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  • Technorati: graph / links

    UK bans non-EU ‘unskilled’ workers


    by Rumbold
    5th December, 2007 at 3:59 pm    

    Home Secretary Jacqui Smith plans to reduce immigration levels by heavily restricting what she terms ‘unskilled’ workers.

    “Unskilled workers from non-EU countries will be banned from taking jobs in the UK for the “foreseeable future”, the government has announced. Spouses who apply for entry to the UK may also have to sit English language assessments under new proposals. It comes ahead of the launch of an Australian-style points-based immigration system in April next year.”

    This could reduce immigration levels by up to 12,000, based on last year’s figures. Ministers of course have decided what constitutes a ‘highly skilled’ migrant:

    “Immigration Minister Liam Byrne earlier set out how the system would work for the top tier of highly skilled migrants, which he defined as those who are “key contributors” to the UK economy. They include people who work in “financial and public services, education and health, ICT and business”.”

    “Successful highly skilled applicants will need to have passed a test in English, equivalent to GCSE Grade C or above.”

    So they will not in fact need to know any English.

    We certainly need some people who are highly skilled to work in the civil service, given all the abject failures that have been happening recently (lost disks etc.). Perhaps we might even get some competent individuals to replace our clearly incompetent ministers.

    “People applying for a visa as a Highly Skilled Migrant will be awarded points based on their qualifications, age, previous salary or the amount of money they are planning to invest in the economy.

    For example, someone aged under 30 with a PhD will automatically gain the 75 points necessary to gain entry, regardless of how much they are earning. But ordinary graduates who have not gone on to further study would need to be earning a minimum of £40,000 to gain entry.”

    This is one way to run an immigration system. However, Smith is expected to claim that

    “immigration policy should not just be about economics but should also take into account the wider impact on society.”

    But how does such a programme take into account the wider impact on society when it is based on economics? Banning ‘unskilled’ migrants seems to me a short-sighted policy hatched by a government desperately trying to look tough on immigration. Who is to say what these people will go onto achieve in this country? One might be a farmer who has no real financial skills, but who gets a newsagents up and running, and then is able to send his daughters to Cambridge to study medicine. Another immigrant might be a highly-skilled financial adviser who ends up as a drug addict. Some of the most successful immigrants are those who start at the bottom and drag themselves up because they want a better life for their families. If Patricia Hewitt can become a minister, anyone can.

    We just don’t know whether people will benefit this country, which is why we should not make sweeping generalisations who can come in and who cannot. We need more hard-working small businessmen in this country, and less lawyers, yet the latter have the qualifications and the former do not: guess who we will get more of?


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    1. Ravi Naik — on 5th December, 2007 at 4:19 pm  

      “We just don’t know whether people will benefit this country, which is why we should not make sweeping generalisations who can come in and who cannot.

      Rumbold, your view on immigration seems to be unrealistic: you have said in the past that you don’t believe in immigration control, and that this country should be open-borders. That is irresponsible.

      The problem is the simplistic way immigration is discussed: the Left says it is good, and the right it is bad. Immigration control should weight on two factors: economic and social impact. Skilled and educated workers with knowledge of English will be an asset to this country because they are able to help the economy and look out for themselves. Unskilled workers with no command of English have greater chances of failing. Whom should the government prefer?
      People that adhere to secular values will obviously fit in much better than those who are fundamentalists and come from backward cultures.

      This is a no-brainer, really.

    2. Rumbold — on 5th December, 2007 at 4:29 pm  

      Ravi Naik:

      “Rumbold, your view on immigration seems to be unrealistic: you have said in the past that you don’t believe in immigration control, and that this country should be open-borders. That is irresponsible.”

      I think that there should be an upper limit on net immigration (though I do not think that limit has been reached yet). However, I would not base admittance to the UK on so-called ‘skills’.

      “The problem is the simplistic way immigration is discussed: the Left says it is good, and the right it is bad.”

      A generalisation, but still a good point. The right can be too anti-immigrant sometimes just for the sake of it, while the left’s plan for many years has just been to yell “racist” at anyone who wished to discuss the issue. These attitudes have hampered efforts to develop an immigration system that works well.

      “Skilled and educated workers with knowledge of English will be an asset to this country because they are able to help the economy and look out for themselves. Unskilled workers with no command of English have greater chances of failing. Whom should the government prefer?”

      Skilled workers might be an asset to this country, or they might not. There are plenty of ‘skilled’ workers who do pointless or even damaging jobs, and plenty of ‘unskilled’ workers who do jobs that benefit society (such as rubbish collecting).

      “People that adhere to secular values will obviously fit in much better than those who are fundamentalists and come from backward cultures.”

      Probably, but how do you detect either group when they are considering their applications?

    3. Sofia — on 5th December, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

      So Ravi do you advocate a fundamentalist questionnaire…to root them out at the borders?

    4. Sofia — on 5th December, 2007 at 4:32 pm  

      oh and why should it be better to adhere to secular values??? don’t religious and secular ever overlap?

    5. douglas clark — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

      Rumbold,

      Taking this forward a bit, the European Communities enlargement projects are quite likely to be able to make available unskilled, and skilled come to that, labour for the forseeable future.

      Our true borders are now the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and Russia. That is the community we are now a part of.

    6. Sid — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:23 pm  

      Christian Democrats?

    7. Boyo — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:30 pm  

      “But how does such a programme take into account the wider impact on society when it is based on economics?”

