Why do right wing immigration reformists like Liberal Canada’s points system?

oris Johnson may have hoodwinked a number of European liberal activists by promising to instate a points-based, also known as “merit-based”, immigration system, something for which the Liberal Democrats advocated as recently as Brighton Conference last year.

In 2018, proponents of the immigration motion passed by Conference gave weight to their arguments by comparing the policy to Canada’s, a country generally seen as having a generous approach to migrants’ rights. This much is fair. But we should delve a bit deeper into that policy to understand why it’s suddenly popular with the anti-immigrant Conservative government.

Canada’s points system was established in 1967 by the Liberal government of Lester Pearson, an internationalist to his core. Canada’s previous system was based principally on a migrant’s country of origin and ties to Canada and the Commonwealth. At the time, immigration to Canada was 85% European, mostly from the UK and France. Canada was committed to opening its borders and its culture to place itself on the international stage.

But the nature of the Canadian economy restricted Canada’s otherwise bold immigration reform. Canada is, and was, an export economy, with much of the country’s GDP coming from its energy sector, and most of that coming from oil. With the massive consumer economy of the USA on its doorstep, retaining this status was and is crucial. 

So when I hear UK immigration pundits saying “be like Canada”, I often think of some weaselly post-EU theorists saying “be like Norway”. We’re not an export economy, and unless you’re a Brexiteer fantasist, it seems unlikely that we will be. The world doesn’t have an insatiable appetite for marmite, curiously shaped dogs, and novelty cheeses. Like it or not, we need low-skilled immigrants. We need relatively uneducated immigrants. Moreover, Canada did not (and does not) have a substantial demand for temporary workers. Britain, by contrast, needs large numbers of temporary workers to sustain its agricultural and construction sectors, among others.

Businesses might like the idea of change, and the vague promise of more highly qualified workers, but in the long term, they won’t look kindly on a points-based system. In the US, immigrant-defined sectors (such as construction, agriculture, and health) lobby hard against the introduction of points-based immigration. Generally, points-based systems take immigration out of the hands of business and put it into the hands of government. The Prime Minister’s advocating of a “business-led” immigration system (it isn’t) while simultaneously advocating a points-based system is cleverly disguised racist dog-whistling. I was immediately reminded of this:

“Switching away from our current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system will have many benefits: It will save countless dollars, raise workers’ wages, and help struggling families, including immigrant families, enter the middle class.”

That was Donald Trump, during the 2016 election campaign. Regardless of how you might weigh the pros and cons, points-based systems are putty in the hands of xenophobic nationalists. Just raise your points requirements a few notches here and there, and voilà – your borders are closed, and it’s all in the name of business, apparently. Let’s call this out for what it is: a points-based immigration system in the hands of a less-than-liberal government would be nothing short of a wholesale abandonment of British internationalism. 

In the US, at least, the legislature can and often does defy the executive, and Trump hasn’t managed to instate his points-based system (yet). But the implementation of a points system in our country could be instant and brutal. If Canada elects a right-wing government this Autumn, we may see the shadows of what Prime Minister Johnson may do in the UK.

So what can we do? As Liberal Democrats, we should not be overeager to let go of our current visa tiers system, for starters. Though flawed, it has done much to limit the damage of Theresa May’s tenure as Home Secretary and Prime Minister. The UK tiers system is a reasonable compromise between privileging a certain class of migrant and retaining a pro-business, flexible working culture. Migrants’ rights networks and business lobbies in the UK don’t generally object to tiers in principle. The main issue with UK tiers is that they’re not used. Opening up Tier 3 visas to fill temporary labour shortages could work wonders with our current difficulties finding agriculture workers, for instance. Other provisions of the Tier system were progressively restricted or cancelled by Theresa May during her time as Home Secretary. Instead of scrapping the tiers, we should legislate to protect them from the machinations of successive anti-immigrant governments, and ensure that businesses and workers can actually use them when they need them.

