I had a meeting with a researcher who was doing a project on Brexit for the Albany Theatre and at one point I was asked about my own views on immigration during the time I was canvassing with Leave.EU. I have never really spoken much about immigration during the time I was campaigning in the referendum. That was because I wasn’t a voter with a grudge against immigrants or multiculturalism. I believed in the positive aspects of a Leave campaign to give Britain an opportunity to thrive with the world economy. That way I could use Remain and Better Together’s arguments against them.
But I think it’s time I had a good look at my views on immigration. This is my attempt to explain my own views on the matter. I think some of you won’t agree to it but it is not an attempt to support controlled immigration but to understand what is wrong with our unhealthy obsession with our civil rights and how we have got our priorities wrong with foreigners and workers.
Recently a group of people have persuaded the Supreme Court to get a vote in Parliament put through to allow the MPs to decide on the Leave process from the EU. Headed by Gina Miller, a lawyer and businesswoman, the group want to ensure that Britain does not leave the EU in a harsh manner to protect their business interests in the European Single Market. Although I am angry at the decision with Miller’s condescending and vicious anti-democratic rhetoric I want to stick with the subject of immigration which for many years has been uncontrolled and a blight on society. Creating rich people at the expense of the livelihood of ordinary common people and communities.
One of the millionaire supporters of Remain who was in the group in the court case was Charlie Mullins, the founder of Pimlico Plumbers. Five years ago when there was an argument about foreigners taking jobs he said that he preferred to take foreign labour because the British jobseekers he met with were too picky. This debate has going on for a while and British workers seem to lose out to foreign workers. Although my relatives and friends dismissed their criticisms I decided to find the logic in their arguments. And I have found something rather interesting that makes their arguments sound.
Now the trouble with the British work ethic is a long hard history of job snobbery. My family work in jobs they don’t like. Mother is a school cook which she got in an NVQ and she no longer likes it but loves the pension and the salary that comes with it, my stepdad runs a scaffolding business which he finds tedious but worth putting into because it pays the bills and my brothers work alongside him. Both of whom ended up in the building trade through no serious desire to work in that field but just for the sake of getting a paid job all for earning a wage so that they have something to do. This is just typical of a modern British worker. I however have been unemployed for most of my life. That is because that attitude to work doesn’t suit me and I am not capable of working in that way. My mental issues may have affected my ability my to get into work, but not my ability to work.
Back in my parents day a job was nothing more than an outgoing labour exercise in order to earn your keep. Work hard all week and take home a wage packet to pay the bills and afford all the luxuries of a consumerist society. They haven’t got any ambition or desire to make something of themselves and change their lives to get something better than their previous generation. Well that work ethic and mentality isn’t acceptable in this modern labour market anymore. These days the jobs you do reflect who you are and that is your identity as well as your title. The bosses of today expect jobseekers and employers to have something good about themselves that makes them happy, productive and really useful. The entrepreneurs like Mullins, Branson, Gates, Lord Sugar and Mone have got a passion as well as a drive for what their jobs require of them. That’s why they are so super successful in their fields. Work isn’t all about going out to get money to pay the bills and spoil yourself with the rewards.
Despite this there is a snobbery about their success and many people try to avoid thinking about what their jobs say about them. This is because of a perception that they think the jobs they do reflect their intelligence and standing in society. So if they work in a dirty job then they must be stupid, ill-bred and underprivileged. In the case of the jobs reflecting what it says about them then it makes them think like as if they have nothing but a rubbish job to go to. Well when I am talking about the jobs reflecting who you are I’m talking about your skills, abilities, passions and success at what you do. Any references to your class and place in society with the job you do is something that has long been extinguished.
What has this got to do with immigration and cheap labour you might ask? Well let’s start by taking a look at what jobs these immigrants are taking. A survey released in 2010 showed the types of jobs that the migrants were taking. Split between EU migrants and Non-EU migrants I found that of all the immigrants taking jobs in Britain they are low skilled and manual labour jobs from EU countries and highly skilled professional workers from Non-EU countries. This is where I think we are allowing our civil liberties to permit a legal job market made up of slaves that are undercutting British workers.
