Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Cameron talks shite on immigration and education

From The Express (just for a change):

MIGRANTS are flooding to the UK because British youngsters are not "capable" of working in factories, the Prime Minister has said.(1)

Speaking at an apprentice event in Oxford today, David Cameron said migrants from eastern Europe should not be blamed for coming to the UK to fill the void left by under-educated British workers.(2)

But the Conservative leader has been slammed for his "denigration" of British workers by Ukip, while Labour called for Mr Cameron take "positive action" to get more British workers into apprenticeship schemes.(3)

Mr Cameron said:

"You can go to factories in our country where half the people come from Poland, Lithuania or Latvia. You can't blame them, they want to work, they see the jobs, they come over and they do them. But as a country what we ought to be saying is 'No, let's get our education system right (4) so we are producing young people out of our schools and colleges who are fully capable of doing those jobs'."(5)

The welfare system required reform so it "does not pay to be out of work" (6) and immigration needed to be restricted, he added.

"Let's have sensible controls on immigration (7), particularly from outside the EU where we can cap the number of people who come," he said.(8)


Where to begin?

1) The unemployment rates in the three countries he mentions are 9.7%, 17.4% and 9.1% respectively (as against 7.8% for the UK), so it's hardly surprising that the brightest, best and most committed go abroad to look for work and some of them end up here.

But those people are not particularly representative of all Polish, Lithuanian or Latvian people - the lazy ones stay at home and don't work in factories either. If you start with the unemployment figures, you can easily argue that people in those countries are even less suited for "factory work" than we are.

2) Agreed. On a personal level, you can't blame them. The few Poles I've met, I've liked (even though they're a bit racist) and their shops sell a mean pickle.

But we are where we are, and a UK government has to give priority to the interests of existing UK citizens - a few of whom have lost their jobs and many of whom have seen their wages pushed down as a result of immigration (and as a result of high house prices and rents, separate topic).

3) Things have come to a sorry pass when Cameron can be simultaneously and justifiably attacked from right and left.

4) Education is a good thing in and of itself. I have it on good authority that Polish state schools are far better than English ones, so it would not surprise me if Poles are on the whole "well educated" (like the Germans). Doesn't explain their high unemployment rates though, does it?.

5) But how much "education" do you need to work in a factory? You need some innate ability, a bit of on the job training and a lot of commitment. And why do employers prefer the best, brightest and most committed Eastern Europeans to the least employable native Brits? Because they work harder and better for lower pay, is why.

If we improved our education standards so that everybody is at least capable of "factory work" (a desirable aim in itself), what will happen to all the next generation? They will still expect higher wages than the Eastern Europeans, so they still be less likely to be employed in factories.

And if we turn out a generation made up exclusively of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, then they will be setting up more factories (hooray) but by definition, they will be employing even more cheap labour from abroad (who would work on the shop floor if they have the skills and qualifications to be the boss?).

Or maybe all these freshly turned out scientists etc would take the opportunity to leave the UK and move to a more business-friendly country not run exclusively by and for landowners (who will do their level best to prevent new factories being built, let alone new housing for all the factory workers).

Analogy - doctors and nurses from poorer countries coming to work in the UK. The UK wastes enough money on so-called health services, but what sort of return do African countries get on training nurses and doctors who promptly bugger off to less sunny climes?

6) It's called a Citizen's Income, Dave. Google it.

7) Of course a policy - whether on immigration or anything else - needs to be "sensible", that is meaningless guff, like "fair". But why does that automatically mean reducing the absolute numbers?

Given the admitted quality of some Eastern European workers, perhaps we'd be better off with more of them (and obviously fewer Somalis who come over here to sponge).

Whether that means more or fewer immigrants in total is neither here nor.

8) Another open goal for UKIP.

26 comments:

Kj said...

Strange this, that the Tory, right in the face of evidence that the current economic policy will not produce the jobs to match supply, the focus is exclusively on the effects of welfare policies. OTOH, if your only goal is to have people get on the proverbial ladder so as to be sure of reelection, you wouldn´t care too much about actually adressing unemployment.


