The working class and the "immigration debate"

The Kaiser Chiefs: you can deport them

A critical response to an article about immigration in the Financial Times quoted favourably on a "pro-working class" website containing anti-immigrant misinformation and scaremongering.

I have been meaning to write more for a while, however often writing something from scratch I find I don't know where to start. Therefore instead I thought I would try to practice by analysing and critiquing other texts. I would appreciate feedback and comments on the article and my writing style.

The text below was one I noticed last year, and I was pointed to see it posted with favourable comment by a socialist (and libcom poster no less) on a socialist/"pro-working class" website, Meanwhile at the bar (which had involvement from people around and supportive of the Independent Working Class Association and Liberty & Solidarity, some of whose members and supporters have espoused similar views).

The article is Time for a debate on immigration by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times from 2009, and it was commented by the poster oisleep that it was "fairly decent", and you can read it online here. I thought about doing a more general post about the irrationality of workers supporting immigration controls overall, but for now I will limit myself to just addressing this set of arguments.

Wolf begins by responding to former Home Secretary Alan Johnson's admission that "the government [had] been “maladroit” in its handling of immigration" by describing this admission as "British understatement" and stating instead that in fact "it [was] dishonest: it … pursued a radical policy, with profound consequences, on weak grounds, without serious debate. That is why the British National Party is on BBC television."

He continues: "The government has been able to get away with its dishonesty because immigration is the “third rail” of politics. Few wish to discuss the topic openly. But some discussion is essential. Present policies have big implications. These should be evaluated and discussed openly. That is the democratic way."

This kind of sentiment often crops up in many of the myriad news articles in mass circulation newspapers, TV news reports, televised debates, etc: that the immigration issue is not discussed openly. This is clearly a contradiction in terms. Discussion of immigration is everywhere, in much greater proportion to its relevance even I would argue. Compare it with much more significant issues which really don't get "discussed openly" in the media, for example the billions of pounds in subsidies given by taxpayers to the pensions of the rich, the 20,000+ people in the UK every year who are killed by their work, etc.

Wolf then states a few initial "facts" about future projected population figures, namely that the UK population is predicted to increase from 60 million to 70 million by 2030 and that immigration is predicted to be a major contributor to this. It appears that the intention of these figures is to make them sound scarily large. However, I can well imagine Wolf's grandfather writing in Ye Olde Financial Times 100 years saying that the population was 30 million and could hit 40 million by 1950. Which of course it did1. But so what? Was the UK of 1950 a much more terrible place to live than 1910? Of course not.

In terms of population density, the UK is nowhere near the top of tables. Current population density is 650 people per square mile: well below Japan (836), Belgium (889), the Netherlands (1259) and utterly dwarfed by places like Hong Kong or Singapore (18,000+)2 - all places without social problems significantly worse than the UK.

Now, moving on we come to one huge assumption which is very significant in Wolf's view, and that of many other people but in fact is completely baseless:

The UK has a real income per head of about five times the world average. One must assume that the inflow, under unrestricted immigration, might be numbered in the tens, if not hundreds, of millions. The impact is not hard to imagine.

Now for a lot of people I think this is why people support immigration controls, because they actually think this would happen.

In fact most people are loath to leave their friends, their families and their whole lives behind to move countries. However, you don't just have to take my word from their concrete historical examples which demonstrate this is untrue.

For starters, for most of history immigration controls haven't existed. And despite the global North being so much richer than the global South, migration from Europe to Africa and the Americas since the 16th century has been double the migration into Europe from Africa.3 In fact, immigrants have been actively sought out and encouraged to come (or forced with slavery) to work in the North.

Another recent example of the abolition of border controls was when the USA allowed open migration from the Caribbean. Between 1950 and 1980, when borders were closed, only 0.6% of the Caribbean population moved to the US and England, despite the obvious economic attractions. If this figure were to be applied world wide now the figure would be about 24 million per year or a growth of about 2.4% in population of the industrialised countries - probably under the anticipated labour demand in several European countries.4

There is more than a whiff of Western arrogance in the idea that everyone would just love to come and live here, with our crappy weather and often even crappier job opportunities.

