Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Les Buchananistes

The French are being sued by the EU for practicing economic nationalism, a stance which has earned them the disapproval of both The Times and The Daily Telegraph.
Such editorials no doubt give elitist pro-globalisation ideologues such as the Chancellor of the Exchequer a warm glow over his porridge.
It's a pity though, that those august publications' leader writers don't read the clear-sighted Stephen Roach.
In his Morgan Stanley bulletin of yesterday entitled 'Open Macro, Closed Politics', Roach wrote,
"Social, political, ethnic, religious, military, and security considerations have always been important pieces of the macro puzzle. But in today’s world, as noted above, these non-economic factors may be more relevant than in the past...
Perhaps the greatest irony of this strain of globalization is that cross-border integration has unmasked cross-cultural frictions. The closer knit the world becomes through trade flows, capital flows, and information flows, the greater the discomfort level that seems to arise within individual segments of the world...
The politics of globalization...raise serious questions as to whether open macro ultimately will be left to its own devices. From time to time, economics has its limits in shaping the macro outcome for world financial markets. This feels like one of those times"
And thus is globalisation's fallacy exposed like the open sore it is.
Traders will always be traders; but nations will always be nations.

Sovereignty Watch

Whilst the possibility of Israeli military officers facing prosecution for war crimes in the British courts is an absurd infringement on Israeli sovereignty, so too are Israeli demands for changes in British law.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hopefully President Bush Will Explain How The H-1B Visa System Should Really Work

Pakistan's Defective Society

New Links

It was time for a bit of a clear out.
In matters Scottish, I'm delighted to add USS Neverdock, written by an American ex-sserviceman in Scotland who linked to me without telling me. He has his head screwed on about the religion of peace.
Also added are Kirk Elder, the whimsical musings of a former 'Scotsman' columnist, and Caberfeidh, written by an ex-serviceman now in higher education who seems to share my sense of humour.
If, however, you have been enjoying yourself too much and wish to get back to reality, feel free to read the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.
On the UK side are added the essential Migration Watch, the gifted but perverse Taki, the always cogent and graceful Brian Barder (with whom I very rarely ever agree), Civitas and National Statistics Online, on account of my unbounded admiration of the energy with which my servants can destroy the Cartesian graph.
On the USA, Dennis's Deep Value Investor comes in along with Daniel Pipes, the excellent Dave's World, View From The Right and Jihad Watch. Also added are the Morgan Stanley Economists and the blog written by Moby, which is certainly not without merit.
Assorted media bits & pieces have also been added.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Yield Curve

The Dublin Riots

Michael Portillo On His Generation

'Tobacco giant accused of Hezbollah deal'

In other words, just another day at the office in the world of Big Tobacco.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Barbarians Inside the Gate

An article in today's Wall Street Journal (not online) by Matthew Kaminski details the murder of Ilan Halimi. (An article in the European Jewish Press on the incident here.) I haven't been following this story (though probably I was just not paying attention) so the today's WSJ story was a shocker, literally sickening. Ilan Halimi was a French Jew who was kidnapped by Muslims.
In an empty third-floor apartment and later a basement utility room, he was tortured to death. Several times [...] the kidnappers called Ilan's family and read them verses from the Quran [sic; political correctness] while their son screamed in agony in the background.
It turns out that the ringleader was one Youssouf Fofana, the surname of which one instantly recognizes as one with origins in West Africa. (Seems like about a third of the populace in Sierra Leone, where I lived, had that name.) Sure enough, the perp hails from the Ivory Coast.

The article states that this event has had a bigger impact on France than the late riots. Let us hope so. Western European governments have a lot to answer for in letting vicious Muslim extremists inside the gates. Halimi's murder is yet one more example of the value which Muslim's place on non-Muslim lives, which is to say zero.

The Thoughts Of Doug Henderson

There's nothing like the good old fashioned murder of a baby at the hands of their underclass parents to bring out a Labour Member of Parliament's native grandstanding instinct.
The filicide of 92 day old Aaron O' Neil has motivated the following comment from Doug Henderson, Labour MP for Newcastle North:
"I have asked the secretary of state to examine whether the agencies involved in Newcastle had applied the recommendations of the Laming Inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie and the subsequent provisions of the 2004 Children's Act, and if not, why not?"
But Doug Henderson has a proud record of talking nonsense about immigration policy, so why should the Secretary of State listen to him?

The Japanese Deficit

Japan has just posted only its third trade deficit in 20 years.
It is expected to be only temporary.
Gee, those Japanese can't be sharp fellows like us Brits and Americans! We're all going to get rich by sending our jobs to China and India, and all of a sudden the market will magically demand 'new skills', the holding of which will have us rolling in clover!
Those silly Japanese have just kept their jobs at home instead. What do they know...

Some Thoughts On The Psychology Of Small Businesspeople

Those accursedly lazy Brits, who work nothing like as hard as Poles, are doing less unpaid overtime than ever.
This does, of course, mean that we're still at the top of the EU league tables.
The Trades Union Congress has designated February 24 as 'Work Your Proper Hours Day' and the BBC reported the comments of Nick Goulding of the Forum of Private Business as follows:
"The TUC, with this idea, is hurling a crowbar into the works of small businesses," said Nick Goulding, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business.

Small businesses provided jobs for a third of the UK workforce, and needed their staff not to be rigid about working hours, he said.

"The bottom line is small firms want a happy, productive and flexible workforce which understands the give-and-take nature of business," he said. "
One wonders whether Goulding's members have forgotten why they employ people.
It is either in order to perform those functions of their businesses that they are unwilling or unable to perform themselves, or else because they wish to grow their business and require others to do the work whilst they manage its functions.
Business owners of course assume the risk of the business's failure, but that is a risk willingly assumed for any combination of three reasons.
Firstly, the businessman possesses no other skills by which they can suppport themself.
Secondly, they do not wish to answer to an employer.
Thirdly, they believe they can achieve a higher level of reward by working for themselves than by working for others.
I have been unable to find an example of any British business whose entrepreneur founded their enterprise with a gun at their head.
No businessman has any duty to provide employment - they do so only for their own self-interest. If they want to clean their own toilets, well and good.
However, if they wish flexibility from those whose services they require in order to run their businesses, then flexibility becomes a commodity to be bought and sold in the marketplace.
That's the give.
And which should be paid for.
That's the take.

In England's Pleasant Land Of Green

is now up on The Devil's Kitchen.

Immigrant Family Solidarity

One of the reasons advanced by John Bercow for mass immigration was 'family solidarity'; a theory which would seem to be disproved by the rather sad plight of some divorced South Asians.

The Universality Of Blogging

The most unlikely people can blog.

Take, for example, Stanley K. Burrell, who's decide to follow in the footsteps of Richard M. Hall.

Friday, February 24, 2006

How He Laughs

In a just world the career of Martin McGuinness (left) would have ended years ago, at the bottom of a rope.

We do not live in a just world, however, and McGuinness became Education Minister in the last devolved Northen Ireland administration.

The very last announcement McGuinness made before the administration was dissolved in 2002 was to announce the scrapping of Ulster's '11-plus' exam, the bedrock of its excellent system of selective education. He did this off-the-cuff, and without consultation.

The move was massively unpopular, and heavily opposed.

And the Blair government has consistently refused to overturn his decision.

Having failed to destroy Ulster with the gun and the bomb, McGuinness might actually do it in the classroom.

