Friday, 7 November 2014

Free Europe

It was in a hotel bar in Salzburg on Wednesday night of all places where I got chatting to a couple of lads from Walthamstow. Their company fleeces and work trousers indicated they were there on business rather than to endure the ubiquitous Mozart schmaltz that has polluted this otherwise attractive 17th century town. They were service engineers - skilled technicians who flew around Europe staying in 3-star hotels and maintaining bits of building kit. They were quite at home amongst the Turkish cab drivers, Halal fast food joints and Roma beggars on the footways. Their iPhones - frequently accessed - kept them anchored in Walthamstow. As a lesson in labour mobility, it was admirable. Austrian labour protectionism, which I imagine insists that a photocopier technician has served a seven-year apprenticeship and is a paid-up member of the Kopiererwartungverband before they are allowed to clear a paper jam, has had to give way to the free market - in this case Walthamstow workers who can read Japanese service manuals written in cod-English. 

I must say I'm actually in agreement with Cameron's opponents in Europe who argue that free movement of workers is inviolable. Brits are actually well-suited to take advantage of these economic freedoms. The problem isn't free movement of (European) workers, it's that welfare rules, particularly in the UK, haven't caught up with the new reality. Hence we pay millions in child benefit to kids in Poland and English dole to idle Slovakian alcoholics in Slough. 

It's African and Pakistani immigration rather than European workers that have caused real damage to England. UKIP is just scared to say so.   

 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Politicians don't know how to re-connect

Janet Daley sums-up the position well in this morning's Telegraph; the world over, professional politicians have lost contact with voters. They know this - and would give anything to gain advantage by being able to re-connect to the voters now flocking to the anti-politics parties, but they simply don't know how to do it. And they don't know how to do it because they are trying to find a campaigning technique rather than trying to find voters' concerns.

Like abusers trapped in a cycle of self-destruction, everything they do just makes things worse, drags them further down that terminal spiral. Unless something changes radically, it can only end when the present political class shatters into a million shards of mendacity. 

And on that cheerful note I must apologise in advance for any hiatus in posting for the next few days.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

This is what an exploitative hypocrite looks like

This is what an exploitative hypocrite looks like

To be fair, the three of 'em are so out of touch with ordinary life that they probably imagine the £45 per tee charged on behalf of the Fawcett Society is the going price in somewhere such as Matalan and therefore quite reasonable, and their only quibble with the revelation of the 62p per hour wage paid to the 16-to-a-room workers who make them in the MOS this morning is self-pity at the bad publicity rather than any real concern at labour conditions. 

And Miliband has reason to be smug; 62p is, after all, 60p more than the charity he bestowed on a Roma beggar in the street, and everyone knows that poor people can make money stretch.

God's Blood these people make me sick.