Jump to content
Tywin Manderly

UK Politics: Unboldy Go There Where No Country Has Gone Before

Recommended Posts

While I'm generally against outrage archeology and taking things people have said in the past out of context and using it against them, in this case however you don't need to add too much up to see that this Sabisky guy was someone with some potentially pretty dangerous views. Even the most generous interpretation of the things he said is pretty appalling.

When you look at the number of comments he's made around race and IQ and Turkey for instance it's impossible to conclude the guy doesn't have some seriously horrible ideas. It doesn't matter how smart or good his books are. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trump and Johnson going through a rough patch, apparently.

What is interesting is that Johnson felt he had to go with Huawei because there was no alternative plan, and not proceeding at all would leave the UK too far behind the 5G curve compared to other countries. He even seemed to offer a chance for an American alternative to be offered but Trump ignored him.

I can see Trump's point that allowing the Chinese government to help build infrastructure in rival nations is bizarre from a national security POV, but also Johnson and the UK government's position that the US was not offering viable alternative plans. Also good to see Johnson standing firm on the US diplomat's wife who needs to be extradited to the UK and that the US position on Iran is unreasonable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Trump and Johnson going through a rough patch, apparently.

What is interesting is that Johnson felt he had to go with Huawei because there was no alternative plan, and not proceeding at all would leave the UK too far behind the 5G curve compared to other countries. He even seemed to offer a chance for an American alternative to be offered but Trump ignored him.

I can see Trump's point that allowing the Chinese government to help build infrastructure in rival nations is bizarre from a national security POV, but also Johnson and the UK government's position that the US was not offering viable alternative plans. Also good to see Johnson standing firm on the US diplomat's wife who needs to be extradited to the UK and that the US position on Iran is unreasonable.

Kind of makes you wish we had another powerful trading bloc we could deal with rather than be stuck between china and USA.

What is the EU doing regarding 5G?

While a big deal is being made of the fallout it can't be that bad as Trump hasn't been petulantly tweeting about it. If anything i fear the media might create a self-fulfilling prophecy by overhyping the fallout and triggering a stronger response from trump

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So without the British protection, the British Cayman Islands finally found its way to the EU blacklist for tax havens.

Small and unsurprising news, but still kidna amusing imo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And also Greece wants the Elgin Marbles back as part of the trade deal 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Maltaran said:

And also Greece wants the Elgin Marbles back as part of the trade deal 

Ha, the EU doesn’t have the best track record of listening to Greece so not much to worry about there 

Edited by Heartofice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/17/2020 at 7:48 AM, mormont said:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-andrew-sabisky-eugenics-contraception-dominic-cummings-downing-street-a9339296.html

In the absence of any other reference, I suppose we must take it that these are the 'well publicised views' the spokesman referred to. 

This is what happens when you decide that you don't need any of that 'qualifications' nonsense when it comes to recruiting people. 

Well the Spokesman isn’t wrong exactly.

It's like asking David Duke on his opinion on Jews.

A lot of the guy’s past racist rhetoric kinda makes clear his views on the matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new immigration rules are, as anticipated, highly impractical. If enacted as is, the hospitality, food prep, adult care and fruit picking industries would be devastated. Not because of the "British people are too lazy to these jobs" myth, but on the simple level that the wages on offer in these industries are impractical for people living in the UK full-time. These jobs suit seasonal workers living in countries with a lower cost of living.

These industries could raise their wages, of course, but this would make them unsustainable or impossible to compete with overseas rivals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your concern for low paid foreign workers is admirable if very new. But as ever, the picture is more complicated. 

The fact is, for many of these jobs the actual rate of pay is not the issue. Replacing the existing migrant workers with domestic ones isn't about offering another 20p an hour. They're in sectors where there's a shortage already, despite the large number of EU citizens moving to the UK to do them, and that's normally for a good reason. We didn't start importing labour for these jobs simply because business owners are greedy.

Many of these 'low skilled' jobs are actually jobs that require a fairly decent amount of training: care work, for example. It will take time to train (and in some cases, conduct associated processes like criminal records checks and registrations on) replacement staff. It should also be noted that not all currently unemployed - excuse me, 'economically inactive' - UK workers would be capable of completing that training etc. 

