Same story, two very different headlines

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fail headline on IPPR report

 

This is a screnshot of today’s Daily Fail scare story. It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? If you’re a right wing tabloid wanting to persuade people that the entire populations of Romania and Bulgaria will be camping in their back yard a week on Wednesday, you are going to write that sort of headline.

Of course, it’s only mildly inconvenient that the actual report on which you base your, well, story is probably the right word says something a little different.  And that the report is based on, err, evidence and fact.

IPPR Romanian Bulgarian report headline

The report from the Institute of Public Policy Research makes three conclusions. This one is particularly interesting:

Romanian and Bulgarian migration remains a source of worry for the public, but this has been exacerbated rather than alleviated by political interventions.

I don’t know about you, but I read that as “Shut up, David Cameron.”

It has a few recommendations to make. My favourite is that we should find out the exact picture and then make our policy based on facts and not on the prejudices of the Tory right, UKIP and the editor of the Daily Mail.

creation of a new cabinet-level Committee on the Impacts of EU Migration, led by a senior cabinet minister and including representatives from the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Treasury;
that the independent Migration Advisory Committee should produce an annual assessment of the labour market, social and public service impacts of EEA migration in the UK, in order to create a stronger evidence base for policymaking;
that government should make available a pot of money as a contingency to respond to any short-term pressures created by migration flows from Romania and Bulgaria in the first six months of the year, which could be set at the same level as the previous Migration Impacts Fund;
that government should draw on existing examples of good practice at the local level in the UK and across Europe on promoting Roma inclusion and develop a clear strategy for this group, in line with what has been recommended by the European Commission.

There is so much fear and misinformation out there. Every liberal should make it their mission to do something every day to challenge the scapegoating, misleading and wrong nonsense that we see in the media. These pernicious prejudices must be punctured before they do even more harm to our society.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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33 Comments

  • We shouldn’t let the stupidity of these scare-mongering stories blind us to the real impact immigration is having on the jobs market and on standards of living of lower income workers in the UK.

    Just lumping it all together as one big Daily Mail scare story is totally wrong. There is concrete statistical evidence about the scale of the flows of people involved and it should not just be dismissed out of hand.

    We have to accept that there are major consequences for the UK economy and try to propose policies to deal with them. Ignoring the problem and pretending it doesn’t exist isn’t going to work any more.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 23rd Dec '13 - 2:31pm

    Except that the evidence is that they make a net contribution to our economy…

  • “Except that the evidence is that they make a net contribution to our economy…”

    To our *total* economy, that is. It might be true that it boosts total GDP, but if that GDP is divided by a larger population, then the average may actually decline, meaning lowered living standards as more resources are spread more thinly. This is what is happening.

    The evidence is also that at the lower end of the wage spectrum, migration has a negative effect on wages. Not to mention the impact on rents, property prices etc.

    The steadfast refusal by Liberal Democrats to acknowledge there is a problem here is really quite worrying.

  • Julian Tisi 23rd Dec '13 - 4:51pm

    @RC
    I’m quite encouraged that the Lib Dems are taking a clear line on this, even if it’s one you don’t agree with. We don’t have the majority (fed by drip, drip scare stories) behind us, but we do it seems have the facts behind us.

  • Mack (Not a Lib Dem) 23rd Dec '13 - 5:16pm

    @Caron Lindsay

    “There is so much fear and misinformation out there. Every liberal should make it their mission to do something every day to challenge the scapegoating, misleading and wrong nonsense that we see in the media. These pernicious prejudices must be punctured before they do even more harm to our society.”

    That would include the Liberal Democrat Coalition Government would it? The same Coalition Government that has rushed through in a febrile atmosphere of panic, legislation which prevents migrants from claiming benefits until they have been in the country three months instead of one month. How many Lib Dem MPs actually voted against that? If the Lib Dems really want to stop ramping up the public’s prejudice towards fellow EU citizens your party should stop shoring up the Tories and get out of your opportunistic pact. Actions speak louder than words.

  • “your party should stop shoring up the Tories and get out of your opportunistic pact”

    It’s just more of the the same old, same old from some Labour supporters, isn’t it?

    In what sense can the Lib Dems joining the Coalition remotely be described as “opportunistic”?

  • @ Julian Tisi

    “but we do it seems have the facts behind us.”

    Not when it comes to pretending large scale migration doesn’t have any negative economic consequences for large sections of UK society, no, not really.

