Category Archives: Immigration

A teenager DIED on the Channel and racists are revelling in it. Is this how we want the world to see us?

Blameshift: rather than accept the UK’s part in the deaths of asylum-seekers crossing the Channel, Priti Patel tried to blame people smugglers who are unlikely to have been involved. The “UKaid” sign in the background is ironic in this context.

Yes, people in other countries see us as xenophobes and racists.

A Sudanese 16-year-old was apparently trying to cross from France in an inflatable dinghy when he accidentally punctured it with a shovel he was using as an oar.

His body was found on the shore at Calais.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the death of the young migrant was a “brutal reminder” that people smugglers exploit the vulnerable.

But there is no evidence that people smugglers were involved. The Home Office has refused to comment on the death.

Oh, and there’s also this:

Indeed, as Kent Refugee Action Network Pointed out, reports the boy had pushed off in a makeshift boat made it “likely that people smugglers weren’t even involved”.

The organisation demanded that Patel “turn her attention immediately to creating safe and legal routes so that no on else suffers the same fate”.

Fat chance – she’s playing up to the racists.

Apparently they’ve been making jokes about it…

… when they’re not actively attacking people who actually made it across:

The worst of it is that the rest of the world seems to believe that the racists represent the view of the UK’s population as a whole.

Consider what French politician Pierre-Henri Dumont said: “How many more tragedies does it need for the British to find an ounce of humanity?”

While also criticising his own government, he said the problem was that people were not allowed to claim asylum in the UK without actually being in the country. That’s what forces them to risk these dangerous crossings.

Sadly, this was just the latest in a long serious of deaths, as this list by The Guardian makes clear:

A significant number of people have died after being hit by cars in northern France as they made their way on foot to reach beaches or ports along the coast, and others have drowned in the Channel, suffocated in lorries or been hit by trains.

23 October 2019 Thirty-nine Vietnamese men, women and teenagers were found dead in a truck in Essex, England. The trailer had been shipped from the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, to Purfleet docks.

14 October 2019 A 17-year-old Iraqi Kurd and a 22-year-old man, also Iraqi, were discovered dead on a beach in Le Touquet, northern France.

26 August 2019 The body of Masoud Niknam, 47, was found off the coast of Zeebrugge, Belgium. He was wearing flippers, two pairs of jeans to protect him from the cold, and a lifejacket made from netting and empty plastic bottles.

9 August 2019 Mitra Mehrad, 31, an Iranian woman, fell from a dinghy off the coast of Kent and her body was found in Dutch waters.

8 March 2019 A 19-year-old Ethiopian boy named Kiyar was found dead in a lorry at Calais, having tried to reach the UK where he had extended family.

18 November 2018 Mahammat Abdullah Moussa, 25, a Chad national, was discovered dead under a bus by French police at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, Kent.

30 September 2015 Berihu, a 23-year-old man from Eritrea, was run over by a train in the Eurotunnel.

17 September 2015 A Syrian man in his 20s was electrocuted while trying to climb on to a Eurotunnel freight train to England. He was found on the train’s roof after being shocked by overhead power lines near the French entrance.

No doubt that list gives joy to supporters of Ms Patel.

For the rest of us it is a catalogue of shame.

Source: Channel crossings: Body of teenage migrant found on French beach – BBC News

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Lower than sewage: liar Johnson is still making poorest NHS workers pay ‘immigrant surcharge’

Cleaning up: people who can least afford it are being charged for NHS treatment, despite being the ones who keep hospital beds clean and equipment available.

Could there be a better demonstration of what a detestable liar Boris Johnson is?

He said his government would end a £624 “surcharge” it demanded from immigrant NHS workers for their own healthcare treatment. He lied.

In fact, the charge has continued to be applied – to the poorest workers; those least able to afford it.

The fee is still levied on staff who take a different job within six months – lower-paid cleaners, porters and carers, especially those on the zero-hours contracts the Tories have been keen to force into the workplace.

Perhaps most damning of all is the fact that ministers have had to cheek to suggest that these staff – who are on the lowest pay possible – need an “incentive” to continue working.

Typical Tory thinking – Johnson reckons everybody is as lazy as he is!