      Spot on. The trouble with New Labour is it is a party of materialists - all they see is the economics - and regard national identity, community (unless they are minority “leaders” with whom they can parley, rather racist really if you ponder the contrast) as essentially old-fashioned and somehow shameful, the taint of the bourgeois left. And spare me all the talk of “Britishness” - the last grasp of a desperate man.

      I don’t doubt that Bevin was a materialist too, but he still had some national pride I think. New Labour combine the worst of both worlds.

    8. Ambrosio — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:33 pm  

      The trouble with New Labour is it is a party of materialists - all they see is the economics - and regard national identity, community (unless they are minority “leaders” with whom they can parley, rather racist really if you ponder the contrast) as essentially old-fashioned and somehow shameful,

      Indeed. I hope you realise that you have just described the neo-conservative economic model.

    9. Cover Drive — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:33 pm  

      I think the ethnic restaurant business could get hit. I don’t think chefs and waiters would qualify as skilled workers.

      I haven’t yet seen any East Europeans serving food in Indian restaurants but maybe one day.

    10. Sid — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:36 pm  

      I haven’t yet seen any East Europeans serving food in Indian restaurants but maybe one day.

      I have and I’ve seen it happening over the last 5 years at least. Indian restaurants have now promoted themselves to catering services usually in large, posh events. Most of the low-paid staff are invariably young East European people.

    11. Morgoth — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:50 pm  

      Indeed. I hope you realise that you have just described the neo-conservative economic model.

      Pray tell what is the “neo-conservative economic model”?

    12. Sid — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:54 pm  

      Invasion for oil and Bechtel contracts stupid!

    13. Rumbold — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:54 pm  

      Douglas:

      “Taking this forward a bit, the European Communities enlargement projects are quite likely to be able to make available unskilled, and skilled come to that, labour for the forseeable future.

      Our true borders are now the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and Russia. That is the community we are now a part of.”

      In terms of immigration, yes. I think that this will be a good thing, though we must careful not to restrict immigration too muc from non-EU countries in order to compensate.

    14. Rumbold — on 5th December, 2007 at 5:56 pm  

      Neo-conservative economics is the same as socialist economics; big government.

    15. Ravi Naik — on 5th December, 2007 at 6:12 pm  

      “A generalisation, but still a good point. The right can be too anti-immigrant sometimes just for the sake of it, while the left’s plan for many years has just been to yell “racist” at anyone who wished to discuss the issue. These attitudes have hampered efforts to develop an immigration system that works well.”

      Well said. Glad to agree with you on something. :)

      “So Ravi do you advocate a fundamentalist questionnaire…to root them out at the borders?

      Yes Sofia, I do advocate precisely that. And it has been implemented in liberal countries like Holland.

      oh and why should it be better to adhere to secular values??? don’t religious and secular ever overlap?”

      Sharing secular values does not mean that you shouldn’t be religious. It means you understand that religion should be your own private business, and that public places (except for places of worship) and the State have to be on “neutral” ground in terms of religion. We need a neutral ground so that people of all faiths and no faith can have a common platform. Fundamentalists do not undertand this, are isolationists by definition, and will fall in a vicious cycle of poverty and extremism, and I see little point in having these people in this country.

      (As I can see the comments ahead, let me answer them already: Christmas IS a secular holiday, because non-Christians and non-religious people celebrate it (see how popular it is in China!), and Santa Claus over chimneys and giving toys built by little elves is not part of the Christian folklore)

    16. AndyC — on 5th December, 2007 at 6:39 pm  

      “So Ravi do you advocate a fundamentalist questionnaire…to root them out at the borders?

      That one on the US entry forms about terrorism always catches me out. What a fool I’ve been.

    17. Ravi Naik — on 5th December, 2007 at 6:54 pm  

      “That one on the US entry forms about terrorism always catches me out. What a fool I’ve been.

      Heh, point taken. But surely more ellaborate tests can be performed, or not?

    18. El Cid — on 5th December, 2007 at 7:30 pm  

      don’t religious and secular ever overlap?

      of course they do. at the moderate end, where most people inhabit.

      And just to back up what Sid already said, I too have seen eastern European waiters in indian (and thai) restaurants.

      I’m all for a skills test on economic migrants, even though my mum was unskilled, unless you count her exquisite silver service technique (I still love you mum).

      But you made a good point Rumbold — maybe we should make a special case for lawyers. No more lawyers, definitely.

      However, the fact of the matter is that many of the jobs which will be created in the next 10 years will be semi-skilled.
      260,000 houses a year the govt wants remember.
      Still, it’s about time we encouraged migrants from the north and addressed some of the male angst at home.
      They could also fuck off back home at weekends more easily.
      That was a joke.

    19. Boyo — on 5th December, 2007 at 7:32 pm  

      More elaborate tests? The mind boggles…

    20. Jai — on 5th December, 2007 at 7:38 pm  

      Santa Claus over chimneys and giving toys built by little elves is not part of the Christian folklore

      Completely irrelevant note: Folks, if you haven’t seen it already, check out the film “Bad Santa”. It’s freaking brilliant and is hilarious, especially the expletive-laden banter between the lead character and his accomplice (ie. the “elf”). Go to IMDB and check out the quotes, and you’ll see what I mean.

    21. Don — on 5th December, 2007 at 8:16 pm  

      Bad Santa, best Christmas movie ever.

