Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Will John Reid be 'Fit For Purpose' on Immigration?

John Reid appears to be trying to echo Michael Howard's slogan IT'S NOT RACIST TO TALK ABOUT IMMIGRATION. No it isn't, but it is certainly opportunistic when you have absolutely no plans to do anything about it. Some time ago the government was warned about the flood of Eastern Europeans who would come here once Poland and other Eastern Bloc countries joined the EU. The Home Office said these warnings were alarmist and that only 13,000 people would come. The reality? Four hundred thousand came here to better their lives - and who could blame them? Germany and other EU countries took a different course and wisely did not open their borders.

This country certainly needs immigrant workers. No one's denying that, but the numbers have to be controlled. We now face the prospect of another 400,000 Bulgarians and Romanians arriving here next year.

John Reid's solution should be simple. Stop them coming, just like other EU countries are doing. Our infrastructure is already creaking with the number of illegals here at the moment, let alone those who are entitled to be here. The LGA reckons that Council Tax will have to go up by 6% plus inflation next year just to pay for the housing and education of recent immigrants. This simply cannot go on. If Reid fails to act, we'll know his words are just window dressing and that he himself is not 'fit for purpose'.


71 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
nick said...

This is an issue that needs addressing, but John Reid, as with all this govt. is a waste of space. They’re tired, lacking imagination and bereft of workable policies. No doubt we’ll get some super-authoritarian illiberal policy being described, which will doubtless need new legislation, all for the sake of the tabloids. This time next year (assuming new commies are still in power) we’ll be in exactly the same situation because whatever they’ve proposed and enacted (if they’ve got round to enacting it and not been blown off course by some other headline) doesn’t work.
They should just all go. Now.

The Remittance Man said...

I'd rather the migrants were Poles and Czechs as opposed to Afghans, Iraqis and sundry other dross from countries we were at war with.

At least there'd be a lesser chance of them forming the Sidcup Cell of Al Quaida in our midst.

RM

GlassHouse said...

Wasn't Howard's slogan "It's not racist to IMPOSE LIMITS ON immigration" rather than "...to TALK ABOUT immigration"?

Slim Jim said...

The answer to your question is ''no''. The only reason he is coming out with this apparent policy volte face is because he and his chums can see votes slipping from their grasp like sand in their hands. Don't forget that this is the government that has done its best to stifle debate on this issue and has intentionally allowed immigration to treble since 1997, but says it has a 'managed migration policy'! The other matter that should focus us is Reid's record. How many ministries has he been in charge of? Just look at the trail of destruction and failure he has left behind him...

Lovejoy said...

We've all got it wrong except Labour!
If we get more immigrants they will add billions to the economy.....this could mean our taxes will be cut....less community charge.....reduction in speed camera fines.....free parking.
Lets have more of them....Bring them in.
Does anyone have any lens cleaners?
My glasses have adopted a new labour pink colour.

Jabberwocky said...

If any of the 'constitutional' parties were serious about curbing immigration, the first item on their manifestos would be to promise to flood the Channel Tunnel.

Barney said...

According to the Centre for Future Studies, 1.5 million Brits will leave the country every year by 2020. 400,000 Eastern European workers will be too few to plug that gap.

The whole point of the free market is that things can move around. Its not a free (nor logical nor profitable, probably) market if the finance can flow but the workers and consumers can't follow.

I understand many of you would love nothing more than a war on the EU but please don't forget that its no coincidence that the longest period of peace in Europe in hundreds of years has been since the birth and expansion of the EU.

Barney said...

Err... call me a pedant but it probably is a bit racist to describe the entire populations of various non-white nations as "dross".

bebopper said...

To take just one problem created by this invasion:
If just one non-english speaking child arrives in a school classroom, he can't just be put into a corner to play with toys. The teacher has to spend time with him, arrange appropriate work, allocate some time with a classroom assistant if she has one.
In the meantime the other children suffer. And, unfortunately, in any city now it isn't likely to be just one child. Worse still, the schools that take these children are almost exclusively in council estates and run down areas where there are still places. Middle class schools are almost certain to be full up.
I had this problem as a primary head teacher. I had no extra help from my local authority, but attended no end of courses about the benefits of diversity and the multicultural society. Happy days.

PS This happened when the Tories were in power. It must be a nightmare now.

12steps said...

Immigration is right is just uncontrolled immigration which is an issue.

John Reid is positively barking and wont get a set near the top table when Gordon takes over.

Any fool can see that you need to split the home office up to get a proper focus.

I am told by someone who should know that the IND gets new rules sent to them which gets passed down so often that it is impossible to run the dept.

Its he who is not fit for purpose.

Kafka said...

This is yet another piece of Labour hypocrisy, so arrant & blatant it takes your breath away.

This is the party that managed to crucify not only William Hague but also Michael Howard as racists for just wanting to discuss immigration.

Reid is just another twist-in-the-wind politician feeling the hot breath of irate voters on his neck.

SPL said...

