Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Miliband and Immigration

Mili's spin on the immigration debate is instructive: the 'root cause' of unhappiness is that immigrants are being paid so little - nay, being exploited !  The solution, as always, is to invent a new criminal offence: 
“This new criminal offence will provide protection to everyone. It will help ensure that when immigrants work here they do not face exploitation themselves and rogue employers are stopped from undercutting the terms and conditions of everyone else.”
Somhow I doubt this analysis and cure will defuse the 'not very well-drafted immigration / UKIP strategy document' row.  But when the dust is cleared, let me offer some observations on Ed's plan.  As regular readers will know I have good ongoing links into the civic affairs of the borough where once I was a councillor for many years, with plenty of accurate data from the front line.   Said borough is ultra-diverse with no one ethnic group really predominating, but there is one particular area (containing - no coincidence - the block that was razed to the ground during the riots in '11) that is solidly Tamil: quite well-organised and very hard-working.

And Mili will wish to be apprised that the going rate for jobs there is £2.00 per hour: everybody knows the score.   A tad lower than the Minimum Wage, I believe, but there we are.  Muster your raiding party, Ed, and lock 'em all up.

No?  Thought not.



Electro-Kevin said...

Miliband doesn't address the fact that the legal minimum wage has become the maximum wage in many parts.

Or that the whole shebang is being subsidised by the taxpayer.

Exploitative immigration is not what people are worried about. It is being crowded out of their own country - and yes. Often by people who are better than them but not by much and with nothing special to bring to Britain either.

AndrewZ said...

It's all very vague and carefully triangulated – not too anti-immigration to upset the party activists, not too pro-immigration to go against the public mood, and not making any definite commitments. Add something about "the sunlit uplands of prosperity" and it could be Jim Hacker speaking.

dearieme said...

Is the £2 per hour bearable because they'll all be drawing a dole too?

Steven_L said...

For some it is bearable because it is a lot more than they can earn in India.

People on tourist visas visiting relatives, overstaying visas or otherwise in the UK illegally can't claim the dole.

BE said...

I am amazed the Tamils will work for £2 an hour. On a recent trip to Sri Lanka I took a tuktuk ride. Once we agreed the price he drove for about half a mile then pulled up at a coconut stand. I was a bit annoyed because I kind of wanted to be at my destination as soon as possible which is why I paid the tuktuk man five times the bus fare. He offered me a coconut. Thinking he might get the message I said no thanks.

Once he had drunk he coconut, we were on our way again. He asked me how much a coconut costs in my country. I had to say that I didn't really know, but I imagined they were quite expensive because they do not grow in sunny England.

He was genuinely surprised.

I reckon in Sri Lanka you could buy five coconuts for a dollar. In London they cost about three quid each, so actually my standard of living in London is quite poor compared with a tuktuk driver in touristville Sri Lanka.