Cameron keeps digging


David Cameron is terrified of UKIP.  He’s afraid he’s going to lose the Rochester & Strood by-election.  And he knows that the biggest single issue he faces is public concern over mass immigration.  So he’s making more and more proposals aimed at reassuring the public and winning back support.  What he hasn’t promised, and can’t promise, is a clear numerical cap on “EU citizens” entering the UK – and still less can he promise that EU citizens will be treated in exactly the same way as applicants from elsewhere.

It can’t be stated too often that the current UK immigration system is profoundly discriminatory.  It discriminates against the brightest and best – brain surgeons from Canada, nuclear physicists from Australia, engineers from India – and in favour of poor and unskilled immigrants from central and eastern Europe, many of whom are arguably coming for welfare payments and/or higher health-care standards than they could expect at home.  This is not only unjust – it’s economically damaging, as we welcome the poor and dependent, but exclude the skilled and the capable.

Critics of UKIP will point out that there are European brain surgeons and nuclear physicists and engineers.  Indeed there are.  But they should be considered fairly and equally with applicants from the Commonwealth and elsewhere, and subject to the same criteria.

So if Cameron can’t cap the numbers, what’s his Plan B?  He’s talked about temporary derogations on immigrants from new member-states – but that’s even further off into the future than his 2017 referendum promise.  He wants to limit welfare benefits for immigrants – but that’s merely fiddling at the margin.  He’s talked about restricting the issue of National Insurance numbers for immigrants.  But to the extent that this might work, it would be in breach of the EU’s free movement rules, and illegal under the treaties.  And even if could do these things, he still wouldn’t be equalising treatment of EU and other immigrants.

He’s in a hole, but he keeps digging.  To counter the UKIP threat, he’s making more and more commitments on which he will be unable to deliver.

Speaking in London yesterday, out-going Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was unequivocal.  “Free Movement” is a foundation-stone of the EU project.  It’s not up for renegotiation.  Cameron is making a big mistake (for once I agree with Barroso, though for a different reason).  He risks alienating other member-states, especially in Eastern Europe.

There are those who hope that the new Commission President Jean Claude Juncker will be more amenable – though after Cameron’s aggressive but doomed attempts to block Juncker’s appointment, that seems unlikely.  Of course Juncker says that he will seek to solve “the British problem”.  In his new rôle he has to say that.  But as a dyed-in-the-wool federalist, he will no more abandon free movement than will Barroso.  Any change in the free movement principle would require Treaty change, and the agreement of all 28 member-states.

Barroso also said that the UK would suffer outside the EU.  Leaving would be an historic mistake. “Even the proudest nation can’t shape globalisation by itself”, he said.  He’s right.  But neither can the EU “shape globalisation”.  However as an independent nation, Britain is better able to respond to the challenges of globalisation than it would be in the ossified European Union.  I liken it to a ship in mid-Atlantic.  No, the Captain can’t alter the weather.  But if he’s properly in control of his vessel, he can cope with it.  Subject him to one-size-fits-all responses from a remote bureaucracy, and he’ll soon be in difficulties.

Just as Cameron is in difficulties.  He’s making promises on which he must know that he cannot deliver.  He’s in a hole, but he just keeps on digging.

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22 Responses to Cameron keeps digging

  1. Steve Pattison says:

    Cameron is changing his name by deed poll to JCB

  2. vera says:

    Interesting times! Almost feel sorry for the chap.

  3. Anne says:

    We have one way to get out of the EU and that is by voting for UKIP in the 2015 General Election as long as Nigel Farage can put forward enough people to stand for UKIP. It matters not-sadly- if none have ever Governed before, for let us face the facts here-all those we have elected since 1972/3/5 have all had to obey the orders (Legislation, Directives and Regulations) of FOREIGNERS, because they ratified EEC/EC/EU Treaties without asking the people once in ALL THOSE YEARS-BEFORE THEY EXPLAINED AND RATIFIED ALL THOSE TREATIES. It grieves me for I, along with a great many more people, went through a full scale WAR in which we were bombed out of House and Home, just to be Governed by foreigners anyway. We went through that war with the help and sacrifice of those faithful and true friends – those wonderful Members of the Commonwealth that are as members of our Family that they truly are.

  4. Sally McNamara says:

    I cannot tell you how depressing it is when (American) friends contact me asking for advice about immigrating to the UK because the system seems rigged against them. Overwhelmingly, they are highly educated individuals with pending job offers and a commitment to contributing to the UK. The UK is doing exactly what America does – instead of doing anything meaningful about the real issue (in the US it is clearly the southern border), they clamp down on easy targets.

    In order to burnish UKIP’s credentials further as the party who can take LABOUR as well as Tory votes, it would be worth playing up the fact that it was Blair who said “hey, the UK should be a free-for-all as soon as possible.” Labour forewent the 7-year derogation that was available to us (which would merely have delayed the inevitable, but it’s better than nothing). Labour are as guilty as the current government in this crisis. And Dan Hannan had a point (despite being pounded for it at the time) – people in Britain feel as if they’re in a foreign land sometimes.

    As for Barroso lecturing Cameron on what Lady Thatcher would’ve though, laugh-my-ass-off! Wasn’t it Lady T who put the army on the border at one point? You’d have to fact-check that one. Of course she was for open markets and easier immigration – but FAIR immigration that’s in the national interest. And entirely common-sense position.

    • `David says:

      Yes our friends in USA are unlikely to form terror cells, sleepers who try to bomb, decapitate us. Yet they cannot get in. No one in unless they can sustain themselves for 5 years.

    • Roger Helmer says:

      Of course we know that Tony Blair hated the British Working Class, so he decided to import a new one of his own.