  • @Caron Lindsay
    “Except that the evidence is that they make a net contribution to our economy…”

    I have some sympathy with RC’s position here. The mere repetition of the above statement does not add up to an immigration policy. Or, if it does, it suggests we want even more immigration in order to help solve out economic problems. Is that what is being proposed here?
    It is of course right to combat the scaremongering of the right-wing press and politicians but in order to do this effectively we need a coherent, liberal and communicable immigration policy: one which addresses the positive aspects of immigration on both culture and economy but does not shy away from the fact that high levels of migration might have a negative impact on some communities in relation to public services, housing and wage levels. By taking a more realistic position on the issue you line up with public concerns but can attempt to steer the debate in a liberal direction. To do anything less just hands the argument over to UKIP.

  • Mick Taylor 23rd Dec '13 - 6:36pm

    It really is amazing how blinkered people can be about migration. If you believe the Daily Fail, Nigel Farage et all you’d think that the UK was being flooded with immigrants alone in the whole EU. Never a mention of the millions of Brits who live and work or retire to other parts of the EU. Nor any mention of the levels of immigration/migration to other countries like Germany. And these bigots also conveniently forget that that uncriticisable British institution the NHS is staffed to a great degree by so-called immigrants and would collapse without them.

    It is time to call out Farage and his bunch of lunies and challenge him to say how the NHS will be staffed if his policies on immigration were actually implemented.

    Let’s just for a moment consider the question of why the NHS is staffed by so many people from other EU countries and the commonwealth. Could it possibly be because British workers, especially younger workers won’t do the job? You ask any NHS manager how many UK citizens apply for NHS jobs and I’d bet a modest amount that they’d tell you they couldn’t staff the NHS if they wanted to from people born in the UK.

    Some of you with longer memories than a goldfish may remember some years ago when the EU was enlarged that the Daily Fail and others told us millions of workers from the new EU countries were poised to flood into the UK, that the buses had been booked and were full up. What actually happened? Where are the millions predicted? Certainly not in the UK. I must have missed the apology….

    During the 2010 general election, in both Leeds West and Leeds Central I had the opportunity to meet with workers from Poland, who were here in the UK to work. Why were they here? Actually, it was to earn money for two things. Firstly to send money home to their families and secondly to earn enough money to return to Poland to live and set up their own businesses. Not one of them wanted to live here permanently and not one of them even considered claiming benefit.

    Caron is absolutely right. We need facts not fiction. We, as Liberal Democrats must stand up against the right and their lackeys in the press and tell people the real facts again and again. No-one else will do so.

  • Paul Pettinger 23rd Dec '13 - 7:39pm

    “There is so much fear and misinformation out there. Every liberal should make it their mission to do something every day to challenge the scapegoating, misleading and wrong nonsense that we see in the media. These pernicious prejudices must be punctured before they do even more harm to our society.”

    Bravo.

  • Mack (Not a Lib Dem) 23rd Dec '13 - 7:44pm

    @ RC

    In what sense can the Lib Dems joining the Coalition remotely be described as “opportunistic”?

    Definition of “opportunistic” : the taking of opportunities as and when they arise, regardless of principle, i.e. shoring up the Tories. I seem to recall that the Lib Dem manifesto at the last General Election advocated granting citizenship to illegal immigrants. A humanitarian and intelligent policy. Now your MPs vote to refuse benefits to legitimate EU citizens fort hree months and have supported a cap. Is there no such concept in the Lib Dem consciousness as hypocrisy? How can you people complain about the Coalition’s policies when your MPs support them every time? You don’t seem to realize that you can look both ways in opposition but not when you are in government. It is bad faith to blame the Tories for decisions made in the Coalition’s name. If you don’t like them, leave the Coalition, otherwise you simply appear churlish when you blame others for actions that you have clearly supported in the House. Maybe that’s why your opinion poll ratings languish around 8%.

  • Little Jackie Paper 23rd Dec '13 - 10:59pm

    David Sea – I can understand some of the frustrations in the sense that all the stories surrounding Bulgaria/Romania are little more than speculation. We all have our instincts, but none of us really knows what will happen. I visit the region a lot, my wife is from the area, and my straw-poll suggests that in the short-term at least this issue is hugely overhyped. (I worry a bit more about the longer term, but park that for now.) But then as you say simply quoting a dry stat over and over again is barely a policy. At best it is a technocratic statement, at worst it is dismissing the electorate.