How the old fiend must laugh at Tony Blair. How he must laugh.

Turkish Flu: Keeping Britain Working

It would appear that my initial analysis of the British government's contingency plan for an an influenza outbreak was correct.
Its top priority actually does seem to be combatting absenteeism.

'Johnny Foreigner has it right'

said Tim Hames in yesterday's 'Times'.
Apparently foreigners consider our quality of life to be better than we do.
Well, I'm with the foreigners here. Our country is not like, say, Somalia, or Bhutan; and some of us would like it to stay that way.

Credit Card Culture

You've got to love the Brits.
Their leaders are committed to effecting globalisation, presumably in the full knowledge that this will lead to a continuing diminution of the wage rate and the end of the country's ability to support itself.
But the Brits just have to have the newest plasma screen TV's.

Piracy In Every Street

Pat Ferguson, the Scotland investigator with the British Phononographic Industry, has claimed that,
"There is a house in almost every street in every town in the country where someone will be copying discs.

"They are making a lot of money.

"It is big, big business and happening all over the country".
Well, perhaps not every street.
Apart from the ones containing high concentrations of Chinese illegal immigrants, that is.

After You

The National Union of Students wants an end to the ban on blood donation by gays.
The line to express your support for this move forms on...sorry, where is the line?

Helping The Police With Their Enquiries

Have you seen this man?
Lothian & Borders Police wish to determine if he has any information concerning the sexual assault of a young woman which occurred in Edinburgh's Polwarth Gardens on Saturday June 25 2005. He is described as being 'slim/medium build, with long sideburns' and was wearing 'a dark suit jacket, black shirt, dark trousers and shoes'.
It is said that he 'spoke good English but with a foreign accent'.
I wish them luck.

Singing The Bombay Blues

Some Indian call-centre operators don't react well to anti-globalisation sentiment.
Sad, really.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Another Reason Why The Conservative Party Is Not To Be Trusted On Immigration

George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has published a rather Bercowist editorial in today's 'Times' entitled 'Look and learn from across the Irish Sea'. He writes,
"A GENERATION ago, the very idea that a British politician would go to Ireland to see how to run an economy would have been laughable. The Irish Republic was seen as Britain’s poor and troubled country cousin, a rural backwater on the edge of Europe. Today things are different. Ireland stands as a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policymaking, and that is why I am in Dublin: to listen and to learn".
Is he now, by God? But he continues,
"After centuries of lower incomes, Irish average incomes are now 20 per cent higher than in the UK. After being held back for decades, the productivity of Irish companies — the yardstick of economic performance — has grown three times as quickly as ours over the past ten years. Young Irish families once emigrated in their millions to seek a better life overseas; these days it is young people across Europe who come to Ireland to find good jobs. Dublin’s main evening newspaper even carries a Polish-language supplement".
He gets his retaliation in first by mentioning growth in 'average incomes', and disingenuously failing to mention that this figure can be inflated by excessive rises in executive compensation without the average Irish necessarily having more euros in their pockets.
But it is in respect of all those young people coming from across Europe to find jobs in Ireland that Osborne would appear to be at his most obfuscatory. Virtually all of these people have arrived in Ireland within the last two years - the Celtic Tiger economic success has been effected over the best part of two decades. He appears to assume that the migration has been driven by the number of vacancies that the roaring Tiger has produced, but cites no evidence.
He fails to mention that Ireland imposed no restrictions on the inward movement of labour after the 2004 expansion of the EU. The fact that migrants have come is an event which has been politically manufactured and which is not the result of normal market mechanisms; a form of reverse regulation.
He fails to note that the advertising of Irish jobs in Ireland in Polish would indicate that Irish employers have little compunction in using migrant workers to displace their Irish staff, as Irish Ferries staff have already discovered.
And he fails to note that there is a mountain of other evidence to the effect that mass migration has harmed as much as helped the Irish people.
But Osborne isn't interested in the welfare of your average Irish, or the future of Irish society. He's only interested in their 'economy'.
And he might be running ours one day. That's something you can tell your kids to really look forward to - that their prosperity might one day be in the hands of a man who either does not understand, or who refuses to acknowledge, the basics of immigration economics.

A Catholic's Defence Of Don Collins

"Gee, with talk like that about Catholics, John -- includind (sic) the stuff about how some of his best NARAL friends are Catholics -- you'd think that Don Collins was talking about...Jews!"
David Niven once remarked that Errol Flynn was the most completely reliable person he had ever known - it didn't matter who you were, he always let you down.
As can unfortunately be seen, 'The Corner's' resident oaf is no Errol Flynn; however, Podhoretz shares Flynn's quality of dependable undependability - Podson can always be relied upon to pick upon the wrong targets for his aggressive innuendos and blundering smears; and when forced to backtrack, he makes a reversing elephant look balletic.
Podhoretz's target this time has been my friend Donald A. Collins.
Don was, like myself, a regular contributor to the late 'Washington Dispatch', before its editor Shane Cory found better things to do; and I cannot think of any other writer who has produced more words on the subject of the granting of drivers' licenses to illegal aliens than Don. It's a great pity that most of it is no longer accessible, because the amount of work he put in to addressing that injustice against American citizens was heroic.
Don also produced one of the most powerful antiwar columns that TWD ever published. It centred on the question of casualties, and narrated in unflinching detail precisely what metal does to flesh.
We enjoyed a fairy regular e-mail correspondence, whch has since become more intermittent; and the last time I heard from him, he'd just enjoyed his first Christmas in Florida.
Since TWD tanked, Don has contributed to both the Pittsburgh-Tribune and VDare; and it's for a PL column entitled 'Catholic bishops cross church-state line' that Don has had the toilet end of Podhoretz's tongue.
Don has not the slightest hesitation in declaring that he's a Democrat, and he's also a board member of FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), which John J. Miller describes as 'coming dangerously close to trafficking in anti-Catholic bigotry'.
If Miller thinks Don's column is anti-Catholic bigotry, then he's never been through Bridgeton on the 12th of July.
That's real, naked, in-your-face anti-Catholic bigotry, not the anodyne kind imagined by elite bloggers.
So what heinous crime has Don committed? In a nutshell, I still can't work it out.
Don appears to hold pro-choice beliefs which I don't share. He refers to Frances Kissling, of 'Catholics For A Free Choice', as being 'raised Catholic', which is correct, because if she still considers Catholic her actual status is likely to be that of excommunicant. Don's use of the phrase 'Rome and these bishops' makes one flinch slightly, but that's for reasons of native culture; coming from the most reformed country in Europe, it reads like something out of a sermon by John Knox when I am sure Don's intentions are entirely different to The Don's.
In their vapours, neither Miller nor Podhoretz have realised that the focus of Don's column isn't abortion - it's immigration.
As a very prominent advocate for immigration reform, Don notes that America's Catholic hierarchy aren't reliable on immigration. They aren't. That's not a slur, that's a statement of fact.
He notes that five male US Supreme Court justices are now Catholic - and while noting the importance of subjective belief in forming opinion, he doesn't suggest anywhere that the bishops will be working them from the back.
He then notes that after the passage of 'Roe-v-Wade', the hierarchy set out the process of 'infiltrating' and 'manipulating' the political process. (Miller really loved that bit). What Don accused them of was setting out to subvert the separation of church and state, and quotes Timothy Byrnes to the effect that,
"McHugh, who actually drafted the plan, told me that the NCCB's (50-member) administrative board (which first passed the plan and authorized its presentation to a plenary session for adoption by the conference as a whole) debated this section of the document for 'several hours,' searching for a way to formally distance these politically charged advocacy groups from the tax-exempt church."
"As finally adopted, the (pro-life) Pastoral Plan defined a 'congressional district pro-life group' as 'an agency of citizens operated, controlled and financed by these same citizens' and added that 'it is not an agency of the church, nor is it operated, controlled or financed by the church.'