Wolf then discusses the bourgeois economic arguments around immigration. As communists, these don't interest us, as we recognise that the interests of workers do not coincide with the interests of the economy. So I will leave these and move on to the others.

Wolf now acknowledges that the sheer number of people is not an issue, despite having presented the scaremongering figures earlier, stating that England is not "full up", and that 700 million people could fit here with a population density similar to London. However he is basically arguing against an increase in population - stating that "the impact of accommodating a population increase of 10 million, equal to seven Birminghams, would be substantial". However, when he continues he unveils the real problem: "This is particularly true in a country unwilling to expand the housing stock or invest in infrastructure."

The issue of shortage of housing is completely separate. There is already a housing shortage and widespread homelessness, and there always has been, regardless of the population. This is due to housing being constructed largely for profit than for need. It is not profitable to build housing for people who can't afford it! And of course scarcity of housing is vital for the profitability of house building as it pushes prices up.

Even if there were no immigration, the population will still rise. Of course building housing for 10 million people can't be done overnight, but housing for 60 million people went up okay, and other countries obviously have much higher populations - so this is a complete red herring.

Next we get to a really key point in the article, which actually displays his prejudice more than anything else, and makes it particularly concerning that a socialist would consider this article "fairly decent". He states that "diversity brings social benefits. But it also brings costs. These costs arise from declining trust and erosion of a sense of shared values."

These are just assertions. Wolf does not explain even what he means by "trust", or any evidence that it is "declining" and certainly not any evidence that "diversity" has any effect on it at all. As for a sense of shared values, these don't necessarily have anything to do with nationality. I certainly don't have many shared values with white British Tories or racists, or fans of The Kaiser Chiefs, but that doesn't mean that I think we should change the law so that we can boot them out of the country (apart from The Kaiser Chiefs fans).

Wolf then tries to give this clearly prejudiced view a liberal veneer by stating that "such costs are likely to be particularly high when immigrants congregate in communities that reject some values of the wider community, not least over the role of women in society" and "it is not unreasonable to feel concern over such rifts. I certainly do."

Again, no evidence is presented to back up these assertions. As I said above I know plenty of white English people whom I don't consider I have "shared values" with (and I'm sure they'd feel the same about me), and plenty of white English people have dodgy views on women, gays, etc. But that doesn't mean that I don't think I shouldn't share the same geographical space with them. Because really, what difference does it make what nationality or ethnicity of people you live around? We have the choice to freely associate with whomever we please, so we can surround ourselves (as most of us do) with people with whom we do share values, and it's great that we have the opportunity to do so with people from different backgrounds, from different countries and different ethnicities. Imposing restrictions on migration not only restricts our possibilities of socialising and communicating with people from other areas, but it also risks international backlash against British citizens living elsewhere. Your average British emigrant may not share many values with many people in their new country, but they still have the freedom to live there.

In conclusion, while that article may have been written in reasonable language, really it just presents assertion as fact in order to argue for immigration controls - which pretty much is the mass media approach to migration as a whole. What is a real shame in this instance is that this media bombardment is so overwhelming that a fair few self-declared anarchists and socialists, who would normally be more critical, are falling for it and actively supporting anti-working class policies.

Nationalism of any sort has no place in the workers' movement. By accepting the government and the media's line in any way that other workers are the problem, it sets us against one another and reduces the possibility of us uniting to fight together around the real problems which we face: shortage of housing, low wages, job losses and crumbling public services. The slogan is "workers of the world unite!", not "workers of the world unite! Unless you're a foreigner".

Comments

Joseph Kay
Apr 13 2011 23:30
Steven. wrote:
I have been meaning to write more for a while, however often writing something from scratch I find I don't know where to start. Therefore instead I thought I would try to practice by analysing and critiquing other texts. I would appreciate feedback and comments on the article and my writing style.

i don't have any specific points off the top of my head, but in terms of knowing where to start, i've been writing a lot lately (both politics and for my uni course) and this is basically the process i go through:

1. Get a clear idea what it's about. Unless you're writing a pamphlet - and even then - it's best to stick to one core idea and drum home the point (there's exceptions, but the more you try and say the harder it is to communicate the core ideas clearly, especially if they're new or challenging ideas for your readers). it's easy when you're a communist and see how all sorts of things are interconnected to start joining dots left right and centre and subsequently lose focus, and leave readers wondering what the point of it is. If you're not entirely sure on the focus to begin with, skip to step 2 and then start over from 1 afterwards.

