With opinion polls showing immigration – rightly or wrongly – the number one concern of voters, and with UKIP snapping at the heels of David Cameron, you can only imagine how damaging it would be if the fact were ever to come out that the prime minister has secretly agreed to a flood of cheap labour from India into the UK.
Well, the fact is, he has.
And that’s probably why he and his media friends have been keeping really really quiet about it.
Here’s a question for you. What was the purpose of David Cameron’s recent trip to India?
Bilateral trade you might well say. After all, that was how it was spun in the UK media.
In India however, the truth is somewhat easier to find.
The main purpose of the trip was actually to boost completion of the EU/India Free Trade Agreement.
India’s sole demand in this agreement is that the EU allows Indian companies to supply cheap temporary labour into the EU – approximately 85% of which would be to the UK.
The Coalition will argue in its defence that the UK now has an ‘immigration cap’.
However, the government has excluded temporary workers from the cap and the trade agreement with India allows specifically for temporary workers to come to the UK.
Temporary? How temporary? Well, the UK government has stipulated that ‘temporary’ can be as long as 9-10 years.
Cameron may well also argue that the agreement only allows for ‘graduates’ or ‘students’ to work in the UK.
But what he won’t tell you is that the ‘graduates’ and ‘students’ only need to be classed as that status in India. In the UK they could take any jobs from factory workers and care assistants to doctors, teachers and accountants.
And finally the government will argue that there are restrictions on the numbers of certain kinds of workers who will be allowed into the UK.
What they won’t tell you is that there are no restrictions on the overall number of Indian workers who will be allowed into the UK.
For a more detailed analysis of the trade agreement and what it will mean for the UK, have a look at this excellent article here:
What was the real purpose of David Cameron’s visit to India?
The truth is, Cameron knows full well that this flood of cheap labour from India is sure to put a strain on employment, housing, health and public services in the UK as well as driving down wages and working conditions.
Of course, as long as this immigration bombshell is kept secret from the UK electorate, Cameron is counting on the effects of the agreement only being noticed well after the next election in 2015, by which time he’s hoping he will be in power for another 5 years anyway.
And needless to say, if this information were ever to get out – it would have a devastating effect on Cameron’s chances of winning the next election.
So best keep it to ourselves then, hadn’t we?
Pingback: Immigration bombshell: Cameron's (very) secret deal to allow a flood of cheap labour from India | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it
‘The truth is, Cameron knows full well that this flood of cheap labour from India is sure to put a strain on employment, housing, health and public services in the UK as well as driving down wages and working conditions’
How sad to see someone supposedly from the left repeating this right wing mantra of drivel of fear of foreigners. Instead of promoting the bigotry of the right wing press go and look at the actual evidence on the effects of immigration- such as from NIESR
Prof. Andy Ross – there is conflicting evidence about the effects of immigration on wages, housing etc. However, there is a large body of it which suggests it negatively effects wages and housing particularly in times of recession.
The main problem is the secrecy with which Cameron is doing this. If I hadn’t written this article – we wouldn’t even be discussing it.
If there is evidence that immigration does not adversely affect the low-paid – then why would you want to keep it secret?
IMO, the reason Cameron is so keen on immigration of workers from India – as opposed to say the EU – is because like most Tories he favours a low-wage, unregulated economy with a large available, compliant workforce which favours big corporations.
Why do you think anyone wanting to oppose that agenda is right-wing?
By the way – I’m married to a ‘foreigner’ and I don’t think I ‘fear’ her. Although, if I forget our anniversary she can be pretty scary sometimes. ;- )
‘there is conflicting evidence about the effects of immigration on wages, housing etc. However, there is a large body of it which suggests it negatively effects wages and housing particularly in times of recession’.
You are completely misinformed, the only conflicting evidence of any weight is the MAC report, and then with only an association claimed and with 11 out of 15 regression insignificant, the NIESR rebuttal is far more convincing. And what a daft argument that Cameron wouldn’t wish to keep research findings on immigration secret when he is clearly just crowd pleasing.The duplicity of our politicians is a legitimate target but not by repeating the nonsense that our right-wing gutter press tries to convince us of. If you want to see dramatic and reliable evidence read Card’s study of a major ‘natural experiment’m in the Cuban Mariel boat-lift , then read Jonathan Portes and Dustman and ignore the non-rigorous rubbish research. Think it through yourself- do babies growing-up squeeze the living standards for the rest of us or add to our wealth! There is no lump of labour, it’s a right wing and dangerous myth, used over and over by the right for scape goating and divide and rule, shameful to see it repeated here,
PS I’m a professor of economics
Click to access mariel-impact.pdf
Tom’s attack is obviously on the lies that the UK population are being told by Cameron and the Coalition .. not an attack on immigrants or immigration.