EU migrants jobs in Britain
- Factory Process Operatives (31%)
- Agricultural Harvesters (8%)
- Factory Assemblers (8%)
- Cleaners (8%)
Non-EU migrant jobs in Britain
- Doctors (22%)
- Chefs (19%)
- ITC technicians(16%)
- Research Scientists(16%)
Take a look at the list here. Notice that the EU migrants take up the majority of the jobs that are associated with working class communities. These labourers are able to come in and out easily thanks to the freedom of movement laws in the EU’s constitution. So there’s an unlimited supply of cheap labour on the continent right across the channel and they make up the majority of immigrants who come to work. These EU migrants are apparently replacing, NOT displacing Britons from traditional working class jobs. Some people who admit to shirking are happy for them to take these jobs and use their civil rights to dismiss the bosses offers of work.
I once asked on an internet forum a question asking my fellow Britons ‘do you consider your civil rights to refuse a form of labour you don’t like to be so important that you have to dismiss the even the slightest thing that is productive and helpful to make something better for yourself?’ I got a response back quite soon that said ‘Shite! Absolute Shite! These people would rather pay us F**k all and so they give the jobs to foreigners who will do it for peanuts’. What an unreasonable person!
Where does this job snobbery come from? From 1945 to the end of the 20th century Britain underwent a series of dramatic social change orchestrated by liberal theologians, social justice warriors and minority groups. Through the centuries people of a certain gender, class or intelligence were required to know their place and recognise what they were born into. After the war people started to realise that they deserved something better in life and that they should not have to put up with jobs they deemed to be born into. At that time people who lived in rural communities were destined to be farm hands, woman were classed as unskilled workers with few opportunities and lower pay than men, working class children left school to join their parents in the factories and offices their parents worked in and then their kids would go down the same route. It was so awful and stagnating it looked like they were trapped into a state of hierarchical selectiveness by the higher classes. This system was used to protect the class barriers for many years.
Through the years people became free to achieve their own aspirations through a series of political and social revolutions. These days woman have now got the same opportunities as men, people of a certain background can now go into a field that is not associated with their upbringing, the working classes who used to live in council houses are now neighbours with middle class citizens and the factory workers have now gone onto become office workers.
However these movements didn’t always make things better for us. When we got rid of the grammar schools and used a standardized testing system the education system became corrupted and we ended up producing schools leavers who were not all that fit for purpose. Focusing on exam results and testing and pressuring them to avoid going into traditional jobs that the migrants would take. Filling children’s heads with horror stories that if we went into conventional trades instead of university then they would end up impoverished. Eventually university applications began to outnumber apprenticeships. They became so politically correct that they set people up for failure, and mine did too. Bill Gates once gave a speech at a school telling the children what their own school won’t tell them.
We also started to obsess with material gain focusing on uplifting ourselves from our working class roots and going in search of more cool affluent jobs. This led to an exodus of British workers from farms and factories, which is why they are mostly staffed by immigrants mostly from Eastern Europe. Now we seem to think of anything that involves working with our hands as being beneath our dignity and working with our heads makes us think we are intelligent. But we are wrong. Our grandparents had another word for menial jobs like that, they called it ‘opportunity’. What about an opportunity to make something useful out of yourself for others?
One thing that people who complain about the presence of migrants don’t understand is that the bosses of the companies have rights too. They need to run their companies in an efficient and cost-effective way to ensure that they can provide the best service for the people they serve. Bosses have no responsibility or duty of care to their communities like a welfare department. Back in my parent’s day the majority of the workforce were in labour unions and the majority of the country’s industries were nationalised. In those days you could expect the boss to sympathise with you and getting into work was a lot more easier than is it today. Being funded from the public purse you didn’t have to make a profit because the government would pay for it and that encouraged discontent and low productivity. Resulting in the manufacturing of bad quality products and inefficient second rate services.
Nowadays there is no nationalisation and the companies are run as private enterprise. They expect their workers to be happy and productive and capable of working hard to be successful in their own right. The bosses expect you to have a duty of responsibility for the concern of the customers to ensure that you can make the company money so that at the end of the week the boss can write you a paycheck.
Even if you don’t like the job you can always create something for yourself. One of the things that’s often been overlooked during the Thatcher revolution is the new found wealth created by economic liberalism which also made a lot of people unemployed. Those who were still unemployed at the time didn’t bother to take advantage of the liberalised banking system. What was supposed to happen was for them to take advantage of the easy credit and use it to create businesses for themselves in the place of the nationalised industries that were sold off. They resented it and refused to take any such opportunities. If those three million unemployed had chosen to take out a loan to start a business and given something new to their communities then maybe they wouldn’t have been decimated as they turned to be. Mining towns for example, the miners could have swapped their shovels for creating things like delivery services, locally grown produce like fruit and veg in their gardens, cake baking businesses, etc. Maybe if they had chosen to make something work themselves then that level of unemployment wouldn’t have been as high as it turned out to be.