2. Have a brainstorm. Get everything you have in mind down as bullet points - everything from key quotes, points you'd like to make, relevant hyperlinks etc. This can easily generate a quarter of the final wordcount if not more. Once you've got a load of points down, you can start cut and pasting them around into a coherent order to create a nice structured arc of argument. Don't be afraid to leave things out if they don't quite fit; you can mention them in a footnote and/or use them as the seed of a subsequent piece. If you find it difficult to write several thousand words, it can be helpful to give yourself a word count for each bullet point, as writing 150 words on 10 points is a lot easier than staring at a blank page needing to write 1,500 words! At the bullet point stage, if any nice turns of phrase or pithy arguments pop into your head, bullet point them too as you can just drop them into the draft when you write the rest.

3. Structure. Basically, the classic structure is: Intro: summarise what you're going to say | Middle: say it | Conclusions: sum up what you just said. Obviously the middle can subdivide into all sorts of sections too, depending on the length of the piece and complexity of the argument. The intro/conclusions are more important the longer the article (and so the more likely people forget key the arguments from earlier). With a blog you can get away with a couple of sentences, with an Aufheben style article it could be 500 words or more for each

Sorry there's nothing specific to this piece (late, tired...), but hopefully this is helpful!

gypsy
Apr 14 2011 06:45
Steven. wrote:
and it was commented by the poster oisleep that it was "fairly decent", and you can read it online here. I thought about doing a more general post about the irrationality of workers supporting immigration controls overall, but for now I will limit myself to just addressing this set of arguments.

Steven. can I ask why you are bringing this blog by oisleep from two years ago up now? He doesnt even post here anymore.

Steven.
Apr 14 2011 07:27
gypsy wrote:
Steven. wrote:
and it was commented by the poster oisleep that it was "fairly decent", and you can read it online here. I thought about doing a more general post about the irrationality of workers supporting immigration controls overall, but for now I will limit myself to just addressing this set of arguments.

Steven. can I ask why you are bringing this blog by oisleep from two years ago up now? Te doesnt even post here anymore.

more like a year and a half ago. Basically I meant to write something at the time but never got round to it, and the points are still valid now

Steven.
Apr 14 2011 11:02

This is now even slightly topical due to David Cameron's rant today about immigration:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8449324/David-Cameron-migration-threatens-our-way-of-life.html

gypsy
Apr 14 2011 16:42
Steven. wrote:
gypsy wrote:
Steven. wrote:
and it was commented by the poster oisleep that it was "fairly decent", and you can read it online here. I thought about doing a more general post about the irrationality of workers supporting immigration controls overall, but for now I will limit myself to just addressing this set of arguments.

Steven. can I ask why you are bringing this blog by oisleep from two years ago up now? Te doesnt even post here anymore.

more like a year and a half ago. Basically I meant to write something at the time but never got round to it, and the points are still valid now

Fair enough.

AIW
Apr 15 2011 17:57

I tried to write something like this myself a few years ago; got down one sentence that I wasn't happy with and gave up. If you're arguing for open borders under Capitalism as a progressive step towards Freedom & Equality then I think you're right on the money.

Cost of living:

Quote:
Only 0.6% of the Caribbean population moved to the US and England, despite the obvious economic attractions

How much was a bag of weed and a bottle of rum in Jamaica at that time?

Quote:
Scarcity of housing is vital for the profitability of house building as it pushes prices up.

Important point well made! But don't the immigrant bashers argue that immigration increases the scarcity of housing and that this increases the cost of living? Don't we need to look at whether house building might deliberately lag population in order to keep their profits up?

Quote:
What is a real shame in this instance is that this media bombardment is so overwhelming that a fair few self-declared anarchists and socialists, who would normally be more critical, are falling for it and actively supporting anti-working class policies.