Furthermore, most Conservative members and MPs would have a fit if they realised Cameron’s hypocrisy because they really are right-wing bigots who oppose immigration.
However, to take on your point about immigration… you are ignoring the realities of this deal for UK and Indian workers (not to mention the production of generics). I will repost the comment that I left on Tom Pride’s original post:
Fantastic Tom that you are bringing this to the attention of a wider audience. Linda Kaucher has worked tirelessly to try and get this into the public domain and was fundamental in the RMT union’s president Alex Gordon moving a motion against “mode 4″ transfers – the World Trade Organisation’s term for moving workers across borders – September 2011.
TUC delegates were warned about the new European Union free trade agreements:
“This is potentially the greatest threat to collective bargaining and workers’ rights for many years,” he said.
Under Mode 4, Indian companies operating in Delhi and London could move low-paid workers from India to Britain, undercutting workers domestically.
“Transnational companies will be able to move workers across national borders and nation states will limit their own constitutional authority over these corporations.
“Workers’ rights will be lost forever to corporate power.”
But the FTA is not only detrimental to UK workers. The implications for Indian farmers and shop keepers are dreadful but perhaps worst of all is the impact on the production of generic medicines which will be under huge threats from new patent laws on behalf of the pharmaceutical companies. More than 80% of the drugs used in fighting AIDS are generics and costs will rise prohibitively with the new rules.
In addition, the UK needs to be alarmed by the US-EU FTA which is being rushed through by 2014. All these negotiations are kept secret, on the basis of ‘commercial sensitivity’ .. details are not available to even MPs. They are less about trade than ‘harmonisation of rules’ so that the global economy is opened up conform to the US model.
All the ongoing privatisation of NHS, Education, public services in the UK stem from the 1994 GATS treaty which institutionalised the neoliberal tenets of US liberalisation and WTO supremacy over national sovereignty. The situation will be that domestic laws will be required to be changed under the instruction of a corporate tribunal .. and that includes employment/environmental protection, and internet freedom (SOPA by the back door).
Cameron is not just a hypocrite over immigration. He is also a hypocrite in criticising the EU powers over domestic legislation. The US-EU FTA will be a huge leap up the ladder of removing the democratic process and back to the future neofeudalism.
Professor Andy Ross – You’re cherry picking your research to suit your point of view. I would have thought as a professor you should know better.
Here’s a link (to fullfact) with a useful table of the relevant research and an overview of the results, which show the results are inconclusive:
Fullfact itself conclude that the research is inconclusive but that the evidence points to immigration being rather on the negative side for low-waged but positive for the higher-waged.
To get back to the real point of the article though – which I think you are rather missing.
Maybe you’re right and I’m completely wrong about the facts. But how can we ever discover the truth if we can’t have a proper open discussion about it – like the one we’re having now.
Remember – we’re only having this discussion because of my article. In fact, this is the first time I ever remember having any kind of discussion about immigration with anyone on the left (if that’s what you are – it’s hard to tell). How can that be right?
Personally, I think it’s ‘shameful’ that so many people on the left do not seem to want to even question the role of immigration in a low-wage, neoliberal, globalist economy and don’t want the facts about immigration, for example the EU/India Trade Agreement, to be fully known by the wider public.
Open discussion is good. However, I can already detect in your argument an accusatory tone that someone on the Left should even want to discuss immigration.
Which rather proves the point of my whole article, doesn’t it?.
Comparing the academic rigour of studies is not cherry-picking, and go back and look more carefully at even the source you quote. Look at the degree of statistical significance and the very small coefficients, and even these very small and weakly statistically significant effects ignore the almost certainly strong and positive, but impossible to model, dynamic effects. The OECD international study of immigration flows is the nearest we can, and this does not support your arguments. Very good to get the facts out, and you have watered down what you asserted, but your article asserts very strong effects that are not supported by even the research you yourself quote, let alone a discerning inspection of the methodologies used, that full-fact does not go into.
