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Full-cream double standards

A Conservative front bench spokesman has been sacked for racially insensitive remarks, leading one former Conservative cabinet minister (Michael Portillo) to note that while people complain about the professionalisation of politics, this is what happens when you bring in people with life-experience outside politics: they do things no professional would.

A true professional can get away with more than dodgy anecdote. He can make a direct appeal to public xenophobia, and hang a major strand of government policy on it. And do it in such a way that no-one calls him out on it:

It is unfair that foreigners come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits, steal our services like the NHS and undermine the minimum wage by working.

Of course he is a socialist, so he could not be a racist, could he? But make no mistake about it, this is a dog-whistle to the political base of the Labour Party among the white working class.

It is not the legality of immigrants that makes their competition unwelcome. It is the fact of competition. Those who compete most effectively are legal migrants from the Commonwealth or Eastern Europe who have rights to the services as well as work ethic and education. Resentment does not check your papers: ‘illegal immigration’ is code for ‘immigrants’ tout court. Note John Reid’s language: “foreigners”.

So when your landlord checks your ID and registers where you live for the authorities, in fear of a £20,000 fine; when Kylie and Madonna, Rupert Murdoch’s children, Sheikh Maktoum, Shilpa Shetty and all have to be fingerprinted for their ID cards* to make sure they are not “stealing our services” as well as adding to the colour of our national life; when you have to prove your residential status to see a doctor, who probably has to have an ID Card marked “Foreigner” if he is one of the tens of thousands of overseas doctors working in Britain (and threatening the minimum wage); when you.have to prove your own identity constantly for the official record even in private transactions and it would be so much easier to ‘volunteer’ to join the National Identity Register… then remember it is all the fault of filthy foreigners coming here, not in the least the exploitation of popular racist sentiment for political advantage. The Home Office has to watch you, just in case you might be a foreigner.

* Or not, since I can not see them hanging around to put up with it. All the world’s interesting people, who live here for the combination of privacy and open society, might well go elsewhere.

13 comments to Full-cream double standards

  • I do see this as “cause the problem so you can violently enforce the solution”.

  • guy herbert

    I see it as “Invent the problem so…”

  • Eric Jacobson

    I’m a foreigner in the UK carrying an ‘indefinite leave to remain’ visa.

    You’re right: if I’m asked to supply all sorts of personal information to the State, I will assuredly leave the UK permanently; and my Scottish wife will gladly come along.

    I’ve lived in, or frequently visited, the UK these last ten years. I’m astounded at the rapidity and completeness with which a true police state has taken over the country.


  • guy herbert

    If you hadn’t mentioned your wife, I’d have offered to marry you myself.

  • If you hadn’t mentioned your wife, I’d have offered to marry you myself.


  • Kev

    It is unfair that foreigners come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits, steal our services like the NHS and undermine the minimum wage by working.

    He’s right, of course, it is unfair. So, why not let them in legitimately and have them pay the same tax as anyone else living here? Or better still, let them in legitimately, and scrap the NHS.

    I’m a Brit working in South Korea. I can’t steal healthcare here. When you pay the equivalent of national insurance, the government sends you a little book. Present this in a hospital, and you get a discount on your healthcare. If you don’t pay the tax, you don’t get the book and you don’t get a discount. It’s that bloody simple.

    Anyone would think the British government are going about making things needlessly complex just to provide themselves with more things to do…

  • Chris Harper

    I had a conversation yesterday, in Brisbane, with a group of people who were not well educated, not very old and not very well informed about the world.

    When I mentioned the occasional habit of British Government representatives to refer to the NHS as “the envy of the world” even this group burst out laughing.

    That is the state of the reputation the NHS world wide.