Other jobs are in geographical areas where there is not enough local labour - tourism being one. The fact is, there are only a certain number of UK workers able, let alone willing, to relocate for this type of work. Doing so may require, for example, giving up family caring responsibilities - effectively requiring another low-paid job to replace the one just filled. 

In a similar vein, not all economically inactive UK workers are able to take temporary work, which a lot of these roles are. 

Of course, the government aren't necessarily relying on replacing these workers with UK workers - they're blathering about 'automation', but not all of these jobs can or should be automated. Just another 'technical solutions' gambit from Johnson, the man who sees the word 'technology' as the answer to all objections. 

Let's not forget the 'lump of labour' fallacy - the fact is, the presence of low-paid immigrant workers creates and supports higher-paid jobs in the economy. 

Then there's the fact that in the long term, we need to import these workers not just to do a job in the short term but to maintain our population. UK society is greying, and cutting low skills immigration will only make that worse. 

Against that, the argument for cutting low skills immigration is... er... well... there isn't really one at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I simply find it amusing that its often the very same people screaming about Boris Johnson and his evil greedy Tories who are determined to destroy labour standards and bring us back to some victorian workhouse era with children up chimneys, are more than happy to sit and defend a system that has openly exploited the desperation of workers from abroad. 

The determination to defend the EU and hate on Brexit can cause some very conflicted thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I simply find it amusing that its often the very same people screaming about Boris Johnson and his evil greedy Tories who are determined to destroy labour standards and bring us back to some victorian workhouse era with children up chimneys, are more than happy to sit and defend a system that has openly exploited the desperation of workers from abroad. 

The determination to defend the EU and hate on Brexit can cause some very conflicted thinking.

Its not necessarily as simple. People from a country with a much lower cost of living may well find it financially beneficial to come here for the summer and pick strawberries for (a small by UK standards) salary and lodgings/food.

On the flip side, the labour market in Upper Chippengdon Posh-as-Fuck, Kent, will not be the sort to pick strawberries. And it’s not economicaly viable for people living in Shitford, Yorkshire to relocate. The rent and council tax alone would cripple them.

Unless the strawberry farmers pay competitive salaries, and then the British people can face a 500% increase (or whatever) for British-grown fruit.

Or more likely the supermarkets do what they do in winter and import, killing fruit farming here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I simply find it amusing that its often the very same people screaming about Boris Johnson and his evil greedy Tories who are determined to destroy labour standards and bring us back to some victorian workhouse era with children up chimneys, are more than happy to sit and defend a system that has openly exploited the desperation of workers from abroad. 

The determination to defend the EU and hate on Brexit can cause some very conflicted thinking.

Blethers. 

Workers from the EU were, and still are for the time being, subject to exactly the same standards as UK workers in terms of minimum wage entitlement, working conditions, health and safety, employment rights etc. Prosecutions against employers for failing to meet these standards were taken out on behalf of EU and other non-UK workers as well as UK workers.

Your argument only makes sense if you are saying that these standards - the same standards that apply to UK workers now, and will do so in the future - are exploitative. Since these proposals don't alter those standards, if that is your position, it's irrelevant to whether these proposals are a good idea. If that is your position, you should be complaining about how the UK workers who are supposed to be filling these jobs are now going to be exploited.

Conflicted thinking may be present in this discussion. I do see some of it, and a possibly unconsciously patronising tone, in comments about how these poor workers from benighted foreign climes benefit from being allowed to do menial jobs in our economy. But the idea that there is anything in this argument about how foreign workers were being exploited is tosh. 

Edited by mormont

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/14/2020 at 5:16 PM, polishgenius said:

 

Who's got the Elgin Marbles, yo?

 

On 2/14/2020 at 5:25 PM, Tywin et al. said:

That pales in comparison to the awesome power of the Ark of the Covenant.

 

On 2/14/2020 at 6:38 PM, williamjm said:

I remember watching a historical documentary about how you managed to pack it away in a warehouse and then forget about it.

