Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday, 11 February 2004

Left-wing idiocy from Polly Toynbee in the 'Guardian'

In an article charmingly entitled 'The real reason why we should fear immigration', leftie journalist Polly Toynbee couches her bigotry in the guise of protecting British jobs:

The better answer is to raise pay to a level people can live on. Let employers pay the fair market price - not one subsidised by tax credits.
and
People are right to fear immigration if it is used as a way to keep pay down.

This is of course the economics of a 'command led' economy, such as that operated in the former USSR until it collapsed under the weight of its own illogicality.

This ignoramus about matters economic ignores that in the recent cockle-pickers tragedy at Morecambe Bay (when about 18 Chinese illegal immigrants perished because of the greed of illegal gang-masters paying them what she chooses to describe as 'slave' wages - I originally heard (elsewhere) that this was as low as GBP1 per day, although I have since read reports that interviews have been conducted with members of family (in China) of a couple of those who perished who indicate that whilst they were certainly being paid low wages, they were a great deal more than that. Whether they met the UK 'minimum wage' is not clear though. Of course, China is another 'socialist paradise' where there is democracy and freedom for everyone. The Chinese economy is booming, we have all heard about it, but it is not booming for everyone, and with the residency restrictions placed on 'peasants' moving from the countryside to the large cities (where the work is mainly located) it has the same kind of 'internal passport' policy that plagued the failed USSR.

The only part of Ms Toynbee's article that makes ANY sense is that we need a beefed-up employment inspectorate to ensure that the minimum wage is paid to everyone. As Ms Toynbee surely knows, there are many people who reputedly are paid less than this and that some of these people are British citizens who, for various reasons, are reluctant to claim what is their due under the law. But in the case of the 'cockles' at the heart of this tragedy, they mainly go for export to Spain and undoubtedly their final cost to the Spanish importer has a bearing. Sure, the British could make everything domestically and pay higher wages to all people working here, but our export markets would reduce drastically, given the competition (which we can do nothing about) from China, India, Eastern Europe and many less-coddled parts of the world.

There are many problems in this country, but a return to old-style 'socialism' with a semi-closed economy and exchange controls (else the currency would plunge through the floor), as practised by the Labour Party until they were kicked out of office in 1979, is definitely not the way to go.

Racism in this country must be fought, Ms Toynbee, not pandered to in the way that your article suggests we should.

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