Barney speaks sense. I think Iain's being arbitrary in saying that "This country certainly needs immigrant workers" but then asserting, apparently without evidence, that 400,000 is too much. The Home Office's estimation of 13,000 was foolish, but that certainly doesn't mean that the initial policy was. Iain Dale refers to "Germany and other EU countries" favourably, but we should hardly be taking lessons in economics from these places at the moment. Ireland, which has undergone huge economic growth in the past twenty years, also opened its borders, in the spirit of the EU, to Polish (and other) migrants.

One last point: the premise of the assertion that council tax will have to rise by 6% in order to cater for the "for the housing and education of recent immigrants" is plainly false, for it does not recognise that legal immigrants pay taxes just like British citizens.

As Sir Bentley Pauncefoot pointed out, Iain Dale's false assertion that ten countries are to join the EU next year - a simple error, I presume? - reflects the alarmist nature of this article.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I can't help but feel you are just as opportunistic as John Reid is on this one. Surely as a former CoS to David Davis you would know that the Conservative's plan for an "annual limit" on immigration would NOT include those coming from European Union countries.
We only have "uncontrolled" immigration from countries already within the EU, because we have free movement of goods, services and people. And remember in the Conservative manifesto for the 1999 European elections we promised to "push for further European expansion" to include the Balkans, Turkey, etc... Which would obviously mean citizens of those countries would be free to come to the UK.
If you want to come to Britain from outside the EU you need to get a visa, and to get one of those you have to satisfy the embassy or consulate in your home country that you have the means to support yourself, can speak English, and give proper assurances and proof that you plan to return home at the end of your stay. So, "unlimited" immigration is correct but it's a bit inaccurate to speak of "uncontrolled" immigration (unless we are talking about those from EU states (which the Conservatives certainly didn't plan on doing anything about last year, they just left the details rather vague) or the situation with illegal immigrants, in which case, yes, the system has well and truly broken down).

Neil Craig said...

I have to agree with you Iain that Reid is not yet living up to his rhetoric - I had some hopes of him.

A country which cannot prevent people entering it is not sovereign, whatever it claims.

The claim that we were only going to get 13,000 EU immigrants was clearly dishonest & every civil servant involved in it should have been fired without pension (I could make a case for hanging for treason).

The only people we should give unlimited immigration to are Serbs, because we bloody well owe them (& also because if CIA photos are to be trusted they can build entire houses in 24 hours which would be useful).

Serf said...

According to the Centre for Future Studies, 1.5 million Brits will leave the country every year by 2020. 400,000 Eastern European workers will be too few to plug that gap.

If the powers that be stop screwing up the country, then 1.5 million people per year will not wish to leave the country.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

The question is, Barney, how many of those 1.5 million Brits are actual Brits? I suspect a large number of them will be Brits only by officialdom.

Remember the pictures of those swathes of 'Brits' being evacuated from Lebanon?

I suspect (only on the grounds of anecdotal observation) that a large chunk of those 1.5 million will be people who were originally immigrants to this country anyway, have managed to get themselves the benefit of citizenship having stayed here for a certain period and have decided to leave for home again (but still retaining citizenship 'in case of emergency').

Personally, I hope to be in the other chunk of Brits jumping ship.

Otherwise, when it comes eastern European citizens coming here, I haven't found it to be much of a problem. The town I live in has seen 10,000 or so of them arrive this year (it's mostly seasonal work or jobs that nobody wants, like wiping old people's arses in rest homes). Unlike other councils, ours seems to have quite happily welcomed them. I'm more than happy to do so as well- they speak English well, treat people far better than the native staff do, don't cause problems, don't have a bloc mentality, integrate themselves quite happily and don't impose an obscure culture on the locality. You hardly notice them. They've also introduced a bit of competition in the local labour market, which is great for businesses because the shower that this town has been used to for years before hasn't done the town's reputation for customer service any good (anybody who's been to this well-known seaside town for conference will know what I mean).

By and large, I don't think there's a local issue with benefit claims or black market work, although I know that there are unscrupulous businesses taking advantage of workers who don't know the British system as well as we do, but it's been happening for years anyway.

I suspect that all this whining is a ruse by council officers and their collaborators to safeguard their empire-building ("the only way you'll fix this is by giving us more money!").

Conservatives would do well to remember that these are often like-minded people, who will be strategically useful on certain occasions.

Vienna Woods said...

