Thursday 4 October 2018

Is Theresa May a Corbynite sleeper?

I’m struggling to imagine what sort of conversation could have taken place between the Prime Minister and her advisors which led anyone to think that equating ‘unskilled immigration’ with a salary of less than £50,000 a year was a brilliant election-winning strategy.  Unless, of course, her advisors – and perhaps May herself – are all Corbynite sleepers.  As a means of escaping from the interminable Tory internal wrangling, it’s a theory which makes a certain amount of sense.
Quite apart from the obvious truth that salary is, in fact, absolutely useless as an indicator of skill (others have already produced lists of occupations which are thus classified as unskilled, such as this one in the New Statesman), and leaving aside her clearly nonsensical comment that we should ‘train’ British workers to do the ‘unskilled’ jobs (who writes this stuff for her?), did no-one stop to think about the political repercussions of this?  According to the government’s own figures (available here), a total income of £50,000 per annum before tax in 2015-16 was marginally above the 88th percentile for income.  Who on earth thought that it could ever be a good idea to tell 88% of the UK population that the government considers them to be so unskilled that, if they weren’t here already, they would never be allowed into the country?


Anonymous said...

I guess that means all of the Welsh schools are pretty much churning out unskilled kids year after year.

Who'd have thought? Well, in truth, everyone (apart from those unskilled types living and working in Wales!

Home truths don't come easy.

John Dixon said...

Why, other than your apparently instinctive dislike of all things Welsh, do you include the words 'Welsh' and 'Wales' in this comment? On the basis of the government's definition, one could equally say "all of the UK's schools are pretty much churning out unskilled kids year after year".

Anonymous said...

'Why, other than your apparently instinctive dislike of all things Welsh, do you include the words 'Welsh' and 'Wales' in this comment?' ...

Could it be because I live in Wales and am therefore normally regarded as Welsh, a Welsh voter, a citizen of Wales. Granted, I don't speak Welsh, but if that's a problem I see it as your problem not mine!

Since when did it become such a heinous crime to criticise the country one lives in. How else are we to improve if people don't continuously demand improvement. JD, I worry sometimes because it seems you and folk like you are exactly the reason why Wales is still such a backwater in this world. You dare not criticise, you live in daily fear of criticism, you long for the status quo with occasional bouts of 'organised criticism'.


John Dixon said...

Yet again, you give every impression of not having read or understood what was written. There is no crime in criticising "the country one lives in", and I never said there was (although most of us might consider that the criticism should be of the state of the country we live in and of those who brought it to that state rather than of the country itself, since the 'country' is, almost by definition, both impervious to criticism and unable to change itself). And of course, we should always demand continuous improvement. I don't know where the Welsh language came into this either - it's a factor which you seem to have randomly introduced.

The problem I have with your comments is that you seem to want to blame all the ills of the world on the Welsh education system, and to do so by sweeping assertion rather than by adducing any evidence in support of your view. There are only two ways of reading your initial comment - either the Welsh education system is responsible for the fact that 88% of the UK's population is unskilled, or else that the Welsh education system is responsible for the inability of the Prime Minister and her cabinet to understand what 'skilled' means. Whilst, at a stretch, the 'education system' might be a factor in either or both of those, the idea that it's specifically the 'Welsh' education system to blame is patently ridiculous.

I have no wish to prevent you criticising the education system here in Wales; I've done so myself, and I'm certainly no defender of the Welsh government's record. But if you want to do so in comments on this blog, you should understand that you will be challenged or ignored if you simply make unevidenced assertions which are not obviously relevant to the point at the time, let alone wild claims which cannot possibly be true.

dafis said...

nothing wrong with the statement that people should be "trained to do unskilled work" as most jobs have practices and procedures which can either be done well, trained to achieve "right first time, every time", or not so well where time gets wasted on re-work and the loss of opportunity to get on with the next task. However I seriously doubt that Mrs May has ever been close enough to the reality of unskilled work to know that.Most of her advisers will also be working from a more remote appreciation of what is involved.

The true meaning of the Dancing Maybot's words is most likely that unskilled jobs are seen as a good dumping ground for directing many of our unemployed back into work. Tackling the problem of long term unemployment will need a lot more precise thinking than adding up jobs available on the one hand and numbers out of work on the other. Committing funds to relevant training would help rather than paying out when a prospective employer conforms to some boxticking exercise.