Saturday, August 26, 2006


What the 600,000 figure hides

We’ve known for what seems like aeons that there are, at the very least, well over half a million new migrants from the East European nations newly acceded to the EU, and not the ten or twenty thousand the Government told us it anticipated. A couple of months back an internal Home Office report was leaked putting the figure at 660,000. This is a Home Office figure, you understand.

What does it not include? For a start, the several tens of thousands of those who colluded with the Government in the bogus ‘self-employed’ scheme -- under the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA). I helped to rubber stamp completely unchecked into the country this mass influx ahead of the Mayday 2004 EU accession when I worked at Managed Migration. I said when I ‘blew the whistle’ that this was a bare-faced Government con to siphon off as many migrants as possible ahead of the accession day to make the flood appear smaller. This is one reason why the projections prior to May 2004 for the first year’s influx were originally just 5,000 a year in total.

After the resulting scandal and the resignation of the immigration minister, the Government was bounced into setting up a registration scheme for all these new entrants, but even though it came after some of the horses had already bolted, this stable door was mysteriously porous. The Home Office was loathe to admit that registration was in fact merely voluntary. So anyone could come here and either work ‘on the black’ or for any employer not bothering with the red tape. Then we learned that it didn’t include the self-employed. The overall figure also does not include dependents -- a BBC Newsnight survey found that 30% of Polish arrivals either already had their family with them or were planning to bring them. On top of all this is the number who do not work at all.

If the Home Office is admitting to 660,000, then conservatively a million can’t be wide of the mark. A principal Polish rep for new arrivals to the UK was interviewed by the BBC and said that he reckoned there must be a million; many of whom, he said, were destitute. This is just Poles, not the total for those from the other six new EU countries. How many of these are claiming benefits the Government certainly doesn’t know, because the DWP has no means of checking the immigration status of applicants for any benefit. The policy is simply to hope that new migrants don’t find out about this. If they do, the Government is not going to challenge a claim because they know that if this is appealed then EU law will overrule, and the assurances we were given will be seen to be as empty as they are.

The ex bosses chief, Digby Jones, has been all over the media proclaiming how good all this is for the economy; and of course it’s good -- for firms. It is not good for people, nor for the taxpayer; certainly in the long run. Talk to an economist with expertise in migration and he will tell you that any policy of mass immigration of low or unskilled workers will push down the wages of those already low paid, if not force them out of work. Worse than this, every semi-skilled or skilled worker who arrives is one less chance for someone to try to get themselves into the labour market by training. It’s great for firms who now don’t have to pay for this -- and it helps to hide how bad is our education system. It’s not so great for the poorly planned public sector, which is training highly skilled staff such as nurses for positions it has already filled by recruiting abroad. As Frank Field pointed out, not one of the newly trained medical staff in his constituency had found a job as a direct result.

What happened to the idea of reducing inequality? What happened to the ’high wage economy’? With a population that is both ageing and reproducing less, we have the opportunity to follow the model of several countries on the continent. Instead we are repeating on a grander scale the mistakes of the recent past. The textile industry we once had in the North of England was in dire need of investment in high tech to compete internationally given higher domestic wages. Instead, we imported cheap labour from the countries of competing textile industries to displace the indigenous workforce who couldn’t live on the low wages, and textile manufacture struggled on. This lasted only until the threshold for necessary investment was so high that when this became the only option the mill owners simply cut their losses and shut the whole industry down. The taxpayer now pays for two sets of unemployment: the original indigenous workers and their migrant replacements.

What happens now that the whole economy is to an extent run on similar lines? The next time the economy turns down, the taxpayer will pay for all those amongst the millions of legal and illegal migrants who become un- or under-employed. Together, with the additional huge costs of over-stretched infrastructure, that will have to be augmented or restructured, this means that immigration is now a major part of the reason for the ratcheting ever upwards of the proportion of everyone’s income taken as taxation. The consequence is a progressive disincentive to work for ever larger slices of what we used to call the working classes.

Friday, August 18, 2006


"It's better that you weren't in the country": MP's "BNP talk" to disaffected Muslims sparks New Labour battle

The immigration debate came full circle on August 15, 2006, when one of the Government’s own MPs told legal migrants to go home. The Asian Labour MP for Dewsbury, Shahid Malik, speaking on his regional BBCTV news, called for British resident Muslims who don't like living here and think it’s better in Muslim countries that ‘it’s better that you weren’t in the country’. This met with an immediate reaction from the very moderate Asian Labour dignitary, Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, who (speaking on the same programme) described Malik’s statement as ‘BNP talk’.

