Tories’ latest ‘divide and rule’ policy rekindles immigration row

161005-times-firms-must-list-foreign-workers

What a shame nobody seems to have noticed the article This Blog published on the real reasons for anti-immigrant sentiment, last Saturday (October 1).

Its point was that UK citizens resent foreign nationals who come to the UK to work, because they have been taught that the incomers will use up the scant social resources left to this country. The elephant in the room is the fact that those resources are being rationed by the Conservative Government – they call it “austerity” – in order to keep the money that would have funded it for themselves.

The by-product of this is that poor people – the Tories make no distinction between UK and foreign nationals who don’t have much money – fight among themselves for the scraps.

The latest policy, outlined by new Home Secretary Amber Rudd in her Tory conference speech, is intended to worsen relations between UK citizens and immigrants.

Look at the language used in the Times article. The plan is to “shame” bosses who employ immigrants instead of the British, and there are plans to “target” students from outside the EU as well.

The Tories seem to be deliberately failing to mention – in this and Jeremy Hunt’s recently-announced plan to increase training of NHS doctors by 25 per cent – that the UK currently needs immigration in order to function.

George Orwell had it right, no less than 70 years ago, in 1946:

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We still have a serious labour shortage; the baby-boomers have all retired now, and the indigenous population of the UK is falling. That means the working population cannot support – with its taxes – those who have earned a comfortable retirement.

Nobody explains this to the public so we still, 70 years later, have people who believe foreign workers undercut their wages and that the UK is overpopulated and this causes unemployment. It is believed that this is the main reason a majority of UK voters said the country should leave the EU – concern about immigration, not the numbers themselves.

Most Tories like it that way, which is why no effort is being made to raise the general level of political understanding as Orwell suggests; an educated working class is a threat to their dominance.

Unfortunately, it seems they are in tune with somebody in the Labour Party press office, who either didn’t see the memo that Jeremy Corbyn opposes restrictions on immigration – for precisely the reasons outlined above. Cutting the number of migrant workers would crash the UK economy.

Nevertheless the Labour press office sent out this infographic, attacking the Tories for failing to cut immigration:

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It is symbolic of the wrong kind of thinking – that Labour must oppose everything the Tories do, in the most basic, binary way, when an intelligent response, suggesting plausible alternatives, would be much better.

With Labour going off-message – due to yet another sabotage attempt by an anti-Corbyn agent, perhaps? – opposition to the new policy has come from the businesses affected, leader Ms Rudd to protest, “Don’t call me a racist”; and from Anna Soubry, of all people.

Sadly, both responses play right into the hands of those who devised the policy. If businesses are calling Ms Rudd a racist, then they are drawing dividing lines; and Ms Soubry attacks what she called the “hypocrisy” of ordinary people who say they want their country back: “Some of these people are the ones who say: ‘I don’t like all that foreign muck, what are we having for tea tonight? Chicken tikka masala’ and then go off for an Italian, but then say: ‘We don’t want all these foreigners’.”

And there is a more sinister aspect to this.

In an atmosphere of xenophobia and distrust of both immigrant workers and those who employ them, any firm that admits it employs foreign nationals – even if the business depends on them for very specific reasons that mean their work cannot be done by homegrown talent – that firm becomes a target for abuse, racist or otherwise.

We are already seeing people with disabilities being asked to differentiate themselves from others – by wearing a badge on the London Underground, for example (how’s that scheme going, by the way?) – in a manner that has disturbing echoes of Germany in the 1930s.

One well-known member of the Twittersphere made this very point: “Coming soon, mandatory armbands and stars on coats.”

The foreigner, the sick and disabled… the other. UK government policy is now to single out anybody who isn’t “one of us” (for want of a better phrase) and then vilify them, ostracise them, drive them out (and possibly to their deaths in the case of the sick and disabled).

All this on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, when good people stood up against the British Union of Fascists – who held the same beliefs.