Besides government obstacles to the usage of tiers, the existing points-based system within tiers, introduced by Labour in the late 2000s, promotes further government obstructionism. Within certain tiers, such as the popular Tier 2 (Skilled) visa, the government uses a points-based system to evaluate whether a candidate falls into that tier. Within this category a points-based metric does make some sense, as this visa is frequently used to recruit professional workers with substantial education and professional qualifications, all of which need to be evaluated somehow. But as the evaluation and interpretation of points is entirely up to the government, it is open to abuse by migration hawks such as Johnson and May. The NHS Employers Organisation, for instance, has been repeatedly frustrated by restrictive points requirements for nurses. Reforming these points criteria would go a long way to ensuring our approach to “skilled” migration is as liberal as is practicable.

But ultimately, we come back to the problem with all immigration reform: we cannot meaningfully reform law until we have reformed our culture, and excised institutional migraphobia. That is too big a topic for this article, but tweaking visa allocations, for good or ill, can never replace education and integration.

* Em Dean is a Haringey member, ESOL teacher, and migrants’ rights activist. In the 2000s they were a migration and politics reporter for Hola America, a Latin American newspaper based in the American Midwest.

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37 Comments

  • Peter Martin 3rd Aug '19 - 9:07am

    “We need relatively uneducated immigrants. Moreover, Canada did not (and does not) have a substantial demand for temporary workers. Britain, by contrast, needs large numbers of temporary workers to sustain its agricultural and construction sectors, among others.”

    If this were true why bother educating our own young people? Better to keep them uneducated and save on the costs surely?

    Many employers are now lamenting the supposed shortage of workers. They only have a shortage to the same extent as anyone else would have a shortage of bread if they were only willing to pay 50p per loaf.

    Do we really want a low wage, low tech, low propects, low expectations economy? Count me out on that!

  • nvelope2003 3rd Aug '19 - 9:36am

    Peter Martin: Many British people are barely educated in any way which would be useful although the system costs a great deal of money. Not everyone would be able to work in hi tech jobs and there is still a need for other kinds of people to do useful work

  • Peter,
    Yet again you demonstrate your ivory tower take on life. The UK economy is based on low tech McJobs. I know several graduates working in call centres and working for Deliveroo while waiting for a better job, or a break to become the next big Indi Star. There are however not enough of them, so their companies trawl Europe to make up their ranks. For every graduate I know several “left behinds” who stumbled through school, assiduously avoiding learning, who now do much the same jobs as the graduates but with no hope of ever doing anything better. They tend to decry the furrins “who are taking their jobs” but in reality they are not, it is just the furrins like the graduates tend to have more drive and are likely to do better. We need to change are attitude to learning, our society should laud the achievers and ensure every child has a chance, not all will suceed, for far too many families recoil in horror at people who are “too clever by half”, that attitude must change or our path of a country declining rapidly while dreaming of past glories is assured. We are blaming furrins for the failure of our education system and the failing of our economy; while this gives a warm glow to many, the fact is it isn’t the furrins that failed, it is the UK fixated on a glourious past and a false sense of superiority, not unlike Spain as it declined from a superpower to a poor backwater of Europe, our fate unless our mindset changes.

  • What you’ve got to remember is that for most of the 20th century the dominant institutional model of modernity was the USA and the mythology of the welcoming futuristic New World (give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free). It has much less to with the needs or wants of the country than the ideology of a determined future in which “universal values” are more important than majoritarian democratic consent. Mass immigration also has the added bonus of keeping organised labour at bay, reducing the power of the state and short term boosts to GDP.

  • John Marriott 3rd Aug '19 - 10:36am

    AN IMMIGRANT’S TALE

    In 1970, a year after our marriage, my wife and I ‘emigrated’ to Canada. I say ‘emigrated’, because it said ‘Landed Immigrant’ on our old blue/black British passports (which, as I found out later, also entitled us to travel around the USA without having to apply for a visa).

    We had decided to see a bit of the world a year before while we had no pressing commitments and, as we had heard that certain Canadian provinces were short of teachers, even to the extent of sending officials over to the UK to interview potential candidates, as a teacher of three years and a school secretary, we reckoned that would be a good place to start looking. By February 1970 I had received two offers from Alberta, and chose the one in a Senior High School in the provincial capital of Edmonton. My wife was told during our interviews that her skills would easily equip her to find a job once we had arrived.

