03 April, 2012
See you again next week, Abdul?
And so it was that, feeling somewhat under the weather and lacking the energy for a damned good rant on the Interweb, I found myself watching re-runs of UK Border Force — a sort of soft porn for racists, some might say.
As well as this infamous caper, the investigation of which was actually filmed as an episode of the fly-on-the-wall doco, there was the usual crop of raids on business premises, searching for illegal employees. (You can get a steady if repetitive supply of local newspaper reports of such raids on MigrationWatch's news aggregation feed.)
In each of the two UKBF episodes I watched on this occasion, the immigration officers actually recognized individual illegal workers whom they had detained during previous raids on other premises. And, to their resigned frustration, they could do nothing about it.
Let's explain the drill here. If an illegal worker is discovered during a raid — clandestine entrant, failed asylum seeker, visa overstayer, breach of visa conditions, etc — they can be detained and deported.
Well, up to a point. They can be detained and deported, quite promptly, if they have suitable travel documents. Which usually means a valid passport. If they don't have such a document, and most of them take good care to ensure that they don't, then the UKBA must approach the distant country, assuming it can be identified, to obtain replacement papers. In the meantime, the illegal is released on immigration bail, with strict instructions that he is not allowed to work and that he must report in to UKBA every two weeks. So of course the miscreant simply disappears, moves to a new address in another town, gets a new cash-in-hand job with a businessman of his own ethnic community, and is never heard from again by the authorities.
So business-as-usual has the process become that illegals don't even bother relocating out of town; they just shift their sleeping arrangements if UKBA knows where they are living and then get a new dodgy job with another local employer.
So the only effective sanction and disincentive against illegal working is the fine which can be levied on the employer if he cannot show that he took reasonable steps to confirm his iffy employee's right to work when he took him on, proving in effect that he was conned by the employee. This fine is always quoted in news reports as a satisfyingly punitive £10,000 per undocumented employee. In fact this figure is a last-resort maximum and typical amounts are £2,000 to £5,000. Which is still a substantial punishment, assuming it is actually paid. I have read news reports of businessmen succesfully pleading poverty: "I cannot pay this, Sahib. My humble curry house which I have struggled so hard to establish will simply go out of business. My numerous relatives
Even if you don't lose track of the bailed illegals, getting the replacement travel documents from their home country seems to take a remarkably long time. In the case of some fly-blown, war-torn, fourth-world dump where the passport office is run as a business or as a sinecure by one the local dictator's extended family, this might be understandable, but many of the illegals come from emerging superpowers like China and India, where lead times of three to six months are less easy to explain away.
Mind you there is the matter of incentive, of course. Many illegal workers are returning small but steady flows of remittances to their home country. The longer they can continue to work in the UK, the better. Not that such tawdry considerations would hold any sway with the bureaucracies of the respectable middle-ranking emergent BRICS economies, I hasten to add.
It's a pantomime, isn't it? The authorities ritually harass the miscreants but are unable to take effective action. The criminals, for that is what they are, smile nicely, tug their forelocks respectfully and carry on as before.
The only effective course of action is to eliminate the economic benefit from illegal employment and from the employment of illegals. Fining the employers is a good start, in theory anyway. But clearly the disincentive is not powerful enough: undocumented workers continue to be employed. Well, which would you prefer, cash-in-hand no-rules workers from the old country at a pound an hour, or employing the local population at at least £6 an hour plus NI plus bureaucracy? Tempting enough to risk some nark grassing you up to the immigration once in a while, eh?
And there is no disincentive at all for the workers. A mild finger-wagging from the UKBA, then back to work next day.
Clearly the only way to discourage undocumented illegal workers is to take them out of economic circulation. Which means detaining them until their travel papers come through.
Of course, while we are waiting for our beloved leaders to demonstrate that they actually intend to fulfill their promises to control immigration, legal and otherwise, there is something that we ordinary citizens can do. How often have you seen some blowhard banging on about how something "ought to be done" about illegal immigration, just before he cheerfully pops into his local kebab emporium to hand over a couple of quid for a sliced-schoolgirl special with extra E. Coli sauce to some resentful dusky geezer whose English vocabulary is limited to number words and obscenities? Where does Mr If-I-Had-My-Way think the owner of this shop, and the owners of the dozen more like it between here and the cab office, get their revenue to pay Abdul the Comsumptive his 50p an hour?
Just sayin', is all.