In fact, people on low incomes – especially those on zero-hours contracts – already have an incentive to work. It’s called “survival”.

Apart from a tiny minority for whom a zero-hours contract works because it fits into their own lifestyle – people who already have enough money to live on – nobody would take up such a job if it wasn’t the best they could get.

Zero-hours jobs offer no sick pay or holiday pay; and the wages are the lowest employers can get away with offering.

And, of course, they are designed to facilitate termination on short notice.

So we see a situation in which Boris Johnson claimed he was ending an unfair charge on people who have worked tirelessly to save us all from Covid-19…

… when instead he was continuing to inflict it on the people who most deserved to have it lifted.

Remember when Nye Bevan said Tories were lower than vermin?

If he were around today, no doubt he would admit that he overpraised them.

I feel sure he would agree with me that Johnson is lower than sewage.

Source: Boris Johnson accused of ‘cynical broken promise’ as some foreign NHS and care staff still pay surcharge | The Independent

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What will you say when they ask what you did in the class war?


I seem to have hit a nerve when I said the Tories are waging a class war on anyone who isn’t filthy rich.

In fact, two Vox Political articles touched on this class war – the first implied it, the second made it explicit.

Today I opened Twitter to discover those words all over the place:

I’m not claiming credit for calling a thing by its name – this is “multiple discovery”, “simultaneous invention”, “synchronicity” or, if you like, an expression of the “zeitgeist”. More and more people are simply coming to realise, understand and accept that it is the policy of the UK’s Conservative government to push them down unfairly.

That is what the decision – and it was a decision, deliberately made – to punish ‘A’ level pupils who weren’t from private schools was all about. Yes, Gavin Williamson and the other Tories are saying it was down to a mechanical system, an algorithm – but that algorithm was written by a human being who intended it to give an advantage to the children of very rich people.

In this way, the Tory class war has stolen your children’s futures and given them to the undeserving rich.

It’s what the decision  – and it was a decision, deliberately made – not to fight Covid-19 in any meaningful way was all about. Tens of thousands of people in care homes have died – your relatives, maybe – because Matt Hancock and the other Tories said people with Covid-19 who lived in those homes should be sent back to them – never mind the fact that they did not have isolation facilities and the virus would run through those places like wildfire and be transferred to others by part-time staff who worked in different homes run by the same – private – firm.

The Tories – and their private business collaborators – failed to source personal protective equipment, ventilators, tests and the facilities to carry out tests. The lockdown they imposed was half-hearted and failed to stop the progress of the disease. Now that they have lifted it, albeit with a few measures still in place, more people are contracting the virus again. So they have stopped reporting the daily number of infections.

And the Tories have rewarded their private business collaborators for their failures with hugely expensive contracts to continue failing us – all at the public expense. Serco’s test and trace contract has been renewed, even though we know it won’t stop any second wave (really just a resurgence of the first wave that was suppressed but never went away).

You won’t get justice against the Tories by the normal means available to civil society because the Tories have either corrupted them already or are in the process of doing so. Boris Johnson illegally terminated Parliament’s last session in the autumn of 2019 and what was the result? He called a general election, lied to us until he was purple in the face and was rewarded with an 80-seat Parliamentary majority.

Now he is using that power to ensure that the courts will not be able to stop any more of his corruption by planning a curb on judicial review of government activity. He is imposing a dictatorship – just as he told you he would, if you could have been bothered to read page 48 of his election manifesto.

The police won’t help. Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, Gavin Williamson and the others are all above the law – no matter what they do. Try reporting a cabinet minister for a crime and see how far you get. They’ll tell you they’re treating it seriously, bounce the accusation around a few different departments and then say there’s no evidence. I’ve been there.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died already because it is Tory policy to kill claimants of sickness or disability claimants, who they consider to be “useless eaters”. That’s why the newspapers have been full of reports showing people with long-term illnesses and disabilities starving to death.

They wanted your homes so they imposed the Bedroom Tax and took them away from you.

The list goes on and on.

And still, too many people think they are the best choice to run the UK – even though the economy is in its deepest recession ever, and Brexit means it may never recover. You will suffer – they won’t. They have been stockpiling your cash and will simply use it to sit out any unpleasantness in the future.