    Well, a year later, having sent our winter clothing ahead (which, having been held up in the docks strike, didn’t arrive until late December), and after undergoing fairly stringent compulsory medical checks, we boarded a BOAC VC 10 for the two stage journey via Montreal to the Canadian Prairies. Interestingly it was 101 years since most of what was left of the Marriott family in Mansfield, Notts, had arrived as immigrants in New York, leaving behind my recently married great grandfather and his surviving brother. Needless to say, our journey was a lot more comfortable than that of my great great grandmother, her three daughters and two granddaughters must have been.

    So, Canada’s policy worked for me and my wife, who ended after three years as Secretary to a Professor at the University of Alberta. We would not have dreamed of uprooting ourselves without at least one of us having a job to go to. I followed the same procedure when I secured a teaching post in a West German grammar school in 1973, before we returned to the UK in 1974. What a massive life changing experience it was for us. Living ‘abroad’ as opposed to holidaying abroad certainly taught us the true position of the UK’s rôle in the world even back then, which Messrs Francois, Bridget, and Rees Mogg etc obviously don’t understand. That’s why I could never support an immigration ‘free for all’, which, in fairness, very few people do.

  • Glen,
    You obviously don’t understand US history. The “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free” died at the end of the 19th century, with exclusion of Chinese immigrants. In the 20th US immigration controls had become much stricter than those in the UK as can be seen by their 1921 emergency act

    Emergency Quota Act, also known as the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921, the Immigration Restriction Act of 1921, the Per Centum Law, and the Johnson Quota Act (ch. 8, 42 Stat. 5 of May 19, 1921) was formulated mainly in response to the large influx of Jews fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe and thus successfully restricted their immigration and that of other “undesirables” into the United States. Although intended as temporary legislation, the Act “proved in the long run the most important turning-point in American immigration policy”[2] because it added two new features to American immigration law: numerical limits on immigration and the use of a quota system for establishing those limits. These limits came to be known as the National Origins Formula.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Quota_Act

  • Peter Martin 3rd Aug '19 - 10:59am

    @ Frankie,

    Yes we do increasingly have a “McJobs economy” which is NOT a good thing and we shouldn’t just accept it as inevitable. The next time JoeB tells us we have close to full employment can someone besides myself remind him that he’s wrong!

    https://www.businessinsider.com/unemployment-vs-involuntary-part-time-work-underemployment-2019-1?r=US&IR=T

    @ nvelope2003,

    “Many British people are barely educated in any way which would be useful although the system costs a great deal of money.”

    Are you saying we have a domestic class of uneducated useless people who need to be replaced by a overseas class of uneducated more useful people. If so, you’re at once alienating said former class and driving them into the arms of the far right. Is that such a good idea?

    Yes we can find something for nearly everyone to do even in a more successful, 21st century hi-tech economy.

    Yes, as a result of relatively low birth rates we’ll probably need immigration for the foreseeable future. But, Lib Dems have to come up with something better than simply recruiting lots of overseas workers to do jobs that supposedly UK workers won’t do. So it’s OK to expect them to do the crap jobs, on low pay, but not British workers? Yes there are crap jobs, but they need to be done, and we need to properly pay people to do them. I can find anyone a British worker to do any job if the price is right. No problem.

  • Frankie
    That’s why I said it was a mythology. You do understand what myth means, don’t you? The actual USA never lived up to the idealised image self-image. But it probably seemed very futuristic, glamorous, and open especially in the post WWII era. The US has always had great way of marketing a mythic version of itself and an appealing pop culture . After WWII probably it seemed [email protected], vibrant and the way forward to Europe and Britain’s bombed out grey. Big ideas need, big narratives and big myths. It’s the same thing with the EU and the mythology of “European culture”. The fact that the EU has not really been that successful in it 25 to 26 year existence and a European shared culture doesn’t actually exist doesn’t stop it appealing to chaps like your good self.

  • Glen,
    Some people need myths in life to get through it. If I have a myth that gives me sucur, it isn’t that the EU is a silver city on the hill, standing besieged by evil forces, it is just a large block in a world of blocks. Now some Brexiteers wish to move blocks to the US one, I’d disagree that is a good move but at least it is a semi rational one, what isnt rational is a desire to retreat back to our little villages, safe from the big bad world and scary furrins, which is patatently your preffered option.

  • John Barrett 3rd Aug '19 - 11:54am

    “Like it or not, we need low-skilled immigrants. We need relatively uneducated immigrants.”