But then the EU isn't out friend, so no surprise there.
The problem we have stems from simply having let everyone into the country in the first place. Once they set foot on UK soil -- however they arrived -- it seems remarkably hard to dislodge them. They appear to stick like glue on contact with these cold, damp islands.
Perhaps, as we now know we cannot do a single thing about these people once here, all we can do is to seal the borders against any more coming to be with them. While I am sorry that they may have fled a shithole of a country, I see no reason they should try to make this one the same as the one they left. Usually, incidentally, at our generous expense.
So, sealing the borders... In other words, Mr X turns up and plants himself illegally here, but the error would be allowing the rest of his tribe (and they are all 'cousins' apparently) in to join him. He may be lonely without his four wives and thirty two offspring and all the associated in-laws, but there you go. That was the price for coming here uninvited.
Britain ought to be the bastard that you really don't want to flee to. So why not, Mr X, stay and make your own country better? Your tribe will be sure to help and I am of course your representatives in your own parliament will be eager too, as well as all those religious leaders you have.
Otherwise we may have to go down the road of having some sort of identity card system for us all. yes, i was dead against the idea but if it keeps the rabble out, or allows us to move the rabble back where it came from, then we have to do it.
As soon as it is shown they have not legal reasons to be here, off they go. I am sure HM Government could find the money for the one-way air fares for them to return. They can go and tell people that yes, it was great at first with all the free money but once that dried up and they were rumbled, well, the UK turned out to be a pretty shitty place after all.
Sorry, but there you go.
Open transit camps for illegals caught on our territory. Someplace remote, so they know they will never rejoin the rest of the population, so they may as well fess up to their true identity and nationality. Use military transport aircraft and military airfields for repatriation flights.
Increase penalties for those who marry, employ, or provide accomodation to illegals. Including custodial sentences, and confiscation of assets to defray repatriation costs.
Restrict legal aid to UK citizens only.
Restrict asylum applications to those applying at an embassy outside of our territory.
1) (reasonably) overt legislation and operation : for example back in 1988 or whenever I got my initial training, there already was a benefits allowance made for 'wives of polygamous marriages'. i.e. if your religion or 'kultcha' allows for more than one wife per beard, old Jonhny Taxpayer UK is presumed to be happy to stump up to keep them all in burqas and babies.
2) less overt:- eg., The good ol' 'Right of Reunion' aka Chain Migration. A massive driver, this : once you become a UK citizen, you can then apply to be 'reunited' with your family (ie, THEY can come over HERE). Once they are over here and become UK cits, the RoR then applies to them, etc etc ad infinitum. This is a very simplistic explanation, BTW; google it if you want more info.
3)The culture of the administering organisations: the prevailing ethos across ALL public sector orgs is of the lefty type, and there is a very strong and active executive drive to upport this: eg, plenty of sacked BNP dustmen, teachers etc. Furthermore, recruitment policies are strongly 'positive discrimination' which is leading to an over-representation of ethnic minorities at all levels. This can manifest in such things as a kind of invulnerability to criticism or challenge (look at what Dizae got away with in the Met before he was sacked), and an ethno-centrist nepotism, favouritism, protectionism etc etc. Also, there is a an unspoken assumption that ethnic group 'A' customers need dealing with by ethnic group 'A' employees: therefore establishments in areas of high ethnic minority populations are staffed almost entirely by a similar ethnic group. This can create 'conflicts of loyalty'. and perpetration or cover up of fraud. Some of these establishments operate more or less independantly of the parent body.
The main point is that these sectors are where the levers of power (at least as far as the actual administration of policy goes) are located: the places where legislation can be, in practice, administered more or less severely; in general, or in specific and particular cases. It is also the place where most of the taxpayers money is shovelled into the furnaces.
I've seen things that would make your hair curl; I've witnessed the implementaion of policies that amount to department-wide collusion with fraud (essentially a 'don't ask/don't tell' omerta, the willy-nilly funding of groups whose interests and loyalties are, at best, of doubtful benefit to the majority of the population, and a general irresponsible disbursement of public funds on a HUGE scale with only a notional attempt at audit or investigation to due entitlement. The scale is COLOSSAL. I realise that using caps makes me sound like a loon but, honestly, if we were disussing this in a pub, I'd be making windmilling gestures with my arms to impress upon you the magnitude of the amount of cash that goes down the sinkhole of public administration.
Rant over. Off down the pub to wave my arms about.