    22. Gibs — on 5th December, 2007 at 8:34 pm  

      The points made by Ravi (regarding the fundamentalist questionaire)are quite legitimate. Anyone wishing to settle in this country should be made to sign a declaration, saying amongst other things, that they:

      a) Accept that people have the right to change their religion.

      b) Accept that people have the right to become atheist (ie apostasy is AOK).

      c) Accept that each adult individual will have the right to choose his or her own religion.

      d) Accept that every adult woman can dress how SHE wants.

      e) Accept that every individual has the right to choose whether or not to marry/who to marry.

      f) Accept that homosexuality is legal - regardless of what it says in the holy books.

      Anyone not prepared to accept these statements should not settle in this country. They should keep out.

    23. Don — on 5th December, 2007 at 8:59 pm  

      That does seem reasonable.

    24. Adnan — on 5th December, 2007 at 9:49 pm  

      Re #18: Is that the new bit where they added after the “blah blah Nazis in WWII”,
      “Have you at any point thought of or are in the process of committing a terrorist act on this flight?”

    25. sonia — on 5th December, 2007 at 9:53 pm  

      interesting perspective rumbold, many good points. we need rubbish collectors!

      thing is they never let in that many “unskilled” folk anyway - and there are specific “areas” they recruit for “low skills”. its not like currently someone can waltz into an embassy somewhere and say well im going to be a rubbish collector, i figure there’s lots of rubbish to collect in london, and they go, alright then, here’s your work permit, and off you go to collect rubbish. so i’d be interested to hear what they’re actually changing. perhaps au pairs. or perhaps they’ll stop restaurants from hiring catering staff, and individuals from having domestic workers.

    26. sonia — on 5th December, 2007 at 9:54 pm  

      well i got let in “the door” hah so they clearly overlooked my lack of skills, ho ho.

    27. Ravi Naik — on 5th December, 2007 at 10:23 pm  

      “Re #18: Is that the new bit where they added after the “blah blah Nazis in WWII”,
      “Have you at any point thought of or are in the process of committing a terrorist act on this flight?”

      If you want to be sarcastic at least do it right. The immigration cards are handed in only when you reach US soil - that is after your flight, so the question is meaningless. You are welcome to try again, though. :)

      Gibs questions are pretty reasonable.

    28. zohra — on 5th December, 2007 at 10:55 pm  

      Ravi @1: re ‘Unskilled workers with no command of English have greater chances of failing.’ - evidence please, or at least some elaboration of what you mean by ‘failing’ and ‘unskilled’.

      Ravi @16 re ‘Sharing secular values does not mean that you shouldn’t be religious. It means you understand that religion should be your own private business, and that public places (except for places of worship) and the State have to be on “neutral” ground in terms of religion.’

      That’s an interesting definition of secular, where did you get it from? Religion is not ‘private’ for many people, that doesn’t mean they aren’t secular. Public expression of religion, e.g. by wearing a cross, is not anti-secular. Secular (see wikipedia) is about a division of state and church - e.g. no public money to religious institutions. The UK, by this definition, is not secular.

      ‘Fundamentalists do not understand [sic] this, are isolationists by definition, and will fall in a vicious cycle of poverty and extremism’ - interesting rhetoric, do you have evidence? From what I can see, religious fundamentalists aren’t all isolationists at all (e.g. fundamentalist Christians in American South), and they certainly aren’t always poor.

      Gibs @23 re ‘f) Accept that homosexuality is legal - regardless of what it says in the holy books.’ - what should we do about all the natives who can’t accept this? E.g.: http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2007/11/i_thought_the_p

    29. zohra — on 5th December, 2007 at 10:59 pm  

      Try this for some good analysis:

      Why limiting immigration is bad for Britain
      http://www.ippr.org/articles/?id=2920&tID=85&pID=2920

    30. Morgoth — on 5th December, 2007 at 11:09 pm  

      Rumbold is correct - economic solutions offered by the neoconservative school of thought tend to be more left-wing and statist then standard conservative economics.

      Not that the OP probably cares since I get the feeling he was just throwing the word about as a general purpose insult.

    31. Ravi Naik — on 5th December, 2007 at 11:21 pm  

      “evidence please, or at least some elaboration of what you mean by ‘failing’ and ‘unskilled’.”

      Check the unemployment and education figures in terms of ethnicity.

      “Secular (see wikipedia) is about a division of state and church - e.g. no public money to religious institutions. The UK, by this definition, is not secular.

      It is secular, since it is neutral about religion. The fact that it provides money to different religious institutions is proof of that.

      “From what I can see, religious fundamentalists aren’t all isolationists at all (e.g. fundamentalist Christians in American South), and they certainly aren’t always poor.”

      I am talking about the context of Britain and immigration. Though any fundamentalist organisation is by definition closed inside its own bubble, therefore isolationists.

      Gibs @23 re ‘f) Accept that homosexuality is legal - regardless of what it says in the holy books.’ - what should we do about all the natives who can’t accept this?

      That is totally irrelevant. We are talking about immigrants. It is incredibly silly to have all these social campaigns about the importance of diversity and tolerance, and then letting in immigrants who are intolerant, racists, mysoginists, and whatnot. I mean, what can one say about those russian immigrants in Israel who were … neo-nazis full of hate against Jewish people?

    32. Ravi Naik — on 5th December, 2007 at 11:26 pm  

      “Why limiting immigration is bad for Britain
      Unfortunately, denying UK employers access to the best and brightest workers from across the world may hurt more than they expect and still not stop the inflows that worry the electorate

      Er… aren’t we talking about restricting unskilled workers from abroad? What does that have to do with this article?

    33. Don — on 5th December, 2007 at 11:26 pm  

      zohra,

      ‘some elaboration of what you mean by ‘failing’ and ‘unskilled’.

