The bare-faced cheek of Chris Bryant

Labour Shadow Immigration Minster Chris Bryant

Labour Shadow Immigration Minster Chris Bryant

Today (Aug 12trh as I write) Labour’s Shadow Immigration Minister Chris Bryant is planning to attack Tesco and Next for being cheapskates, and hiring foreign workers at lower-than-UK salaries (though both companies have robustly challenged his claims).  He’s also going to call for “more regulation” — something which British industry needs (as they say) like a hole in the head.  This amounts to a re-run of the old “British jobs for British workers” argument — something that Labour loves to bring up when under pressure over employment or (as in this case) worried about UKIP’s rather popular position on immigration.

Chris Bryant deserves a prize for bare-faced cheek.  It was a Labour government which allowed — some would say engineered — a massive rise in immigration in recent years.  His Party supports the EU with its free movement rules.  It supports the right of 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians to start coming freely to the UK in 2014 — just four months away.  Yet instead of apologising, or blaming the politicians responsible, Bryant chooses to blame Tesco and Next for doing what they’re supposed to do — controlling costs and delivering value to consumers.

So often we see aspects of the EU which are supposed to represent a level playing field — but in fact represent anything but.

Take “free movement of people”.  As an interviewer on BBC Radio Wales asked this morning, “Isn’t it true that an unemployed British worker enjoys the right to go and seek work in Poland?”.  Yes it is.  But it’s also very unlikely to happen.  Average salaries in Poland are lower.  And welfare payments are much lower.  Jobs are no easier to come by.   Any rational British job-seeker will do better at home.

Language also represents a massive bias in the EU jobs market.  It’s doubtful whether our British unemployed worker speaks Polish, or Greek, or Lithuanian, or Slovenian.  He certainly won’t speak all 20+ languages in the EU.  But English is overwhelmingly the second language of Europe.  That’s good in many ways.  But it means that the unemployed worker on the continent is hugely more likely to come to the UK than anywhere else.  He’ll come here because he can speak English.  But he won’t go to Riga, because he doesn’t speak Latvian.

It gets worse.  The EU has an “employment portal” (that’s a web-site to you and me), partly funded by you and me as tax-payers, on which member-states can advertise job vacancies.  So far, so good.  So far, a level playing field.  Except that of a million plus jobs offered, more than half, 840,000, are in the UK.  How even-handed is that?  As usual, we Brits play by the rules, while other member-states consider their self-interest.  And the same site offers financial help with travel expenses to the UK and advice on claiming welfare benefits.  What is presented as a fair and balanced aid to employment is in fact a device to hoover-up unemployed continentals and deliver them to Britain.  Thanks a bundle.

The simple truth is that we won’t get the right balance between British jobs and foreign workers until we can control our own borders.  And we won’t control our own borders as long as we’re in the EU.

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15 Responses to The bare-faced cheek of Chris Bryant

  1. PJ says:

    This is what all those years of MISRULE have brought us to Roger! The question is of course, how many years of misplaced memories will Labourites suffer as the consequence?

  2. David says:

    Why would anyone listen to “The Guilty”, same old Labour, the problem, not the solution.

  3. B Hough says:

    A very frustrating report for anyone who cares about our country, the fact that this kind of information is not made public in the press or TV news.
    As you say we follow the rules, but is the reason for this not a `sop` to the EU by those responsible, in order to be given a lucrative `non job` at the end of their UK (sorry regional) political career?
    We have seen it with Messers Blair, Mendleson, Campbell and others.
    Where has patriotism gone? It is as though we had a `Vichy` government as France had in WWII.
    Just as a rider but also allied to an EU bring Britain to heel campaign, who bankrolls the Green party who bring us so much pain?

    • Mike Stallard says:

      “Patriotism” is obsolete now. “Nationalism” is EU-speak for “bigotry” and EDL. “Regionalism” is the new black. I am not going to detail this. Anyone who follows regularly the speeches of our beloved President (of the Commission) will know by now that he said this in his State of the Union Speech as well as quite often elsewhere. Commissioner Johannes Hahn has a whole Directorate devoted to promoting Regionalism.

  4. Chris says:

    Under Labour’s three terms in office, 3.5 million immigrants came to the UK, of which 75% were from outside the EU.
    There are roughly 1 million illegals living in the UK.
    There is an immigration backlog of 500,000 which is estimated to take 40 years to clear at the present processing rate.
    There are 1 million East Europeans living in the UK.

    And from 2014, 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians will have the right to live and work in the UK.

    And Labour had a policy, where they actively looked for immigrants to move to the UK.

    Do you trust Labour on immigration? It’s the equivalent of asking a fox to look after the hen house.

  5. Malcolm Edward says:

    Labour have no credibility yet they don’t give up trying our credulity – its so tiresome as the Labour party is still committed to our subjugation under the EU. And saying it with a straight face, I conclude Chris Bryant is a good actor.
    I just wish those who habitually vote Labour would open their eyes and see that the labour party is a huge confidence trick operation, and one that acts against the interests of the majority of its traditional supporters – immigration under Labour has made us poorer (via increased housing costs, more unemployment, demand on government services, potential water shortages etc) overcrowds our island and dilutes our culture.