    I don’t think the above statement is true and doubt there will be much support in any party, including the Lib-Dems, for increasing the flow of unskilled immigrants to the UK

  • I don’t see a points based system as inherently good or bad. It all depends on how you allocate points, and what thresholds are required. If done right, it’s just a more transparent way of doing things that can be used to efficiently and openly react to the needs and wants of the country. I think a big problem is that we often give too much weight to the wrong issues, but that happens with and without a points-based system.

    I’d bring in a points based system, and in the event that Brexit does happen, I’d give those from the EU who already live here the requisite number of points to live here indefinitely. I’d be tempted to give new migrants from the EU the requisite number of points too, but if politics required otherwise, I’d give them a substantial number of points, letting them gain extra points by demonstrating a decent grasp of English. A certain number of points for being functional in English, more points for being fluent. Certain skills would give you more points, and having a job and/or official address in an area that needs more immigration (such as Scotland) would give you more points. In a devolved/federal system, it would be up to the Scottish or Welsh governments to work out how many and what sort of immigrants are required, and to ensure that services can cope and decide on the appropriate number of points.

    I reject the SNP’s idea that immigration policy should be devolved – that’s just asking for no end of trouble, but certain aspects of a unified immigration policy could be under the control of local politicians and their civil servants.

    On top of that, for every year that you live in the UK, you would ‘earn’ points, which would effectively give them more freedom to change jobs and move to other parts of the country. I can see some problems with that, with some arguing that those moving to Scotland are only doing so as a stepping stone to get to London, but a bit of thought would give us something better than we have now.

    If you wanted to go down that route, you could subtract points for minor criminal offences, whether in the UK or country of origin. There is a risk of that kind of thing being abused, but the point is that it can be and must be transparent, and allows the incorporation of a number of factors that’s not just about whether or not someone has money in their bank account.

    IMO, this is an issue that needs debated by Citizens’ Assemblies, and would continue to be debated by them.

  • Mark Seaman 3rd Aug '19 - 12:25pm

    I recommend reading Martin Ford’s ‘Rise of the Robots (business book of the year 2015). That should knock the idea that we need low-skilled immigrants off the table.

  • Richard Underhill 3rd Aug '19 - 12:43pm

    “points-based systems are putty in the hands of xenophobic nationalists.”
    Donald Trump’s alleged problem is mainly with asylum. for which there is a United Nations Convention with numerous signatory countries.
    Was this a policy that UKIP leader Nigel Farage wanted?

  • Joseph Bourke 3rd Aug '19 - 1:29pm

    Good article from Em Dean and the conclusion goes to the heart of the issue “we cannot meaningfully reform law until we have reformed our culture, and excised institutional migraphobia.”

    Peter Martin,

    this is the ONS Labour market overview for July 2019 https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/labourmarketeconomiccommentary/latest
    Part-time employment has an upward trend but falling as a proportion of total employment
    “Part-time employment has been on an upward trend since records began. For example, in the three months to May 1992, there were 6.0 million part-time workers in the economy. The number increased to 6.92 million in the three months to May 2000, and to 7.89 million in the same period in 2010.”

    “Despite the upward trend of the number of people who worked on a part-time basis, the proportion of part-time employment in total employment had an upward trend only until 2012 when it reached a maximum of 27.6% in the three months to July. Thereafter, the proportion trended downwards, and in the three months to May 2019, part-time employment constituted 26.4% of all employment.”

    The proportion of part-time workers who could not find full-time employment has been reducing
    “Of the people that worked on a part-time basis, nearly one in ten did so because they could not find a full-time job. The proportion of workers who could not find full-time employment increased during the economic downturn. It reached a peak of 18.4% in the three months to May 2013 and has been on a downward trend since. In the three months to May 2019, 10.9% of part-time workers could not find full-time jobs. The decrease in this category of workers, who may also be called under-employed workers, is reflective of the tightening labour market.”

    Ethnic groups are more likely to experience unemployment that native Brits
    “The fall in unemployment has not been experienced uniformly across different ethnic groups in the economy. The ONS data on labour market status by ethnic group show that the unemployment rate of workers of white ethnicity was 3.4% in the year to March 2019. This was 0.4 percentage points below the total average unemployment rate for that period. The average unemployment rate of ethnic minorities, at 6.9%, was more than twice that of people of white ethnicity over the same period.”