But I feel sure a tipping-point will come – a flashpoint. I wonder how much we will all have to lose before that happens. I’m guessing it’ll be pretty much everything.

By then, many people may think there is nothing they can do. I am reminded yet again of Martin Niemoller’s poem about how the Nazis came for different groups who received no help from anybody else until, by the time they come for the author, there was nobody even left for him to ask.

But I am reminded of another group who were put in a similar position. When I visited Bosnia in the 1990s, I was told how – when the tanks from other countries moved in – the people, who were weaponless, left their homes and went up into the hills. They came back at night, when they took weapons – and lives – from the soldiers who had taken everything from them. And slowly, they took back their land from their oppressors.

I can see that happening here in the future.

I would rather it didn’t.

But it will, if people of good conscience don’t wake up, get up and put up a fight.

Keir Starmer won’t do it. He agrees with the Tories. That’s why he’s busy turning the Labour Party into Tory Lite Mk II (New Labour was Mk I) and accusing anybody who disagrees with him of anti-Semitism.

If you don’t want this to fall into violence, then you need to think what else you can do.

The ‘A’ level fiasco creates opportunities. Already some further education institutions have said they will take students who were downgraded, on the basis of their predicted results. Some haven’t. Clearly we should take note of the side that each University, each college, takes. Those who do the right thing should be rewarded in whatever ways we can. Those who do not should be shunned – meaning not only that we should not even try to send our children there, but that we should reject their graduates when they seek employment with our businesses. We know they won’t be any damn good anyway.

And employers who turn down applicants on the basis of the Tory algorithm’s discredited results should also be named, so we can stop buying their products.

That’s the best – non-violent – response I can conceive on the spur of the moment, and these things need to start happening now.

We’d better get to it, if we don’t want to roll over and die. And yes, that means you.

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Ice Cream giants take on Priti Patel over refugees. But are their motives really so pure?

Yes, it’s great fun watching Priti Patel losing whatever’s left of her sanity shouting at Ben & Jerry’s.

The ice cream manufacturer took a side in the debate over asylum-seekers taking to boats in attempts to get into the UK:

And Patel ill-advisedly responded:

It seems the company has a history of political activism, and recently made quite a hit by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

But a lot of political commentators should have done a bit of research before voicing wholehearted praise for the purveyors of ‘cookie dough’ ice cream (my personal favourite, although I have to try to source it from other makers now).

Steve Topple, of The Canary is the only journo (I’ve seen) who actually understood what’s going on:

That’s exactly what this is.

It is impossible for me to support Ben & Jerry’s making a stand in support of refugees because Ben & Jerry’s has a factory on a former Palestinian village of Qastina, that was destroyed by Israeli troops in 1948. When that land was stolen, it undoubtedly turned a lot of people into refugees. Yes, it was a long time ago but I hope nobody is stupid enough to try to make a point out of that.

Ben & Jerry’s also sells into illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – land that has been occupied by the use of armed force, its rightful owners displaced.

It is unacceptable for a firm that is complicit in the creation of so many Palestinian refugees to claim the moral high ground over the issue of refugees coming to the UK – much though This Writer would wish the opposite to be the case when the other disputant is Ms Patel.

Still, we can always enjoy the fact that she’s #ShoutingAtIceCream – just for the absurdity of it:

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The Tories crippled their own border controls. Don’t let them use their own stupidity to boost racism

Tories like scapegoating immigrants – and have been doing it for decades: the current fad is for claiming illegal immigration feeds modern slavery, but the underlying threat has always been that Johnny Foreigner is taking your job. It’s an old con.

This Tory hypocrisy is a little too rich for our taste.

Boris Johnson’s government is whipping up jingoism against refugees secretly crossing the Channel to get into the UK:

It seems ministers have conveniently forgotten that successive Tory governments were responsible for stripping the country of its ability to catch the people-smugglers.

Former prime minister Theresa May, during her term as Home Secretary, spent years cutting Border Force, the organisation that – we’re told – protects our borders.

I published this story in 2014 and matters have only become worse.

If it can’t manage now – and the Tories have had to appeal to the Navy for help – that’s their fault and they should own up to it.

