Sunday, August 30, 2009

For the record

Your humble Devil replied to this silly post at Liberal Conspiracy. Given that my comments there often get tampered with or deleted (because Sunny, like many Leftist demagogues, isn't too keen on people questioning his judgement), I thought that I'd record it here for posterity.
If I wanted to be charitable to Hannan, I’d say that his position is that we’ve got to decide one way or the other: either we let people come to the UK but without benefits for doing so, or we limit immigration and we enforce our laws properly.

Everyone is talking about "immigration" and "immigrants" as though there were only one type. There aren't.

There are two types of immigrant to this country: EU citizens and non-EU citizens.

EU citizens—through EU law—must be allowed all of the same benefits as the natives. That means that they can claim the same benefits, use the same services, etc. and have complete freedom to move or settle in any EU country.

As some people may know, over the last six months or more, I have been dealing with the British government's disgusting and inhuman attitude to the second set of immigrants—the non-EU citizen.

Non-EU citizens are not allowed any benefits, despite paying full taxes. Non-EU citizens are often not allowed to stay in the country if they have no job—the most common Tier 2 visa is tied to an immigrant's job: if they lose the job, they have to leave the country immediately (it doesn't matter whether they can still support themselves, through savings, etc. They have to leave).

The problems that we have are not with the latter group: it is not they who are putting a strain on public services. The problem is with the EU citizens, mainly from poorer parts of the EU, who we must treat as though they were natives.

Now, whichever of the two approaches above you consider to be right (or, like me, you might consider that the both of them are completely stupid) doesn't tremendously matter—but any debate on immigration must acknowledge the fact that not all immigrants are equal in this country.


Regular readers will know, of course, that your humble Devil proposed his own solution to the immigration problem.
So, here is my proposed solution, and it is a solution designed to be implemented tomorrow—that is, it assumes that we are still in the EU, etc. So, here it is: no immigrant may claim benefits until they have been working—and contributing tax (i.e. cash in hand work will not count)—for four years.

But wait! The EU will not let us treat EU citizens any differently to British citizens. Great! The same thing applies across the board, for British citizens too.

When National Insurance was first implemented, you had to have been paying in for a certain amount of time—and earned your "stamps"—before you could start getting payouts. To an extent, this is still the case, but other benefits are not, theoretically, part of the National Insurance system, so they are paid out without any requirement to have paid in.

This should stop, right now.

So, everyone—regardless of where they are from originally—gets treated in exactly the same way: no one shall receive any benefits until they have paid tax into the system for four years (an arbitrary number—we could make it higher, if you like, or lower—four years seems a reasonable time to me).

In this way, we can stop paying for people's lifestyle choices (including encouraging the feckless to have children); we can diffuse the resentment based on the "bloody immigrants, coming here and stealing our benefits" argument; we give people an incentive to pay tax rather than do cash-in-hand work; we stop people coming here with massive families in order to soak our ridiculously generous benefits system (and thus reduce immigration); we can remove these spiteful bars to non-EU immigrants working (and thus allow private companies to hire who the fuck they want); it will provide us with an incentive to ensure that our schooling is up to scratch (since natives will be competing with immigrants on an equal footing); it allows us to open our borders to those who want to come and work here (and neutralises Hayek's problems with doing so whilst a Welfare State exists); and, of course, we will substantially reduce our social security bill.

This seems to be a sensible solution to me, and it stops the disgustingly racist separation of non-EU and EU citizens (yes, it is racist, since it is based on where you come from and thus your race) that is inherent in our two-tier immigration system.

Oh, yes: and it stops hard-working people who want to remain here from being kicked out of the fucking country by a bunch of inhumane, jack-booted shitstains who, frankly, make our country look like some kind of fucking authoritarian's pleasure-ground.

Oh, wait...


Unknown said...

Yes, of course it is racist. And that's the big issue that you're missing in your analysis. That's why non-Eu people will never be treated as you would like.

Tyson said...

Sounds good but too simplistic. What, for example, about the people who can't work and therefore wouldn't accrue the four years required credit?

Longrider said...

As a slight aside, the EU thing doesn't seem to be across the board. At the moment, as an EU citizen living in France, I am entitled to French healthcare because I pay into the UK system and am entitled to an E106. If I was not, I would not be entitled to French healthcare unless I paid into the French system.

The French decided a couple of years back that Brits moving to France and not contributing should not be entitled to benefits. Seems fair to me.

An aside from that is very interesting. There was a brief flurry of outrage then it all went quiet. It seems that taking out one's own insurance is often less costly than paying French social charges...

One final point - where you cone from does not necessarily determine race. Don't fall for that old cockwaffle. US citizens may, like UK citizens be Caucasian, black, Asian or a mixture... Immigration policy has nothing to do with race (and nor should it). You know better than that. I'd expect that comment from Sunny, not you.