      Yeah, I had a lot of trouble understanding those words too. In the end I figured ‘unskillled’ meant not having marketable skills, and that ‘failing’ meant failing to become economically independant and/or socially functional.

      Jeez, that was difficult.

      ‘That’s an interesting definition of secular’ No it isn’t. It’s bog standard and has nothing to do with wearing a signifier.

      There are certainly many rich fundamentalists, but that is scarcely an argumennt against the point that fundamentalism exploits and battens on the poor and uninformed.

    34. douglas clark — on 5th December, 2007 at 11:48 pm  

      I don’t think the opposite of secular is fundamentalist, I think it is theocratic. Which is awefully good if you happen to be amongst the chosen and absolute rubbish if you are not.

      It would take a heave and a grunt to be sure, but it ought to be possible to move the UK from it’s present comatose constitutional settlement to a fully secularised state. I would still like to see that happen, preferably sometime soon.

    35. zohra — on 6th December, 2007 at 1:14 am  

      Ravi @32: the UK is not neutral about religion. The fact that it provides state funding to more than one religious institution doesn’t make it neutral, it just means it’s not focused on only one religion. In any case, using state funding to pay for religious institutions is the opposite of secular.

      Don @34, it is not box standard at all - French secularism is all about limiting signifers in public space, and what Ravi was talking about was his desire for ‘neutral’ public spaces. The whole reason French secularism is frequently challenged is that it has a particular definition of secularism as being about how religion is practiced in public. That was Ravi’s point - that religion is ‘private’, which is what I was challenging because that isn’t what secularism means.

      I feel the need to repeat: the definition of a secular state is about how state money is spent. The UK is therefore not (yet) secular, though Douglas @35, you are quite right - it should certainly be possible. Need to get those bishops out of the House of Lords too of course.

    36. zohra — on 6th December, 2007 at 1:14 am  

      Ravi @32 your remark about failing was in terms of ‘Unskilled workers with no command of English’, whereas the education and employment stats in terms of ethnicity are (a) not necessarily divided by skilled and unskilled workers (though this can be done, but would take a different level of analysis) (b) not always about workers (eg education attainment) and (c) do not indicate extent of English. So those stats are not evidence of your point.

      Ravi, you’ve shifted from fundamentalists generally, to fundamentalist organisations in particular are isolationist. Perhaps you need to be clear about which organisations you’re talking about. Because there are fundamentalist Christians in Britain too, but I wouldn’t call them isolationist.

      And in terms of the point about immigrants being homophobic etc, there is a difference between (a) being intolerant and (b) not accepting the *law*, which was Gibs’ point. I brought in the issue of natives in relation to this latter point.

      Ravi @33, the article is relevant because it points to the fallacy of the underlying motivations for wanting to restrict immigration in the first place.

    37. zohra — on 6th December, 2007 at 1:17 am  

      Don @34, while the sarcasm isn’t helpful, I appreciate you taking at stab at definitions. Based on your response I’d say:

      1. the ‘market’ for different sets of skills changes. This past summer we had a shortage of strawberry pickers.

      2. do immigrants really tend to be dependent or socially disfunctional? I know the Mail thinks so, but shall we discuss evidence instead?

      Don, on your last point, Ravi’s argument was that fundamentalists ‘will fall in a vicious cycle of poverty and extremism’, not that fundamentalism exploits the ‘poor and uninformed’. The first I took as meaning that as a function of being a fundamentalist, and related to the charge of isolationism, one would be more likely to become poor. Your point seems to be about how fundamentalists are recruited to being fundamentalist. Meanwhile, the 7/7 attackers weren’t isolated in many ways, weren’t uneducated (though you may mean something different when you say ‘uninformed’) and weren’t poor.

      Oh, and on the poor point, fundamentalist Christians in the UK aren’t all poor either.

    38. douglas clark — on 6th December, 2007 at 1:47 am  

      Zohra @ 36,

      Need to get those bishops out of the House of Lords too of course.

      Absolutely.

      That is a complete affront to any understanding of a secular society. Heave a bit, grunt a bit, we could have a sane politic. Right now, we most certainly do not. And that is because of our past. We justify everything on the basis of precedent, like the past must be our future.

      No. We can do what the heck we like.

      Just a thought…

    39. Indy — on 6th December, 2007 at 4:23 am  

      It is prerogative of the EU nations to decide what kind of labor they want in their country. Why should the people from other parts of the world raise such a hue-and-cry over it?

      If you want to come to any EU nation you have to have certain skills that will get you jobs. If you don’t have those skills you will be unemployed and then society will have to fund your food etc.

      So in my view this measure from EU is a right step as it will curtail the flow of unemployable immigrants.

    40. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 10:41 am  

      So once we have this wonderful questionnaire rooting out the evil fundamentalists..will we then translate it into different languages..or provide an easy to read version so that ppl actually understand what they are being asked.
      I find this all deeply disturbing and problematic from a human rights point of view. Who will come up with the questions? what is stopping ppl from lying..i can visualise a human traffickers giving out an answers template…it’s all too stupid and frankly a waste of money.
      As for English being a prerequisite..fair enough..but then we need to do something about the people born and bred in this country who have a low command of the language..
      What are we going to do next, ask asylum seekers to recite the alphabet before they’re let out of heathrow to their nice little detention centre?

    41. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 10:43 am  

      I also find it deeply abhorrent that those of us whose parents came here for economic reasons, with little or no English would not have been able to arrive here and contribute if the opinions of their spawn were practised at the time.
      A new breed of brown sahibs…

    42. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 11:05 am  

      In any case, using state funding to pay for religious institutions is the opposite of secular.