  • “We need relatively uneducated immigrants”. I live near the sea (lucky me !), last Wednesday was sunny so several of the kitchen staff at a local pub called in sick, leaving my youngest son, home from uni, and a Ugandan chap to keep the show on the road. I know this all sounds a bit Daily Mail, but it’s reality in many places. Many lowly qualified Brits wont work for minimum wage and at £6.15 p.h. for a 20 year old, you may well say “why should they ?”.
    We need a way of bringing in talented people where we have shortages in high skilled roles, while simultaniously providing sufficient pay and the prospect of career progress to motivate lower skilled local workers.

  • nvelope2003 3rd Aug '19 - 4:04pm

    Peter Martin: No I did not say we had a domestic class of useless people who needed to be replaced by overseas uneducated people. The problem is that the education system is not fit for purpose and combined with the attitudes it engenders drives the unfortunate “beneficiaries” into the hands of the extreme right. One size does not fit all and education needs to be tailored to the needs and abilities of the individual.

    When I was working it was difficult to persuade people to do overtime if there was extra demand because the workers would lose benefits. How does that help ?

  • Nvelope2003
    You’ve just repeated pretty much the same thing. Where are you getting your evidence of “engender attitudes” and “not fit for purpose” education assertion from? Also Is there evidence that it is delivering youngsters to the extreme right?

  • Peter,
    If you count jobs available we are well past full employment, hence the need to import labour. Now if you ask the question “What is the value of those jobs?” I’d have to agree we have a shortage of quality jobs, but that is more to do with our inablity to long term plan or invest in skills, infrastructure and technology. We are a “never mind the quality, feel the width” type of economy.

    Glen,
    Perhaps in your little town all the children are diligent and we’ll educated, but in my northern town you’d be amazed how many diligently avoid learning anything. Far to many families look down on education, tis a sign of people who don’t know their place.

  • Right now I’m working in a call centre. I’m probably near the top of the leader board when it comes to targets. I work hard and earn roughly 17k. I would like to do an admin course but of course that would cost either time or money and having been on JSA once I can’t afford that route again. An apprenticeship would cost me a pay cut of 50%. Why?

    I know I have the intelligence, skill and aptitude to achieve more yet the Lib Dems want me to compete even more than others just to keep up. They can do one.

    Yes I can get a job c 19k which I’m looking into. That doesn’t solve the problem of getting passed over when a customer service/admin role comes up because I don’t have the qualifications.

    The point is that if I have to pay to get a qualification just to show that I can do another job why would I bother voting Lib Dem who want mass migration that might be another barrier to me achieving things in life (as per the preamble to your constitution).

    You seem to want gold-plated economic certainty for one set of people yet not for me. I wonder if it’s because you don’t really believe in British people or don’t hold an esteem for them matched by exotic EU nationals who are so much more interesting?

  • Frankie
    I don’t live in a town. I live in a city. I think you and old envelope are basically chatting unsupported bob. I am, however, very amused to learn what you actually think of the youth vote given your other posts.

  • Mick Taylor 3rd Aug '19 - 8:28pm

    None of this thread answers the basic question. What causes people to immigrate or emigrate?
    Like many things, it’s a question of basic economics. If there are jobs to be done at an acceptable wage then people will move here to do them. If there aren’t then people will move elsewhere to the jobs.
    Leaving aside refugees, who move to get away from persecution, the reality is that immigration controls slow down the process of getting people to come and do the jobs that are available. Hence the impasse with India who (correctly in my view) argued that there should be less restrictions on their students coming here to study if the UK wanted a trade deal.
    We have allowed the racists and anti immigrants to control the debate for decades, when it would be far simpler to let the market decide who comes and goes. Oh dear that might mean that there would be black faces for the racists to complain about, but it might just mean we had enough nurses, doctors, agricultural workers and care workers to do the vital jobs that are necessary. Instead this government is playing dog whistle politics and stirring up trouble and the number of racist and anti-semitic incidents is rising incrementally.
    As Liberals we need to do what is right and that means telling the truth about immigration and immigrants not being really mouthed and saying to the racists that we understand their concerns.