Living in Austria for some years now I can understand the Austrian’s fear of an East European invasion and how it could affect the jobs market. I’ve no doubt at all that when the 7 years cooling off time expires, the Austrian government will bang on at least another 5 years on top (and I don’t think Germany will be far behind!). We have enough problems already with the criminal tourism from the east and most people here would like to see visa requirements sustained for many of the new EC applicants. In just 12 years the population of Vienna alone has expanded more than 30% with immigrants from the former Yugoslav and East European countries, plus the idle unwelcome Turks that sit at home all day and send their wives out to work…usually illegally. It is estimated that 50% of the new immigrant population work black, avoiding social security contributions and taxes. Forget the crap that Blair spins about immigrants contributing to the economy as it’s total rubbish. As for the Poles contributing to the UK’s wealth you will find that most of them live meagrely and send most of their earning back to families in Poland, so it’s not spent in the UK! If the UK hasn’t realised that the differing cultures and the complete unwillingness of immigrants to integrate or even learn the basics of the host country language, then it needs to think about it…like quick! Blair’s open door speech when the EC accepted the Poles, Czechs and Slovaks as members, was ill conceived and totally wrong. His estimation of 160,000 immigrants in the first year rapidly turned into 180,000 from Poland alone. Currently, the Poles are clearing out the fishing stock from Britain’s lakes and rivers. What will they eat next?

ol' timer said...

barney 11.12

Sorry Barney, you could not be more wrong. The peace in Europe was created (WW 2) and maintained by the US spending untold amounts of money on arms, developement of arms and garrisoning (with the UK)free Europe with thousands of men and all the material they needed to fight a war. Yes the US used Europe as a 'buffer zone' but that was because of our geographical position. Without US help
the European countries had nothing to fight with, even if they had the men and the spirit, which in some, but not all cases, history shows to be sadly lacking.
The Soviets' attempts to match the output of the US finally caused the collapse of the Soviet Union, they just couldn't afford to do it.
I do not agree with the way the US is acting now, or indeed with all it has ever done, but the US is largely responsible for the people on sites such as this being able to discuss as we do. If the US had packed up and gone home in 1945, God knows where we'd be now.

The EEC as was, and now the EU had not a hope in hell of keeping out the red menace without the Yanks.

Many Eurosceptics believe that the French only joined in with building the Channel Tunnel so the next time the Hun came over the border, the French government could get to London quicker. :-)

What else, apart from sitting at your PC, will you be doing in the school holidays?

Toodle Pip!

phone cam foolery said...

The main proble with allowing romanians and bularians in are the gysies, they wil flood over here ,demanding free housing then get on with what they do best steal,beg and cheat.

Anonymous said...

Lots of long comments here. Don't get worked up about what Reid is saying, it's just another one of his daily initiatives and it'll be forgotten by the time he's seized the headlines again next time. The UK is being flooded by press releases from the Home Office.

I like Poles. Their dancers are very good, no?

Dr No said...

I don't understand why there is so little discussion about the government's motivation for accepting a state of totally uncontrolled immigration over the last few years. One arguement is incompetence on the part of the Home Office but, that suggests their political masters were at the very least, laissez faire on the issue. Surely a more likely reason (given this government's equally laissez faire approach to postal voting) is the impact on votes from a very large number of new, low income, welfare dependent voters......or is this just too cynical???

javelin said...

Tony says "Your all being NATIVIST."

garypowell said...

OLD timer
I dont know but I have a good guess. Up shit creek without a paddle at best. Hell in a handcart at worst. Being "sloppy" with liberty is a activity only for those that think they would still be OK what ever happened. They may be wrong even about that, but it has never stopped America haters in the past. Dont expect things to change in the future anytime soon.

Pulsar said...

How long before we see a car sticker reading-"ENOCH WAS RIGHT-OK!"

Praguetory said...

I think that Poland is the most borderline case of the May 2005 group, but as others have mentioned they are not causing social problems and have adapted well to the UK as a whole. Black market work should be cracked down upon, but that is a separate area of government incompetence. THE KEY QUESTION IS OUR POLICY RESPONSE TO EU 2008 EXPANSION.

Bulgaria is about twice as poor as Poland and Romanania twice as poor again. Taking a similar approach in 2008 when these two countries join will be a disaster. This is a key upcoming issue and the policy response has not been set in stone. The Tories should not (and I hope will not) allow free migration from these states.

Barney said...

I love this - a discussion by Conservatives about how they're views on immigration aren't racist and already we've got non-whites as "dross", people with official British citizenship being discounted as not "real" Brits, and all Turks as "idle" and "unwelcome". Hilarious.

One suggestion for those reporting problems in schools - perhaps the language barrier wouldn't be such a problem if we copied our foreign friends and taught our children other languages? We teach our children basic French and not a lot else and most Brits can barely introduce themselves in a second language. We are unlike the rest of Europe - and the States - in that respect. No wonder your little darlings can't cope.

Why not work with the changes occurring around us rather than always standing bellowing at the waves like King Canute? There are many practical things we can do - instead of grumbling - to make these transitions easier and more beneficial for all of us.

As for the European peace issue - perhaps its time for a return to school for at least one blogger. The EEC was first created as a coal and steel union. The explicit aim was peace in Europe through the merging of munitions materials.

And as for what I'm doing during the school holidays, there's no need to patronise me. Why not try shaming me with the strength of your argument rather than through personal comments (that are inaccurate, incidentally).

B

Verity said...

Barney - with respect, you're talking rubbish. One and a half million Brits are being chased out of their own country each year because of intentionally destructive government policies. You say 400,000 foreign workers won't be enough to plug the gap. We don't want foreigners plugging the gap; we want our fellow countrymen, our own kith and kin, to stay.