"Some observers nevertheless pointed out that the actual -- as opposed to the formal -- independence of the lobby groups was belied by the highly detailed list of objectives and guidelines that directly followed this disclaimer."
Don notes that,
"In other words, the bishops themselves recognized that the disclaimer was ridiculous. They created an illegal political action machine and dared anyone to complain. "
One might not agree with his beliefs; but what is bigoted about a citizen of a country which deliberately eschewed having an established church pointing out the efforts of a church's leaders to have a concerted influence on policy? Perhaps illegally?
He then winds up by saying that if their behaviour in the aftermath of 'Roe' set any standard, it indicates that the Church might agitate as heavily against meaningful immigration reform.
May God forgive Don Collins for exercising his right of free speech. Our Lord said 'Render unto Caesar'; he gave no direction to cleave unto Caesar. He gave injunctions that those who are persecuted in the cause of righteouness are blessed; but he gave no specific mandate to the practice of identity politics, nor dispensation from adherence to the campaign finance laws.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Great Displacement, continued: The Wages Famine

Given the scale of recent inward mass migration in relation to the size of its native population, the Republic of Ireland appears to be a perfect laboratory for studying all of mass migration's negative consequences.
Such as falling wages.

Don't Light The Bunsen Burner!

Turkish language science teaching at a North London school is to be abolished.
So-called 'native-language teaching' had previously been praised by a former education minsietr as 'very much the kind of good practice we want to promote'.
Joan McVittie, the new headteacher of White Hart Lane comprehensive, has a rather more pragmatic approach to the education of her charges-
"We need to prepare them for work and life in London".

Globalisation At Work

Anyone who thinks that globalisation will enrich us all should read the case of Mark Kitto.

From The Department Of Multiculturalism

I don't think the Elliott family will exchanging Christmas cards with their son's new father-in-law.

The Raymond Tooth Defence Appeal

Empathy for lawyers is a commodity usually in short supply; but spare a thought for the plight of celebrity divorce lawyer Raymond Tooth.
Tooth has been ordered to pay costs in a fee dispute with a 'demanding' client named Olga Spasic.
She was aware of his charges.
She refused to accept his advice to accept a settlement which would have seen her receive £50,000 more than she was eventually awarded.
He has already accepted a cut in costs from £67,000 to £45,374, all but £1,500 of the original order. The £1,500 was also struck down yesterday, leaving Tooth to pay costs of £44,000
The costs judge's reasoning was,
“It was never going to be economic for a lady of these means to be instructing one of the top firms of matrimonial solicitors in London".
Tooth appears to have behaved perfectly properly and professionally throughout these proceedings. The practice of law must be the only one the service provider lets his client know how much they charge before they start and when they refuse to pay can be told by a judge that they 'should never have taken her on.'
Thre is a reason why Raymond Tooth charges £400 an hour. It's because he's very, very good at what he does. That's why Olga Spasic hired him in the first place.
If she didn't want to pay the rate required to access his expertise and experience, or follow his advice, it is iniquitous that Tooth be expected to shoulder by himself the financial risk involved in devoting time to Spasic's case when he could have been representing clients willing to pay him. No other business would ever be expected to work within such constraints.
But he's just another bloody lawyer, right? And so much for caveat emptor.

Some Thoughts On Names

I have an extremely common name. Go to any city in the world where there's been Irish immigration and you'll find 20 Martin Kelly's.
It's one of those names that's a great help in obfuscating identification, like John Smith.
And so unlike Learco Chindamo.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I Will Lay Me Down To Rest Awhile...

then I'll rise and blog some more for ye again....
I can tell you're all thrilled...

Ecce Homo Britannicus

(In the interests of good taste and decency, please note that a link on this post contains a photograph of the naked yet absolutely unalluring backside of a Bournemouth hairdresser).
Stephen Gough, the exhibitionist known as 'The Naked Rambler', has finished his marathon feat of walking from Land's End to John o'Groats in the nude.
There is something about Gough which appeals to the elemental British character. Whether it is the appearance of eccentricity, a quality which has enabled many psychotics to live amongst us undisturbed, or his defiance of authority, people seem to have warmed to him, when the correct reaction should be anger.
Gough is the patron saint of every British neighbourhood crank who murdered their neighbour over the height of a leylandii bush. He is the patron saint of all those who feel no compunction in marketing complicated equipment like mobile phones to very young children, or lying us into war for their places in history.
He is modern 'homo britannicus', utterly intent on doing what he wants, when he wants, where he wants without regard for the feelings of or consequences to others, a scofflaw quite prepared to endure imprisonment (without regard to the expense that exercise incurs for others) so that he can do his thing. He says that he performed his 'walk' in order to impose his own views on other people -
"I want to show people that nakedness is nothing to be ashamed about and they should not pass their shame on to their kids."
It is not for him to decide what attitudes parents should pass on to their children. His arrogance is stunning, and hopefully he will now sink back into his previous well-merited obscurity. We have too many Stephen Goughs in this country.
And hopefully he'll be receiving a large bill for the bed and board he received at our expense.

