Welcome to my day: 4 October 2021 – some days are diamonds, some days are rocks…

It’s the start of a new week here at Liberal Democrat Voice, although I am reminded that the week starts on a Sunday in Portuguese. And after the excitement of last week – who would have thought that so many of you are passionate about moderation? – I’m left with a challenge to follow that up. Luckily, I’m not alone…

Apparently, Chris Loder, the Conservative MP for West Dorset, believes that our supermarkets are at fault for the issues regarding supply of foodstuffs to shelves;

I know it might not feel like it in the immediate term. But it is in our mid and long-term interest that these logistics chains do break.

It will mean that the farmer down the street will be able to sell their milk in the village shop like they did decades ago. It is because these commercial predators – that is the supermarkets – have wiped that out and I’d like to see that come back.

Now, whilst I live in a small, rural village, and can source a surprising amount locally – everything from lager to cheese, bacon to bread, i.e. the essentials – I’m guessing that our urban readers might not be so blithe about the prospect of supermarket supply chains being destroyed. Are these people Conservatives, or social Darwinists?

Ah well, for on this day in 1537, the first complete English-language Bible, the “Matthew Bible” was published and, in 1675, Christiaan Huygens patented the pocket watch, whilst in 1883, the first “Orient Express” train left Paris, bound for Istanbul. There may have been the odd pocket watch involved…

Today, I welcome Lin Macmillan to our ranks of contributors, and she has something to say about labour shortages. I admit that the title caught my eye… Michal Siewniak brings his own perspective on the impacts of a labour market stripped of EU nationals.

It’s been too long since David Boyle wrote for us, and he brings news of the new campaign he’s involved in, challenging the advertising agencies who encourage us to consume more than we might otherwise do.

The Conservative Party Conference continues to entertain appal us over the next few days, and don’t forget, if you’re inspired horrified by what they have to say, why not write something for us?

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice. He admits to enjoying the occasional bacon sandwich…

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  • Laurence Cox 4th Oct '21 - 12:27pm

    ‘Ah well, for on this day in 1537, the first complete English-language Bible, the “Matthew Bible” was published’

    It helps to get one’s facts correct. The first complete English-language Bible, was Myles Coverdale’s bible published on 4th October 1535. The Matthew (strictly called the Matthew-Tyndale bible because John Rogers used the pseudonym Thomas Matthew) was published in 1537. Both Coverdale and Rogers were followers of William Tyndale. The distinction is that Coverdale incorporated translations from earlier Latin and German bibles, while all of Rogers’ translations were directly from the original Hebrew and Greek (although to call the Hebrew ‘original’ is an anachronism, because the Masoretic text itself was edited by Jewish scholars [Masoretes] from the end of the 5th to the 10th century CE).

  • And the week starts on Sunday for Christians generally – whether Portuguese or not.

  • …a labour market stripped of EU nationals.

    Around two million more EU nationals have applied for settled status in the UK than was anticipated…

    ‘The economic impact of our European migration miscalculation is only just becoming apparent’ [July 2021]:

    Around 6m have applied for settled status, well above the 3.5m to 4.1m anticipated by an earlier Home Office analysis.

    Previous immigration figures were based on surveys of passengers arriving and leaving the UK, contributing to a model known as Long Term International Migration (LTIM).

    A new technique, called Rapid, is based on actual tax and benefits data instead. It reveals that in many years of the last decade the number of EU migrants was more than, or close to, double previous estimates.

    The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme has also been relaunched and expanded…

    Seasonal Agricultural Worker Scheme (SAWS):

    Since 1945, tens of thousands of seasonal agricultural workers, most of them from Eastern Europe, especially Bulgaria and Romania, have worked in the United Kingdom. The scheme was suspended in 2013 and restarted in 2019.

    In early 2019, given expected worker shortages as a result of Brexit, a new pilot was launched. Two contractors, Concordia and Pro-Force Ltd., were selected to place 2,500 workers a year. The pilot was expanded to 10,000 workers a year in 2020 and 30,000 a year in 2021.

  • Paul Reynolds 5th Oct '21 - 9:13am

    The explanation for more EU citizens applying for settled status than anticipated is because many people, sensing the increasing ‘tightening of the noose’ Home Office approach in EU immigration, applied for settled status even if they didn’t intend to stay longer term in the UK. People applied because they were entitled to, and took the view that they ‘might as well’ apply, just in case, correctly predicting that entering the UK would become more and more difficult in the future. There is a high concentration of EU nationals in the area where I live, especially people that travel around the EU for work. Many are now based in Germany, Italy, France or Baltic States but applied for settled status if they were entitled to do so, enabling them to be back based in the UK if work required it.

  • Paul Reynolds 5th Oct ’21 – 9:13am:
    Many are now based in Germany, Italy, France or Baltic States but applied for settled status if they were entitled to do so, enabling them to be back based in the UK if work required it.

    So not a “a labour market stripped of EU nationals”. One wonders if the Home Office factored this into their analysis.

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