Instead, they’re trying to turn their latest fiasco into a crusade against Johnny Foreigner sneaking onto our shores and boosting modern slavery.

How utterly vile.

I accept that it is perfectly understandable to want to keep unmonitored people out of the UK during a time of international contagion.

However:

The issue is why these people want to come to the UK at all. If we really wanted to stop them, we need to help end their reasons for leaving their own homelands.

(Obviously, making the UK an unattractive destination has failed as a strategy.)

My guess is, these people are running away from wars, and the fallout from wars, that the UK helped start under recent Tory governments.

So whichever way you turn, the finger of blame points at the Conservatives.

It leads me to ask whether this is an attempt at distraction – and if so, I’m wondering what’s so bad that the Tories are happy to expose themselves to ridicule, simply to divert attention away from it.

Source: Home Office seeks military help over migrant crossings – BBC News

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Hypocrite Theresa May pretends she’s not a racist – but we must judge her by her actions

Theresa May: the image offers a good sense of where she belongs.

Some of you are going to find this hard to take.

Watch this, if you have the stomach for it:

You’re probably thinking of the Windrush scandal, that demonstrated ample evidence that this two-faced Tory had no interest in the well-being of anybody black.

But I want to take you back further than that, to an incident that shows she cannot claim any moral authority on the well-being of any ethnic minority.

I refer, of course, to the scandal of Theresa May’s so-called “racist vans”. I wrote an article about it entitled Xenophobia, in which I stated:

“Those of us who are lucky enough not to live in London have yet to see the amazing advertising vans that have been conveying instructions to Conservative-leaning voters, to treat with hatred, suspicion and contempt anybody who is not a white, Anglo-Saxon protestant.

“It seems clear that these vehicles are intended to promote racism and heighten racial tension, setting British citizens against each other – because the aim is to encourage the suspicion that another person may be an illegal immigrant – in the same way Coalition policy on social security set citizens against each other by pretending it was commonplace for individuals to receive more in benefits than in paid work.

“According to the Public Order Act 1986, it is an offence for a person to publish threatening, abusive or insulting material if this is intended to stir up hatred against any group in the UK, defined by reference to colour, race, nationality, citizenship or ethnic or national origins, or if it is likely to stir up hatred with regard to all the circumstances.

“The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 added an offence of intentional harassment – that it is an offence to use threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour, intending to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress. There is a defence that the conduct of the accused was reasonable. This Act was introduced by Michael Howard, who spoke in favour of the advertising vans on the BBC’s Any Questions on Friday.

“The Unite union has been seeking legal advice about whether the Home Office-sponsored vans – running a week-long ‘pilot’ scheme that could be expanded to the entire country – incited racial hatred, which implies that their message was intended for domestic consumption, rather than for the benefit (sorry) of illegal aliens.

“The message on the vans reads as follows: “In the UK illegally? GO HOME OR FACE ARREST. Text HOME to [a number] for free advice and help with travel documents.”

“A stamp in the top-right corner reads: “106 arrests last week in your area.”

“The Home Office Twitter account spent the week-long pilot period tweeting messages about the number of illegal immigrants it wished to claim had been detected or turned themselves in – and even transmitted photographs of suspects in a move that is certain to undermine claims that it was not trying to incite hatred.

“And spot-checks have been taking place at railway stations, where people who were notably not white were stopped, apparently at random, by immigration officers wearing stab vests who demanded to see identification proving they were in the UK legally. It seems they became unreasonably aggressive when asked what right they had to behave like this without direct cause for suspicion.

“Immigration minister Mark Harper has rejected claims that people were targeted because of their race, confirming that the law demands that officers need reason to believe an offence had been committed before stopping anybody.

“He said the street operations “involved immigration officers talking to people in the local area and, where there was a reason to do so, asking questions in relation to immigration status”. Are we to take it, then, that his underlings were inviting local people to act as informants, ‘dobbing in’ people they suspected (or possibly, simply didn’t like and wanted to put into trouble)?

“Harper’s argument was severely undermined when he admitted he could not reveal the different ethnicities of the people who were stopped, and their numbers, because it is not recorded – officials were told to take down only the names, dates of birth and nationalities of people they stopped.”