3) I´ve had a few polish co-workers, and while I´m sure I´m generalising, they´ve been exceptionally good co-workers. Nice, but not overly excited, and they generally believe natives like myself are too content, naive and slightly annoying and lazy. Which is true.

The Stigler said...

Politicians always overemphasise qualifications and education over experience.

And here's what I think one problem is: we exported all our lowest paid jobs, as a result of income tax, means-tested benefits and the minimum wage.

It used to be that someone at 16 would go and get a job in the local factory. It would be a dogsbody job. He's prove he could do the dogsbody job and do the next job up.

The toxic mix of disincentives means that we no longer do things like low-value manufacturing. There's no reason why Dyson moved to the far east except that it was cheaper to hire staff. You can't pay someone £4/hr in Middlesbrough, but you can in Malaysia.

But it also means that you don't have people with a CV with experience of low-value manufacturing who then move upwards into higher-value manufacturing, or into more senior roles in a factory.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, good point, we do a crass mix of exporting low wage jobs and importing low wage workers. Worst of both worlds, so to speak.

DerekP said...

"...importing low wage workers"

Worth bearing in mind that for many foreign workers the wages here are not low compared to what they would be getting in their home country, and so what they save is effectively a multiple of what a UK national could save.

Maybe Call-Me-Gutless would have more UK workers in those jobs if they were paying Romanian prices, say, for all they bought - and Call-Me-Gutless could pay a massive premium on all he bought so he would begin to understand the cost of living.*

(I write this knowing of one waitress who said she had managed to buy her family house in her home country, where her mother looked after her children. I did not have the nerve to ask if she was getting Child Benefit.)

*I have wondered for some time why all salary increases are described in flat percentages, when it would better illustrate how much someone's pay increase was worth by describing it as a fraction or multiple of the national average salary.
Does any economist or survey make such an analysis, and if so would you point me towards it? Cheers.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DP, yet another good point.

"Maybe Call-Me-Gutless would have more UK workers in those jobs if they were paying Romanian prices, say, for all they bought."

Of the East Europeans I talk to, and the general impression I get from the papers, is their dream is to come over here, earn relatively good wages (by their standards) live in the smallest cheapest accommodation they can find and then having saved up some money, go home again and buy a farm or a house.

The largest items of spending, over which Call-Me-Gutless has more or less complete control is people's income tax bills and house prices.

So if he shifted from income tax to LVT, maybe we'd turn into a nation of hard working people again?

As to your specific question, the truth is far worse than you can imagine. After the Homey-induced recession, the wages at the bottom and middle have stagnated and The One Per Cent have got considerably richer. It doesn't need any fancy statistics to show that.

L fairfax said...

"(and obviously fewer Somalis who come over here to sponge)."
Less Muslim immigrants of all races would be a good thing. As the 14th Feb 1989 showed.

paulc156 said...

...yeh, let's send Mo Farah home.

L fairfax said...

No Mo Farah and no Mohammad Siddique Khan.
One less gold medal and one less suicide bomber - sounds ok to me.

L fairfax said...

Assuming of course Olympic golds are less important than people's lives.

Bayard said...

If Mohammed Siddique Khan is still alive to be chucked out a) he must be a very unsuccessful suicide bomber and b) he thus can't have killed anyone.

Anyway this whole "let's kick out the Muslims because some of them are suicide bombers" won't work because the bombers will simply pretend not to be Muslims, meaning you would have to kick out eveyone with a brown skin and even then it is quite possible for them to recruit caucasian fanatics and send them in to do their dirty work.

L fairfax said...

I didn't say kick out Muslims.
That would be punishing people for thoughts which of course is wrong.
However as we don't have an open door immigration policy we do defacto descriminate on some grounds.
Therefore people's beliefs being a member of the KKK or believing in Sura 9 of the Koran could be legitimate grounds.
Or to make it simpler I wouldn't kick Mo Farah out or Mohammad Siddiqe Kahn. However I would stop future Mo Farahs/Mohammad Siddiqe Kahns coming here.