Fukuyama's Fumble

Francis Fukuyama, signatory to Project for the New American Century, has continued to distance himself from mainstream neoconservatism with a piece in the New York Times entitled 'After Neoconservatism'.
Leon Hadar has dealt with its some of its more cringeworthy aspects (HT - Antiwar), but there is one section in it that just cannot pass without comment.
Fukuyama writes,
"Many people have also interpreted my book "The End of History and the Last Man" (1992) as a neoconservative tract, one that argued in favor of the view that there is a universal hunger for liberty in all people that will inevitably lead them to liberal democracy, and that we are living in the midst of an accelerating, transnational movement in favor of that liberal democracy. This is a misreading of the argument. "The End of History" is in the end an argument about modernization. What is initially universal is not the desire for liberal democracy but rather the desire to live in a modern — that is, technologically advanced and prosperous — society, which, if satisfied, tends to drive demands for political participation. Liberal democracy is one of the byproducts of this modernization process, something that becomes a universal aspiration only in the course of historical time."
If that was his argument, then the behaviour of a significant minority of British Muslims proves him wrong.
Those people have achieved whatever desire Fukuyama believes they might have to live in ' a modern — that is, technologically advanced and prosperous — society'. He might be correct in thinking that the freedoms enjoyed in such societies 'drive demands for poltical participation' - but being a democracy ideologue, he hasn't factored in the operation of other, ideological actors like multiculturalism.
If you are permitted to live in one type of society and behave as if you're in another, as British Muslims have been, then the recent finding that 40% of British Muslims want Sharia law, announced on the very same day that Fukuyama's article was published, is a reasonably forseeable outcome.
As a way of doing things, democracy is no different from flossing or waiting until the traffic stops before crossing the street. They are all examples of best practice, the ways of doing things in certain situations which are most likely to produce satisfactory long-term outcomes.
But the nature of recent human history should at least have shown a historian like Fukuyama that Mankind has no inherent democratic instinct. Man is an inherently savage, tribal beast, his sole blessings being self-awareness, opposable thumbs and the occasional ability to learn from his mistakes. One of his most recent clangers has been to believe those who offer grand, sweeping solutions to that most complex of human interactions, inter-tribal relations; and should we ever require concrete evidence of our own stupidity, then our failure to immediately renounce all ideology after the Second World War's 60 million bodycount should be ample enough.
That 40% of a population who have at their fingertips every commodity they could ever want and could not develop for themselves say they want to be governed by a savage Seventh century code in 21st Century Britain shows how tribal culture trumps enlightened reason every single time.
Being generous to Fukuyama, one could interpret his conclusion as a plea to make societies 'technologically-advanced and prosperous', and if his thesis is correct then democracy will follow. But the price of the process required to produce that outcome, the international labour arbitrage commonly mistitled 'globalisation', inflicts too many costs on those citizens of stable societies who lose their jobs so that undemocratic societies may advance and prosper. The stable societies are impoverished and weakened by globalisation to the same degree that the unstable are enriched and strengthened.
Globalisation's stated aim is to raise the incomes of the Third World - the evidence shows that its effect is the levelling of global incomes. However, its most ardent advocates don't realise that a levelling of incomes in the First World to the level of the Third might have other consequences, such as profound civil unrest when Westerners realise just how closely their governments have colluded in their impoverishment by their confusion of corporate profit motive with market theory. Western Man's primal survival instinct might just then kick in; and it is profoundly to be hoped that globalisation will not have to be stopped at a Marston Moor or Gettysburg.
The only alternative to sending the opportunities our cultures have created to those unstable societies which require them in order to advance and prosper is to enable their citizens to live within our borders, so they can see how we do it. This exercise is neither costless nor temporary, and one can only wonder what a grand-sweep historian like Fukuyama really thinks of the ornery, stubborn, libelled old Minutemen, wandering the Arizona desert carrying unlicensed clipboards with extreme prejudice.
Fukuyama can certainly weave a delicate web of brilliantly-spun words; but the fragility of his conclusions is more an occasion for pity rather than scorn.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Rule Of Law Bigotry

Firstly, an apology to Tim Worstall is in order, for losing the plot in his comments section.
I plead provocation.
Tim had linked to an absolutely appalling article by Gary Younge on the subject of migration, entitled 'Where someone's pocket change can feed another's family for a week'. If you elect to click on the link, do yourself a favour and hold your nose.
You'll get its drift from its subheading - "Migrant workers do the jobs that Americans will not do, but they are vulnerable to bigots and big business".
I dealt with most of it here - but Younge throws out one cheap shot too many when describing all opponents of mass immigration as 'bigots'.
If being in favour of the rule of the law makes you a bigot; if being in favour of the governments you elect and the bureacrats you fund enforcing the law with the taxes they demand from you makes you a bigot; if being in favour of Third World remittance pensioner societies healing themselves and adopting sensible economic policies in order to encourage indigenous growth instead of relying on Carlos and Pilar's wire transfers makes you a bigot; then count me in as a rule of law bigot.

Turkish Flu As A Tool Of Economic Management

The British government's indifference to the threat of Turkish flu is genocidal.
But when we're all dead in the streets, just think how much emptier the country will be...and how many more jobs will need to be done...
Pray tell, who will do them? While helping to keep inflation down?

Islam And The Battle Of Ideas

That gentle thud you can hear in the background is the British liberal establishment beating its collective breast.
According to an ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph, 40% of British Muslims want Sharia law.
Which means, of course, that 60% don't, just as over half describe the conviction of Abu Hamza as fair.
David Davis is reported to have said,
"It shows we have a long way to go to win the battle of ideas within some parts of the Muslim community and why it is absolutely vital that we reinforce the voice of moderate Islam wherever possible."
Davis is entirely wrong. There is no 'battle of ideas'; if there is, the fact that those Muslims who would like Sharia maintain their residences in this hellhole of decadence, free healthcare, depravity, 4 x 4 dealerships, iniquity, freedom of movement, public licentiousness and great mobile signal pretty much indicates it's been won.
Those Muslims who do not wish to see Sharia UK have an understanding of the nature of citizenship. It's getting the rest on board that's the tricky bit. And that is not my job or the job of people like me.
If Islam is not forever to be regarded as a subversive ideology, the Muslims need non-Muslim goodwill - a commodity likely to be in short supply if they continue to pull stunts like the one they pulled yesterday, shouting 'Allahu Akbar!' at the foot of Nelson's Column.

A Taxing Proposition

Steve Forbes has called for a flat tax to be instituted in the UK.

Has David Cameron?

The Chairman Of Marks & Spencer Commits Heresy Against The Money Gods

Paul Myners on defending takeovers.

Shh--don't tell the paleolibertarians...

Some Thoughts On The Bloodlessness Of Economists

"Greenspan persuaded his monetary-policy colleagues that globalisation has made worldwide capacity, rather than only domestic capacity, available to American consumers and producers. No matter if American labour markets tighten; there are all those low-wage Chinese and Indians eager to turn out the goods Americans want and, in the process, prevent American workers from driving their wages to inflation-producing levels. No matter if American factories are at capacity; Asian and Latin American factories will prevent American companies from raising prices"
As if.
I wonder if Greenspan and Stelzer ever consider that a lot of people don't get paid for the hours they actually work.
Do they have a handy formula for combatting inflation which does not involve wage depression and which not might as well be entitled 'institutional rip-off'?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

On A Personal Note

My apologies for lack of regular, and poor, service over the past few days.
When 'The Washington Dispatch' was still alive, I could bang out 1,000 words three times a week without blinking - however, I must be getting rusty since it went kaput last summer, because I didn't realise how much writing the 5,500 words in 'A Restrictionist's Reply to John Bercow' had taken out of me.
(And speaking of John Bercow, if his aim is to improve Conservative immigration policy, then it looks like Nottingham might be a good place to start).
Also, it doesn't help when your phone line packs in, your supplier's customer services section is closed until Monday, you have no credit on your mobile phone and your only way of accessing funds with which to top it up is via a piece of plastic imprisoned in your fiancee's Cash Card Colditz.
At such times, there must be easier ways of accessing cash...like ripping off Fort Knox...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The BBC And The Community

Having some family connections to Leicester through my fiancee, I was quite tempted to answer the BBC's call to help celebrate the city's diversity until I saw I'm both ethnically and geographically excluded.
Where is the BBC's invitation to the non-racial, ranting right-wing community? Where honest yeomen and the respectable working classes can peacefully and diversely call for the restoration of the death penalty (Gary Nelson, cop-killer, being a suitable poster boy)? And of National Service?
Or for the flag in every classroom and courtroom? For the immediate deportation of foreign criminals? And the restoration to legality of private handgun ownership?
For our immediate secession from the Common Market? And for winding up the Department for International Development? And for emphasising the importance of our independent nuclear deterrent?
For grammar schools, courtesy and the class system?
For a statue of the late, great (and visionary) Mary Whitehouse to be erected in full view of Michael Grade's office window?
Or, indeed, to call for the end of namby-pamby, lily-livered, sociology graduate-administered policing, and a return to the good old days when the boys in blue were able to soundly thrash young thugs up dark alleyways and then perjure themselves blind that 'the accused fell over whilst resisting, m'lud'? Before they dropped the words 'on the square' into their evidence'?
Not very diverse at all. After all, the requirement to pay the licence fee is not diverse. You pay it or you get a criminal record.
If I had my way, I'd (fade to frenzy)....

