newgate (like Defoe’s Moll Flanders). When America had had enough of them Australia stepped into to fill the gap. Otherwise the migrants, like the Spanish hidalgos that plundered central America, were sword-wearing gentlemen who left for the colonies to ‘repair their fortunes’ by any means other than work. Or favourites of kings granted large, ill-defined lands in disputed territories….

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  • I don’t think anyone (certainly no one who’s read it) has ever suggested that The Grapes of Wrath was about ‘clever and ambitious people getting on their bikes etc’.

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  • stillthinking says:

    They don’t work hard for less though, thats the whole point, they get more. They end up clearing substantially more than the UK worker would because they don’t have to carry anywhere near the rent and tax costs.

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  • No stillthinking, they do work harder for less. They might eke out more from their income by crowding into accommodation but the employer still pays them less. THAT is the whole point. It is also a myth that they always pay less tax. If they are on PAYE then they pay the same amount. The cash in hand lot are no worse than the millions of indigenous builders and tradesmen who routinely ask for cash or the indigeneous workers who are on benefits and also work for cash. Go build a house or two in the UK and you’ll get a better understanding of what I’ve written above

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  • stillthinking says:

    Do their families in Poland pay UK VAT at 20%? Do you think the Polish families pay UK fuel tax in Poland when they drive around?

    Apart from anything else, do you honestly think that the Polish declare their earnings clearly ? What does “discount for cash” mean? Of course they don’t. As soon as you have one foot in another country your options to avoid tax multiply. The unfairness is that the UK worker has -huge- outgoings that the Polish worker does not. Apart from anything else, this government has borrowed to the gills to keep the economy going, the Poles have benefited from that, but there is no liability because they can simply move back afterwards. The UK government is going into debt to support, in part, Polish workers, how much debt is Poland taking on to keep the British workers going ?

    I take your point, in the common market, there is nothing to stop British workers moving their families overseas to level the playing field, but that would be a crazy arrangement. The idea that the Poles work harder like some mystical force is rubbish, in West London there were translated signs in the parks saying don’t get wasted here, no drinking outside. There are some lazy Poles, some hard working Poles, same as everywhere.

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  • flashman @20 – of course it isn’t.Who said it was? But those two books were brought here into a discussion about migrants who do get on their bikes and improve their situation in another country.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    I daresay that in a generation’s time, Oliver will no longer be saying East Europeans make the hardest workers. The children of those that crowded themselves in HMOs won’t be so keen to do as their forebears.

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  • sib, exactly. Jewish people left East London for the suburbs and were replaced by Bangladeshis. I’m probably out of date and Bangladeshis have been replaced?

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    F, interestingly, Bangladeshis now have just about the highest unemployment rate of any official “ethnic group”.

    I suppose if you were dragged over here to work for pennies in a sweatshop and live in a crowded slum and that is what you are used to (they were fleeing even lower wages and even sh-ttier living conditions back home), then the incentive to go on benefits is all the higher.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    East London is still predominantly Bangladeshi, while Barking outwards is more Nigerian/Polish/Lithuanian.

    I would attribute that to rising house prices making East London a less economical option to the newer influx.

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  • Tougher, i.e. tough out lower wages.

    And what a broad sweeping statement of hatred. These same people who claim to be beyond discrimination manage to discriminate against the majority of normal people, using minorities as a tool to destroy the majority. Under equal opportunities legislation they protect protected groups. As a white, Christian, male who is heterosexual, I am not a protected group thus, through “equalities”, I have been demoted from being treated as equal under the law to being a second class citizen. As Orwell stated in Animal Farm, under Socialism, some people are more equal than others.

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  • Incidentally, they used the same Equalities policies in the Soviet Union, as they integrated all the folk from the various Stans. This is all from the Soviet playbook.

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  • Celebrities, don’t ya just love ’em ! I’ve made it big so I’ve earned the right to slag off anyone I feel like AND demand a fee for doing it! Yeah Baby!

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