With home secretary, Priti Patel and the rest of the Conservative party getting lambasted by the left over their latest House of Commons victory of the resurged immigration bill, it’s prompted the middle class ‘remainiac’ crowd to go on the attack.
Whether you think illegal immigration is the problem or just prefer the idea of regaining sovereign control over your borders, you will likely be deemed a bigoted racist degenerate by university-educated elitist crowds anyway for not supporting the EU. However, the arguments stemming from that particular wing of politics reek of intellectual arrogance, casting aspersions in a botched attempt to sound morally virtuous.
Take the conflation of ‘unskilled workers’ with importance. These elites will often tell you that backing an immigration bill is like telling people they aren’t good enough and creating a class apartheid. Whilst the concept of a class apartheid is interesting, the core argument missed two vital components.
Firstly, the bill is malleable, meaning it can be flipped and changed to meet the rise and fall in demand for certain sectors of work. Secondly the conflation of ‘unskilled workers’ with unimportance or inferiority doesn’t really work. You can be an ‘unskilled worker’ with significant importance, which has been highlighted increasingly by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a statistical reality. The ‘skills shortage’ does exist so the obvious priority will be filling those spaces – it’s not ‘racist’ to promote that.
The same goes with the NHS immigrants. And no, NHS workers are not ‘low skilled’ according to the chart. If anything, they’re valued incredibly highly and have an NHS fast-track visa, to get them into the industry faster.
The most interesting part about this is that nobody has turned on countries like Australia. Last time I checked, they’re not a totally homogenous, racist bunch of bigots down there for having stricter immigration policy – if you’re going to be consistent, go for them too. While you’re at it, attack every other independent nation that isn’t part of a politically overbearing conglomeration of ‘unified’ countries.
Take another example, the NHS staffing issue. These same elitists will have you believe that our need for labour can only be fixed by leaving our open boarder policy in place. For one, this is a stereotypical, in some cases borderline racist assumption of the racial makeup of the NHS – that we rely solely on EU labour. There are actually far more people of Asian, African and ‘other’ ethnic backgrounds collectively than those that come from the EU and they seemed to be ignored in this particular debate. The idea of leaving the EU and ‘opening up to the world’ suddenly became much less ‘racist’.
Finally, take the last issue that can be aptly titled #FruitPickergate. This is the worst one of them all and by far the most annoying. It has to be stated now, you’re not morally superior or any less of ‘deplorable’ (to quote the language of the outrage mob) for supporting immigrants picking our fruit and vegetables. They claim to stand against European discrimination, especially post-Brexit. But are more than happy to have an extorted immigrant underclass doing our more repetitive and menial jobs for us. The same wing of politics that attempts to make great strides in diversity and inclusivity is now forced to defend this awkward position.
Given the scandals of modern slavery, below living wages and abusive supervisors, you’d be forgiven for some form of scepticism surrounding the role. They say in their elitist jest that the immigrants flown over from Romania is why we still need remain in the EU. But, what happened the last time we flew in migrants to tend the fields. Workers were extorted, taking home as little as £45 a week in the case of S&A produce.
Because the wages are apparently reasonable at around £11-£15 pound an hour for a fruit picker, it must be British laziness. If you’re trying to kid yourselves that nobody in the UK would pick fruit for £28000 a year, you’d be sorely mistaken.
The interesting part about this whole thing is that many political nuts have chosen the EU as their hill to die on. A hill that, when trouble came knocking on the doorstep, dropped any notion of EU collectivism. The nations instantly rallied around civic nationalism and protectionism whilst the EU sat idly by and twiddled their thumbs (oh and bullying the Italians again – this time in the midst of a pandemic).
Germany and France have only now begun to realise how anti-European they’ve been after closing everything off and refusing to export spare PPE and ventilators to it’s member states (once again, Italy took the brunt of that one). They’re now trying to salvage the name of the EU institution by attempting to dish out a 500-billion-euro stimulus package to all those affected. Its too little, too late and a drop in the water compared to the 3 trillion issued in the USA.
It’s this attitude of the university-educated middle class that needs to be called out. It’s that kind of arrogant ‘I’m better than you’ and ‘I know what’s best for you’ attitude that lead to the two biggest ballot box revolts of 2016. Unfortunately, in the age of political hyper-partisanship – this doesn’t seem set to change.