Anonymous said...

If you are from the "A8" countries (east european) EU states you have to work for a year before you can claim "out of work" benefits

john b said...

Err, surely to the extent that there are problems with immigration, it's immigration of very poor people from non-EU countries?

Eastern Europeans are here to work hard and make a bit of money (and, as noted above, don't get the dole), and hence don't really put much of a strain on public services...

& @longrider, that's both naive and pointlessly pedantic. A US citizen seeking to move to the UK is vastly more likely to be Caucasian than anything else; a non-ZA African is vastly more likely to be black; a Pakistani is vastly more likely to be brown. In all cases, nationality is widely used as a proxy for race.

Longrider said...

& @longrider, that's both naive and pointlessly pedantic.

No, it isn't. EU citizens are treated differently because there are reciprocal arrangements in place. It has nothing to do with race. Non EU means the rest of the world - irrespective of racial origins. Or are EU citizens a different race to everyone else? Last time I looked, they are much the same mix as the USA.

Using nationality as a proxy for race is strictly for the hard of thinking.

john b said...


The point is, part of the reason we have harsh rules on non-EU immigrants is to appease the sections of society who'd like a "no darkies" rule. To the racists, the fact that Yanks and (non-UK-grandparent) Canadians and Aussies also get screwed over is acceptable collateral damage.


So how many millions of aliens would you like?ten, twenty,thirty ?what about the indigenous population,have they no right to decide how they wish to live,having built and maintained this country all of thier lives,supported it with taxes,they are now being told that they must move over ,England does not belong to them,and now they must live in a violent criminal zoo,because believe it or not ,we do not attract the best,the best in thier own countries are doing very well and have no wish to move ,no we are a repository for surplus populations worldwide,and forget this racism bollocks,what is wrong with wanting a civilised society/country for your offspring to inherit and enjoy,as the one that was bequeathed to us,rights cut both ways,we demand ours.

James Higham said...

Ah - just been reading about Sunny at Tim's too. Hmmmmm, he's a Leftist. Forgive him his sins.

Jonathan Miller said...

Under the Race Relations Act, race and nationality are synonymous. Therefore, while it may not be 'racist' in the strict sense, a discrimination based on nationality is illegal. Treating Americans, Indians, etc differently is government policy, and I don't understand why the government is allowed to enact rules that break the RRA.
The EU immigration restrictions are 'indirectly' discriminatory, which is also illegal under the RRA amendments. The majority of Pakistanis will be brown, the majority of Somalis black, and the majority of EU nationals will be white.
I find it odd that those who support the left seem blind to the kind of discrimination caused by policies that they support.

JuliaM said...

"Eastern Europeans are here to work hard and make a bit of money..."

What? Every single one of them?

Something tells me that's a train of thought that johnb would be attempting to derail should it be about anything else...

"The point is, part of the reason we have harsh rules on non-EU immigrants is to appease the sections of society who'd like a "no darkies" rule."

Actually, I think you'll find it's to ensure that our society doesn't collapse under the weight of all the non-productive people who'd come here, if we eere to throw the doors open to all.

Longrider said...

John, it's no good sighing. I am well aware that there are people who would like a "no darkies" policy and equally aware that politicians; venal, self-serving bastards to a man and woman will pander to this prejudice in order to garner votes. However that does not alter the facts - and in this instance, the facts are that discrimination is based on citizenship irrespective of racial origins. That is why an ethnic Algerian with French citizenship has the right of residence in the UK and a Caucasian American may not. Attempting to conflate the two undermines the point DK is trying to make here.

Bella Gerens experienced at first hand the petty spitefulness, bureaucracy and jobsworthery of the UK immigration "service". That, frankly, pretty much sums up state run services worldwide unfortunately.

13th Spitfire said...

Would it not be easier to leave the EU?

Anonymous said...

The immigration issue is where I part company with 'libertarians'. The levels of immigration we've witnessed since Labour came to power has destroyed the English community I once lived in. The multicultural mess that's replaced it is not somewhere I'd choose to live. There's a consistent majority against further immigration and yet the 'libertarians', much like the LibLabCon appear to insist we must have more. Even worse they use smears, straight out of the Frankfurt School manual, such as 'racist' to describe anyone who doesn't agree with them.

If you want to live in areas dominated by mosques, temples and ethnic street gangs then that is your choice. I happen to prefer English culture, warts and all, and I am keen to see it able to thrive and prosper. It seems the 'libertarians' are insisting that I won't be able to.

Anonymous said...

"Eastern Europeans are here to work hard and make a bit of money (and, as noted above, don't get the dole), and hence don't really put much of a strain on public services..."

