09 April, 2010
A very flexible ideology
“It's not racist to recognise that so many people coming to the borough puts incredible pressure on housing and health.So much so business-as-usual. But it's the second paragraph which draws my eye: the benefits of multiculturalism and cheap labour. Now Billy is most decidedly a man of the Left, and yet here he is extolling the virtues of cheap labour, which in the case of our immigrant "communities", legal and illegal, often means employment at exploitatively low rates of pay frequently — through the effects of one scam or another — well below the legal minimum.
[“]Everyone else in London benefits from multiculturalism and cheap labour but places like Barking and Dagenham suffer as a result.
“The answer isn't to round these people up and send them back. But there on our doorstep inequality has thrown up this situation that can be exploited by the fascists. It's going to be a fight for the soul of the English people.”
But that doesn't matter to our Billy, or to any of his fellow travellers. The enthusiasm of the pro-immigration Left for an unrestrained free international market in labour is an astounding piece of doublethink which, considered as a phenomenon in its own right, is really quite impressive. Don't worry about the resident working population — indigenous or settled migrant — who are being undercut to the point where they cannot afford to work, they're only undeserving chav slobs, most of them White bastards as well. Just bring in loads of Darkies and Polaks, preferably the former who usually have no legal right to work and so can be intimidated and underpaid. I mean, give 'em a floor to sleep on and a bowl of left-over rice a day and they'll still have something left from the pittance you actually do pay them to send a little home to their families in remittance.
So everybody benefits, eh? Well I don't for a start, as someone who actually pays taxes in this country and is paying towards the unemployment and disability benefits that sustain the indigenous unemployed. You, Billy Boy, and the employers may be benefiting from the cheap labour, but the true cost of that labour is the immigrant worker's pleasingly low wage plus the cost of maintaining the native worker he displaces.
And that's quite apart from the dubious morality and social justice of your position.
There was a piece in the Guardian about five or six years ago which illustrates the hypocrisy of the pro-immigrant middle-class Left nicely. I wish I could find it again in the on-line archive; it's probably still there but I've never been able to frame precise enough search terms to retrieve it. The writer was extolling the manifold virtues of diverse Tottenham. The writer describes with a glow of self-satisfaction how he would tour the streets of Tottenham early in the morning, where he would see groups of illegal foreign workers standing at street corners in the hope of being picked up for a day's cash-in-hand casual labour. He waxed lyrical about the joys of hiring an East European builder for £25 a day (or whatever). This was around the time of the accession of the Eastern European A8 to the EU, or shortly before, so the work status of the many Eastern European workers even then present in London was perhaps dubious.
[Update 13 April: The Guardian link referred to above is here. Thanks to Cheapside in the comments. The author of the 2003 piece, Steve Pope, is if anything even more patronizingly hypocritical than I remembered him to be. I can just imagine this geezer in an earlier era going round handing out sixpences to forelock-tugging proles while basking in the warm glow of his own liberal munificence.]
The penny is finally dropping, I think...