  6. 1957chev says:

    Drop the EU like a hot potato. Europe has many problems, which the UK will be burdened by. You will not come out on top, with a dirty deal like the one you have. Do not trust the labour party, they do not have your best interests at heart.

  7. Pete G Little says:

    I don’t agree with all you say Roger; but on this I’m very glad that someone has put the truth plainly, simply and (I believe unarguably.
    Off-the cuff (so to speak) I’d say there are three facets (albeit inter-related) of the EU that, to varying degrees, British people object: (1) the law made by the EU not here; (2) the payments to the EU (but whilst sizeable are not, as a percentage, vast); but (3) uncontrolled / uncontrollable immigration. I reckon that if a straw vote (I hesitate to say ‘poll…!’) was taken, No 3 would be by miles the main objection most people have to the EU; they would vote to leave the EU on this aspect alone. I believe that UKIP (or any other party..?) has to be more conscious of this and separate these issues in the public’s mind if it wants to maximize its impact. Not to do so would smack of the same tactics of obfuscation that the Cons and Labour (and to a lesser degree the Lib Dems..?) are adept at (they use it so often…).

    In the end, at tne next election, the question won’t be ‘who do you think would be the best government?; it will be ‘which of the contenders is the least non-credible?’.
    Will this be UKIP?

    • Mike Stallard says:

      We had a lady who, naively, put up a website here in Wisbech, Cambs, for UKIP. Immediately it was flooded with “racist” comments about immigration. Even on Question Time another lady raised the same thing. I live here: I personally like most of the immigrants I meet. And I respect their guts and their desire to settle and work very hard. This is a burning issue round here though. You are totally right – and the Labour are exploiting this,shall we say, in a Popularist, way.

    • I agree with your three facets, Pete. But I’d expand the second one. Our direct payments to the EU are only a fraction of the economic damage. The biggest hit comes from the cost of EU regulation. Tim Congdon estimates the total costs of membership annually at around £150 billion — or roughly 10% of GDP. Utterly unaffordable.

  8. Pete Hodge says:

    A few years ago after arriving to live in Skelmersdale, here in the North West of England, I got to know a young man from Poland. He was working for Walkers Crisps – part of the Pepsico company. He told me that he had been recruited by an agency in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, to come and work for the company here. There are many Polish people in the area, and also some Latvians and others.

    What intrigued me, and still does, is most seem to be on minimum wage, though I got the impression that Walkers paid the agency, who took their cut and paid the worker the rest. But to be fair, that may have been explained that way through a translation problem.

    I have also heard it said that these companies employ Eastern Europeans because the local young people will not work for the wages being paid. And if jobs are only part time, then obviously no one can live on them.

  9. Pete G Little says:

    We know that immigrants (both EU and non-EU), particularly semi or unskilled, outbid Britons for low wages; so they are employed whilst Brits are not. (Their are government studies that assert this isn’t true, but everyday experience / observation says the contrary; and I know people affected by it). And, whilst Mrs Thatcher (in hindsight) did some good things, she in no small part brought down the Tory party because of an insensitive and enthusiastic application of otherwise sensible ideas (eg ‘poll tax’). The Coalition (or at least the Tory bit of it) is doing the same thing (and will reap what it sows..). So maybe, for some groups in society: the combined downward effect (pressure on wages due to ‘cheap’ immigrants) combined with benefit reductions (bedroom tax?) will produce an overall lowering of wage levels. is this in part a ‘Thatcher-like’ government ‘conspiracy’ to help make the UK more competitive? Just a thought…

    • Mike Stallard says:

      I don’t think it works like that. Larger factories and (EU) Farmers who own the fields simply have to keep books which are inspected. They cough up the basic wage to everyone. Otherwise they are in unnecessary trouble with the Unions (who run the Labour Party remember) and the governments.

      On the other hand, the Agencies take a very large cut. There is, you see, the transport. Then there is accommodation. Then there are long periods when the workforce is simply not employed as there is no work – and no pay either. The Welfare State is there for sickness and education. Many of the immigrants, too, can work the dole system very cleverly. And child benefit too.

      So, on the whole, wages are not depressed, but it certainly pays to employ people through an Agency!

  10. martinbrumby says:

    It is also interesting to compare and contrast what other EU Nation States seem to be able to do to sort out problems and what is absolutely out of the question in the UK.
    Just check out
    (Not that I’d much recommend the BBC as a reliable source of news. Nor that I’d be entirely happy to see the UK adopt the French policy, to be honest.) But can you imagine this happening in the UK?

  11. B Hough says:

    I have observed your` link Martin and don`t know what the hell our politicians are trying to do to our country!
    I can criticise the other governments but at the saqme time admire their patriotism, they care about country before self.
    And the similarity between Bryant and Blair to my eyes is amazing, also their attitudes are very similar.
    What my grandchildren have in store after the Great Britain I inherited I feel ashamed, at least UKIP give me a chance to vent my feelings.

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