    And we should not forget the wider questions that are raised. It has, I think, become far too easy for the UK government to hide behind the EU. There is too little an understanding of what the EU is. The questions about non-EU migration are not really discussed. Still less the questions of non-EU integration.

    But then I think that the Bulgaria/Romania story’s treatment in the UK is a symptom of a wider malady – too many people feel that there is no reciprocity to the EU FOR THEM. For some classes the EU is a sunshine retirement after three decades of house-price inflation. Or it is a cheap workforce and tenants for BTL empires. Or it is rights for other people. Free movement of people is great for people with the capital to reify it – to everyone else, the large majority, there is not much by way of reciprocity in the picture. As you say, if people want to comment politically on the idea of immigration as a route to solving economic problems then they are free to form whatever value judgment they like on that policy position.

    How many people in the UK public at large realistically see freedom of movement to Bulgaria as something ‘for’ them? That’s the question really being asked by the voters I sense. I love the SE European region and the people, but I would be hard-pressed to say that this is reciprocity in any meaningful sense. The EU can not be an exercise in ignoring gaping asymmetries whilst seeming to be talking about the interests of Finnish engineers/German accountants/Dutch technicians, rather than the interests of the UK voter at large. That is the issue here – who as a party of government is policy ‘for.’

    In 30 years time we may well have real-time communications technology that will make free movement a more widespread option, but now is what matters. I worry that the leadership is holding out a hostage to fortune.

  • David Sea, the problem is, though, that the negative effects of immigration (which do exist, but are normally already relating to illegal practices controls by businesses and criminal gangs) are not on schooling, health-care, housing and wage-levels.

    UKBA released a report showing that immigration either had no effects on our schools or was overall having positive effects (especially as most immigrants use private schools).

    The NHS is flooded with ‘Johnny Foreigners’, that is for sure; thank god for the immigrant doctors, nurses, cleaning staff, orderlies… etc who keep our hospitals running and our patients in care.

    Housing. The number of immigrants in social housing is negligible and even if we evicted them all, it would not solve our social housing problems. As for the housing problems in the south east; well, if immigration is to blame for that (no evidence it is, but still), then Government policy is at fault for making that the only place the vast majority of immigrants can viably move to is the South East due to wage demands and special work demands that they need to fulfil in order to get a visa.

    Wage-deprecation: This is simply wrong. The deprecation of wages in this country is complicated, but has little to do with immigration and more to do with previously overly inflated wages, industries moving abroad, economic issues, problems facing certain industries, high level private debt the disproportionate levels of wealth in the South East. Tradesman could argue their trades have been hit, but to be honest, their industries are doing well – and if people are using other labourers for this work, they may wish to ask, why do people want those guys instead of me?

  • Mick Taylor 23rd Dec ’13 – 6:36pm
    It really is amazing how blinkered people can be about migration. … …
    … …Some of you with longer memories than a goldfish may remember some years ago when the EU was enlarged that the Daily Fail and others told us millions of workers from the new EU countries were poised to flood into the UK, that the buses had been booked and were full up. What actually happened? Where are the millions predicted? Certainly not in the UK. I must have missed the apology….

    Mick Taylor is quite correct.
    Scares about an imminent flood of immigrants are regular features of the right wing press in England.
    I remember the scare stories of the late 1960s with dire warnings from Enoch Powell and Duncan Sandys, (Tories whose careers were on the slide and thought a bit of immigrant bashing would restore their fortunes). Whatever happened to the much reported “rivers of blood” ?? Well they never happened, they existed only in the fevered imagination of the dreadful Conservative failure Enoch Powell.
    I remember Margaret Thatcher’s warnings about being “swamped” by immigrants. You remember Thatcher the friend of Pinochet and the enemy of Mandela.
    Before my time there were the scare stories about Jewish immigration at the beginning of the 20th century and Irish immigration throughout the 19th century.
    The common thread through the decades is disreputable right-wingers seeking scapegoats to distract attentions from their appalling right-wing actions in government.
    Today it is Bulgarians and Romanians who we are told are a great threat and about to bring down civilisation as we know it. In reality, they are the nice people who are delivering my Christmas presents from Amazon. Now that Ed Davey has privatised my postman, Christmas parcels no longer arrive in a red van with a bloke in a Royal Mail uniform: parcels are carried by a succession of Eastern European young men who politely hand over the parcels for my neighbours and ask me to sign one of those electronic gizmos on which your signature looks like the Mark of Zorro whatever you have actually written. If anybody has a problem with that they should not complain about the Romanians or Bulgarians they should complain about Ed Davey and the privatisers, who along with corporate lobbyists and City sharks have made a fast buck out of selling off another public service that you and I used to own.