Yes but why are these policies "anti-working class"? We need to spell out that it is not in the interest of the workers that the govenrment are instructing the police to deport our fellow workers: That this has been used to attack our ability to organise (RMT London Cleaners): That this reduces the bargaining power of the workers which in turn reduces the buying power of our class.

Benzo89
Sep 6 2015 00:55

What is the Anarchist position regarding autonomy for people to decide whether or not they want immigration? I am pro immigration but I in my country am in the minority, the clear minority.
My brother won't vote for UKIP because he thinks they are racist but he makes a point that een the studies that show positive economic boosts to our country through the economy themselves show that new migrants have taken 95 billion in benefits since the early 90's.

I think there is an anger amongst the working class regarding newcomers taking out billions of their tax money, driving down wages in certain sectors etc. Immigration does seem to harm the native populations within the capitalist system. Obviously this forum isn't full of pro-capitalist posters and they would argue capitalism needs to be abolished and thus immigration won't have those negative effects on workers if the system was abolished.

But within the current system, if immigration does drive down wages in certain blue collar work sectors, does take billions out of the budget on new arrivals who don't pay taxes, I can sympathise with workers being anti-immigration.

Not that I agree with it, but I can certainly understand poor hardworking people feeling angry at it. Problem is that obviously the immigrants are people equal of our support, it is just a shame that immigration does seem to be a major factor in a rise of nationalism and xenophobia within our class.

Steven.
Sep 7 2015 18:20
Benzo89 wrote:
What is the Anarchist position regarding autonomy for people to decide whether or not they want immigration?

That's not something anyone can do, because being born somewhere doesn't give you the right to claim exclusive ownership of it. With free movement, people from an area can leave it, so obviously it would be completely unfair if people from area X were allowed to leave and live where they wanted, but people in the same area wouldn't let anyone else enter.

Quote:
I am pro immigration but I in my country am in the minority, the clear minority.

if you're in the UK, this isn't true. The majority of the population want to reduce immigration, but it's not true that the majority of the population basically want us to be a prison island where no one can enter or leave. Basically most anti-migrant people's views on immigration are based on crude racism. Because no one has an issue with Americans, Australians or New Zealanders here, it's migrants from non-white countries and poor countries in Eastern Europe.

Quote:
My brother won't vote for UKIP because he thinks they are racist but he makes a point that een the studies that show positive economic boosts to our country through the economy themselves show that new migrants have taken 95 billion in benefits since the early 90's.

that study showed migrants from outside the EU had a net cost in terms of benefits of £95 billion from 1995 to 2011. What that figure didn't include is the £49 billion of education and skills which those migrants brought with them and contribute to the economy (including running essential public services like the NHS).

Even if you ignore that £49 billion, that's less than £6 billion per year. Whereas you can compare that, say to tax relief for people who earn over £150,000 per year, which costs about £9 billion per year, so an equivalent of around £144 billion over that time period. What do you think is a better use of money?

Or defence, over £45 billion per year, so £720 billion over that time period. Or looking elsewhere at public spending, the government gives £4 billion per year to private rail companies. And £9 billion per year to private companies in PFI health contracts.

And that's not even to start on the billions of private wealth the superrich have accumulated in that time span, which is taken away from the rest of us no less than taxpayer money.

But of course it suits the corporate media to blame poor people from other countries rather than their owners and advertisers.

Quote:

But within the current system, if immigration does drive down wages in certain blue collar work sectors, does take billions out of the budget on new arrivals who don't pay taxes, I can sympathise with workers being anti-immigration.

I wouldn't say I sympathise with it (I have no sympathy with anyone who thinks themselves better than people of another nationality, gender, ethnicity etc), but I would say I understand it. But I understand workers in the past were unhappy that women started to enter the workforce, as they were used to drive wages down. But that doesn't mean opposing women being allowed to enter the workforce is rational or productive. Rather than oppose immigration you could say you don't like new young people aged 16-18 entering the workforce, because they also bring down wages by working cheaper, and then cost the taxpayer money in benefits.