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7 thoughts on “Tories’ latest ‘divide and rule’ policy rekindles immigration row

  1. Martin Odoni

    One small note of caution; the overall population of the UK today *is* genuinely quite a lot larger than in the late-1940’s. When Orwell was writing it was below 50 million, today it is nearing 65 million. Best as I can tell, that is a good thing for now, but if it gets above,say, 70 million, the surging energy requirements of such a country would become a problem.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The increased population – especially the fact that so many are pensioners – supports what Orwell was saying, which is that the nation cannot support itself with only indigenous workers.
      You are right that there are limits. As I was writing this, my own question was how the population can possibly reduce to a level where migrant workers become unnecessary. The only solution I could imagine was a little too “final” for my taste – ensure that senior citizens die out faster. Still, that is the path the Conservatives seem to be following, with the increase in the pension age and possible plans to target pensioners for cuts.

      1. Daniel

        In addition, quoting totals is another tactic that turns people against immigration. While Martin is correct that high populations might cause issues with energy requirements, but it’s more complex than that. In the UK, for example, the population density (and hence, energy requirements) are high in the South East, but Scotland have a low population density, and would benefit greatly from increased immigration. However, Government investment vastly favours the South East of England, which means more jobs and hence more immigration to this area, and rather than directing investment to areas which need it, the Government (and media) ignore wisdom and focus efforts (and concerns) on the high population South East.

        One wonders if the other policy the Tories have stolen from Corbyn/McDonnell (namely, the migration impact fund) will be sufficient to address this imbalance? I seriously doubt it, but shall wait and see!

      2. Florence

        But they are already hastening the deaths of millions of the over-60’s. Those who will never ever get to claim a state pension – the Waspis and men over 60 – will also fail to qualify for the “pass-ported” benefits of pension credit and winter fuel payments, among others. They are already subject to the bedroom tax, causing hardship and death among the poor and disabled, and it is now being rolled out to the actual pensioners, (along with sanctions and conditionality for families, the elderly, the unemployed, the employed and the sick/disabled). This will add on up to a million who may already be struggling with the heat or eat level of poverty, and tip many onto destitution.

        The excess mortality rate is now climbing to tens of thousands every year, who would not have died under the welfare system in place in 2010 and the deaths are extending into younger age groups too, and a wider range of causes that are indicative of poverty, So the death rate will increase, and yes, it is planned. (If not, why is there no apparent recognition of the problems and steps taken to relive the poverty and suffering? )

        While there is a “fact” that there were no impact assessments performed on the welfare reforms, which the UN and other bodies are now identifying as significant in increasing suffering, I refuse to accept that. This has been too carefully implemented and orchestrated by the Nudge Unit propagandists to lull the Establishment back to it’s semi-comatose state, fed on the fat of the land.They knew exactly what the outcomes have been, and will continue to be.780 deaths last year (recorded) as due to malnutrition or starvation, and millions who have been hungry for years will slip into this death march in the name of austerity. That is the “price worth paying” for the rich to have money to hoard off shore, who will never actually have to co-exist with the poor.

        The poor of all ages will be left with nothing to lose, and direct action will be the only political representation, to be followed by swift retribution and punishment. If the right wing & establishment would allow the Corbyn-led Labour party just an inch, they could save a lot.” A plague on all their houses”.

        (BTW that last phrase is not a threat or abuse or any other imagined slight for those tender souls for whom a flying brick in the same postcode is too much to bear.)

  2. NMac

    Divide and Rule has always been the Tory way, and unfortunately it almost always works, but never have I seen such nasty and narrow- minded, bigoted people as those who have, probably fraudulently, inveigled their way into power over the last decade.

    1. Chris

      From what I am hearing divide and rule is not working anymore, many are shocked by what the Torys are saying even Tory voters dont like this

  3. Jenny Hambidge

    In a Panorama programme about diabetes on Monday not only was Type 2 diabetes portrayed a wholly preventable disease brought about by bad lifestyle and diet, ( blame the patient, not the government which kow tows to the food industry ) but was also stated a statistic about the high rates of Diabetes of people from and in the Indian subcontinent. Went on to focus on a young lad from Pakinstani/ muslim/British background and his struggles with early onset Type 2 diabetes using up our precious NHS resources. Racism is everywhere

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