  • @ Mack

    “I seem to recall that the Lib Dem manifesto at the last General Election advocated granting citizenship to illegal immigrants”

    And I seem to recall we didn’t get a majority, so can’t implement all our policies. Which bit of that has still not yet sunk in?

    @ Liberal Al

    ” the negative effects of immigration are not on housing and wage-levels.”

    A prime example of argument by assertion. Is it not evident that if you have a mostly fixed housing stock and increase demand, prices will go up? And as for wage-levels, why do you think it is that in this upturn, as opposed to all others, there has been no recovery in wages? This is the first one in which we have a completely open labour market, with large transfers of workers into the UK economy. To say there is no effect on wage levels is beyond any kind of credibility. If you increase the supply of something, other things remaining equal, prices go down. It is very simple, basic economics.

    @ John Tilley

    “It really is amazing how blinkered people can be about migration. …”

    Indeed, especially when they cling to their beliefs without regard to the facts.

    “Where are the millions predicted?”

    Right here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/233032/nino-statistical-bulletin-aug-13.pdf

    The figures show that on average around 400,000 National Insurance numbers a year have been issued to citizens of other EU countries annually since 2005. That totals 3.2m. While some will have gone back home since they worked here, if even half that number are still present, it means an extra 1.6m workers in the past eight years.

    When will people stop putting their heads in the sand and ignoring this issue?

  • “When will people stop putting their heads in the sand and ignoring this issue?”

    They’re not ignoring the issue. They’re putting forward a clear and principled liberal position – which you disagree with, apparently mainly because you think it will be electorally damaging to the party.

  • RC 24th Dec ’13 – 9:47am “The figures show that on average around 400,000 National Insurance numbers a year have been issued to citizens of other EU countries annually since 2005. ”

    So what ??? Some of those will be Premier League footballers and if you juggle the statistics long enough you will be able to convince yourself that that the area around the Emirates Stadium has become 100% french-speaking since Arsene Wenger arrived 17 years ago.

    I am delighted that 400,000 additional people are paying national insurance and taxes – why aren’t you ???

  • Every few threads on issues like immigration Lib Dems repeat the same old exasperation ” …we need to be more clear, and we must get the Lib Dem message on immigration, across to the voting public”
    What is the hearing blockage that stops the very clear message that comes back the other way from the voting public, which says “We can hear your very clear, Lib Dem message on immigration, …and we don’t want it. “?
    My assessment of the ‘Lib Dem clear message on immigration’, is that its effect on the public lies somewhere along the continuum of, counterproductive,… grating,… bullying,… and paternalistic finger wagging. But for sure, it’s not working.

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th Dec '13 - 2:33pm

    Mick Taylor

    Let’s just for a moment consider the question of why the NHS is staffed by so many people from other EU countries and the commonwealth. Could it possibly be because British workers, especially younger workers won’t do the job?

    Liberal Democrats are rather fond of this line, but rarely see that it is in itself racist. Are British people genetically unable to do these jobs? How would we cope if we didn’t have these immigrants to call on? How come other countries seem to be able to survive without having to call on immigrant labour?

    Rather than just put a patch on this problem by constantly calling in immigrants to do these jobs, we should ask deeper questions as to WHY it seems we cannot get British people to do them. For decades now we have had this same thing, and now it’s often the children of those who were brought in previously “because British people won’t do the jobs” who we are told “won’t do the jobs”. So are we going to keep on every decade searching out new countries with new ethnic groups who somehow can do these jobs, while those born here can’t?

    Shouldn’t we be asking those who run society, our top politician and our businessmen just why they have not been able to create a society where people are able and want to do these jobs? Or is it that people here COULD do the jobs, but our leaders won’t pay to give the support and training needed for it, as there is always cheap skilled labour that can be imported? We boast about making cuts, about privatising everything making it cheaper, and where does this cheapness come from? Bringing in labour from poor countries, where young intelligent people are so desperate they’ll work for little, and they’ll accept the deprivations that leads to in this country with its high housing costs. Then we wonder why the welfare bill keep going up.

