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    These people are meant to be intelligent?

    by Sunny on 12th June, 2007 at 12:55 pm    

    In a bid to catch up with all that is hip and new, The Spectator recently launched a bunch of blogs on their website. They have a group blog called The Coffeehouse for which they’ve recruited a bunch of imbeciles. There’s some News of the World columnist called Fraser Nelson who is apparently making an attempt at Debating Life, but says: “…the data is couched in a way no one can understand (17.8 many terminations per 1,000 women, whatever that means).” What does he write, bedtime stories for kids?

    Oh, and then there’s some woman called Sarah Standing who says True Brits Don’t Need a Designated Britain Day because, “We never needed a day to remind us of our worth and I suspect, should British Day be enforced on us, it will mainly celebrated by illegal immigrants living in our great country thrilled to have yet another day off.

    Is this airhead for real? I can think of suitable expletives here but I’ll merely shake my head at the immense stupidity of such people. Illegal immigrants don’t have any legal rights if they work because they are illegal. The 18 cockle workers who died in Morecambe Bay were over-worked and put in dangerous conditions.
    Not long after, an Observer investigation revealed:

    The use of gangmasters and their illegal labourers is growing rapidly. Migrants now account for almost half the workforce in many key industries, and tales of violence, exploitation and lack of concern for health and safety are increasingly common. Three Kurdish workers were killed last July when their van collided with a train on a level crossing in Worcestershire, where they had been employed by gangmasters to pick spring onions. The previous month 18 Chinese labourers narrowly escaped death when the three-bedroom house they had been living in caught fire. Last week 54 Greek migrant workers employed to plant bulbs in Cornwall complained that they had been starved and threatened with sticks.

    I can almost hear illegal immigrants jump for joy at a national day to continue being treated as slaves. I like to read right-wing news/opinion regularly to challenge my own ideas, used to read The Economist for years and still love it. But this is rather pathetic for Britain’s supposedly top right-wing magazine. At least it compensates by having the excellent Clive Davis blogging for them but frankly he is surrounded by donkeys.

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    19 Comments below   |  

    1. Leon — on 12th June, 2007 at 1:22 pm  

      …as recommended by Iain Dale.

    2. sid — on 12th June, 2007 at 1:37 pm  

      it will mainly celebrated by illegal immigrants living in our great country thrilled to have yet another day off

      No surprises there. Sounds like the sort of culturally retarded statement made by the average Conservative.

    3. Tim Worstall — on 12th June, 2007 at 1:59 pm  

      A couple of errors there don’t you think?

      “Illegal immigrants don’t have any legal rights if they work because they are illegal.”


      You mean if I find an illegal worker I can murder them? Rape them? Steal their clothes? Because they don’t have any legal rights because they’re illegal workers?

      “Last week 54 Greek migrant workers employed to plant bulbs in Cornwall complained that they had been starved and threatened with sticks.”

      Greeks, being EU citizens as you and I are, have exactly the same rights to work in the UK as you and I do.

      So, perhaps it’s not quite to do with illegal immigrants working then, but perhaps something a touch more complex?

    4. Duc De Nemours — on 12th June, 2007 at 2:16 pm  

      Tim clearly I have missed something but the point is that illegal immigrants, having exhausted their appeal rights, can not work. They are therefore ‘illegal’ in the sense Sunny states.

      You are absolutely correct to state that in fact things are a little more complicated than this but I really can not see what this has to do with what Sunny was complaining about in relation to an article on a British day in the Spectator.

      Perhaps you could explain.

    5. sonia — on 12th June, 2007 at 3:26 pm  

      tim has got a point.

      it might be more accurate to say that non-citizens who aren’t part of the EU or the EEA ( though recent changes mean bulgarians and romanians are no longer eligible and will need work permits) and do not have a work permit - don’t have any legally acknowledged or recognised employment rights in this country.

      i.e. when your employer fucks you over, you do not have recourse to State law. However, you could of course have recourse under the international human rights declaration. But that is hardly ‘automatic’ and difficult to prove. you’d probably get deported and then you could fight your battle internationally if you so wished, but who is going to do that? that is why if you’re illegal you’re pretty much fucked. you could of course seek asylum to try and stay in the country, but again, that is up for negotiation.

      but actually, it is more complex because if you’re an illegal immigrant, you’re not considered by the nation-state as worthy of its protection. one of the things that protects you is the UN Human Rights Declaration, and in Europe, the EU Convention on Human Rights, which the assumption is that the nation-state would have to listen to. of course, too many people do abuse those who are illegal immigrants because it is easy to do so and get away with.