In fact, such a policy would be extreme even for the BNP. The BNP certainly advocates repatriation of legal migrants, but only voluntary repatriation and, at least in public, does not admonish migrants to return home. Malik said nothing about choice and was referring not so much to recent arrivals as second- and third-generation Asian Muslims — those from families long established here — which research byNOP/ Channel4 Dispatches only the previous week had revealed as those most likely to give passive or active support to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

Such a pronouncement, one might imagine, would be political suicide for any MP, let alone a Labour MP; but presumably because he was Asian himself, Malik thought he was protected. It will be lost on no-one that the Government has vilified as racist anyone who simply raised the immigration issue, let alone anyone making such incendiary comments. Me, for instance, when I outlined simple facts, not controversial proposals or rhetoric like this. Why is the one labelled ‘racist’ and the other merely as talking ‘as if’ racist? How do we know that Malik is not racist or ‘xenophobic’ re other Asian or Muslim groups other than the one he is a member of himself? We know that some of the worst bad feeling is between different Asian and different Muslim populations. I was falsely accused of racism for exposing an Eastern European immigration scam; the fact that East Europeans are white Caucasian — my own race — did not stop anyone jumping to a pejorative conclusion. So why is Malik exempt? Why is the law for the rest of us not the law for the political classes?

Well, it seems that Mr Malik does believe that the political classes should not be exempt; and especially not Labour MPs. Two years before he had slapped down a fellow Labour MP, Phil Woolas, who was trying to draw attention to another form of black-on-white racial violence (see pages 130-131, below). Malik said: ‘The comments feed far-right organisations like the BNP who hijack the remarks … Mr Woolas has no basis for his view and is clearly out of line with Labour Party thinking.’

What a beautiful, ironic illustration of the ongoing hypocrisy over immigration!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Asylum corruption exposé shows Blair's failure to close down this route of bogus immigration

Exposés don’t come more spectacular than that of Immigration Service worker Joseph Dzumbira and his in-house (and out-sourced) accomplices. He couldn’t have been caught more red-handed if he’d slit his own wrists.
Since I kick-started two years ago the unravelling of the total fiasco that is the immigration and asylum ‘system‘, I knew there were lots of beans to spill -- and believe me there are plenty more. But just as I was starting to think that things really couldn’t get that much worse for the Government ….. they just did.
As a former immigration caseworker myself, I immediately recognised the core fact of this latest scandal: that nobody checks if someone is from the country they claim they’re from.  We had no training whatsoever in what the passports of all the various countries looked like -- even what colour the cover should be -- and very few staff were given any training in forgery detection. So how could we check that any application to us was above-board?
I used to work in a part of the IND (Immigration & Nationality Directorate) called Managed Migration -- great joke name -- handling the full range of immigration applications. We didn’t meet would-be migrants face-to-face like Dzumbira met his asylum applicants, but we had plenty of knowledge of Dzumbira’s colleagues in the aptly named Lunar House at Croydon.
The ineptitude of Lunar House staff was legendary: necessary computer case-notes were ultra brief (if there were any at all), often cryptic, ungrammatical and leaving us in the dark about anything much about how the applicant had previously been dealt with. As it was for us, pay was appallingly low, and because of this and the location out at Croydon, recruitment and retention of staff was a major problem. The Home Office was bound to end up with plenty of duds.
We did meet face-to-face one of Dzumbira’s colleagues: a man originally from Ghana gave us all a day-long ‘asylum awareness’ training day. We looked forward to this because it wasn’t the usual equal opportunities and diversity baloney: we thought we might learn something. Well his English was so bad nobody could understand more than the odd word he said! I complained that he did not get to first base as someone fit to have a teaching role, and for that I was threatened with a disciplinary interview for racism!
The Home Office is riven with political correctness fascism, which is the big backlash against ordinary people by the political classes because we all just kept up with the Joneses instead of thinking politics like them. The Home Office likes to employ and promote non-whites (and women, gays, disabled). They reckon it a bonus if they can find (ex-)nationals from the parts of the world where applicants most often come form. The problem is that in Africa corruption in public administration is endemic. So if you employ people who formerly lived there or are connected with people there, then you run the risk of the same sort of corruption becoming embedded in our own Civil Service. If you employ them just where their fellow nationals would find them most useful to be corrupt -- in immigration -- then what do you expect?
Remember the case recently of a senior Home office immigration officer who was found to be himself an illegal immigrant?
I personally handled many very suspicious applications from African nationals claiming to want to come here as students. I was not allowed to scrutinise these -- I was hauled in for interview and told not to do necessary checks because it took too long and ... get this ... because it was not my job! Was this so that would-be migrants didn’t need to try the asylum route and so spoil Tony Blair‘s targets for reduced asylum figures?
Tony Blair has been telling us that he’s closed off the asylum route for bogus immigration. The Sun newspaper's exposé has shown as clearly as it could that he hasn’t.

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