You come out with the following trite drivel: "please don't forget that its no coincidence that the longest period of peace in Europe in hundreds of years has been since the birth and expansion of the EU."

The lack of aggression against fellow Europeans is because of the extremely well-known and accepted fact that democracies simply don't go to war against each other. WWII, and NATO, paved the way for unprecedented peace and the rest of Europe to develop real democracies. It has bugger all to to with the destructive, socialist gravy train known as "the EU".

Also, refer to what Ol' Timer wrote further down the thread. He is correct.

John Reid is as ignorant as Tony Blair, and that's going it some. Of course it's not "racist" - Labour's very favourite word - to wish to limit the number of E Europeans allowed into the country. Why? Because they are the same race as us, Caucasian. There are only five races in the world. So let us drop this absurd illiterate usage, shall we?

Finally, our host writes in his concluding paragraph: "This simply cannot go on. If Reid fails to act, we'll know his words are just window dressing and that he himself is not 'fit for purpose'."

And? You'll do what exactly? Nothing but talk? That's what I thought.

The first time I saw Tony Blair's empty eyes and stupid, self-congratulatory smile, I knew he was utterly empty inside. A perfect vessel. I sensed an evil about him and I saw the whole roadmap. I knew he was going to destroy our country, our civil values, our national identity. I don't know how I knew, but I did, and I put my house on the market and made plans to get out fast. I do not regret having gone for one instant as I've watched Britain sink deeper and deeper into a place I do not know.

Anonymous said...

We moan about them coming here. The we go over 'there' and buy the house, they've just vacated for a snip. Then say the reason we are living 'there' is because its full of people from over 'here', who can't afford to live there, because its full of people, from over here, driving up the prices so.... aw shit work it out yourselves, 'I'm off to watch 'A place in the sun' cos' the presenter has got an amazing pair of knockers, and I might even spot a bargain.

Matt P said...

With the risk of sounding like a G****** reader, I must say I disagree with you this time, Iain. The previous enlargement involved more than seventy odd million people, while the population of Romania and Bulgaria combined is less than that. Secondly the vast majority of people who came here are young people who are working and paying taxes. The "blocking of NHS beds, and drain on local resources" is just scaremongering. If you are worried about the drain on resources you have to look no further than the "children factories" living on benefits on council estates, who are also council tax exempt.Thirdly, there are already large minorities of Romanians working abroad, but they overwhelmingly prefer warmer countries with similar cultures (mainly Spain and Italy - in Madrid alone there are about 2-300 000). The claim that the crime rate will go through the roof, doesn't hold either. When the Baltic States joined few years ago, nobody mentioned the fact that 30% were Russian ethnics. Which has certainly made things a lot easier for the Russian mafia to expand. As for former Balkan inhabitants (Serbian, Albanian, Croatian etc) who btw used to regularly rob trains leaving Budapest Central train station, they would not for the forseeable future join the EU.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Barney said..
"I understand many of you would love nothing more than a war on the EU but please don't forget that its no coincidence that the longest period of peace in Europe in hundreds of years has been since the birth and expansion of the EU."
...eh Barney - ever heard of the nuclear deterrent, Nato and the fact that democracies seldom/never go to war?
Do you really think that Jack Delors gave us World Peace? -
because if you do, could you lend me a million pounds, I'll pay you back, honest.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Iain said
"This country certainly needs immigrant workers. No one's denying that,... "
I would strongly deny it. The economic case is only proven for land and capital owners. By no means is it the case proven that the general well being of the country improves.
All the studies show the "benefits" of immigration by including tax paid by wealthy, mainly American, City-based workers. Ex them out and the economic benefits are actually negative.
History shows that all multicultural societies eventually collapse when placed under severe economic or military strain. They work only under dictators - Stalin and Tito.

knowledge-is-power said...

All the claims and counter claims about the benefits or otherwise of immigrants misses the one central point. There has been no policy, no debate, no plan and no attempt to ask the public to express a view. If it is true that immigrants are providing economic benefits to the country (and I personally think the argument is economically illiterate), then this was either an active decision that was taken without consultation, or it has happened by pure fluke.
Either way, parliament is the right place to decide who comes in and how many. Where are the Tories? They have been beaten into submission, and dare not raise it as an issue.

The Remittance Man said...

Qualified, willing to work and with at least a rudimentary grasp of the English language and acceptance of our culture = welcome migrant.

Unqualified, unable to speak the language, often opposed (sometimes very opposed) to the British way of life and yet willing to be a drain on our charity = unwelcome dross.

Colour and race don't come into it, Barney, unless you want to make it so.

Verity said...

I have enjoyed most of the level-headed, thoughtful comments on this thread, but there is one thing everyone is missing: the dog that has stopped barking.

??? Labour has manufactured a fake "immigration crisis" that they boldly deem is not "racist" to discuss. But the deeper immigration crisis is the one no longer being discussed at all. Clinically insane Muslim mullahs and aggressive young Muslim men who are prepared to bomb their way to shariah law in Britain. These people are a far greater threat in every way, but Labour is orchestrating the swamping of the immigration debate with the E Europeans.

