Tuesday 29 April 2014

Hiding their true reasons

Like many others, we had a UKIP leaflet fluttering through the letterbox last week.  Whilst it claims to be from UKIP Wales, and names their four European Parliament candidates for Wales, there is not one word of Welsh to be found on it.  Perhaps the printers, in Bodmin, can’t cope with Welsh.  Or perhaps UKIP’s vision of the ‘UK’ which they wish to ‘set free’ is just a very English one, in language at least.
Central to their pitch in the election is immigration; indeed, their leaflet gives more prominence to that issue than it does to the EU - although I suppose that if you blame the EU for everything, there is a connection of sorts. I don’t doubt, sadly, that the pitch on immigration will appeal to many voters, but the logic behind what they are saying deserves and needs to be challenged.  They are appealing, fundamentally, to people’s gut instincts about foreigners, but trying very hard to cloak that by turning it into an economic argument about jobs.
In essence, one part of what they are saying is correct – ‘foreigners’ prepared to work for lower wages can and do damage job prospects in the UK.  But the conclusions that they draw from that simply don’t stand up to examination - because it has nothing to do with immigration.
(It doesn’t follow in any case, of course, that immigrants and cheap labour are synonymous; many immigrants are highly-skilled and highly-paid to go with it.  But let’s assume for the moment, purely for the sake of argument, that a significant proportion of those migrating to the UK are willing to work for lower wages than the ‘natives’.)
It is an inescapable fact that capitalists (often described these days as entrepreneurs, because that word has a more cuddly feel to it) will seek to employ the cheapest labour that they can get, in order to maximise their own profits.  But it really doesn’t matter to them whether that cheap labour is a result of immigration into the UK or a result of labour being cheaper in other countries.  That’s why we’ve seen so much of the UK’s manufacturing industries (and jobs) exported overseas.
In fact, there is an argument which says that cheap labour abroad does more to damage UK jobs than does cheap labour provided by immigration.  At least within the UK, there is a chance that we can police and enforce the minimum wage legislation (or even move to a living wage if the political will were there); prevent the exploitation of child labour; and stop the use of what is close to slavery in some other places.  We can have far less control if the alleged cheap labour simply stays where it is and our home-grown capitalists take the jobs to them instead of waiting for them to come here.
And that underlines why the real problem here is nothing to do with immigration – it is to do with the capitalist ideology and economic system which drives the economy on the basis of making capitalists wealthy rather than on the basis of creating collective wealth. Stopping or controlling immigration does nothing to change that.  And it isn’t something which UKIP have any inclination to change either.


Anonymous said...

All good points and Nigel Farage is another multimillionaire version of Cameron, Milliband and Clegg and Nick Griffin has said in the last few days UKIP's is using the BNP's messages from previous election campaigns but despite that plenty of welsh people will still vote UKIP on May 22nd with Plaid Cymru no where to be seen.

What a contrast with the SNP and Scottish electorate http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/apr/westminster-anti-eu-push-out-step-scotland

Anonymous said...

If you want 'collective wealth' then I suggest you get you and yours to work a bit harder and secure more high paying employment.

No-one else cares anymore. The days of the scrounging classes are coming to an end. As are the days of 'having to say a few words in Welsh' to appeal to the lower oder.

Leigh Richards said...

in contrast to the claims of anon 20:53 the days of the 'scrounging classes' would sadly appear to be far from over http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/28/britain-plutocrats-landed-gentry-shotgun-owners

while i presume the same anon meant to say 'lower orders'....a case of too much port perhaps anon 20:53? but regarding your claim that the modern british aristocracy no longer needs to learn any welsh it would seem that no one has told the windsors this http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/video-prince-william-speaks-welsh-8761676.html

G Horton-Jones said...

Not quite sure where Anon stands in the scheme of things but he is right in that we live in a time of personality politics Farrage Cameron Clegg etc obsession with personnal wealth and Empire decline.
People will vote for UKIP on the ticket of anti immigration and anti Europe but I suspect that most of these votes will be from the Conservative fringe

Few have made the connection that Wales. Scotland and also N Ireland seek change to achieve control over their own affairs just as Farrage is wanting out of Europe for the benefit as he sees it of England
In this scenario the vote outside England has no effect on the outcome and is therefore irrelevant to Ukip but if we are to remain one nation then the only way forward is federalisation --as Taking England out of Europe would simply stimulate the demand for full independence from the colonies within the pseudo Union
Anon should realise that working harder earning higher levels of income and removing the scrounging classes however defined are better achieved within an independent Wales than as a minor colony

gwyliwr said...

Leigh bach far more working class people shoot than your "landed gentry". In the 60's Parliament thought of pasing a shotgun owners registration act but any benefit was not worth the money spent on organising it. However in 1966 three policemen were killed in Sheperds Bush with "illegal" pistols and the Labour goverment had suspended (sorry about that!) hanging for an experimental trial period. The public clamoured for the "experiment" to be ended and hanging re-enstated.Not every one swung in the 60's! (Sorry again) So Roy Jenkins stated that "he would do something". He introduced the previously discretided shotgun certificate although shotguns were not used in the crime. It cost the equivelent of 75p. Today the fee has increased to £50 with renewals at £40. You calculate the % increase. These increases are a Pigovian tax to discourage the ordinary working class people from taking part in their chosen sport.
The government is bent on making it more and more difficult for us to own guns legally.In the last year the Canadian Government has done away with their long gun (rifles and shotgun) registration scheme as it produced no benifits.

Gwyn Jones

Gwyn Jones

Leigh Richards said...

many thanks for pointing that out gwyn - perhaps this offers better evidence that anon's 'scrounging classes' are alas very much still alive and scrounging in modern britain