Anyone working on minimum wage probably uses more 'services' than their taxes support. And if they've displaced a British worker, it's even worse, because said British worker is going to be on the dole, probably collecting more money than the immigrant's entire pay packet.

Worse than that, immigrants who move solely for money will probably be sending much of that money out of the country rather than spending it in the UK, thereby eliminating even much of the VAT that a Briton would otherwise have paid (yes, the money will eventually return to the UK, but velocity of said money will be significantly reduced).

The only case I can think of where mass immigration by low-skilled immigrants worked out OK was 19th century America, where they had far more work available than people to do it; and, even then, the immigrants brought serious social problems which still reverberate there today. The UK currently has millions out of work, so it's hardly in the same position.

Lastly, of course, there are more than a few Eastern European immigrants who are not in the UK to work hard, but to prey on the natives. No sane country would have allowed them to enter the country to stay.

DocBud said...

Libertarians believe that people should have mobility because they reject the notion of the state and hence its interference in the free movement of people. However, since there would be no welfare state and only those who are able to buy or rent property would be entitled to live in the country formerly known as the UK, there would more than likely be an exodus, not an influx.

Old Holborn said...

No borders, no benefits.

Simple really.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Why do libertarians insist on reducing the human condition to a relative market value in the workplace?

There is a significant population with little or no chance of competing in the job market (brain damage, physical disability, etc).

If a work history became a pre-condition of assistance then what chance would some people have?

The ideal job for a libertarian would be as a medical reviewer in the American health system.

Devil's Kitchen said...


"There is a significant population with little or no chance of competing in the job market (brain damage, physical disability, etc).

If a work history became a pre-condition of assistance then what chance would some people have?"

As I said to Bendy Girl last time that I brought this up, I would rather that those people were dealt with as exceptions to the general rule (as they are currently).


the a&e charge nurse said...

I'm glad to see that you recognise that there IS a case for benefits, Devil, now if we can convince OH and the other market Darwinists then we might be onto something?

Devil's Kitchen said...


There is always a case for benefits—however, like everything else, it is whether the downsides outweigh the upsides that is important.

Unfortunately, the best way that we have to measure costs and benefits is in terms of money—after all, if money wasn't important, then we wouldn't need to give disabled people any of it, eh?


DocBud said...

I more or less had this argument this weekend wrt to "affordable housing". The response to my "why is it my job to fund the housing of people who can't afford it irrespective of why they can't?" was "it's about a social conscience." My reply to that was "what social conscience do I have if the state takes my money without my consent and gives it to others, many of whom I'd choose not to give it to given the option?" And this is what it comes down to, leave my money in my pocket and I'll choose to give some of it to those I want to help. I won't be stingy and by not going through worthless 'public servants' it will be distributed more efficiently. But because the state steals my money and gives it to feckless, workshy, mooching bastards, I have less left to give to the genuinely needy.

Anonymous said...

"The CFR is the American Branch of a society which originated in England the Royal Institute of International Affairs), and which believes that national boundaries should be obliterated, and a one-world rule established." - Carroll Quigley, member of CFR, mentor to Bill Clinton.

Aided and abetted by the 'libertarians' it seems.

DocBud said...

Anonymous @ 11.09. I'm normally very polite, but where the hell do you get global rule from no rule, you dickhead?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that there's more to Europe than the EU. And not all non-EU citizens are brown or black or whatever you call them.

I agree with Longrider, it's about citizenship, not ethnicity.

Honest people who'd like to come over to work and who like the country AND THE CULTURE (who accept UK laws and lifestyle, who'd basically like to be British) should be allowed to come and have a try.

I would love to move to England and work or study like my fellow EU mates do, but I can't because I don't have an EU passport. I think it just encourages illegal immigration and thus further problems in the long run.
Were it simpler and cheaper (like the system outlined by DK) things would work better.
The EU is a criminal association for rich countries to exploit poorer neighbouring countries. It's fucking depressing to read the EU pages about youth exchange programmes and various opportunities... It's all nice and that until you see the footnote (EU citizens only). Fuck that. I'm European - but it'd be the same if I were Ethiopian or American - why should I be treated like shit just because of my passport? Why can't I go and live in whatever country I choose? I'm not gonna live on the dole, I want to work and be like the others. I don't really see why I'm supposed to be paying three times as much to go to university in Britain without even the right to look for a job. This system is pernicious, especially for the honest one who are not bankers or the like and who don't come to make bucks but because they like the place or the culture and languagee etc. I don't know how many immigrants would like to move for these reasons though.

I'm all for DK's idea. And I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking this whole EU privileges thing is not well-thought. Just tell me you're not O'Brien and you won't tell the Big Borther Agency I am a suspect soon to be immigrant so they can jail me for unpatriotic behaviour.

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