    Or is it that our leaders have created a society in which hard work is so undervalued that no-one brought up here will do it? Supposedly we have had a work-oriented society since the Thatcher government, but have we? Or have we encouraged the idea that the REAL way to make money is owning things, shares and houses, rather than getting your hands dirty? Have we gone on and on being “entrepreneurs” and the like, and despised the idea of public service so much that we have put off people from considering it? Have we raised unrealistic expectations, giving young people the idea that they can all become these thrusting business types and the like, that they won’t consider more humble positions? Have we made the sort of jobs we need doing look too “humble” in our attitude towards them?

    Sorry, we need to ask these questions rather than jump to the knee-jerk response of supposing anything except 100% welcome for immigrant labour is “racist” and therefore should anyone start asking these question they must be squashed down and made to feel ashamed of themselves.

  • nvelope2003 24th Dec '13 - 5:22pm

    Mick Taylor

    So the Poles earn money to send home to Poland or to save enough to go back home to live. But is that not one of the problems because they are not spending their money here ? Not buying things in our shops except the bare necessities from Lidl and Aldi or Polish shops. I do not see many in the Co-op let alone Tesco or Sainsbury.

    Business and the Government have a policy of importing foreign skilled labour because it is cheaper than training our own people who end up either living on benefits, working in places like MacDonalds or leaving the country.

    Strange that a party that calls itself Liberal Democrat is neither liberal or democratic but wishes to impose an unpopular and outdated leftist philosophy on the people which they reject overwhelmingly. It is unutterably sad. Vince Cable says he is a socialist so why does he not join their party ? – Maybe it is not socialist enough ?
    All this is reminiscent of the dying days of the East German Communist state when they removed the last vestiges of private business and free enterprise in the vain hope that this would somehow revive their failed socialist command economy. The same thing happened in Cuba but now at last even the leaders of the Communist Party there have had to look to private enterprise and their own people, not foreign aid, to save their regime from final collapse.

  • Michael Parsons 24th Dec '13 - 5:23pm

    Matthgew Huntbach should be thanked for his remarks indeed.

    Again: immigration as such is not the issue at all: the issue is uncontrolled borders, our loss of power to exclude even the most unsuitable criminals and proved idlers, so that along with them well-trained people from abroad can be cheap labour to subsidise profits and services.This problem seems to be one which at the moment could only be resolved by leaving the EU. We do no-one any good by a intransigent attitudesand sneering remarks.

  • nvelope2003 26th Dec '13 - 1:15pm

    Rebecca Taylor;
    British people who live abroad are emigrants. We cannot stop EU citizens coming here because we have signed a treaty saying we cannot but that does not mean the British Government no longer has the duty to look after British citizens. Surely that must include their right to work which is just as important as that of a foreigner coming here. No sane person wants to tell all non British people to go home but unrestricted immigration would cause massive disruption and unemployment. Not to mention the damage done to the economies of those countries who have trained them and have to manage without them when they leave to serve the needs of affluent middle class Britons. In some countries there are hardly any trained doctors or nurses to treat local people because they have gone to places like Briatin

    Why do we need foreign doctors etc – because the Treasury puts limits on training British doctors to save money as they know trained foreigners will come here to do the work. The fact that many of them are not familiar with British people or their language presumably does not bother the mandarins at the Treasury as they all use private health care along with most, if not all, the political elite, including Liberal Democrats, just as they do not use the comprehensive schools they have foisted on ordinary people as they send their own children to private schools or the special pretend comprehensives or grammar schools in the areas they mostly inhabit.

    I understand that many of the Britons who live on the dole in Germany do so just because it is higher there and who can blame them for taking advantage if it is part of EU law ?

    The fact that there have always been objections to foreign workers coming here does not mean we should ignore the problems of those born here who cannot get work. Just imagine what it must have been like years ago for a man or woman already living on the poverty line who was unable to find work because a foreigner was prepared to work for less money and that British person was left without an income in an age when there was no unemployment benefit except for the work house. All the middle calss intellectual types who post on this site have no idea what life is like for some people and may not even care as long as they can get a cheap nanny for their children, or a cheap builder, low paid waiter etc. I know my post will be ignored but the deafening silence says it all really.

  • Steve Comer 26th Dec '13 - 5:53pm

    Reading these comments remind me of my Economic History studies a few decades ago, and the debate in the 19th century around the repeal of the Corn Laws! Liberals were right back then to oppose tarrifs and protectionism, and we are right today to defend free movement of labour within the EU. Did the erection of tarrif barriers in the 1930s help UK industry to modernise? Of course it didn’t, much of it basked in its staid complacency for decades while Germany and Japan invested in the years after 1945.