 

18 hours ago, Maltaran said:

And also Greece wants the Elgin Marbles back as part of the trade deal 

Hahahaha I tried to warn you fools not to f*** with the power of the Ark!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Ha, the EU doesn’t have the best track record of listening to Greece so not much to worry about there 

Italy and Cyprus are supporting them, since it's a generic "return of cultural property" clause so there's a fair few less well known items those countries can also get back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Werthead said:

These industries could raise their wages, of course, but this would make them unsustainable or impossible to compete with overseas rivals.

Is this a great argument though? Honest question.
It seems to me that in most cases it is possible to pay people a decent wage if you're depending on local (in this case, British) patronage - and that conversely, if an economic activity depends on low wages to be sustainable then perhaps said activity is questionable on some level in the first place.
As for competition with overseas rivals that will be trickier, yes, but again, I'm not certain this is a worthy goal in the first place.

6 hours ago, mormont said:

Workers from the EU were, and still are for the time being, subject to exactly the same standards as UK workers in terms of minimum wage entitlement, working conditions, health and safety, employment rights etc.
Your argument only makes sense if you are saying that these standards - the same standards that apply to UK workers now, and will do so in the future - are exploitative.

I'm not familiar with those standards, so I'm treading on thin ice here... But isn't there an active neo-liberal or market-centered approach to labor in the UK? Massive loss of worker rights that began with Thatcher? Huge wage disparities?
Not being an ass, it's been years since I did any kind of studying of the UK, but I remember that from a French perspective it really wasn't that hot...
When I myself took a summer job in the UK (must have been more than a dozen years ago, fuck I'm old ^^) I was paid around 100£ a week... I think it was something like 150£ but my employer had me pay for compulsory in-site lodging (and uniform ^^) so I ended up with about 400£ a month for a full-time job that often went over 40h/week... 'twas ok for a student, but fuck, I was glad to come home... Where I got the same salary for a part-time job... So yeah... again, from my perspective, definitely not hot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Is this a great argument though? Honest question.
It seems to me that in most cases it is possible to pay people a decent wage if you're depending on local (in this case, British) patronage - and that conversely, if an economic activity depends on low wages to be sustainable then perhaps said activity is questionable on some level in the first place.
As for competition with overseas rivals that will be trickier, yes, but again, I'm not certain this is a worthy goal in the first place.

It depends. Very expensive, big city hotels paying absurdly low wages to temporary migrant labour (who come into the country to work intensively for 3-6 months and then go home again) is a good example of "questionable" use of resources. That's one area where if they increased wages to a reasonable level they could perhaps find enough British employees to cover the shortfall.

For the fruit picking market, there are significant practical difficulties. These farms are located (natch) in rural areas far from the big towns and cities, and it is not really practical for people from other parts of Britain, particularly areas where the cost of living is higher, to go to these farms, work there for a few months and then go home again. They'd probably make no more money and likely considerably less than if they stayed at home and got a job working in a call centre or something.

You could pay more to make up the shortfall and make up the difference, but farmers would have to pass the cost onto consumers and prices would rise in the supermarket and consumers would pick overseas alternatives instead, endangering the native British industries.

One of the nominal ideas behind Brexit was to make Britain more independent in various fields, including food production where we are a very long way from self-sufficiency. Driving native British businesses into the ground because they can no longer compete with overseas rivals is counter to that view, and would definitely not look good for the government in the next election.

The care sector, where there are already crippling shortages, massive costs and a ton of recent scandals, is an even bigger headache for the government, especially given that it's the elderly who vote Conservative in large numbers.

All of this is undercut by the government's own (albeit creatively massaged) employment figures, which suggest that we are close to full employment and the tens to hundreds of thousands of native British workers needed to cover the shortfall simply do not exist.