  • James,
    We need a policy that prioritises learning and enforces a rigorous training system for companies and government. We should not allow the policy of robbing the skills we won’t invest in off the rest of the world, because it is cheaper than training you.

    Glen,
    I believe that the majority of young people try their best but have been let down by a system that doesn’t allow them to suceed. I however know their an not inconsiderable number of families that don’t value learning and in fact actively discourage their children from learning. They see no value in it, mainly because what was good for them is good enough for their children. Strangely enough they tend to be the most staunchly Brexiteer of those I know, adrift in a world they do not understand, helplessly wishing for a glourious past in their little village, not unlike yourself.

  • Frankie
    Anecdote is not evidence. Lot’s of assertion and faux empathy. No evidence.

  • jayne mansfield 3rd Aug '19 - 8:45pm

    @ Richard Kemp,

    Your question, what is unskilled or low skilled is a pertinent one.

    I agree that working in a residential home , especially where there are dementia sufferers, is extremely challenging and I wouldn’t call any of the care workers unskilled. I would however call them undervalued.

    The rate of pay for those who care for the elderly is a disgrace. The job can also be soul destroying even for those temperamentally suited to the work, meaning that there is a high turnover.

    My answer would be better terms and conditions for social and care workers. Also a career structure with on the job training and a supported educational structure that enables the carers to gain qualifications leading to acceptance , if they so wish, for training on what are now university level courses. Many people have the aptitude to both care and advance themselves, but have not been given the opportunity or support to do so.

    I am not keen on importing undervalued workers any more than I am keen on undervaluing those already in the country. Social and care work should never be just a job that brings in some much needed money.

  • Bless Glen, it is called experience in life. Pop out of your ivory tower, nip down to Wetherspoons and open your ears. Sit there long enough and in between talk of footie, women, gambling and reminiscing about long past triumphs you soon pick up the depressing grumbles of a long grounded down and driftless people. Looking for something to explain their situation, like yourself blaming someone or something you know little about is much easier than accepting your problems lie with the society you live in and have helped to create. “Tis always someone elses fault” should be the battle cry of the Brexi’s and Lexi’s.

  • Sorry I am going to have to interject in the discussion of carers working in care homes with elderly dementia patients and vulnerable adults with mental health disabilities and whether they are skilled or unskilled.
    There are no formal qualifications or training needed to work as a carer, there is no formal registration of carers, in fact there are many working in this challenging field with some of our most vulnerable people in society and they have received little to no training or on-going training. In fact, the most amount of training they receive is on “restraint” techniques.

    I feel this important to raise this, I do not want to hijack the thread, but too many vulnerable adults and elderly are living in appalling private run care homes with inadequate and untrained staff.
    I speak as someone who has family who work in care homes and some of the stories I hear are shocking.

    We need to be fighting for tighter regulation, training and qualifications for people who work within the care industry, especially with vulnerable adults and so I think that comments that suggest care workers are already “skilled” workers is not going to help change that.

    Sorry just my 2 penny worth

  • Frankie
    When I go the pub I see people drinking, meeting up, eating and chatting. You on the other hand seem to view it as a cross between Hogarth and one of Dante’s cycles of hell. Yet. I’m supposed to be in the ivory tower! I don’t think your views are based on life experience at all. I think they are just sneering and cliché cobbled together to form some sort of rhetorical pretence of worldliness. it’s a way of saying ” I know what’s what, I live in the real world me, I have seen the depths, man” and it’s just utter piffle.

  • @matt – “We need to be fighting for tighter regulation, training and qualifications for people who work within the care industry, especially with vulnerable adults …… Sorry just my 2 penny worth”
    Matt, you’re absolutely right. You shouldn’t apologise for having your say – especially when you make a good point. But my question would be: have you actually done anything to put these thoughts into party policy? This is how it works in our party: members make policy. You’ve got a really important idea here, and you obviously feel passionately about it. So, go for it! Talk to the policy committee, drum up support in your local party, and draft it as a motion. If you get it through conference it could go into the manifesto, and then who knows?
    Same message to anyone who has a policy idea. We should be really proud that in our party any individual member can make party policy. But that means, you have to actually Do it! Don’t wait for someone else to do it and then complain when nobody does.
    PS This is my first time trying to do italics and underline, so if it doesn’t work, go easy on me”

  • Glen,
    A Brexiteer demanding facts, the irony is delicious, for we all know Brexi’s and Lexi’s don’t do fact they only do emotion; and your attachment to emotion is greater than most.