      Look, we have different definitions of the term “secular”, and that’s fine. I have given you my definition, so there are no ambiguities.

      However, if you look at the definition of “secularity” in wikipedia, you will find this: “One approximate synonym for secular is worldly; another could be phrased as neutral in religious matters….Despite occasional confusion, secularity is not synonymous with atheism.”

      “Ravi, you’ve shifted from fundamentalists generally, to fundamentalist organisations in particular are isolationist. Perhaps you need to be clear about which organisations you’re talking about.”

      I will give you a definition instead. Individuals that are religious fundamentalists are those whose main identity is religion, and thus are unable or unwilling to interact in a “neutral” platform, or even reach a compromise. What is a fundamentalist organisation? Well, I guess you can figure out yourself now. :)

      “Meanwhile, the 7/7 attackers weren’t isolated in many ways, weren’t uneducated (though you may mean something different when you say ‘uninformed’) and weren’t poor.”

      This has nothing to do with your initial assertion of what I said: “[It is a] function of being a fundamentalist, and related to the charge of isolationism, one would be more likely to become poor.

      This is demonstrably true. I did not say (and don’t believe either) that given the above conditions, “one would be more likely to become a terrorist”.

    43. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 11:10 am  

      so a fundamentalist is someone whose main identity is religion..thus making them incapable of interacting on a neutral platform? what twaddle..
      guess i’m a fundamentalist..

    44. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 11:30 am  

      “So once we have this wonderful questionnaire rooting out the evil fundamentalists..will we then translate it into different languages”

      No translations would be necessary, as they would have done the English test first.

      “Who will come up with the questions? what is stopping ppl from lying..i can visualise a human traffickers giving out an answers template…it’s all too stupid and frankly a waste of money.

      It would be stupid if it was just a case of putting crosses as the American have in their immigration cards, or a “yes/no” questionaire. I favour an oral interview, where the interviewer can ask several questions to draw a profile of how easy it would be to assimilate to a liberal society.

      “What are we going to do next, ask asylum seekers to recite the alphabet before they’re let out of heathrow to their nice little detention centre”

      We are talking about economic migrants, not asylum seekers.

      “I also find it deeply abhorrent that those of us whose parents came here for economic reasons, with little or no English would not have been able to arrive here and contribute if the opinions of their spawn were practised at the time.”

      It is a different world now than of our parents. It is far more difficult to succeed in life now if you have little command of English or are unskilled because manufacturing jobs have gone to China and other countries. Also, there is free movement of EU nationals, which means Britain would need to accomodate unskilled force from other EU countries first.

      “A new breed of brown sahibs…”

      Still with the colonial hangup, uh?

    45. bananabrain — on 6th December, 2007 at 11:42 am  

      mean, what can one say about those russian immigrants in Israel who were … neo-nazis full of hate against Jewish people?

      that there are less than 50 of them in the entire country, by all accounts? or that they’d have to be spectacularly stupid to choose israel of all places to try and be a neo-nazi in? you tell me.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    46. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 11:48 am  

      no ravi..no colonial hang up..i think there are a lot of brown ppl who i would call brown sahibs (2nd generation and Indian/pakistani banker types (feel free to substitute the b in banker for another letter)…who are about as racist as as white ppl were when my parents came to this country Their english was and is perfect, probably a lot better than the “natives”..and they didn’t end up in factories..surprise surprise..
      I find all of this language a bit patronising..and a bit rich coming from ppl who are immigrants themselves. We’ll have the rivers of blood speech translated into some south asian language for all the brown racists to understand…oops..don’t they all know english anyway…?

    47. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:00 pm  

      We’ll have the rivers of blood speech translated into some south asian language for all the brown racists to understand…oops..don’t they all know english anyway…?

      Rather than throwing cheap shots - and I do position you as in the other extreme to Powell - what is your opinion about immigration control? Should there be open borders and no control? By your definition, anyone who doesn’t have that position condones what Powell has said. And you should know better.

    48. Adnan — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

      #44: Maybe you can have one of these psychometric tests that asks the same question in loads of different ways to prevent clever undesirables beating the questionnaire.

      After all they may be an articulate smoothie like Tariq Ramadhan and con the human interviewer.

    49. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:15 pm  

      We are talking about controlling imigration, not curbing it because of racial or cultural impurities. And no one is talking about “race”, the new immigrants are in fact white. So calling “racist” or “brown sahib” because one believes that Britain has to gain by attracting immigrants that know English or are skilled, is just lazyness when debating this issue by simply using the “race” card whenever possible.

    50. Kismet Hardy — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:23 pm  

      What kind of a bizarre oxymoron is an unskilled worker anyway?

      To do a jod, you have to be able to do it to get it, which is a skill, no?

      But hang on, I just thought of my accountant

    51. Ambrosio — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:29 pm  

      guess i’m a fundamentalist

      Well, hasn’t Morgoth being calling you that for ages now?

      Good of you to finally admit it.

    52. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:42 pm  

      Please don’t assume…I didn’t say no control..and i’d rather be the total opposite of enoch, so thank you very much for placing me there. What I take exception to, is this little filter system you want of questioning ideologies…how the hell do i know whether my views are fundamentalist if I’ve held them all my life and never had them questioned?? so it’s ok for skilled workers to come to this country with YOUR version of fundamentalism, but not unskilled workers…discrimination??