Of course when Islamic terrorism stops for a few years then we would change the policy.

L fairfax said...

PS I should have made it clear that I was talking about less future Muslim immigrants not chucking ones who live here out.
I think that it is pretty clear that less Muslims in a country less Islamic terrorism.

Mark Wadsworth said...

LF: "I was talking about less future Muslim immigrants not chucking ones who live here out."

Good. That's a sensible policy, as long as the lower bound of "less" is "more or less zero". "Chucking out" is an absolute non-starter on any sort or moral, practical or political level.

Bayard said...

"I think that it is pretty clear that less Muslims in a country less Islamic terrorism."

Not at all. The terrorists would just send the bombers in from outside. We get Islamic terrorism because we have been meddling in the affairs of Islamic countries for centuries and still do, not because we have Muslims living in our country. In fact having Muslims resident here is likely to act as a brake on terrorism as the terrorists know that their co-religionists will get it in the neck, even though it is nothing to do with them.

L fairfax said...

"Not at all. The terrorists would just send the bombers in from outside. We get Islamic terrorism because we have been meddling in the affairs of Islamic countries for centuries
"
So why did they attack Europe in the 7th century? We had not done anything to them then. In fact I think the first the Spanish knew about Islam was when they were attacked by them.

"In fact having Muslims resident here is likely to act as a brake on terrorism as the terrorists know that their co-religionists will get it in the neck, even though it is nothing to do with them. "
So why has Poland not had any problems because of the Iraq War?
They had more soldiers in Iraq in 2004 than Spain but no terrorism.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, I know you always like to see the best in people and so on, but you must know that what you said is not true.

Q: Where is there most Islamic terrorism?

A: In Muslim countries.

Something like 9/11 or 7/7 is just a normal day in the office in places like Syria, Iraq, Egypt or Afgh etc.

LF, correct.

Groups of vaguely like-minded individuals behave differently to the constitutent individuals, and the larger the crowd, the likelihood of violence breaking out increases exponentially (see also football hooligans).

It might only take one suicide bomber to blow himself up or one IRA member to hide the bomb in a pub, but he needs to be among a reasonably large group of sympathizers, supporters, bomb makers, planners etc.

So for example, if you have 100 Muslims or 100 football fans, likelihood of violence less than 1%, but if you have 1,000 the likelihood of violence is not less than 10%, it is 30%, and if you have 10,000 then violence is a near certainty.

Bayard said...

"So why did they attack Europe in the 7th century?"

Are you seriously trying to suggest that something that happened 1400 years ago has any relevance to today? 7th century Europe was full of peoples invading and conquering other peoples, whether pagan, Christian or Muslim. By your reckoning we should prevent anyone coming into the country from Scandanavia as we can't trust them, not after what the Vikings did in the C8th and the Danes in the C9th. What about those French in the C11th? they came in and took over the place.

"So why has Poland not had any problems because of the Iraq War?"

Because they never had any colonies in Muslim countries, perhaps?

"Q: Where is there most Islamic terrorism?

A: In Muslim countries."

and where is the most Christian terrorism? in Christian countries. It's hardly surprising. OK many Muslim countries have had wars and some of them didn't have to be invaded by the USA first, but the same is true for a lot of Sub-Saharan Africa, most of which is nominally Christian.

"So for example, if you have 100 Muslims or 100 football fans, likelihood of violence less than 1%, but if you have 1,000 the likelihood of violence is not less than 10%, it is 30%, and if you have 10,000 then violence is a near certainty."

There are plenty of peaceful (i.e. not at war with others or themselves) Muslim countries, including the most extremely fundamentalist, Saudi Arabia. By your argument, Saudi Arabia should be undergoing a constant civil war.
Also ISTR that the vast majority of the IRA terrorists that were caught in England were from Ireland and not from the Irish living in England already, which is what you'd expect from your argument.