“I fundamentally believe that you should not be stopped on the streets of our country simply because of the colour of your skin,” said May, on July 9.

But seven years ago, officials were stopping people on the streets of our country precisely because of the colour of their skin – on her orders.

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Patel’s Orwellian newspeak only highlights the Immigration Bill’s Tory racism

Smug: Priti Patel’s parents arrived in the UK when the country had a working immigration policy; under her new Bill, they would never have got in – because they’re foreign, don’t y’know?

“We’re ending free movement to open Britain up to the world”?

What utter, dribbling, gibbering stupidity!

Priti Patel means: “We’re closing the UK to anybody who isn’t rich.”

Skills don’t come into it.

That’s what the minimum income demand means.

An individual’s value to society won’t matter.

Just ask BAME workers at the NHS.

And it’s bare-faced hypocrisy from Patel, a daughter of immigrants:

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1262459642514456578

Of course the Tories are already victimising migrant workers in the UK – they charge such workers £624 to use the NHS, even if they work for the NHS! Seriously!

 

Perhaps an effective way to present the message would be to show how Ms Patel’s message would come across if it was transferred to one of her other responsibilities:

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Patel’s policies would deport her own mother. Why believe her when she says Johnson isn’t racist?

Priti Patel: there will be no aid in the UK for people of colour while she is Home Secretary, it seems – unless they’re rich.

Is Priti Patel a person of colour who hates her own race?

The evidence seems to indicate this.

Consider the reaction to rapper Dave’s decision to change the lyrics to his song Black at the Brit Awards. He sang – well, hear for yourself what he sang:

Some commentators – like those at Spiked – criticised the performance, but were shot down by others. Look at this from Twitter:

And some, like LBC’s James O’Brien, considered it to be a diversion from the debate about Dave’s subject matter – racism in the Tory government – because it gave people an opportunity to talk about Dave instead:

Fortunately Ms Patel was on hand to drag the discuss right back to the fact that her government – and indeed her own actions – are as racist as the prime minister himself.

The Home Secretary, who recently tried to deport 50 people (and succeeded in removing 17) based on spurious claims that they were criminals (all had already paid their debt to society; their only crime, it seemed, was that they are not white), defended Mr Johnson:

“I work with the prime minister, I know Boris Johnson very well, no way is he a racist, so I think that is a completely wrong comment and it’s the wrong assertion to make against our prime minister.”

But Ms Patel went on to unveil another racist policy on the same day.

The plan is to refuse entry to the UK for any EU immigrants who aren’t coming to a job that pays at least £25,600. This means so-called “low-skilled” people will no longer be allowed into the country.

Critics have already attacked that equation of low pay with low skill – and This Writer can certainly support them in that. I never had a job that paid £25,600 in all the time I was employed by various newspaper firms and I’m sure most reporters still don’t receive that much.

Worse still, for Ms Patel, is the fact that – under these proposals – her own parents would have been refused access to the UK and she would never have been able to join the Conservatives to become the Home Secretary proposing them.

She had to concede the point in an interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari. As it happens, I have also been interviewed by Ferrari. He was attacking me over lies that had been printed about me, so I was able to point out that the claims were false.

Ms Patel was not in the same position and had to admit that he was right. And look how she justified it:

“The policies are changing. This is the point. We are changing our immigration policy to one that’s fit for purpose for our economy, based on skills.”

But she isn’t.

As already stated, there are plenty of high-skilled people on low wages. There also happen to be plenty of complete numbskulls on astronomically high pay – racist Ms Patel and her racist prime minister are two of them.

She tried to point out that her parents came to the UK because they were fleeing Idi Amin’s mass expulsion of Ugandan Asians in 1972, and said they would have been allowed entry as refugees.

But it seems she was lying: it seems her parents arrived in the UK in the 1960s. She herself was born in London in 1972, which suggests that her parents’ immigration into the UK was nothing to do with Amin’s persecution.

Also:

The UK’s current Tory government has also sent refugees back to their countries of origin, where some have faced persecution and even death.

So the evidence seems clear.

Who, then, will believe a word when a racist defends a racist?