    53. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:43 pm  

      ambrosio..i don’t think you understand rhetoric…

    54. Cover Drive — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:47 pm  

      Indian restaurants have now promoted themselves to catering services usually in large, posh events. Most of the low-paid staff are invariably young East European people.

      I’m broadly in favour of the new immigrations rules but they do discriminate against non-EU migrants, yet the majority of migrants coming to the UK are from EU. Shouldn’t there be some restriction on their numbers especially as they are putting the greatest pressure on public services? Schools, housing, NHS…they’re all under pressure. Remember the outcry earlier this year from councils such as Slough and Cambridgeshire about not having enough government funding because the government was underestimating the number of arrivals into UK?

      UK needs skilled workers if it wants to maintain its position in the world economy. I don’t think it really needs lots of unskilled labour either from the EU or non-EU countries. There is plenty of people here living off the dole that could do low skilled jobs.

    55. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:48 pm  

      In defense of Sofia, I don’t think she is a fundamentalist by a long mile. And I value her opinions even though I don’t agree with them.

    56. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:49 pm  

      Ravi..i was referring to the new breed of brown ppl in this country who are racist..whether it is against new east european immigrants or immigrants from other parts of the world.
      You did not really answer my questions on fundamentalism, skilled vs unskilled, questionnaires..etc…

    57. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 12:57 pm  

      “so it’s ok for skilled workers to come to this country with YOUR version of fundamentalism, but not unskilled workers…discrimination??

      No fundamentalists - period. And yes, any immigration control amounts to discrimination, do you agree?

      “I find all of this language a bit patronising..and a bit rich coming from ppl who are immigrants themselves”

      I don’t follow you. Care to explain in what way am I being a hypocrite regarding what I’ve said?

    58. zohra — on 6th December, 2007 at 1:07 pm  

      Ravi @42, you quoted this from me as a response to you, but I was responding to Don (not you).

      “Meanwhile, the 7/7 attackers weren’t isolated in many ways, weren’t uneducated (though you may mean something different when you say ‘uninformed’) and weren’t poor.”

    59. zohra — on 6th December, 2007 at 1:11 pm  

      Ravi @49, we are indeed talking about ‘curbing’, and we’re talking about non-EU immigrants, not Eastern Europeans, according to the first para of the post:

      ‘Home Secretary Jacqui Smith plans to reduce immigration levels by heavily restricting what she terms ‘unskilled’ workers.

      “Unskilled workers from non-EU countries will be banned from taking jobs in the UK for the “foreseeable future”, the government has announced. ‘

    60. zohra — on 6th December, 2007 at 1:17 pm  

      Cover @54, sometimes the ‘pressure’ on social services is imagined:

      ‘Research has found that, rather than taking much-needed housing from local residents, new immigrants tend to fill voids in the housing stock left behind or rejected by other households.’

      http://www.politics.co.uk/press-releases/opinion-former-index/culture-media-and-sport/jrf-research-shows-new-immigrants-often-take-accommodation-rejected-by-other-people-$481998.htm

    61. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 1:18 pm  

      Ravi, so now you want a questionnaire for all immigrants?
      I have issue with this questionnaire..as i don’t think it amounts to anything but a waste of money.
      Also as someone who is obviously either an immigrant or a second generation Asian..(please correct me if i am wrong), you should understand that ideologies are complex and are not necessarily what makes people “fundamentalist”..having said that, i don’t understand your definition of fundamentalist as that would make me one..and i don’t perceive my “fundamentalism” to affect my interaction with people of different backgrounds.
      Immigration is discriminatory I didn’t say it wasnt’..what i said was discriminatory was having a “fundamentalist” test for one and not the other..but you now say you want one for both…don’t you think ppl will lie…or do you think your blue chip immigrants will be clever enough to answer whereas your average jo won’t? can’t you see the problems with this?
      As for controls on immigration…so we take the highly skilled workers from other countries..leaving them with what exactly?? Brain drain india situation?

    62. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 3:03 pm  

      Ravi, so now you want a questionnaire for all immigrants?

      Obviously! It would not make much sense otherwise, now would it?

      “having said that, i don’t understand your definition of fundamentalist as that would make me one”

      If you do not understand my definition of a fundamentalist than you probably should not state that you are one based on that. Perhaps my definition is too simplistic when I say that a religious fundamentalist is someone whose main identity is religion. Can I ask you why do you say religion is your main identity? And why would you want to be defined by religion?

      don’t you think ppl will lie…or do you think your blue chip immigrants will be clever enough to answer whereas your average jo won’t? can’t you see the problems with this?

      That’s no reason for not implementing such scheme. People also lie when claiming benefits, or when testifying in courts, in fact, people lie to get what they want. Which is no reason we shouldn’t have some form of welfare to those that need. No system is perfect. I do believe an oral interview is enough to determine people’s core beliefs and determine if they are compatible with ours. Certainly in terms of equality and diversity. This is regardless of belonging to one religion or the other, or how complex you think ideologies are. Which in essence, they are not.

      “As for controls on immigration…so we take the highly skilled workers from other countries..leaving them with what exactly?? Brain drain india situation?”

      Which side are you on Sofia? Now getting into anti-immigration mode? ;) Yes, it feels like countries like India and China are getting a bad deal here: they invest in education for years, and then having them come to this country. However, a lot of Indians are going back home, and that’s good for India - having them stay abroad gaining experience and expertise, and then applying that expertise there.