  • Richard Underhill 4th Aug '19 - 10:17am

    3rd Aug ’19 – 12:43pm
    Claiming asylum at the port of entry should be possible, but is presumably refused now and a wall is intended to provide a practical difficulty.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretary-General_of_the_United_Nations
    “Cape Verde, the United States of America and Venezuela are parties only to the Protocol. Since the US ratified the Protocol in 1968, it undertook a majority of the obligations spelled out in the original 1951 document (Articles 2-34), and Article 1 as amended in the Protocol, as “supreme Law of the Land”.”
    Comedian Bob Hope was satirical “You know who is behind it? The Red Indians!”

  • jayne mansfield 4th Aug '19 - 12:48pm

    @Matt,
    I am glad you put your two penneth in.

    I am aware of the problems and yes, some of the stories and my observations are indeed horrific, but until the role of carer is valued, it won’t matter how many qualifications one has. I speak to employed managers of care homes and getting staff is not difficult, getting staff with the right attitudes is. Some who are ‘let go’ just end up employed in another care home. But the truth is that they are a mixed bunch, and some give care with a level of skill that belies how little they receive as a reward.

    One can increase the pool of applicants for such jobs through immigration or one can actually start to value those who show the necessary aptitude who are already resident in the country who have the attitudes for the job, and train them up, But the rewards that they receive for incredibly important work is an obstacle to employment and retention of the ‘right’ people.

    We are not so far apart on this even though you are a brexiteer and I am a remainer. Like you I don’t want to hijack the thread, but I wanted to say how I pleased t I was to see your passionate condemnation of the care some of the most vulnerable people receive. I am afraid the current situation says more about our values as a society than the values of those who ought never to be allowed within a million miles of them. Best wishes.

  • John Marriott 4th Aug '19 - 1:33pm

    Isn’t it time that the LDV editors put an end to the increasingly pointless and downright personally insulting ‘frankie and Glenn Show’? Or perhaps, if the said gentlemen could be persuaded to exchange email addresses, they could continue to conduct their vendetta in private to their hearts’ content. Or, at least, why can’t they just agree to differ without continuing to wind each other up?

  • Peter Watson 4th Aug '19 - 2:03pm

    @John Marriott “Isn’t it time that the LDV editors put an end to the increasingly pointless and downright personally insulting ‘frankie and Glenn Show’?”
    I agree, but that should involve more than just deleting posts by one of them!

  • Peter Hirst 4th Aug '19 - 6:10pm

    All a points based immigration means to me is that it is managed centrally. Points can be given to whoever is wanted. It is also easily altered. It all depends on who gets how many points. It’s pointless discussing further until we have some details.

  • nvelope2003 4th Aug '19 - 8:58pm

    Glenn: What is “BLOB” ? You say you live in London so you will know that education standards are higher there than in much of the rest of the country, possibly because more money is spent there and maybe because the sort of people who become teachers like to live there.
    When I look at Comments online it seems that the most badly written semi literate ones come from extreme right wing people. Other right wing comments come from public school types who talk about democracy but only when it suits them. The late Viscount Hailsham, former Conservative Lord Chancellor, who did have some notion of the true political situation, talked about elective dictatorship, presumably the tyranny of the majority which is something rarely discussed now. It can mean many things but basically it implies that with a majority of one vote almost anything, however wrong or disgusting, can be imposed on the other people. Democracy means the power of people not the dictatorship of the majority. Democracy must mean consensus or it is pointless. The British and US political system are not really democratic but are about 2 groups of rich and powerful people taking it in turns to impose their will.

    In my working life I started in London with colleagues who were highly educated and quite intelligent and then for family reasons I moved back home to work in a private firm where the older ones were mostly from secondary modern schools and generally very intelligent and good at their jobs. The younger ones were from comprehensive schools but did not seem able to settle to anything. If I asked them how they got on at school they said that anyone who was interested in getting on and studying was bullied by those who were determined not to make an effort.

    I often read your comments which I feel are made to be controversial like newspaper columnists but you do sometimes come up with interesting ideas. Not on this occasion though.

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