Of course, future research could yet show effects that historically we’ve not yet seen, but you assert as ‘facts’ things which are simply not supported by the current weight of evidence. Let me remind you of what you actually wrote:
“The truth is, Cameron knows full well that this flood of cheap labour from India is sure to put a strain on employment, housing, health and public services in the UK as well as driving down wages and working conditions”. This could well be straight out of the Daily Express!
Your other points seem to have degenerated into simply attacking the man armed with some supernatural insight into my mind…
Professor Andy Ross – You have still yet to answer my main point. Why is it better to try to shut down discussion on the left about immigration with immature accusations like ‘straight out of the Daily Express’ or ‘You’re like Enoch Powell’?
I assure you, it’s perfectly possible for someone on the left to have an opinion that immigration has negative affects for wages and housing and the low-paid.
What you and others on the Left have done is to create a binary argument – which as you know is no argument at all.
Either we don’t question immigration or we are not of the left.
This is a painfully immature and naive point of view. In fact, many on the Right are pro-immigration, precisely because it can help to create a low-wage economy in places like the UK.
As evidence of this, Mark Zuckerberg – a Republican sympathiser – has just announced he’s getting involved in politics.His first issue? Liberalisation of the US visa and immigration system.
I rest my case.
Pingback: The left MUST talk about immigration. What is everyone so afraid of? | Pride's Purge
Your ‘point’ is not germane as you simply mislead on the effects of immigration and hence repeat the myths progated by the right wing press, such as the express. It’s nothing to do with opinion or censorship and you have no valid insight as to my beliefs. Carry on attacking your straw man if you wish but it’s nothing to do with me or intellegent discourse.
You are trying to close down discussion with insults. Closing down discussion is not a good trait for an academic:
Try not to feel so angry just because someone has a different opinion to you. Are you like this with anyone who has a different opinion or is it only (as I suspect) when it’s about immigration?
I’ve already told you I’m married to a ‘foreigner’ so I think I might know a little more than daily express myths when it comes to immigration, don’t you?
By the way, what are you having now if not intelligent discourse? And if it’s not intelligent discourse, why are you bothering? Because if you’re doing this just to troll, shame on you for wasting my time.
I’ll leave judgement of the balance of insults to anyone reading this interchange! As someone who has been an active trade unionist since 1967, an economic analyst since 1978 and studied the economics of immigration in depth as an academic, I am simply pointing out that your statement “The truth is, Cameron knows full well that this flood of cheap labour from India is sure to put a strain on employment, housing, health and public services in the UK as well as driving down wages and working conditions” is grossly misleading, and dangerous. But instead of simply admitting this error or engaging in intelligent discussion about the existing empirical evidence, future evidence could be different but I doubt it, you choose to attack and misrepresent me instead. Learn from a much better article on this site about Cameron’s Mythical Dragons….
Professor Andy Ross – I have stated that I disagree with your opinion about the facts and I have given a link to the sources which back up my statements.
Your own evidence is that …. you’re a professor of economics so you must be right.
Try not to regard differences of opinion to your own as a threat.
You seem to think being a professor gives you a monopoly on the truth. I assure you, it doesn’t.
The point is that even your own sources do not back up your main statement, and the overall weight of evidence even less so. Not all opinions are equally valid. I’ve always welcomed challenge. The rest of your rant has been against a straw man that has nothing to do with me at all, and so is simply water off a duck’s back. I concede your intentions seem honourable, but do please learn from some of your fellow authors on this site such as from Garry’s Cameron’s Mythical Dragons. As I do not see you responding to reason or evidence I am now closing and leaving the last word to you- Goodbye and good luck comrade!
Professor Ross – You ignore my point above, that this EU-FTA is disastrous for Indian farmers/shopkeepers and the production of generic medicines. Your focus is on UK GDP and not on the impact of intentionally cheap labour, unprotected by employment legislation.
I am supportive of immigration which helps the global workforce and which is properly funded in terms of housing, schools and infrastructure.. but you must know that these FTAs are designed for, by and of on behalf of the transnational corporations. They are hardly acting out of the interests of the ‘person’ in the street. It is solely the ‘bottom line’ .. or perhaps you subscribe to the discredited neoclassical ‘trickle down’ theory?