  5. Ex-expat Colin says:

    I have recently heard a couple of threats arising from this and BREXIT. One was about nailing the old ex-pats in the Southern states. No problem…sitting ducks and forgot where I heard it, BBC mouth leak I wonder?

    The second was last night (Ch4 News) and Bernard Jenkin fielding some frizzy haired EU dutch sounding female. Her hair reminded me of the electronic symbol for an inductor…loads of them.

    Now, she did not quite threaten but the pillars of EU membership would be broken she said, so you have to take all the lowly qualified. And of course you Brits have all those businesses in the EU states taking all that money. Ah yes…how many businesses would that be I wonder.

    Also slightly OT, UK (EU) seems to be shelving out an awful lot for Peugeot/Ford redundancies…a lot of redundancies:

    Thats all UKIP and other MEPs voting against, but as usual cannot win?

    Mr Farage gets his EU Group back on the rails it appears. How many more side swipes to come I wonder?

  6. Bellevue says:

    I read this morning in the Telegraph, that France are considering a law to keep out undesirables (starting with terrorists…….. but no doubt moving swiftly onto Roma etc) from the EU. How can they overcome this ‘free movement of peoples’, and we are told we cant?
    Oh yes, I forgot…… France can always break the rules if they dont suit them!
    What are your thoughts, Roger?
    ps. keep up the excellent work…..

  7. Mike Stallard says:

    First of all, I notice with regret that the UKIP group in the European Parliament has been liquidated. This will cost dearly in money, support people and credibility. Quite apart from which it will mean the end of all those very trenchant u tube uploads.
    Secondly, I want to say that Ukip will not win the General Election and, judging by the present state of the polls, will split the conservatives (of which I am one) right down the middle letting the Francophile Labour TU party in to wreak their damage just before the lights go out. Mr Cameron has made the appalling mistake, which now cannot be changed, of attacking Ukip when he should have been allying with it.
    Finally, I really do need to ask this terribly important question – the one which floored Alex Salmond: OK So you win. Then what? Nobody is answering this and on it depends all of our futures.

    • Flyinthesky says:

      The enduring question Mike, at what point do we actually start to vote for what we want as opposed to what we want to prevent. We’ve been doing this for decades now and look where it has us, right where we are right now.
      I too am a conservative, life long, but I no longer recognise the party with the namesake. I didn’t leave the party the party left me and every other conservative minded supporter.
      If we tactically vote for Cameron to avoid Milliband we give mandate and endorsement to Cameron to continue his policies. They are his policies not conservative and most of us disagree with them.
      The conservative party used to represent conservative values, the labour party the working class, the liberal democrats, well they should be prosecuted under the trades description act as they are niether. The only thing they all now represent is their own desire to gain or retain office, if you don’t like these principles we have others. The missing element is democracy which is only mentioned in the short run up to elections for percieved electoral advantage, post polling it returns to business as usual.
      The return of democracy and self determination is desired by most of us but within the constraints of eu membership that is an impossibility, the eu doesn’t do democracy. The only party that has the resolution of the eu situation as a core issue, despite what cameron tells us, his declared position is to remain in in it, is UKIP.
      The “only” possibility of a re negotiated settlement with the eu is from an out position, Cameron is despeately looking for minimums for placation to persuade us to remain in it.

    • Anne says:

      Firstly Mike, there is absolutely no point in voting for ANY OF THE THREE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES THAT WANT TO REMAIN IN THE EU-FOREVER. I have never been in ANY Political Party, although I used to vote for the Conservatives because of that truly GREAT Conservative-Winston Churchill, that took us safely through that World War-which we as a family were bombed out of our house and home, and my other half was fighting in the RAF.

      The only way this Country may get out of the EU and it must be by and through the General Election in 2015, for as you probably know, the EU has Directives all ready waiting for us and some are for 2020, 2030 and even a couple on the environment for 2050 which by taking more money off us will patch up the holes in the sky etc and all may be well. (How do they know that in 2050 what the Environmant will be like?)

      If you want to remain in the EU Mike, keep votong the way you are, if you want out, vote UKIP-and no! I am not in UKIP and never will be, but I want our Country to be GOVERNED by and through our own Common Law Constitution that so many gave THEIR Lives for in the 1939-1945 War-which I was indeed in.

  8. Jane Davies says:

    Why are all the dross of EU members flocking to the UK? Are they not also going to other member countries? If the UK is the target for all because of welfare payments then stop the welfare payments or am I being too simplistic? To enter Canada one has to have so many points and proof of secure finances or one is refused permission to stay. We would have to have lived here for ten years before being eligible for taxpayers hand outs.

    • Flyinthesky says:

      Yes Jane you are, Any eu citizen is entitled to the same benefit rules and structure as a UK national. Other member states impose different conditions on their own nationals.
      Now we jump to the seemingly logical position, let’s make our benefit system proportional to previous comtribution for our own nationals then we could apply the same rules to migrants and stay within eu directives thereby reducing the pull factor. All good, so far.
      Then we get to the problem, the benefit recipients form a not insignificant portion of the electorate. Any party that wishes to address this situation in this manner loses a large chunk of its’ voter base.
      We construced our benefit structure in the fairest, and politically, I hasten to add, expedient way. However fair and often over fair we have made our system the eu migrants have a legal right, via eu directives, to access it on the same terms.

  9. Jane Davies says:

    Thanks for that Colin. Jacob Rees-Mog, a typical plum in the mouth Tory. I don’t know anything about him but he comes across as the usual public school educated twerp. When asked about the UK keeping the pound and what that means he is lost for words. He is also banging on about renegotiation regarding open borders even though anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows this isn’t going to happen. At the end though he admitted that the UK is heading for the exit.

  10. Ex-expat Colin says:

    yes…such people never quite talk the talk and certainly never walk the walk. All to comfy no matter what happens.

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