    63. Deep Singh — on 6th December, 2007 at 3:16 pm  

      Sofia wrote @ 56:

      “Ravi..i was referring to the new breed of brown ppl in this country who are racist..whether it is against new east european immigrants or immigrants from other parts of the world”

      And @46, accused all of these “Brown ppl” of being “brown sahibs (2nd generation and Indian/pakistani banker types”

      Sofia, just for clarification, what exactly makes you pigeon hole those of such a mindset as Bankers or were you literally hoping for all readers to read ‘Banker’ as ‘Wanker’?

    64. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 3:23 pm  

      I don’t think a new set of bureaucratic measures such as questionnaires/interviews for every single new immigrant would be the best use of my money.
      As for immigrants from india, i was highlighting the issue of skilled vs “non” skilled..
      as for describing myself as muslim…why shouldn’t this be my primary form of identity..it isn’t the only one..and i don’t go foisting it on anyone..rather it is my own personal sense of identity…this should in no way bar me from integrating, or hold views that are similar to my neighbour who is not muslim…i am also a british indian..why the need to put indian in there if i am already british?
      Going back to fundamentalism…this is subjective..and again is easy to hide if someone knows you are looking for it. Your analogy is the benefit system..yes that is abused..benefits can be tracked…do you propose to follow up on new immigrants to make sure they are still adhering to “our” values? who says your core beliefs are the same as mine? and again..what if someone doesn’t realise their core beliefs aren’t compatible with “ours” unless they have been challenged before and not at border control or an embassy under interview conditions?

    65. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 3:25 pm  

      Deep Singh…yes i did mean banker of the other kind…
      as for the professional backgrounds of the new brown sahibs..banker/lawyer/bus driver/business person..doesn’t matter..i’ve met plenty of them…unfortunately

    66. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 3:55 pm  

      as for describing myself as muslim…why shouldn’t this be my primary form of identity..it isn’t the only one..and i don’t go foisting it on anyone..rather it is my own personal sense of identity…

      I see a lot of things that are wrong. First of all, you are a complex individual (and I mean it in a good way) and yet, you reduce yourself to just one aspect.

      Second, the identity of religion be it Islam or Christianity or whatever ideology or religion you can think of, is usually hijacked by people who are vocal and unscrupulous. So in essence, your main and primary identity is defined by someone else. You said it correctly: your identity comes from your personal sense, and it should remain that way.

      In my view, believing religion or your ideology is your main identity, though, means that everything you do and see are in terms of us against them, there is no compromise, and not seeing the “other” as equals or in the same stand.

      Your analogy is the benefit system..yes that is abused..benefits can be tracked…do you propose to follow up on new immigrants to make sure they are still adhering to “our” values?

      Not tracked. However, if they commit a serious crime (e.g. hate crime) which contradicts to what they have stated in the interview - during a probation period - there would be a case for deportation.

    67. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 4:04 pm  

      “Ravi..i was referring to the new breed of brown ppl in this country who are racist..whether it is against new east european immigrants or immigrants from other parts of the world”

      If you believe that there should be immigration control (#52), and by that definition it means that you accept that some immigrants will not get in by some criteria - what gives you the right to call any Asian - a racist or a brown sahib? Don’t you see that your rethoric can be played against you?

    68. Sofia — on 6th December, 2007 at 4:35 pm  

      if i am for example on a disability benefit, then my name is on the system and therefore it would be quite easy for mr/ms official to come and check up on me..

      why would my religious identity cause a me against them mentality? like i haven’t got enough on my plate to add that..how about you and me..different..end of.

      as for it being hijacked..then all the more reason to assume it..if the union jack is being used by the bnp..should that mean the rest of us can’t use it?? and take it back

      As for immigration..again..my point was the way in which you are filtering out ppl…if you want a quota fine..just don’t make it about the persons’ beliefs, or the perception of their “skill”..for example..i know plenty of university educated idiots…who are lazy as shit and use their education as way of stepping over other ppl…are they more skilled?

    69. Rumbold — on 6th December, 2007 at 4:48 pm  

      Ravi Naik:

      “Well said. Glad to agree with you on something.”

      Scary isn’t it?

      El Cid:

      “But you made a good point Rumbold — maybe we should make a special case for lawyers. No more lawyers, definitely.”

      And PR people, and some others.

      Sonia:

      “Thing is they never let in that many “unskilled” folk anyway - and there are specific “areas” they recruit for “low skills”. its not like currently someone can waltz into an embassy somewhere and say well im going to be a rubbish collector, i figure there’s lots of rubbish to collect in london, and they go, alright then, here’s your work permit, and off you go to collect rubbish.”

      Good points. I just meant that some ‘unskilled’ migrants will end up doing jobs like this, as they do not have the necessary qualifications for other jobs.

    70. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 5:12 pm  

      “Scary isn’t it?”

      Yep. :)

      “why would my religious identity cause a me against them mentality?”

      Your religious identity does not cause “me against them” mentality. Only if you choose to be defined in very narrow terms, and thus see the world in a very simplistic form. I also realise that your main objection stems for your prejudices against muslims: you believe that Muslims would be the most targeted.

      For curiosity, would you answer “no” to any question in #22?

      “just don’t make it about the persons’ beliefs, or the perception of their “skill”..for example..i know plenty of university educated idiots…who are lazy as shit and use their education as way of stepping over other ppl…are they more skilled?”

      Yes, you do seem to know a lot of “bankers”. :)

    71. Rumbold — on 6th December, 2007 at 5:44 pm  

      Ravi:

      We’ll return to normal soon enough.

    72. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 6:03 pm  

      We’ll return to normal soon enough.