Beware. This is being done slyly and intentionally. They have to defuse/obfuscate the Muslim fundamentalist debate somehow, because Labour depends on their votes to keep their grip on power.

As a point of interest, I read that Jack Straw was sacked at the suggestion of Condoleezza Rice. After she visited him in his constituency, she observed how dependent he is on Muslim votes to keep his job and didn't want him being one of the negotiators in the ME.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Verity said
"As a point of interest, I read that Jack Straw was sacked at the suggestion of Condoleezza Rice. After she visited him in his constituency,..."
I thought he was sacked after HE attempted visited HER in Airforce 2's sleeping compartment!

Anonymous said...

There will soon be so many countries in the EU that it will consist of most of the planet and thereby become a totally meaningless anachronism from which sensible countries will wish to become disassociated for fear of being over-run by the havenots and wannabes who will bring their bad habits to the new hosts.

John Reid hasn't got the ability to reverse what is happening to the UK. The obvious decision to simply stop the bus dead in its tracks and stick to it until appropraite policies and the means to implement and enforce them can be developed and resourced is clearly too difficult for him.

ol' timer said...

Oh dear Barney, seems you have stepped on a hornets nest. I have always found it to be a good idea to gather some facts before you voice a opinion. Your problem is now, that having shown your ignorance no one will take a blind bit of notice of you from now on. When you eventually leave school you will find that the real world is much different to the one you imagine it to be. I feel Barney that you owe an apology to Verity and the other writers here who have taken the time to try to corect your thinking. You seem very sad, but possibly recoverable
:-)
Good luck young man - this nice weather you really should be outside kicking a ball around or something!

ol' timer said...

Oh dear Barney, it seems you have stepped on a hornets nest. I have always found it to be a good idea to gather some facts before you voice a opinion. Your problem is now, that having shown your ignorance no one will take a blind bit of notice of you from now on. When you eventually leave school you will find that the real world is much different to the one you imagine it to be. I feel Barney that you owe an apology to Verity and the other writers here who have taken the time to try to corect your thinking. You seem very sad, but possibly recoverable
:-)
Good luck young man - this nice weather you really should be outside kicking a ball around or something!

Gary I am not a US lover, but credit, where credit is due! Hein?

Praguetory said...

Matt P is foolish to think that it is a numbers game re new states. He should try correlating the number of migrants per capita with the GDP/employment of the donor country. Czechs and Slovenians have not been migrating (less of a differential in income) Poles and East Slovaks have.

P.S You can be assured that the Romanian political establishment will be trying to encourage its less desirables to try their luck in the UK/West with beneficial effects for their state finances.

ol' timer said...

Oh my God, I've just realised. At the moment we've got Bliar the biggest f*** up merchant in English history, and the future is................ Barney and SPL. Lord please help us in our tribulation! What have we done to deserve this!!

Barney said...

And there was me thinking this was a forum for debate.

Is it beyond your comprehension that your world view might be incorrect? For a start, I am not some silly schoolboy but a highly educated, employed, adult woman. (You probably think that's an oxymoron, don't you?)

I've enjoyed Iain's blog for some months but apologies for not realising I could only post if I agreed with the rest of you.

Care to step in and defend my freedom of speech anyone or should I do as the old man says?

Vienna Woods said...

Barmey wrote,

"One suggestion for those reporting problems in schools - perhaps the language barrier wouldn't be such a problem if we copied our foreign friends and taught our children other languages? We teach our children basic French and not a lot else and most Brits can barely introduce themselves in a second language."

What are you talking about? Are you suggesting for our children to cope with "immigrant" kids in school, that they must learn Polish, Czech, Turkish and the various other Balkan languages. That is utter nonsense. We have schools here in Vienna where the teacher and one or two pupils are the only ones speaking German. Incidentally,it's been a rule here for a number of years that all immigrants must learn German to a certain standard within a set time frame, or it's bye, bye!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry too much Barney, it's quite common for people on this blog to resort to personal attacks and to ridicule those who don't agree with them. The immigration thread is just a way for them to pass time until Iain gives them another opportunity to have a go at the Scots. ;-)

ol' timer said...

barney 4.48

Is it beyond your comprehension that your world view might be incorrect? For a start, I am not some silly schoolboy but a highly educated, employed, adult woman. (You probably think that's an oxymoron, don't you?)

Sorry sweetheart, you won't mind me calling you that, but your first post shows that your education is sadly lacking. No history, huh? Perhaps you are just inexperienced (can't spell naieve)? Education and knowledge/experience are not the same thing. The Nazis and Communists 'educated' their children but didn't teach them anything! Get my drift? I have worked with people who have more letters after their name than Llanthler.........gogogoch, and they are as thick as two short planks!! You appear not to be as bad as that, but you, I am afraid, are as far from reality as a normal person can get! Who paid for your education? Me, and others here? Do you not feel it incumbent upon you to feel loyalty to the people who have supported you. We are not dismissing your arguments, we are merely stating ours, which you say we are entitled to do, yet you object to us disagrreing with you.