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Tories create sweatshop Britain with zero-hours increase and immigration cut

Sports Direct was roundly criticised for its use of zero-hours contracts. Employers often plead poverty but aren’t these chains big enough to provide proper jobs?

It seems the Tories have succeeded in their long-term plan to ensure that working people are forever living in fear, by making their employment so insecure, and the benefit system so draconian, that they must take any work they are offered, no matter how low-paid.

This seems to be the fact at the heart of this week’s revelations that, although employment figures remain high, the number of people on zero-hours contracts – and therefore unsure that they will be needed for work, let alone paid, is at an all-time high.

It seems 970,000 people are now on zero-hour contracts – that’s an increase of 74,000 in just three months.

They don’t get sick pay or holiday pay.

They can never be sure they will be able to feed their children or pay the bills.

And they can’t just sign onto benefits in between bouts of work because there’s a five-week wait for Universal Credit and any work done may disqualify them.

Peter Stefanovic lays it all out here:

And now we learn that “low-skilled” (by which I think she means “low-paid”) immigrants will be banned from entering the UK by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

This means working people already resident in the UK will be expected to take up the slack, taking part in seasonal work like picking fruit and vegetables and being cast aside after that work is done.

Ms Patel reckons the UK’s eigh million “economically inactive” people can be pressganged into doing this work.

Both statistics quoted by Donwyn here are more or less correct.

But “economically inactive” doesn’t mean “unemployed and seeking work“, and that’s an important difference.

These are people who don’t need to work – so why should they lift a finger to fill gaps in the employment market now?

Of course, employers may find that there simply aren’t enough “low-skilled” workers to go around, on the low pay that they offer.

The excuse for low pay has always been that it was all the employers could afford.

If they start going out of business, I suppose we’ll know the truth of it.

Personally, I think working people will be expected to take on two or three jobs at a time in order to make ends meet.

It’s the ‘sweatshop Britain’ that Margaret Thatcher always wanted.

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War on the vulnerable: Surge in EU citizens unfairly refused access to universal credit

Hostile environment: Nigel Farage had a poster created, stirring up hatred against immigrants. He was only tapping into government policy since 2010, when the current ‘hostile environment’ policy was launched by the Conservatives.

Did you know that 16 million apples have rotted away this year because the migrant workers from the EU who used to come and pick them haven’t bothered to turn up?

The reason? Well, it might be Brexit – but it’s more likely to be because they can’t get Universal Credit because of the Tories’ “hostile environment” policy.

The issue was raised in Prime Minister’s Questions today (October 23) by Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds. He said: “The National Farmers Union reported this week that 16 million apples have rotted away, because the immigrant workers that normally pick them for the country have chosen not to come.

“Immigration was clearly a big part of the EU referendum, and the Prime Minister has promised a points-based system, but that is not going to allow for people coming here to pick fruit. What does he intend to do to stop the scandal of British food rotting away in the fields?”

BoJob blathered some nonsense about there being “more EU nationals living and working in this country than ever before”.

Oh, really?

What about this, then? Read:

EU citizens are being made homeless and destitute after being turned down for universal credit despite having the legal right to reside in the UK, in what critics are calling the benefit system’s very own “hostile environment”.

Ministers are being urged to review “unfair practices” after law centres and welfare advisers reported a surge in cases in which EU nationals without UK citizenship have ended up in debt or sleeping rough because of incorrect decisions to refuse their application for universal credit that cut off their benefits overnight.

Claimants who challenge the decision typically have to wait up to 40 weeks for an appeal hearing. Welfare advisers say they win their the appeal in almost all cases, resulting in back payments of thousands of pounds.

I should remind readers that, by agreement, EU migrants who claim benefits in the UK have them paid by their own government; the UK government charges their country for the cost.

So there is no reason for the UK to deny benefits to these people, if their earnings are so low (Tory policy is to depress wages for the lowest-paid, remember) that they cannot afford to live.

Still, this is the situation: EU migrant workers are being forced into destitution because of Tory government policy not to pay their benefits – on the grounds that they are not habitually resident in the UK.

Is it any wonder they can’t be bothered to pick our rotten apples?

Source: Surge in EU citizens unfairly refused access to universal credit | Society | The Guardian

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