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Gravy Plane

A salutary lesson in the priorities of the UK's elites is provided today by a couple of items from 'The Times'.
The other is entitled, 'Lowest ranks get biggest pay rise'.
The pay rise amounts to 80 pence a week.
Who'd be a soldier for Marlborough and me?

Is Britain Becoming A Vigilante Society?

Someone should ask Ronald Todd.

Phone Alone

Though some aspects of this story bring to mind Oscar Wilde's observations on the death of Little Nell, one might have thought that, given the location of the item at the time it was abused and the nature of the abuse it received, t might be possible to quite sharply narrow the range of possible culprits.

The Great Displacement

From the archives of Radio Telefis Eireann -
Also on Friday February 17- 'Half of jobs growth from foreign workers'.
I look forward to living long enough to seeing the Wikipedia page on the The Great Displacement of 2006 (An Gorta Doashpleaghmen), which will hopefully report these events as thoroughly as the page chronicling The Great Famine.
The great release valve of Irish history is being able to blame the Brits for everything - but sure, they'll not be wanting to pin this one on 'famine and the Crown'...

Hearts Of Stone

Given the recent global public order crisis occasioned by cartoons of Mohammed, one can't help but wonder whether or not Downing Street's refusal to consider any posthumous honour for Constable Stephen Oake has anything to do with the fact that his murderer, Kamel Bourgass, is an Islamist terrorist.
And the Daily Telegraph should also note that Beerglass, sorry Bourgass, is not 'Algerian-born'.
He's Algerian.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Those Who Do Not Remember The Past

are condemned to relive it, certainly in British higher education.
According to the Telegraph,
"Among the non-vocational subjects over which Mr Rammell shed no tears, applications to study history fell by 7.8 per cent, classics by 8.5 per cent and fine art by 11.4 per cent. Philosophy applications, however, fell by 3.9 per cent, only slightly above the average.

The minister's claim that students were choosing more vocationally beneficial subjects was supported by rises of 15.4 per cent in nursing, 7.4 per cent in social work, 11.5 per cent in maths and 9.6 per cent in pharmacology.

However, there were falls of 10.3 per cent in computer science, 7.3 per cent in mechanical engineering and 18.6 per cent in electronic and electrical engineering".
Well at least we'll have lots of nurses capable of counting out the pills - by candlelight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Restrictionist's Reply To John Bercow

(This essay/post/rant is dedicated to Dennis & Chris, for taking up the cudgels)

On February 5 I posted ‘An Open Letter to John Bercow’, challenging the Conservative MP for Buckingham to a debate on mass immigration, on account of his having appeared that day on BBC One’s ‘The Politics Show’ to extol its virtues.

Being naturally impatient, I e-mailed a copy of my post to his office on February 6.

Almost by return, I received a very prompt and courteous reply from his assistant advising that he was out of the office for the week on select committee business. However, they mailed me a copy of his most recent paper on immigration for my perusal.

Entitled “Incoming Assets: why Tories should change policy on immigration and asylum”, it was published last October by the Social Market Foundation. It is not available online, but a .pdf copy can be downloaded here.

It has already been parsed by Polly Toynbee, in a column for which Owen Barder labelled her a ‘Luddite’.

The purpose of Bercow’s paper was to influence the Conservative Party’s immigration and asylum policies, in the belief that they had been counter-productive at the 2005 General Election.

The Tories had set out their stall under the, well, unusual slogan ‘It’s not racist to want to control immigration’; a surefire vote winner in Tower Hamlets if ever there was one.

The pamphlet is now several months old; yet the nature of events since October 2005, and the vehemence with which Bercow expressed his views on February 5, hopefully makes revisiting the document not an entirely pointless exercise.

This essay deals only with those parts of the pamphlet relating to immigration policy.
Immigration policy and asylum policy are and always should be two separate issues, as one involves the grant of a status that is of an entirely different character to the other. Any attempt to conflate them is as disingenuous as conflating immigration with race.

Bercow starts the document’s Executive Summary by making a very sweeping series of assertions:

“Immigrant communities have added immeasurably to our society. From religious diversity to entrepreneurial spirit; from the work ethic to family solidarity; from art and music to cuisine and couture, Britain is a stronger, more successful and more interesting country as a result”

Omar Khayam’s recent outburst of ultra-extreme Islamism might not indicate that fostering religious diversity is one of immigration’s strengths. Many native British citizens possess very strong work ethics, and immigrant family solidarity is often reinforced by cultural practices, such as cousin marriage, which are not part of the British cultural norm.

Bercow continues,

“In a global economy, the possibility of large scale and continuing immigration to the UK helps to widen the pool of permanently available labour”.

Until there is one global government, one global currency, one global central bank and one global interest rate there will be no such thing as a ‘global economy’.

What we have instead is a global trading environment. In a truly global economy it would not matter where the labour goes, so Bercow needs to make a stronger case for the specific benefits that mass immigration brings to the UK by its coming here.

He does not do it by writing immediately afterwards that,

“… the main demand for migrant labour comes from sectors which suffer severe skills shortages or long-term vacancies, immigrants are not taking jobs British workers could fill, but jobs which British workers are unwilling or unable to do”.

That is a statement that requires to be put to proof. In my opinion he fails.