The point of this is that we need to beat the immigrants at their own game. If we keep insisting on our liberties and talking down successful people and snubbing the jobs we are giving the bosses something they can’t be ashamed of. The effects of uncontrolled immigration on Britain has corrupted our workforce into something ugly and sinister. It is true from the right and anti-immigration groups that we have too much cheap labour in this country. We’ve created so much tolerance to diversity and rights to avoid ‘unliked labour’ that the companies have been left to get rich in ways that can single out native Britons. That has led to a labour market that permits the use of cheap labour for companies to hire foreigners to keep the country going.
I’ve read about the unemployment in the former Welsh mining village of Merthyr Tydfil, which has a large population of migrant workers employed at a food processing plant. These workers are only taking up the jobs because the locals don’t want those jobs. There is a state of denial in which some of the locals resent their purpose but won’t make an effort to try the jobs themselves. One local prefered not to blame the migrants because the youngsters didn’t want the jobs and she was okay with them taking a job she snubbed. In which case if we keep this up then we might as well bring back the slave trade and rely entirley on foreign labour to work in the fields and factories. And since slaves are property, not people then we will have a market where these foreigners will be houseservants of the idled jobseekers which they could probably buy them with their benefit money in the same way they could buy a satellite TV package.
The Home Office reported that there are over 13’000 slave workers in this country, that doesn’t include the 300’000 migrants coming here legally. Some of them are in businesses that are able to let them in through the EU freedom of movement. This freedom of movement has created such a havoc for the security officials that they have to go onto block immigrants from countries where they can control the borders: the non-EU migrants.
The non-EU migrants are probably the more better educated and valuable ones to the economy. They are well-trained teachers who can show us how to think and build a better economy, they are excellent chefs who can bring exquisite cuisines to our shores, they are talented doctors and nurses who can take the strain off the NHS and provide life saving surgery, they are specialised scientists with research skills that can build a better country for medicine, engineering structures and finding new sources of energy to power our homes. But sadly we have to turn them away because the market is much more in demand for cheap labour to make the companies richer. I would rather let in a Japanese engineer to make a better railway line than a cheap labourer from Romania who is substituting a young British farm hand.
I think the real solution is to create a sense of collaboration and community responsibility to Britain. Make people feel appreciated and stop berating people about the jobs they do then they won’t feel inclined to snub a good manual labour job. One of my reasons for supporting the comeback of the grammars is that the selective system will allow us to train our children to a better standard than what those immigrant workers are. Did you know that while we were busy crafting social mobility ideas all those years ago the Germans and French were working on productive means to better themselves without the need for liquidating the selective system. Their people and businesses worked in the mutual interests of the national development programme?
While we are on that subject I think we should stop protesting and complaining about our welfare state and creating ways to be idle. This counter productivity is making us stagnant and relying on outdated infrastructure and wasting out time travelling in old fashioned routes. That is time that can be spent more productively on engineering the country’s infrastructure rather than finding ways to promote civil liberties. We have a motorway network that hasn’t been upgraded or newly built since the 1960s, we have underground subways that haven’t been upgraded across the country since the Victorian era, the economy is too southern centred and there is little room for us to enjoy the fresh air, the north is getting further underdeveloped and in need of new ideas to go places, most of our railways have got outdated trains running on them that haven’t been upgraded in 30 years, and for new technology that is needed we have an inefficient broadband service that isn’t able to cope with the number of consumers of modern technology.
Stop talking down about people in manual labour jobs and create a sense of self-worth about your job. Children need to see their parents come home and tell stories about how happy they are in their work, not sulk about the job wishing they were cruising along the seafront in a sports car. The kind of positive attitude we need was common at a time when Britain was an industrial powerhouse that had many happy entrepreneurs and communal working class societies. Sadly that is now nostalgia, but it can be revived to bring back our grand Victorian capitalism to modern Britain.
Collaboration is the key to fixing our work ethic, not competition! Immigration is not taking jobs, it’s replacing workers and creating modern slavery. Do you want to keep protesting for increased welfare or do you want to do something productive and create ways of collaboration to better your livelihood?