  • IO Hamilton-Jones

    Reid really is a c*** of the first order. But this is just headline grabbing to prevent the anticipated haemorrhage of votes to the racist-socialist BNP. Apart from wasting money on a few headline grabbing initiatives and making some cosmetic changes to the immigration act (again), nothing they do has the slightest impact on illegal immigration.
    Nulab has a visceral loathing of the Immigration Service, which it perceived as being institutionally racist because we occassionally get around to removing foreigners, and is the author of its own misfortunes with regard to the catastrophes which have claimed five ministerial scalps in the past few years. I have worked for IND and the IS for most of the last 14 years and I have come to the conclusion that it exists solely for the benefit of lawyers and immigration “advisors”. Four years ago the immigration appeals system cost £37 million (£5 million of which went to one firm in legal aid costs). Last year it was £100 million. Immigraton Judges are on £100-£120k a year, most of them are part timers who spend one day a week presiding on appeal hearings and the rest of the time doing immigratiion work and appearing before their colleagues. It is almost as big a racket as diversity training (mandatory for all IND staff and run by Focus Consultancy Ltd, who are surprise, surprise a donor to the Labour Party).

    The latest bright ideas of Lyn (disgrace to a banana republic) Homer is that we should send text messages to immigrants to remind them to go home. At the same time we now have to wait a minimum of 72 hours between arresting an illegal immigrant and removing them, to make sure they have time to apply for a judicial review. I should point out this is after they have exhausted their appeal rights. Even when we do arrest people we can’t detain them because all the detention spaces are filled with foreign national prisoners awaiting deportation.

    Another thing that pisses me of is doctors complaining that foreigners are using NHS resources then refusing to sign off a “fit to travel” document allowing them to be removed.

  • I’m assuming that your ‘mugging’ report has been taken down under gumment threat?
    Do tell.

    I was threatened a few times myself for various blog remarks.
    The last solicitor actually demanded money.
    I told him the idea was ‘Utterly Fantastic’, which is legalese for “F*** off you barmpot”.
    Note that if this was my blog I’d swear, but obviously I respect your conventions as your society here is so much more likely to be polite.

    Meanwhile, if anybody knows how to use ADO.NET to read a SQL 6.5 server database, leave a comment (at mine)eh?

  • Uain

    I don’t know about Merrie Olde Englande,

    but here the the US, there is a criminal conspiracy between the politicos and the corrupt business interests. The politocos pass minimum wage hikes, the corrupt businesses hire illegal aliens to get around paying the minimum or prevailing wage, and kick back a portion to the politicos as protection money to make sure no work site provisions are ever passed or enforced. Then you have the various “civil rights” groups as overseers to brand any attempt at rule of law enforcements as racism. Also, the illegals eventually bring an average of 4-5 dependents, which then justify the existence and expansion of the social benefits bueracracy.

    It all works very smoothly and every one is happy, except us poor slobs who pay the bill.

  • guy herbert

    I can’t say I find that remotely plausible. If you don’t think people do things for their own reasons, then conspiracy madness is indeed only a step away.

    However we don’t have much plain bribery, systematic or otherwise, in Britain. We do have (under the present regime more than any other) political intellectual corruption, where truth is whatever the speaker ‘only knows he believes’ and liberty can readily be sold and power bought by pandering to brutes and morons – provided one speaks in the socially approved codes. That’s what my post was about, not the merits of migration.

  • Uain

    “… and liberty can readily be sold and power bought by pandering to brutes and morons – provided one speaks in the socially approved codes. ”

    I agree. Look at the following…

    illegals sweep

    ….hope it works.

    The same old story of corrupt business being told they will be raided, go to a judge to block it, mealy mouthed “religious” leader claiming dependents will be hurt, etc.. ad nauseum. I don’t have link but a few weeks later it came out that Swift Company then offered prevailing wage (something like $18/ hr) and had 300 citizens show up to apply at Greeley Colorado plant. The fact is that these corrupt companies hire the illegals under the radar, so citizens are never aware there are job openings. This stuff happens throughout US in Hotel, Restaurant, etc..

    I would say you need to be more of a nut to not believe this is happening on a large scale. Otherwise how could they claim we have 12,000,000 illegals here?

    I work in hi-tech with many interesting people from around the world and fully support immigration….. LEGAL Immigration.

  • Paul Marks

    You sometimes have a way of getting on my nerves (rather more my fault than yours), but I must admit this was a very good post.