Yes. I was addressing only the unwarrented assertion of the effects of immigration that Tom erroneously stated as ‘the truth’. I share with you that we should have no illusions about the intentions of multi-nationals and the adverse effects that talent migration can cause for some ‘exporting’ countries, though it is probably not all bad for India in this case. The UK can indeed gain from immigration that has adverse local consequences in other countries, though the overall effects of international migration are almost certainly beneficial. There also are some cases of beneficial trickle down, and especially over longer periods, but I agree with you that it is often used as a spurious justification for exploitative inequality.
Prof Andy Ross – ” There also are some cases of beneficial trickle down, and especially over longer periods”
Beneficial trickle down? I am rendered speechless! For once.
well if you just quote half a sentence to change it’s meaning …
But in some capital constrained development situation inequality has occasionally spurred investments that raised later growth when coupled with other demand stimulus,for example some claim this for China, but the evidence is against its ‘success’ in developed countries.Reagan Bush etc being examples of such failure and the gap between rhetoric and reality- and for a long time Brazil of course. Indeed, overall, equality is strongly associated with higher economic growth and higher per capita GDP.
Prof Andy Ross – “inequality has occasionally spurred investments that raised later growth”
The empirics are more telling than mere jibes out of context. My point is that though there are cases that can be cited the strong weight of evidence in developed countries is against these as general assertions for policy. As Marx recognised, Capitalism can be a powerful engine of growth (especially when combined with urbanisation) but that does not make it a legitimate end in itself or prove neo-cons correct on policy issues.
The PRETENDER on the left wing has a lot to explain. New Labour is an abominable extention of fascism and you guys are just puppets in this unprecedented scam. All my friends near the border are now aware that the criminals and and villains are in G20 governments (and that you are just on the payroll for this). I am seeking funding for a guillotine in my local constituency just to the north of the border and your icon david Milliband fled to the heartland of criminality for his own safety this morning http://www.theworldoftruth.net/HallettReport/No5.html#.UVK8hRyeOqk
Professor George Lees – you clearly haven’t read much of Think Left if you think anybody here is a New Labour Blairite.
And I can assure you nobody here regards David Milliband as an icon of anything.
No offence intended Tom: Can you bring the culprits for this to justice Major, Heseltine, Rifkind, Harding and Mayhew all with the finger in the pie (and Lord Reid of “Trickle Down” on your side of the cross-party scams) just keep blaming the pilots
Apologies for my agressive response but I was struck with the close parallels to the new Jesuit pope and his adherence to RED Ken’s lifestyle (on the bus FOR THE PEOPLE)! The last pope was in Hitler Youth and Stalin had a withered LEFT HAND! The communist party in China exemplify your credibility issues but you are just doing what your cross party peers have done for centuries! CONSTRUCTIVELY YOURS G
For the Attention of Tom Pride (I am banned from making facebook friends: 30 day sentence)
My plea to Tom below and to any other left wingers who do not take their pay from the NWO :
Blocked message to tom on FACEBOOK
Tom Im the guy that is slightly down on “left wing” infiltrators (double agents/plants)…..I hope your heart is in the right place and I would very much like to be your facebook friend…..you have the courage to talk openly and interact on FB but the use of a cartoon to mask your identity makes me a little nervous! If we had a camera in the G20 debating chambers the world would be a safer place tomorrow. FACEBOOK have banned me from making friends….if you take a look at my timeline you will understand why and why this conversation is dangerous to the status quo….hope you can find the time? and will be my honest friend REGARDS George Lees….contacts below and my picture on FB is under the Scotsman office in Edinburgh. Please get openly in touch….I will weed out the double agents one by one.
PROFESSOR GEORGE LEES – what’s your FB name?
Why George Lees, its my real name….which helps establish trust. I am pictured in front of the Scotsman offices. Please send a friend request I am left wing but none of the parties will win my trust: the UK constitution is a hopeless mess and our privy councillors now include media magnates and bootleggers from Canada (a legacy of the Blair regime which you are trying to disown). If the new pope does chat to you on the bus….tell him that red ken now does radio shows but he is not quite as popular as Beaverbrook and William Joyce were when they worked together in the fascist movement. Who is the guy with the beard and the quill pen in your photo Tom? I am just a rustic country boy trying to make friends in your Auguste sector!
Pingback: Opinion: Immigration – Rhetoric Based on Voter Perception | vividhope
Pingback: Why is the Left so afraid to talk about immigration? | Pride's Purge