    The Daily Fail would have you believe that the only place Eastern Europeans want to come is the UK. At the Eastleigh by-election UKIP were implying that the total population of Bulgaria was planning to sail up the Solent next week!

    As ever the reality is more complex, Several million UK citizens now live and work in other EU countries, German doctors are moving to Norway, Czech doctors to Germany and Estonia is having trouble holding onto its graduates. When Poland and the other 9 joined the EU in 2004, the UK had a Labour shortage, and didn’t have the time to re-train and re-motivate its long term unemployed to fill the vacancies. Much of the regeneration in our cities in 2004-8 could not have happened without labour form the rest of the EU.

    Free movement of labour is essential if Europe if to prosper, and as with the USA it may mean that we have to cope with the decline of some industries and locations as other grow, but ’twas ever thus. If we can reform the EU we can make it work for all its citizens. Liberal Democrats should of course argue for free movement of labour, and the UK staying in the EU, but we should also argue for democratic change.
    In a 28 country EU (likely to be over 30 soon) the old horse trading inter-governmental approach that may have worked with the original ‘6’, struggled with the ‘9’, and teetered with the ’15’ just cannot work any more, Its like putting a Morris Minor Engine in a Toyota Prius! The tripos of Commission, Council, and Parliament will remain, but in the event of deadlock the elected tier must have primacy, and Liberals should lead the argument for that.

  • Matthew Huntbach 27th Dec '13 - 10:45am

    Steve Comer

    When Poland and the other 9 joined the EU in 2004, the UK had a labour shortage, and didn’t have the time to re-train and re-motivate its long term unemployed to fill the vacancies.

    Didn’t have time, or didn’t have the inclination? The rich who run our country didn’t want to pay the taxes, or do anything else to build a better and more co-operative society, so they opted for the cheap solution which would cause THEM least harm: import coolie labour. That’s what imperialists do when faced with uppity natives.

  • Steve Comer 28th Dec '13 - 2:04am

    Matthew:
    I think the problem of getting long term unemployed people back into work has been too low a priority for successive governments. One part of that problem, the inflexibility of the benefit system, and the ‘poverty trap’ is supposed to be tackled by Universal Credit in future.
    A further problem is more cultural I fear. We’ve lost much of the low skill employment we once had, but don’t value what has replaced it. I’m making the comments I did I had in mind recent experience in south Bristol. We have had higher than average unemployment there since tobacco and packaging factories closed in the 1980s, Yet a few years ago shops and caterers at Bristol Airport couldn’t find people to work there. Post 2004 others came in on the flight from Krakow and got a job before leaving the terminal building! What I’m saying is that in the mid 2000s there was demand for labour which was driving internal migration in the EU. Had governments prior to 2004 done more to really understand the issues of the long term unemployment and address skill shortages, the demand for labour would have been less, but there would still have been unmet demand.
    I don’t see anything wrong in movement for work, the industrial revolution caused a movement of people from England and Ireland into the South Wales coalfields, and the decline of that industry has now caused structural unemployment.
    I’m a supporter of free movement of labour in the EU, and I know many people of my generation who did not benefit from it themselves, but whose sons and daughters are now working in other EU countries. I think the term ‘coolie’ labour is somewhat offensive, though I accept you may not have intended it that way.

  • nvelope2003 28th Dec '13 - 6:50pm

    Steve Comer : Was it not the seemingly unlimited supply of cheap labour which made it uneconomic to invest in more efficient production methods ? The subsequent unemployment when these industries collapsed was often made up of the families of immigrants and their descendants. According to a friend who worked for a charity vast numbers of these people have not worked for years and live on benefits, as their children and grand children do. They also bring in more family members from abroad for marriage.

  • Jayne Mansfield 28th Dec '13 - 10:21pm

    @Caron Lindsey.
    The result of an Ipsos Mori Poll are given in the Guardian today. I think that you might find the results interesting.
    ‘Britons ready to welcome migrants’. Front page Guardian online.

  • Jayne Mansfield 29th Dec '13 - 8:58pm

    When the restrictions are lifted, they will be able to work hard and pay taxes.

    Why should anyone think that they wouldn’t want to learn the language and fit in with the community?

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