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12 August 2013
Here we go again!
Having systematically pandered to employer interests while turning a blind eye to the needs of Britain’s labour force throughout the 13 years it was in government (1997-2010), the UK’s self-styled “Labour” Party, now condemned to impotent opposition, wants to be seen as a champion of British workers.
It seems that British firms have actually been taking advantage of their legal right to employ workers from other Member States of the European Union (EU), a cornerstone of which is the free inter-state movement of labour.
Well, we can’t have that, can we?
This morning the London Guardian newspaper trailed a speech to be given today by Labour’s shadow immigration minister, Chris Bryant.
In his draft speech Mr Bryant is quoted as saying: “It is unfair that unscrupulous employers whose only interest seems to be finding labour as cheaply as possible will recruit workers in large numbers in low-wage countries in the EU”.
It seems that Mr Bryant is in need of some basic lessons in market economics.
Employers looking to employ workers at the cheapest possible rates is what capitalism has been about since the guild system collapsed at the end of the Middle Ages.
Moreover, under EU rules, to which Britain has signed up in full knowledge of the facts, employers have a perfect right to ignore local workers and go fishing for staff in any of the EU’s 28 Member States (with the exception, until 1 January 2014, of Romania and Bulgaria and, until 1 July 2020, of Croatia, which joined the EU on 1 July 2013).
In accordance with these rules, a huge amount of cheap labour from other EU countries, particularly Poland, was induced to migrate to Britain during the 13 years of Labour misrule – without provoking a pipsqueak of protest from the authorities.
Of course, in the face of cut-throat competition from cheap foreign labour, wages in Britain plummeted, particularly at the bottom end of the pay scales.
But what did they expect?
This is what capitalism is all about.
And the funny thing is that the Labour Party is a paid-up card-carrying cheer-leader for both the capitalism system and the European Union.
Did I hear someone use the word “hypocrisy” just now?
Could it be, in fact, that there is a UK parliamentary election looming in 2015 and that the Labour Party is currently languishing in the opinion polls?
Could it be, in fact, that the Labour Party is cynically trying to exploit the widespread popular resentment at falling wages and high unemployment that are the direct result of policies which the Labour Party itself has espoused hook, line and sinker?
Now that would be unthinkable.
Or would it?
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.