L fairfax said...

So why has Denmark had Islamic terrorism? What colonies did they have in Muslim countries?

Spain had lots of colonies in South America but they don't have had any problems with Latin American terrorism (and believe me they do blame Spain rightly or wrongly for everything that goes wrong there).

Only a minority of inhabitants of the British empire were Muslims, if terrorism were caused by having colonies when will Hindus stop blowing up tube trains in the UK?

Kj said...

and where is the most Christian terrorism? in Christian countries. It's hardly surprising.

Yes, the danger of politisized christian terrorism looms pretty grimly over our daily lives. Not a day goes by without me having to actively go out on youtube seeking christian contemporary pop-music to be annoyed by, if that counts as terrorism. I see young people lost to the cause of living nominally christian, secularized lives and leaving people lead their merry lives every day. It is very disheartening.

Bayard said...

LF 1. I did not say that having colonies in Muslim countries was the only reason for Islamic terrorism. Basically, it doesn't matter whether you you stir up the fanatics by invading their countries or by printing defamatory pictures of The Prophet, there tends to be retaliation.
2. Where did I say that all ex-colonies are hotbeds of terrorism? Yes, South American terrorists tend to stay in South America, probably because Spain isn't meddling in their countries any more and hasn't been for centuries. Ditto Hindus and the rest of the former British Empire. Have you not noticed that there is a strong correlation between us invading Muslim countries and them sending us terrorists? Don't you think the two things might just be related?

Kj, not you as well. As a Dane you may not realise that, prior to the UK rushing off on the coattails of the USA to invade Muslim countries, all terrorists attacks in the UK were by politicised Christians from Northern Ireland and yes, for a time, it did loom grimly over our daily lives. However, to say that the majority of Christian terrorism is in Christian countries does not imply, as you seem to think it does, that the majority of Christian countries have Christian terrorism, any more than to say, as Mark did, that the majority of Muslim terrorism is in Muslim countries implies that the majority of Muslim countries have a problem with terrorists. The rest of your comment I cannot understand, but there is an implication of "become a Muslim, become a terrorist", but perhaps that's unintended.

Kj said...

Bayard: yes, that´s unintended. I was adressing your relativism, which is fantastically misplaced. Terrorism is one thing, that´s an abysmally low percentage of any religion, but there is an area between. Yes, the IRA, and some lone ranger "christians", but there is not a radicalised trend in christianity with the same outcomes. There are no conservative christians setting fire to mosques on a regular basis in countries where they (christians) are the majority. There are no radical christians making sure that daily life in Europe is becoming very unconfortable for jews or creating no-go areas out of whole parts of european cities. The "it´s the same with all religions"-idea is, for the time being, simply not true.

L fairfax said...

1) KJ's comment was clear to me.
2) "The Prophet"? Are you a Muslim?
If so why not say so? If so why say "the Prophet"?
3) Churchill said plenty of horrible things about Mo but nothing happened to him. Theo Van Gogh was murdered.
The difference was partly due to number of Muslims in the UK in 1920s and 30 and Holland in 2004
4) Al Qaeda and Hizb-ut-tahir are pretty open about what they want from us
Osama said
"(1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam. "
So even if we were to get out of their countries we would still have problems.

"Are you seriously trying to suggest that something that happened 1400 years ago has any relevance to today? "
Do you know understand what the term Salafist means?

", South American terrorists tend to stay in South America, probably because Spain isn't meddling in their countries any more and hasn't been for centuries."
The US invaded Panama in 1999 - but Latinos in the US didn't feel the need to start blowing themselves up. We had quite a few Latin Americans (I know some) who were living here in 1982 and they didn't
start any terrorism because of the Falklands war.

BTW the pictures of Mo were printed in Poland but not the UK. Despite that we got bombs and they didn't.
They were also printed in most countries in South America - without any problems.

Bayard said...