Be a good girl, go and put the kettle on! :-)

ol' timer said...

On second thoughts Barney, just go and stand in the corner and face the wall for 5 minutes. And no peeking!

sammy the sailor said...

Poor Barney. Your mentors should have taught you the first rule, 'When you're in a hole - stop digging!' Heducated people don't teach stuff like that of course, it's called common sense n'est pas?. I can say that in German, Swedish, Russian, Spanish, Albanian and a few others, but my Swahili is a bit rusty, nay ehi, I think.
You've got your opinion, the others have theirs, and you deny the rules of democracy. To take your point to its logical conclusion, every teacher in every school teaches all children in their native tongue. Fine, so what happens when the little ones leave school and go to work, where the only language is English? Just imagine, huge Paddy steel erector foreman explaining in Croatian that the poor chap has welded a 15 inch 'I' beam in the wrong place and Paddy has now lost his month's bonus! Get real!

Rick said...

One suggestion for those reporting problems in schools - perhaps the language barrier wouldn't be such a problem if we copied our foreign friends and taught our children other languages? We teach our children basic French and not a lot else and most Brits can barely introduce themselves in a second language. We are unlike the rest of Europe - and the States - in that respect. No wonder your little darlings can't cope


What languages do your children speak Barney ? Serbo-Croat ? Ukrainian ? Polish ? Urdu ? Bengali ? Gujerati ? Farsi ? Arabic ? Chinese ? Lingala ? Kituba ? Turkish ? Hindi ? Yoruba ? Hausa ? Ibo ?

My they are talented,........congratulations !

javelin said...

Like alot of important things in life - it's not whats in you face that matters, but what's going on behind you back.

The Daily Telgraph reports that "the troublesome Kaczynski twins, Lech (the president) and Jaroslaw (the prime minister)", have expressed a private opinion to bring back the death penality. Supported by 70% of Poles. Careful reading of the huan rights act still allows for capital punishment - even in the UK.

I guess the EU never worried about memes being immigrated.

I have been saying for years that the EU Government structures resemble an apparatchnik run by well meaning gentlemen. Who could be easily squatted by left or right wing extremists, like hoodies gatecrashing the local bowls club summer party.

Of course New Labour are too dopey to do anything about it.

Here's the link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;jsessionid=GQPKRY0GTUTHTQFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/opinion/2006/08/09/do0904.xml

president strapper said...

Reid is now saying this because of the major threat to the Labour Party, especially in t'north, from the BNP!

They know they have failed the white majority and those from ethnic minorities that have settled here peacefully and have integrated well.

What he is saying is the BNP are no longer racist and he foolishly has legisimised that party overnight. What else can they throw at them now?

BUT the silence of the tories is also a problem.
They should quickly point out that Michael Howard was saying this and called a racist by the party that is now saying it is okay to say it! HYPOCRITES

Make no mistake,though, this is THE issue and only one party is articulating what the ordinary man and woman is saying.Even here in rural cream tea land nothing gets people more irritated than immigration.

You cannot trust a man like Reid and anyone that believes him requires major brain surgery. They are so wedded to the EU they can do nowt!

phone cam foolery said...

Vienna Woods..
As we all know, the Austro Germans are the masters of saying " bye, bye" to troublesome foreigners.
Hopefully you will once again take the lead in dealing with this issue.

antifrank said...

While I don't agree with much of what she says, I don't find Barney's comments half as ill-informed as some of the other splenetic rants that posters have added to this thread. Shame on some of you for gratuitous personal attacks.

I always find it curious that the party of the right instinctively wants to control immigration, when the free market economics would suggest that the restrictions be kept to a minimum (provided that no social security benefits should be available to distort the decision of potential immigrants). Meanwhile, the party of the left instinctively wants to allow unfettered immigration, despite its potentially adverse effects on the earnings of the unskilled working class. On this one, my free market head firmly wins out.

Judging by the numbers of Albanians and Romanians already on building sites, allowing them to become legal immigrants would probably push unskilled wages up rather than down, since they could no longer be taken advantage of.

The impact on council tax bills of immigration is in relative terms tiny (80% of local authority money comes from central Government), and Iain does not set out the positive impact on central tax receipts caused by immigration. The typical immigrant is a young person who makes relatively few calls on public amenities, earns money, pays taxes then goes home again. I would wager a large sum of money that the net financial impact on the UK of immigration is positive, and very substantially so.

That is not to say that there are no legitimate concerns about immigration. For far too long, this country has complacently let large immigrant groups settle without any contact with the local culture or way of thinking. This is wrong, dangerous and needs to be changed as a matter of urgency.

See, it is possible to write a reasonably lengthy piece about immigration dealing with important issues without mentioning language, skin colour, religion or the EU.

Matt P said...