The thing is these characteristics: nationality, gender, age… are entirely arbitrary, and any working class person at random can be born with any of these characteristics which we have no control over. And if we fight each other then when will never make any inroads into actually making things better for ourselves. So some workers can complain about immigrants all they want: it won't achieve anything until we start to fight together with migrant workers for better pay and conditions for everyone.

Benzo89
Sep 7 2015 19:41
Steven. wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
What is the Anarchist position regarding autonomy for people to decide whether or not they want immigration?

That's not something anyone can do, because being born somewhere doesn't give you the right to claim exclusive ownership of it. With free movement, people from an area can leave it, so obviously it would be completely unfair if people from area X were allowed to leave and live where they wanted, but people in the same area wouldn't let anyone else enter.

Quote:
I am pro immigration but I in my country am in the minority, the clear minority.

if you're in the UK, this isn't true. The majority of the population want to reduce immigration, but it's not true that the majority of the population basically want us to be a prison island where no one can enter or leave. Basically most anti-migrant people's views on immigration are based on crude racism. Because no one has an issue with Americans, Australians or New Zealanders here, it's migrants from non-white countries and poor countries in Eastern Europe.

Quote:
My brother won't vote for UKIP because he thinks they are racist but he makes a point that een the studies that show positive economic boosts to our country through the economy themselves show that new migrants have taken 95 billion in benefits since the early 90's.

that study showed migrants from outside the EU had a net cost in terms of benefits of £95 billion from 1995 to 2011. What that figure didn't include is the £49 billion of education and skills which those migrants brought with them and contribute to the economy (including running essential public services like the NHS).

Even if you ignore that £49 billion, that's less than £6 billion per year. Whereas you can compare that, say to tax relief for people who earn over £150,000 per year, which costs about £9 billion per year, so an equivalent of around £144 billion over that time period. What do you think is a better use of money?

Or defence, over £45 billion per year, so £720 billion over that time period. Or looking elsewhere at public spending, the government gives £4 billion per year to private rail companies. And £9 billion per year to private companies in PFI health contracts.

And that's not even to start on the billions of private wealth the superrich have accumulated in that time span, which is taken away from the rest of us no less than taxpayer money.

But of course it suits the corporate media to blame poor people from other countries rather than their owners and advertisers.

Quote:

But within the current system, if immigration does drive down wages in certain blue collar work sectors, does take billions out of the budget on new arrivals who don't pay taxes, I can sympathise with workers being anti-immigration.

I wouldn't say I sympathise with it (I have no sympathy with anyone who thinks themselves better than people of another nationality, gender, ethnicity etc), but I would say I understand it. But I understand workers in the past were unhappy that women started to enter the workforce, as they were used to drive wages down. But that doesn't mean opposing women being allowed to enter the workforce is rational or productive. Rather than oppose immigration you could say you don't like new young people aged 16-18 entering the workforce, because they also bring down wages by working cheaper, and then cost the taxpayer money in benefits.

The thing is these characteristics: nationality, gender, age… are entirely arbitrary, and any working class person at random can be born with any of these characteristics which we have no control over. And if we fight each other then when will never make any inroads into actually making things better for ourselves. So some workers can complain about immigrants all they want: it won't achieve anything until we start to fight together with migrant workers for better pay and conditions for everyone.

My premise boils down to fuck the economy and help people fleeing war, however most people are not radicals and do see government spending on foreign arrivals as something they inherently don't support. I don't think my approach is best for changing peoples minds.

Steven.
Sep 7 2015 21:52
Benzo89 wrote:
My premise boils down to fuck the economy and help people fleeing war, however most people are not radicals and do see government spending on foreign arrivals as something they inherently don't support. I don't think my approach is best for changing peoples minds.

On this note, a poll has just been published of opinion on this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34176621

40% support us taking more refugees, 31% fewer, and 26% about the same.