      Not sure if things can ever get back to normal…

    73. sonia — on 6th December, 2007 at 6:45 pm  

      Look let’s all have a hug as per Sunny’s recommendation, ( sorry to derail thread)

    74. Ruby — on 6th December, 2007 at 8:28 pm  

      Who will come up with the questions? what is stopping ppl from lying..i can visualise a human traffickers giving out an answers template…it’s all too stupid and frankly a waste of money.

      Excellent point.

    75. Rumbold — on 6th December, 2007 at 8:29 pm  

      Ravi- You have a face that changes colour- that is sure to confuse those BNP clowns.

    76. Ruby — on 6th December, 2007 at 8:31 pm  

      I will give you a definition instead. Individuals that are religious fundamentalists are those whose main identity is religion, and thus are unable or unwilling to interact in a “neutral” platform, or even reach a compromise.

      This is ridiculous and rendered brainless by the generalisation made. Try again. At the moment all you are doing is making generalisations based on your personal viewpoint and asserting them as self-evident.

    77. Ruby — on 6th December, 2007 at 8:38 pm  

      Rather than throwing cheap shots

      You should take your own advice Ravi. By the way, you have a habit of shifting the goalposts to suit your own rhetoric and purpose. In the first instance Sofia contested your assertion that anyone whose ‘main identity’ is religion is incapable of accepting the secular space of this society. Rather than address that, you then start projecting onto her convoluted accusations of assenting to Enoch Powell-ism, and of ‘refusing’ to discuss controls on immigration, when all she was doing was contesting your generalisations self-asserted as truth. You’re a rhetorical bully boy.

    78. Ravi Naik — on 6th December, 2007 at 11:30 pm  

      “This is ridiculous and rendered brainless by the generalisation made. Try again.”

      No, I am satisfied with what I wrote.

      “Rather than address that, you then start projecting onto her convoluted accusations of assenting to Enoch Powell-ism, and of ‘refusing’ to discuss controls on immigration, when all she was doing was contesting your generalisations self-asserted as truth. “

      Oh Ruby, did I really accuse someone of assenting to Enoch Powell-ism, or did I castigate someone for bringing “Rivers of Blood” and using the “race card” to this conversation?

      It is obvious that what I have written is what I believe to the be truth. If I believed it was a lie, then I would not dream of writing it. Now, and here is where it becomes crazy, I don’t believe in absolute truths. My mind will change when someone (which is obviously not you) is able to convince me that I have made a gross error in judgement, rather than simply dismiss what I have written as “ridiculous and rendered brainless by the generalisation made”.
      Perhaps you should try again, otherwise let’s pretend this conversation never happened.

    79. Ruby — on 7th December, 2007 at 1:07 am  

      No, I am satisfied with what I wrote.

      Yeah I know, you have the halo of the self-satisfied, and that’s why it was so brainless. It’s not about what you smugly project, it’s objective criticism of your brainless generalised standard.

      did I really accuse someone of assenting to Enoch Powell-ism, or did I castigate someone for bringing “Rivers of Blood” and using the “race card” to this conversation?

      You brought Powell and ‘Rivers of Blood’ into the conversation. You inserted it like a suppository just to stigmatise Sofia, you bully boy. Don’t remember? Looks like you’re losing your memory. Might not have a mind to change, if your short term memory’s so addled you can’t even remember the ad hoc introduction of some demented ‘if you don’t agree with me you’re playing with Enoch Powell’s fire’ logic into the conversation, and then claim you didn’t even raise that straw man, ridiculous piece of self-constructed non argument.

      I am dissapointed by the intellect of the Asian men on this blog so far. So far all I have seen is definitive evidence of the superiority of Asian women’s intellect and debating skills. Very dissapointed.

      The less said about the others, the mini fantasist Clive’s of India, the better.

      And don’t throw tantrums either in response or you’re misogynists.

    80. Ravi Naik — on 7th December, 2007 at 1:32 am  

      “You brought Powell and ‘Rivers of Blood’ into the conversation”

      No, I didn’t. Check #46.

      “I am dissapointed by the intellect of the Asian men on this blog so far. So far all I have seen is definitive evidence of the superiority of Asian women’s intellect and debating skills. Very dissapointed.”

      Ruby, looks like you are in a dominatrix mood today. Kinky, but I like that. :)

    81. Cover Drive — on 7th December, 2007 at 5:32 am  

      Ruby:

      The less said about the others, the mini fantasist Clive’s of India, the better.

      And don’t throw tantrums either in response or you’re misogynists.

      I think that is a big ‘generalisation based on your personal viewpoint’.

    82. Boyo — on 7th December, 2007 at 8:15 am  

      Sofia was not just making a fair point - “We’ll have the rivers of blood speech translated into some south asian language for all the brown racists to understand…” - but it’s often far worse than that.

      The routine hatred of the “kufar” (infidelphobia anyone?), homosexuals, women etc spouted by a considerable section of the population and its cheerleaders even courted by the likes of Ken Livingstone dwarfs the support for the “white” far right in this country. Yet it is largely tolerated or even supported by the left as a “cultural phenomenon”.

      Inverted racism more like.

    83. Deep Singh — on 10th December, 2007 at 3:56 pm  

      Boyo:

      The routine hatred of the “kufar” (infidelphobia anyone?), homosexuals, women etc spouted by a considerable section of the population and its cheerleaders even courted by the likes of Ken Livingstone dwarfs the support for the “white” far right in this country. Yet it is largely tolerated or even supported by the left as a “cultural phenomenon”.

      …no responses?

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