Well, Praguetory, what I meant was that the population of the two countries is less than a THIRD of the previoius wave.
Now while I agree with your contention that Poland was an extreme case, you have to take into account the fact that the unemployment in Poland was close to 20% and even now it came to an "alltime low" figure of 15.7%.
My point was that the unemployemnt in Romania has always been around 6% and lower in the last six years and the country has experienced sustained growths in the last six years as well.
In fact the unemployment there is two points below the EU average, and the point I was making was that Romania HAD their wave of emmigrants in the last few years, and they are not in the UK.
I can't make any predictions for the Bulgarians, as I do not have first hand experience.
Even Czech Republic, dear boy, has experienced unemployment in excess of 10%, Slovakia now is around 11% and Hungary about the same. (Some analysts argue that Romania might beat Hungary in fulfilling the criteria of accession to the Euro)
As to what I do, I work for a multinational company, and I travel extensively in the area. My wife is Czech (Ha!) and my grandparents are Romanian. I have friends in both countries and I try and stay relatively well informed. But I am not really fond of knee jerk reactions.
Whilst I understand people's aprehension, I would expect the opinions to be more considered and thoughtfull.
End of rant

serious enquirer said...

Vienna Woods

I have a plaz in Graz. Your advice please, should I consider permanently moving from the UK? Is life in Austria much better than the UK?

My German is currently limited verstehen? I know, I got that wrong.

Verity said...

matt p - If you read the preceeding posts, I don't think you will find anyone expressing apprehension about the E Europeans. Reid, with his illiterate statement - is he really a PhD???? - is simply divertising attention from the real problem, which is fundamentalist Islam.

As I said earlier, his statement that discussing "immigration", by which he only refers to Eastern European immigrants, is "not racist" is the statement of a village idiot. We are all the same race. Caucasian. Different nationalities, different tribes, but the same bloody race.

This is all to divert the eye from the real problem roiling around Britain and Western Europe - unintegrated Islamic immigrants and immigrant families. E Europeans are not the issue and this is simple, high-handed manipulation. It seems the attention of some people on this thread is easily diverted.

Keep your eye on the ball, peeps!

Verity said...

matt p - If you read the preceeding posts, I don't think you will find anyone expressing apprehension about the E Europeans. Reid, with his illiterate statement - is he really a PhD???? - is simply divertising attention from the real problem, which is fundamentalist Islam.

As I said earlier, his statement that discussing "immigration", by which he only refers to Eastern European immigrants, is "not racist" is the statement of a village idiot. We are all the same race. Caucasian. Different nationalities, different tribes, but the same bloody race.

This is all to divert the eye from the real problem roiling around Britain and Western Europe - unintegrated Islamic immigrants and immigrant families. E Europeans are not the issue and this is simple, high-handed manipulation. It seems the attention of some people on this thread is easily diverted.

Keep your eye on the ball, peeps!

Praguetory said...

Matt P

In the last year I have visited and worked in the following places

Bucharest, Sofia, Krakow, Prague, Bratislava, Kosice, Budapest, Zagreb, Ljubljana and London (where I know many EU immigrants)

so I know my way around.

Given that unemployment has been rising for over a year in the UK another large open door is not what is required in the UK national interest. And no knee is jerking. Dot.

Stephen T. said...

Matt P,

You sound just like Tony Bliar, when he was defending not introducing barriers to prevent workers from the new EU countries of Eastern Europe. A sustained attack by Michael Howard was rebutted with almost exactly the same defence that you've used in your posting. Mr Howard's parents were, of course, Romanian, but that didn't stop him from being able to grasp the truth. Perhaps you could try it, rather than dwelling in cloud cuckoo land. Only one question need you ask, and that is "What is the average wage in Romania and the level of GDP ?" That's right, only a small fraction of that in the UK. That's why they'll come here in even greater numbers than the Poles.

Also, perhaps you might like to ask if they have an NHS, unemployment benefit of the level of ours, rich tourists and natives alike to rip off. That's right, they haven't, so yet another incentive to come in their many hundreds of thousands, possibly millions. Which, if nothing is done, they will.

Praguetory said...

The best way for the Tories to frame their policy re Bulg & Romania is as follows. If all other EU nations open their borders fully to citizens of the new member states then we will of course consider doing the same. Unlike the May 2005 wave, in 2008 the Austrians and Germans will not have the excuse of the impact on border regions but their policy will remain the same.

Praguetory said...

Most estimates place arnings in Romania are estimated at about £100 per month. If you assume a 40 hour working week the average hourly rate is about 15% of the UK's minimum wage so just because unemployment is low in Romania doesn't mean that they won't come to the UK in droves.

And don't believe the semi-official numbers re Poles/other new EU migrants. This are based on a voluntary registration scheme that a minority of people have signed up to.

Vienna Woods said...

While the weather is fine, economies such as the UK's are on a high and immigration is wonderful. Full employment sees to that little problem. When employment starts to waver then immigration is a problem and hostilities grow as people are thrown out of work with jobs remaining with the "cheap" immigrant and the "home grown" worker's temper rises. THIS is the problem of immigration and is the reason for the rise of the BNP and other extremist groups. Whoever thinks that immigration is mainly seasonal and that most eventually return to their homeland, is living on another planet. Ask the Germans how many Turkish immigrants have returned home since Germany has been in recession.