On Page 15 Bercow makes an argument based upon the positive impact that increased immigration is alleged to make upon GDP. He writes that,
In 1999-2000, the net contribution of migrant workers to the UK economy was 32.5 billion, and a Home Office study suggests that a 1% increase in migration is associated with an increase in GDP of between 1.25% and 1.5%”
Bercow should perhaps peruse Anthony Browne’s seminal ‘Response to Tony Blair’s first speech on immigration (.pdf)’ published by Civitas in 2004.
Blair’s first speech on immigration was not made to Parliament, but to the Confederation of British Industry, the employer’s lobby, on April 27 2004.
The British citizenry’s’ representatives were not fit to be the first to hear their Prime Minster’s views on this crucial issue: however, the British business sector’s ethno-corporate identity politics vehicle apparently was.
On November 9 2004, the CBI’s Director-General, Digby Jones, addressed its annual conference thus:
There will not be any work in Britain for unskilled people . . . within one scholastic generation… I have formed the view that if ever there was a country made for globalisation, it is Britain. It is in our DNA…”
The comments of Jones, now Sir Digby Jones, would seem to put his position on globalisation entirely beyond dispute – and the mass migration of people is a critical element of globalisation.
In his Civitas paper, Anthony Browne notes that,
“Mr. Blair mentioned a Treasury analysis that the economic growth rate would be 0.5% less if migration ceased for the next two years. Immigration certainly does increase GDP because the more people there are working the more the economic output will be, but most of the increase in GDP goes to the immigrants themselves. What matter to native workers is not GDP, but GDP per capita: they don’t care how big the economy is, but how rich they are. A US Government study found that while immigration had increased the US GDP by $200bn a year, actually only between $1bn and $10 bn of this went to the workers already in the US, a trivial mount compared to the $8,000 bn US economy, with the rest going in pay to the immigrants themselves. In total, immigration only increased US GDP growth by 0.1 per cent a year, a trivial amount.”
Perhaps all that one can say of the original document from which Bercow took his figures, “Migration: an economic and social analysis (.pdf)” published in 2001, is that history has since made ironic the good intentions expressed by the second quotation at the beginning of its first chapter, from the communiqué issued at the Berlin Conference on Progressive Governance of June 2000:
At a time of great population movements we must have clear policies for immigration and asylum. We are committed to fostering social inclusion and respect for ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, because they make our societies strong, our economies more flexible and promote exchange of ideas and knowledge”.
However Bercow immediately cites the findings of a report from the Institute of Public Policy Research entitled “Paying their way: the fiscal contribution of immigrants to the UK (.pdf)” from 2005. He quotes the report directly –
“ – total revenue from immigrants grew in real terms from £33.8 billion in 1999-2000 to £41.2 billion in 2003-4. This 22% increase compares with a 6% increase for those born in the UK.
- immigrants made up 8.7% of the population in 2003-4 but accounted for 10.2% of all income tax collected
- immigrants earn about 15% more in average weekly income than those born in the UK
- each immigrant generated £7, 203 in government revenue on average in 2003-4, compared with £6, 861 per non-immigrant
- each immigrant accounted for £7, 277 of government expenditure on average compared with £7,753 per non immigrant
. "
As positive as these figures might seem, they have three glaring flaws.
The first is that although ‘Paying their way’ does make reference to the number of migrants who have settled since the eastward expansion of the EU in May 2004, it makes no reference to the fact that the country has had a net migrant inflow of 151, 000 (if one believes Bercow) or 166,000 (if one believes Migration Watch) every year between 1999-2000 and 2003-2004. Increases on such a scale should automatically raise the amount of revenue raised from migrants even without the operation of migration’s other possible effects, such as native worker displacement.
TYhe second is that in their reporting of relative levels of taxation collected and income earned, the authors adopt the broadest of broad-brush approaches, throwing all migrants into the same pot. The permanent residence in London of high numbers of both very high net worth and very low net worth migrants might by themselves have some impact. One could wonder what a similar study that failed to report both the incomes earned by and taxes collected from Lakshmi Mittal and Boris Berezovsky would look like.
The third is that ‘Paying their way’ only shows monies in and monies out; ledger entries. Browne, writing on the eve of the Eastern cascade which commenced on May 1 2004, adopted a very much more direct approach to the question of immigration’s costs:
“It is a matter of both common sense and academic analysis that immigration at the current rate to the UK…. has an impact on the housing market, increasing shortages and pushing up rents and house prices and thus reducing labour mobility. By boosting the population, it also increases congestion on roads and public transport, exacerbating the shortage of land for factories and offices, further damaging the economy. In compensation, the economies of scale of increasing the population through increasing the size of the domestic market are marginal in an open trading economy like the UK”.
Bercow makes no attempt to provide a similar analysis in his own paper. However on Page 16 he repeats the argument made in ‘Paying their way’ that any argument against immigration based on congestion and competition for services must fail because of the role played by migrant labour is essential for the maintenance of the public services. He notes that,
“In 2003, 29.4% of the total number of doctors employed in the NHS were foreign-born, and since 1999 43.5% of nurses recruited have been from outside the UK”.
Bercow’s views on the very conservative question of government’s proper size do not seem to form part of his pamphlet’s remit; however, he does not speculate on what impact perhaps a reduction in migration might have in actually reducing the size of the NHS, our most bloated and burdensome public service. He does not seem to question the ethics of recruiting foreign doctors, when their services might be more urgently required in their own lands, merely in order to quench the insatiable British thirst for state-provided healthcare free at the point of use.
However, his argument for migration based upon its contribution to public services is one that Browne also addressed. He wrote,
“(Mr. Blair) points out the very high proportion of immigrants working in the national health service and in schools, and reiterates the clearly true fact that much of Britain’s public services would collapse if the immigrants who staffed them suddenly disappeared. But he failed to point out that this was the inevitable result of thirty years of employing cheap, willing immigrants rather than improving pay and conditions so that Britain can train and retain enough of its own workers. One third of trainee nurses in Britain are so disheartened they leave the profession before they qualify, and Britain has 100,000 fully qualified nurses not working in nursing, more than enough to fill any vacancies. Record numbers of British nurses are also leaving the UK for better pay and conditions overseas.”
Bercow does not address this issue at all in his own paper, a gaping structural weakness; and it is not without irony that on February 15, ‘The Daily Telegraph’, an avid advocate for immigration, reported that millions are lost as ‘one student nurse in four quits before the end of their training’, saying,
“The Nursing Standard asked for data on the numbers of those leaving courses between 2002 and 2004. Of 19,995 nursing students expected to finish courses in 2004, 4,956 had dropped out before the course was completed.
The Royal College of Nursing said the main reasons for students leaving were financial pressures, lack of childcare support and poor experiences on ward rounds.
Training is estimated to cost £11,479 a year per nurse, including their bursary, and most students left during their first year.
Jean Gray, editor of the Nursing Standard, said: "To lose a quarter of all students is a huge loss, in terms of the shattered hopes and dreams of thousands but also in terms of the public purse. The statistics should serve as a warning for some serious review of how we are treating our nursing students.
"It is a false economy to invest in education courses but fail to provide the necessary back-up to make sure you end up with enough trained nurses at the end.
"Student nurses tend to be over 26 years old and many juggle the demands of family life with study and clinical placements. Add to that picture the worry of meeting mortgage payments and you begin to realise why so many leave."
The Telegraph quotes Lord Warner, a health minister, as saying,
“The Nursing Standard's rough estimates do not show the real picture with nurse attrition.
"Our official figures collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency puts the national nurse attrition rate in 2003-04 at 16 per cent - a two per cent drop on the previous year.
"Since 1997 we have seen big increases in the numbers of staff joining the NHS, taking up university places to study for a health care profession as well as returners to nursing, midwifery, radiography and other career groups."
And if they don’t, then the historic attitude of the British government to NHS staff recruitment has always been that there’s plenty more where they came from.
It is only on Page 17 that Bercow addresses the most contentious issues in the canon of immigration economics – wage depression and worker displacement. He writes,
“Immigrants have a higher responsiveness to wage differentiation than natives. Immigrants, especially new arrivals, speed up regional wage convergence, thus improving the efficiency of the labour market.
On the strength of his analysis of the American economy, Borjas concludes ‘the empirical evidence, therefore suggests that immigrants may play an important and neglected role in the US economy; they make up a disproportionately large fraction of the marginal workers whose location decisions arbitrage differences across labour markets. Moreover, it turns out that part of this efficiency gain accrues to natives, suggesting that existing estimates of the benefits from immigration may be ignoring a potentially important source of these benefits’. His estimate is that the efficiency gain is between £5 billion and £10 billion per annum, a figure roughly equal to some estimates of the US immigration surplus”.
‘Borjas’, or Professor George Borjas of Harvard, the world’s most influential immigration economist, made the comments in a paper entitled, ‘Does immigration grease the wheels of the labour market? (.pdf), written for the Brookings Institution in 2001.
One wonders whether Bercow is aware of one of Professor Borjas’ subsequent papers. In 2003 he published ‘The Labour Demand is Downward Sloping (.pdf)’ for the National Bureau of Economic Research, and cited by Browne. Borjas concluded that “immigration lowers the wage of competing workers: a 10% increase in supply reduces wages by 3 to 4%”.
Bercow’s paper was written to suggest changes to Conservative party policy, presumably with a view to enabling the party’s route back to power. Nobody knows what social and economic conditions might be like at the time of the next General Election, probably in 2009. By that time the public might be very much better educated in the economic impact of mass immigration.
If that were the case, a Conservative immigration policy that failed to address Professor Borjas’ 2003 paper would be a very hard sell on the doorsteps of Worksop.
On Page 18, Bercow finally speaks in the tongues without which no immigrationist rapture is complete- they’re doing the jobs we won’t do.
He writes,
“We should appreciate the role of migration in tackling labour shortages, where migration covers the movement of workers within a country in addition to the movement of workers into a country. This is true both in filling vacancies now and in thinking decades ahead. Shortages result either from a mismatch between the growth in demand for specific skills which is not met (in the short term) by supply at the given wage or from information asymmetries and mobility restrictions relayed to frictional employment.