Kj, yes, what you say is true, but it doesn't alter the point I was making to Mark's remark about most Muslim terrorists being in Muslim countries. The fact remains that terrorists generally operate in the country they come from, hence they tend to have the same religion as that country.
However, everything you describe as not happening now was commonplace at some time in the past (and not so long ago as far as the Jews are concerned). Mind you, it would be a mistake to think that anti-semitism amongst Christians has gone away at all.

LF, you're still clutching at straws:

2) FFS, writing "The Prophet" is shorter than writing "The Prophet Mohammed". "Mohammed" could have meant anyone called "Mohammed" and there are plenty of those. Anyway you knew instantly who I was talking about, so what's the problem?

3) Holland? I thought we were talking about Denmark. Yes, fundamentalists lack a sense of humour, so what?

4) You seem to think that Al Qaeda and Hizb-ut-tahir are representative of all Muslims everywhere and that all Muslims are fundamentalists. I hope you also associate all Christians with the ranting of a few extremists as well and feel that they are all personally responsible for those Christians who sent three million Jews to the extermination camps.

"Do you know understand what the term Salafist means?"
Well I do now and, unsurprisingly, it is a movement dating back to the C19th and thus irrelevant to what happened 1400 years ago.
The rest of your points are you arguing that since the converse of what I said isn't true, what I said isn't true either, which itself is false.

You've made it abundantly clear you just hate Muslims: I'm bored of disposing of the straw men you keep setting up to justify your hate - keep them for lighting a bonfire next week.

Kj said...

Kj, yes, what you say is true, but it doesn't alter the point I was making to Mark's remark about most Muslim terrorists being in Muslim countries. The fact remains that terrorists generally operate in the country they come from, hence they tend to have the same religion as that country.

That´s true. Muslim terrorism is very much concentrated in muslim countries. Also, very little christian terrorism occurs in dominantly muslim countries, committed by voluntary, private individuals, specifically targeting the public.

However, everything you describe as not happening now was commonplace at some time in the past (and not so long ago as far as the Jews are concerned). Mind you, it would be a mistake to think that anti-semitism amongst Christians has gone away at all.

Also true, but extremely marginal in comparison with the everyday anti-jewish attitudes that prevail in certain communities. A conservative and hateful attitude to female appearance and homosexuality is even closer than anti-semitism in western countries. Have this changed radically in both government, dominant religious organisations and the public? Yes it has.

L fairfax said...

"4) You seem to think that Al Qaeda and Hizb-ut-tahir are representative of all Muslims everywhere and that all Muslims are fundamentalists. "
I have never said that. However an unknown percentage are (possibly a third in the UK) and having more of them in this country is a bad idea.
If you know how to tell which are and which aren't then fair enough but no one does so far.

"I hope you also associate all Christians with the ranting of a few extremists as well and feel that they are all personally responsible for those Christians who sent three million Jews to the extermination camps."
Hitler wasn't a Christian. Why do you think that he was? He actually quite liked Islam.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler#Islam_and_eastern_religions


""Do you know understand what the term Salafist means?"
Well I do now and, unsurprisingly, it is a movement dating back to the C19th and thus irrelevant to what happened 1400 years ago."
The meaning is that they want to follow the behaviour of the first Muslims i.e. what happened in the 7th century.


"You've made it abundantly clear you just hate Muslims: I'm bored of disposing of the straw men you keep setting up to justify your hate - keep them for lighting a bonfire next week."
I don't hate Muslims. I just want to have the same freedom of speech that we had in the early 20th century - 14th Feb 1989 was IMHO one of the worst days in British history.

I did say
"However as we don't have an open door immigration policy we do defacto descriminate on some grounds.
Therefore people's beliefs being a member of the KKK or believing in Sura 9 of the Koran could be legitimate grounds."


Why don't you admit that Al Qaeda's motiviation is not our foreign policy but that we are not Muslims? Osama Bin Laden has said it. Of course they use the foreign policy excuse to deceive the simple but they do sometimes let their real motivation slip.

Kj said...

BTW Bayard, I´m not a Dane. An independent constitution from 1814 says so, but close enough ;)