Matt P said...

Well Stephen T. you should check your facts before posting. Even after the last wave, immigrants did not have access to the Social Security benefits. And before you say anything else nor should they since they had not contributed enough in taxes.
My initial rant was against the perceived scaremongering and clear exageration which only inflames the issue.
I agree with Verity that it's probably manufactured, but I disagree with the doom merchants.
I concede the point that there will be some immigration, probably more than the "13600" estimation from the HO in 2003, but I still don't think that the real figures would be as high as some of you quote.
Praguetory, I agree with you that one cannot play the numbers game but I think that your perception is just as inacurate.
Your point is?
They shouldn't be let in because...?
I hate to sound like a Guardian reader or God forbid TB, but the case is that most Poles are working and paying taxes and they integrated well (you said it yourself).
Are you saying that the other countries would be less likely to?
How would you have responded to this issue two-three years ago, before the last enlargement?
As for the personal abuse, well that comes with the teritory and to quote our host - Cheers Iain - it says a lot more about you.
Time will tell and we'll soon find out.

Matt P said...

And one last thing.
My point was that the vast majority of recent immigrants work and do not benefit from free housing, education and social security benefits as some of you mistakenly believe. I am not saying that them coming here is a good thing or bad thing, but the impact is exagerated or as Verity said manufactured to distract from the real issue.
It's just that I sensed a derogatory attitude from Praguetory towards Romanians: "Poles are OK, but these others aren't", without justifying why that should be the case.
Controlled immigration fine, but at least be consistent and try to act in the spirit of fairness.
I am afraid Iain's initial post contained a bit too much demagogy end empty rhetoric and not enough facts and logic - sorry Iain.
Paradoxically I agree with Iain, it's just that he should have argued his position more logically and factually. But then again it's something for different perceptions for different people.
I am going to bed now, I am tired of playing Devil's Advocate.

Verity said...

Keep your eye on the ball, compatriots. They are trying to divert attention from the real issue, which is uncontrolled Islamic immigration. There are already 370,000 of them in Britain who want to see shariah law prevail over our ancient English law, fought for for 2000 years by our ancestors who built our country, and all our ancient rights. Which Blair has intentionally weakened.

You have given much to Tony Blair's vivaperous government. Don't give more.

Keep your eye on the ball, not where they're pointing your attention.

Yak40 said...

Lots of comments etc here but I think it's pretty simple really.

At present, the whole immigration system is broken.

I propose no more immigration at all until:
(a) we know who's here, legally or otherwise.(that'll take a few lifetimes)
(b) An intelligent policy is worked out regarding just what kind of immigrant we might need, e.g. skills based for starters.(might take generations)
(c) Ties with (a) above; how to control the process.(ditto)

UK is not obliged to be the destination of choice for everyone, EU or not, and if that offends some crackpot EU policy (let alone crackpot leftists) then that needs to be addressed too.

In short, shut the door for a while, full up for now. Blindingly obvious

Praguetory said...

Matt P - I am sure we have a lot in common - it's not personal and I'm not being derogatory - good idea for a website name though ;-).

The reason that I wouldn't open the door to Romanians/Bulgarians is because you have to draw the line somewhere. I would be in favour of them coming to the UK on seasonal work permits, but unfettered access is just too much and not in UK interests.

All the Romanians/Bulgarians I have met are lovely warm people. But I doubt that the Greeks will be opening their northern border to Bulgarians - and I don't see why we should be the only country playing by the EU rules - again.

This debate is probably irrelevant anyway because it will be Labour's decision - the Tories will only be picking up the pieces in 2009.

Matt P said...

Well that's spot on there! All this is academic, since none of us here would be involved in that decision.
Let's just hope people are less and less willing to be fooled.

Anonymous said...

Has any Civil Servant been sacked for the breath-takingly incompetent under-estimate for entrants into the UK from the "new" East European members of the EU ????

towcestarian said...

5 years ago I would have felt the same as most of the posters here - rather worried about the effect on my precious country of the tsunami of immigrants. But I have now realised that my precious country has been totally and irrecoverably f***ed up by NuLabour, so what is the point worrying about it?

Actually, it wasn't such a wonderful place before; I must have had a particularly effective pair of rose-tinted spectacles (thats glasses Barney) for most of my early life.

Time to do a Mosquito Coast with the little towcestarians I think.

SPL said...

ol' frank says:
Be a good girl, go and put the kettle on! :-)

Oh dear. It seems that Cameron has a long way to go to convince the electorate of the viability of "progressive Conservatism".

I agree wholeheartedly with antifrank's comments.

SPL said...

It's been said above by someone else, but it's important, so I'll say it again: It's remarkable how confused people get about the labels of "left" and "right" over the immigration debate.

Economically speaking, it is right-wing to favour free markets and fewer limits on migration; left-wingers, on the other hand, are more likely to favour protectionism.

Enoch Powell (et al) crouched opposition to migration mainly in terms of social authoritarianism, which is different to the left/right dichotomy.