This problem currently afflicts the UK in a number of disparate areas. The IT and financial services industries are hit by shortages and immigration is needed to fill them.”

Very shortly after the publication of Bercow’s paper, David Smith of the ‘Sunday Times’ wrote an editorial bracingly titled ‘Migrants are taking our jobs’.

Smith, by no means an immigration sceptic, noted the effect of mass immigration upon unemployment, writing that,

“…there is tentative economic evidence that this (mass immigration) process may have gone a little too far. The other labour-market puzzle has been in the unemployment statistics. Every month this year the claimant count has risen. The rise is not huge, amounting to just over 60,000 in total, but it is the first such sustained rise in 12 years, and a blot on a successful labour-market record.
At the same time, however, employment continues to grow, by 345,000 over the past year, according to the Labour Force Survey, and by 150,000 workforce jobs, according to employer-based numbers. How can you have simultaneously rising employment and unemployment? John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), has combined the official figures with his own organisation’s surveys and suggests that at least part of the answer lies with immigration.
“Unemployment has risen in the past year not because more people have been joining the count — in fact slightly fewer have done so — but because fewer people are leaving,” he said.
“The reason for this is evident in our own quarterly survey evidence. It shows that when it comes to recruitment, benefit claimants, many of whom are not immediately job ready, are losing out to other jobseekers, in particular growing numbers of immigrant workers.”
Smith continues by quoting Professor David Coleman:
“David Coleman, professor of demography at Oxford University, is an honorary consultant to Migration Watch. In The Economic Efffects of Immigration into the United Kingdom, a paper he wrote jointly last year with Bob Rowthorne of Cambridge University, he concluded that the overall economic benefits were negligible and outweighed by other negative effects.
“We conclude that the economic consequences of large-scale immigration are mostly trivial, negative or transient; that the interests of more vulnerable sections of the domestic population may be damaged; and that any small fiscal or other economic benefits are unlikely to bear comparison with immigration’s substantial and permanent demographic and environmental impact,” it said.
Even if one chooses not to go that far, immigration does present a dilemma. When unemployment is falling, it performs a useful, even vital function. When the jobless total is rising, the situation gets more cloudy.
It is possible to envisage a situation, indeed, where the employees of choice are those from other countries, even when unemployment is high in Britain.
What would the response be to that? In policy terms the answer has to be to improve the skills of the unemployed, and of those under threat of being displaced by migrant workers.”
It might therefore be the case that instead of doing the jobs we won’t do, they’re doing the jobs we could do and are willing to do but are not being hired to do.
It also seems to be the case that they’re doing some of the jobs that we used to be doing, and still have plenty of people to do.
On December 26 2006, two months after the publication of Bercow’s pamphlet, the Daily Telegraph’s Philip Aldrick reported that,

“Indian technology workers are flooding the UK on temporary permits, undercutting local wages and raising the prospect of a homegrown skills shortage, an IT association claimed.
Salaries for certain IT workers have fallen in recent months, according to the Association for Technology Staffing Companies. ATSCo chief executive Ann Swain said: "Wages are being undercut by companies bringing over Indian workers, who are put up in hostels and paid poorly."
Home Office immigration figures show that 21,448 foreign IT workers have been issued work permits this year, a 15pc increase on 2004 and almost double the level five years ago. Of those, 85pc now come from India.
Separate research from PayScale, a pay monitoring firm, shows that an experienced software programmer in India receives £6,600 a year compared with £33,000 for his counterpart in the UK.
After paying their travel, permits and living expenses, the Indian workers are "charged out to clients at around half the rate asked for a similarly homegrown IT expert [£350 a day against £650]", Elizabeth Gordon-Pugh of outsourcing consultant Alsbridge has estimated.
She added: "One Indian supplier operating in the UK has around 80pc of its 2,000 [plus] staff in the UK comprised of Indians on assignment from a few weeks to several years."
ATSCo's research shows that the "commoditisation" of IT services has reduced average salaries for permanent IT helpdesk workers by 3pc this year to £17,538 and for temporary workers by 25pc to £12 an hour.
Ms Swain warned that the trend, known as "onshore offshoring", could lead to a damaging skills shortage. She said: "How will organisations recruit IT staff for mid-to-senior level roles if there are no entry-level jobs left in the UK? The fall in the number of graduates choosing IT careers will filter through to chronic shortages at the top in years to come…
According to industry sources, most consulting companies offer some form of "onshore offshoring". IBM, LogicaCMG, Accenture and CapGemini all transfer Indian workers to the UK for projects, as do Indian consulting firms Tata Consulting Services and Infosys.
One senior UK "onshore offshoring" figure claimed: "The real reason why companies are turning to people from the Indian subcontinent is that UK graduates can't compete with the quality of India's technology graduates. The level of intelligence and attention to detail is lacking in UK staff coming through the education system.”
Work permit rules state that, before making a transfer from India, companies have to advertise the job in Europe showing there is no one local with the skills available.
The internal appointment must also be paid a similar salary.”
Writing from the paleolibertarian perspective, Tim Worstall may indeed have had a point when he described Ann Swain’s complaints as being based on ‘jobs and her members’ interests’; however, regardless of the economic arguments for or against onshore offshoring, the crisis in IT staffing described by John Bercow, which he says can only be cured by increased immigration, does not match the version of events reported by Philip Aldrick.
What Aldrick’s report describes is a clear example of worker displacement through labour arbitrage, of the kind seen for many years in the United States as a direct result of employer abuse of the H-1B visa system.
These are not jobs which British workers are ‘unwilling or unable to do’, as Bercow says; these migrants are being brought to the UK to perform jobs already being performed by similarly qualified British people. There are no unfilled jobs for them to perform. If there are shortages in IT staffing, as Bercow asserts, what point is there in displacing those citizens capable of filling them?
And one of Tim’s commentators, ‘David Wildgoose’ made the following, telling observations on the same post-

As one of the tech workers directly affected by this kind of thing I believe my opinion should carry slightly more weight than most.

First, I have no problem with this in isolation - it just means that we have to raise our game to compete, and in the long run everybody benefits.

Second, it's not in isolation. It's being combined with vicious taxation attacks on local contractors like IR35, Section 660 and the like that deliberately targets us, whilst ignoring big businesses and foreign competition like the above.

It's not a level playing field. They are being encouraged, whilst the Tax Man is trying to prevent us from competing.