    6. sonia — on 12th June, 2007 at 3:29 pm  

      well it would make sense first of all to have some idea of what rights people who are not British have in the UK - lumping everyone under the term ‘migrant workers’ is hardly useful as it totally depends on where you’ve migrated from!

      I bet most British people haven’t a clue - having taken the Life in the UK Citizenship test I’m convinced most Brits would fail it miserably!

    7. Don — on 12th June, 2007 at 3:43 pm  

      Tim may have a point, but it is a rather narrow one.

      I didn’t have a problem reading the sentence as “Illegal immigrants don’t have any legal (employment) rights if they work because they are illegal.”

      Of course they are entitled to protection of the law over murder, theft and rape, although in reality that protection might well be less effective because of their status and the fear and concealment it engenders.

      Regarding the Greek workers, the error there was the Observer’s, which failed to distinguish between legal and illegal workers;
      ‘…illegal labourers is growing rapidly. Migrants now account for almost half the workforce in many key industries…’

    8. sonia — on 12th June, 2007 at 3:48 pm  

      the use of the term migrant is in itself funny and harks back from an old age. How many people consider Brits going to work in a restaurant or a bar in Greece or Australia ‘migrants’? not many thats for sure

    9. Duc De Nemours — on 12th June, 2007 at 3:48 pm  


      I know all this, so basically he’s complaining about Sunny’s loose language.

      Fair enough then.

    10. Don — on 12th June, 2007 at 3:51 pm  


      If this mock up is accurate I would, in fact, have narrowly failed (10 out of 14).


    11. sonia — on 12th June, 2007 at 4:41 pm  

      the mock-up is way less pernickety than the real one -and uses ‘common sense’. not many people (without mugging up the book) would get a pass to be honest - and i include myself, if you get about 7 questions wrong, you fail. and out of the 24 questions on the test, about 8 are about nitty gritty that you simply would have had to have memorised/or have an incredibly accurate memory. ah well.

      still - all very useful information.

    12. sonia — on 12th June, 2007 at 4:44 pm  

      i wish the test had some fun questions on it though!

    13. Sunny — on 12th June, 2007 at 5:35 pm  

      Tim, my point here is about employment rights, as is the point Sarah Sands is making. To say that they’ll be celebrating holidays, when most of them work in appaling conditions BECAUSE they are illegal, is downright idiotic. It’s becming the the typical Tory reaction to anything - blame illegal immigrants.

    14. sid — on 12th June, 2007 at 5:50 pm  

      A little scratching and it’s all under the surface. I mean, how can we forget the Tory’s 2005 Election Campaign?

    15. Leon — on 12th June, 2007 at 6:55 pm  

      Yep, written by one David Cameron…

    16. Rumbold — on 12th June, 2007 at 7:18 pm  

      This sort of thing gives conservatives a bad name. The demonization of illegal immigrants benefits no-one aside from the BNP, and Sarah Standing would be better off campaigning for illegal immigrants to be allowed to work while their claims are being processed, in order so they have something to do and feel part of society.

      I remember when Sarah Standing used to write for the Daily Telegraph; she wrote in the Weekend section on fashion. Says it all really. Every article would carry a big picture of her, presumably demanded by the author herself. The Spectator does have good articles now and then, but it is really going downhill. Some of its jokes are quite funny though.

    17. Jean-Luc Gascard — on 12th June, 2007 at 7:27 pm  

      I think people who fail the citizenship test should be sent to Australia.

      Sarah Standing is correct. No? It is the black man and woman who needs to, how do you say, acculturise his or herself to our way of life. No?

    18. Rumbold — on 12th June, 2007 at 7:30 pm  

      “I think people who fail the citizenship test should be sent to Australia.”

      Nobody deserves that fate, whatever their crime.

    19. Amrit — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:36 pm  

      OK, I’m sorry, but Jean-Luc Gascard, you are quite clearly taking the p, by pretending to be a French stereotype.

      Forget sending people to Australia for failing the test, programmes like a ‘A Place In The Sun’ are already doing it!

      If I failed, I would want to go to New Zealand.

      Sunny’s language, restrained though it was, still made me laugh my head off. Sarah Standing is indeed an airhead… and what the hell is Fraser Nelson on about??!

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