1 hour ago, Rippounet said:

I'm not familiar with those standards, so I'm treading on thin ice here... But isn't there an active neo-liberal or market-centered approach to labor in the UK? Massive loss of worker rights that began with Thatcher? Huge wage disparities?
Not being an ass, it's been years since I did any kind of studying of the UK, but I remember that from a French perspective it really wasn't that hot...
When I myself took a summer job in the UK (must have been more than a dozen years ago, fuck I'm old ^^) I was paid around 100£ a week... I think it was something like 150£ but my employer had me pay for compulsory in-site lodging (and uniform ^^) so I ended up with about 400£ a month for a full-time job that often went over 40h/week... 'twas ok for a student, but fuck, I was glad to come home... Where I got the same salary for a part-time job... So yeah... again, from my perspective, definitely not hot...

British worker rights did erode heavily under Thatcher and afterwards, but then recovered after EU worker right laws became legal in the UK and then New Labour passed various laws (starting with the minimum wage) to improve things. The coalition rolled some of these back after 2010 but worker rights in the UK are still at a reasonable level.

The scenario you outline sounds "technically" correct (once the deductions for accommodation and uniform are accounted for) but it's very borderline. The UK minimum wage in 2007 was £5.52 per hour, so £220.80 per week for a 40 hour week and £883.20 per month. I hope the accommodation was nice because that sounds like a BS deal otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Werthead said:

All of this is undercut by the government's own (albeit creatively massaged) employment figures, which suggest that we are close to full employment and the tens to hundreds of thousands of native British workers needed to cover the shortfall simply do not exist.

The Government does seem to think there are a lot of Schrödinger's British Low Skilled Workers out there who are simultaneously fully employed and unemployed because those pesky immigrants have stolen their jobs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, williamjm said:

The Government does seem to think there are a lot of Schrödinger's British Low Skilled Workers out there who are simultaneously fully employed and unemployed because those pesky immigrants have stolen their jobs.

Thats the magic of zero hours contracts - simultaneously working full time, and not at all.

And at zero hours, you can work 40 jobs a week!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Werthead said:

It depends. Very expensive, big city hotels paying absurdly low wages to temporary migrant labour (who come into the country to work intensively for 3-6 months and then go home again) is a good example of "questionable" use of resources. That's one area where if they increased wages to a reasonable level they could perhaps find enough British employees to cover the shortfall.

For the fruit picking market, there are significant practical difficulties. These farms are located (natch) in rural areas far from the big towns and cities, and it is not really practical for people from other parts of Britain, particularly areas where the cost of living is higher, to go to these farms, work there for a few months and then go home again. They'd probably make no more money and likely considerably less than if they stayed at home and got a job working in a call centre or something.

You could pay more to make up the shortfall and make up the difference, but farmers would have to pass the cost onto consumers and prices would rise in the supermarket and consumers would pick overseas alternatives instead, endangering the native British industries.

One of the nominal ideas behind Brexit was to make Britain more independent in various fields, including food production where we are a very long way from self-sufficiency. Driving native British businesses into the ground because they can no longer compete with overseas rivals is counter to that view, and would definitely not look good for the government in the next election.

The care sector, where there are already crippling shortages, massive costs and a ton of recent scandals, is an even bigger headache for the government, especially given that it's the elderly who vote Conservative in large numbers.

All of this is undercut by the government's own (albeit creatively massaged) employment figures, which suggest that we are close to full employment and the tens to hundreds of thousands of native British workers needed to cover the shortfall simply do not exist.

British worker rights did erode heavily under Thatcher and afterwards, but then recovered after EU worker right laws became legal in the UK and then New Labour passed various laws (starting with the minimum wage) to improve things. The coalition rolled some of these back after 2010 but worker rights in the UK are still at a reasonable level.

The scenario you outline sounds "technically" correct (once the deductions for accommodation and uniform are accounted for) but it's very borderline. The UK minimum wage in 2007 was £5.52 per hour, so £220.80 per week for a 40 hour week and £883.20 per month. I hope the accommodation was nice because that sounds like a BS deal otherwise.

Workers rights are at a reasonable(ish) level but there are also an unfortunate number of people doing jobs where employers try and deny them worker status (and associated rights).

But don’t worry, we get a completely toothless legislative update on this in April so pats for the government, problem solved!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×