I have a family to provide for. Given a level playing field I would welcome "offshore onshoring" as making British IT more competitive and stronger in the long run. But I won't do so when the playing field is being tilted so heavily against us, because that just destroys local competition and gives it all to someone else

There is therefore some evidence that the IT labour market is not free: it is rigged, and rigged in favour of the migrant at the expense of the citizen.
It is only fair to Bercow to point out that it is perfectly possible that onshore offshoring into the UK may just have begun in the interval between the publication of his pamphlet and Philip Aldrick’s report. There is no evidence to suggest that that is not the case; but neither is there any to suggest that it is.
And as an aside, one sincerely hopes that the person who made the remark that ‘the level of intelligence and attention to detail is lacking in UK staff coming through the education system' was not a foreign national. The joyous celebration of the foreign is a spastic reflex amongst immigrationists, given its most exuberant voice in Neal Ascherson’s hosanna that ‘By God, what Scotland really wants is Poles.'
Restrictionists are also accustomed to hearing those who employ migrants for gain casually decry their fellow countrymen’s merits. A classic example of this was the anonymous Scottish employer quoted in the International Herald Tribune of October 21 2005, who said that,
“The Poles are terrific people and foreign workers tend to work a lot harder than the Scots”

Danny Sriskandarajah of the IPPR, a co-author of ‘Paying their way’, once said,
“It’s important to understand the economic contribution migrants make, but also important not to judge migrants in terms of their economic contribution alone”.
Perhaps he should have a word with that anonymous businessman; and perhaps also with John Bercow.
However, for any person who profits from a practice such as ‘onshore offshoring’ to demean the collective intelligence of the people of this country, the very country from which he derives his profits, would be bad enough if they were a fellow countryman – if they were not, then they should not be permitted to do business in this country.
Bercow then takes another tack on page 18. He writes,
“As a result of below-replacement fertility and increased longevity, population trends show that many countries, and virtually all European nations, are expected to experience a decline in the size and rapid ageing of their populations. In this situation, it is essential that there should be replacement immigration i.e. the international net inflow of people required to offset declining contributions for public services and pensions that result from a smaller and older population”.
It is odd to see a Member of Parliament for a party committed to markets and individual liberty calling for more immigration as a means of reaching a notional population target. At the very start of his document, Bercow wrote, “The Tory Party has traditionally rejected central planning”; why should he then seek to plan the size of the population? If central planning is bad for the boardroom, why should it be good for the bedroom?
As has often been said before, if the British wish to drink, drug, contracept and abort themselves into history then the state has no reason to stop them. That view can at least be construed as being a libertarian, if not wholly conservative, position. If there are not enough taxpayers to pay for our bloated public services, the proper solution would surely be to reduce the size of the public services; not to import a large number of people to work as a servant class, whose sole purpose would be to keep us in the style to which we have become accustomed and whose usage of the same services might just further increase their cost.
Arguments for increased immigration based on diminishing population size conveniently forget that demographic patterns can always change. There is no guarantee that the country’s population will not increase naturally throughout the next 30 years. Bercow errs in assuming that the current downward population trend is a constant. For all we know, we might be on the cusp of a change in public morality as profound as the change from the Georgian to the Victorian; in which case the downward spiral might just cure itself.
For every argument that Bercow makes in favour of mass immigration, an equally valid, supportable one can be made against. His paper, although no doubt well meaning, is a partisan political document, yet it does not make anything like a strong enough case for a change to a softer, gentler Conservative immigration policy; indeed, the evidence would indicate that Conservative immigration policy is nowhere near tough enough.
He failed because the focus of his argument was wrong from the start.
Bercow wrote on Page 2 of his paper that ‘a liberal, market orientated approach to immigration is best for Britain’.
The word ‘citizen’ does not appear anywhere in that part of his paper dedicated to immigration. It is written entirely from the perspective of ‘homo economicus’.
He falls into each of the three great traps laid at the feet of conservative mass immigration advocates.
Firstly, he seems positively determined to consider immigration to be the solution to every economic problem. His praise of the role of migrants in running the NHS is fully justified – yet he does not consider what impact reducing the size of the NHS might have on its requirement to hire migrants.
Secondly, he does not examine whether business, the lobby that benefits most from the flexible labour market he celebrates and which is reinforced by migration, might consider altering its practices before resorting to a cheap hit of migrant labour. They say that migrants do the jobs British people won’t do – are the wages they offer sufficient to be considered a realistic living wage for a British citizen who has been burdened with multiple stealth tax increases since 1997?
Are they using migration as a tool for lowering costs which have risen though defects in their own business plans or performance; or because their own product or service is not one which the market really wants; or which they haven't marketed hard enough? Or because they want to cut costs in order to keep up with the explosion in the rate of executive compensation, expanding far above the rate of inflation?
But I forgot - that’s what they have to pay to recruit ‘the best people’.
Whilst low levels of business regulation always promote the most efficient use of capital, Bercow exhibits the grim tendency shared by many conservative thinkers of being absolutely uncritical of everything that business does; not a healthy posture to adopt when the cause he is advocating might help provide a useful smokescreen for many businesses’ deeper failings.
Thirdly, he refuses to consider the impact of massive population loss on migrant societies. The influx of Polish migrants into the UK since 2004 has been fuelled by Poland’s staggering 20% unemployment rate – he does not consider what the Poles might do to bring that appalling figure down, an outcome which would in all likelihood sharply reverse its outward demographic trend.
Instead, he approaches all his arguments from the perspective of ‘what’s in it for us?’ He does not seem to stop to ask himself, ‘what’s in it for them?’ If it continues at its current rate, the level of migrancy from Poland has the capacity to permanently damage that great and ancient country – is being able to hire a cheap plumber in Clapham worth that outcome? Do we want to go into history being remembered for helping to make that happen?
What is it about us that makes us feel so superior to Poland that we feel there is nothing wrong, nothing unwholesome, about hollowing out her brightest and best, the people she needs, in order to make our meals, drive our buses and empty our bedpans? At times like this, possessing a working knowledge of European history should lead one to feel extremely uneasy; for if this outward rush of people continues, then accession to the European Union might just do to Poland what neither its horrible brown and red fascist oppressors ever could. It could kill it.
The Achilles heel of Bercow’s market approach to immigration is that we do not live in societies governed by markets, but in societies of citizens governed by laws and the rule of law. Markets first, citizens last makes you popular with those who stand to gain most from that approach, businesses mostly; but corporations have no votes. Tony Blair’s choice of the CBI for expressing his views on immigration speaks volumes for his own prejudices, but he’s going to be gone soon, and then the issue of immigration is up for grabs.
Bercow is well intentioned, of that there is no doubt – however, his arguments are profoundly flawed and easily refutable.
A very much more worthy, and politically profitable, use of his time and energy would have been to take on the task from which the Conservative leadership has shied away for too long, but will have to face very soon – the task of carefully, thoroughly and systematically destroying the British National Party, in particular doing the dirty job of ripping out its false bottom of racial nationalism, and not on the Conservatives’ terms but on the BNP’s. Bercow may not have won many admirers with this paper, but doing that job might just make him a conservative hero.
I can assure him that if he is properly briefed, it should take him no more than 30 minutes.
But if his thinking on immigration is shared by the majority of his fellow Conservatives, then they are just as untrustworthy on this issue as Labour.