Worryingly though according to the BBC:

Quote:
ComRes found a sharp division in attitudes based on class. Fifty-four per cent of adults in the traditionally middle class ABC1 social grade were in favour of more refugees, compared with 24% in the working class C2DE group.
Benzo89
Sep 7 2015 22:01
Steven. wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
My premise boils down to fuck the economy and help people fleeing war, however most people are not radicals and do see government spending on foreign arrivals as something they inherently don't support. I don't think my approach is best for changing peoples minds.

On this note, a poll has just been published of opinion on this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34176621

40% support us taking more refugees, 31% fewer, and 26% about the same.

Worryingly though according to the BBC:

Quote:
ComRes found a sharp division in attitudes based on class. Fifty-four per cent of adults in the traditionally middle class ABC1 social grade were in favour of more refugees, compared with 24% in the working class C2DE group.

Probably because immigration affects working class people. The most anti immigrant members of my family are so based on material factors. When you lose your job and Polish people get it it can and does make people angry.

As I said I support immigration but I really think it is causing xenophobia within the working class to rise. Good luck telling someone who loses his job he depends on to unite with the person who took it for less pay. It is scary seeing people you love become hate filled racists. I have seen this situation play out quite a few times unfortunately.

Pennoid
Sep 7 2015 22:44

It's happened a lot in the past. When there were large, organized, consciously and openly anarchist/socialist movements that sought to educate working class people about their common condition with would-be scabs, non-citizen workers etc. It was difficult, because the capitalist press take it for granted that the workers "interests" are individual and reconcilable with property. That is the nub of the issue. As long as you think a Polish person, a Latina person, a Cambodian person, is what is keeping you poor and without a home etc. by "taking your job" you're duped.

You're right that the spontaneous appearance of the situation does seem to be solved "if the "Jews/Poles/Mexicans would just go way/home/disappear." But why are they there in the first place? Why do we have to work in the first place?

Yeah, good luck telling people the truth. That unless they unite as a class, conditions for all of them stand to get a whole lot worse. I'm not saying it's easy, but I mean, you gotta call them on their shit.

Benzo89
Sep 7 2015 22:48
Pennoid wrote:
It's happened a lot in the past. When there were large, organized, consciously and openly anarchist/socialist movements that sought to educate working class people about their common condition with would-be scabs, non-citizen workers etc. It was difficult, because the capitalist press take it for granted that the workers "interests" are individual and reconcilable with property. That is the nub of the issue. As long as you think a Polish person, a Latina person, a Cambodian person, is what is keeping you poor and without a home etc. by "taking your job" you're duped.

You're right that the spontaneous appearance of the situation does seem to be solved "if the "Jews/Poles/Mexicans would just go way/home/disappear." But why are they there in the first place? Why do we have to work in the first place?

Yeah, good luck telling people the truth. That unless they unite as a class, conditions for all of them stand to get a whole lot worse. I'm not saying it's easy, but I mean, you gotta call them on their shit.

Well thats the thing though, if you believe in the state and capitalism immigration is inhernetly going to negatively affect the working class of a nation. The only valid pro immigration arguement is an anti capitalist one because that one says yeah it is bad for you they are taking your jobs, but unite and rid yourselves of the capitalist system which creates job scarcity and the entire premise of wage slavery.

However most people are not Anarchists so that line of argument is not valid within the capitalist system if you support the upkeep of that system.

fingers malone
Sep 7 2015 22:55

Aren't you accepting the 'taking our jobs' position too easily though?

Benzo89
Sep 7 2015 23:10
fingers malone wrote:
Aren't you accepting the 'taking our jobs' position too easily though?

I am not accepting it based on nothing, I have actually seen it. It isn't white working class men making up stories in order to generate hate against foreigners, it is often the poorer segments of the working class who have their jobs taken, then well to do middle class liberals snort at them and laugh at them as dumb blue collar numbskulls.

My point is either you support capitalism and statism and then anti immigration is sensible, or you support working class revolution in which case it is irrelevant they are taking "our" jobs. When people try and argue with communist rationale about problems within state capitalism it does more harm than good.

Yes they are taking peoples jobs, people i know, the issue is should the people losing their jobs support the state and capitalism and be anti immigration or unite with those immigrants and other workers and overthrow capitalism.

Pennoid
Sep 8 2015 00:30

What? You're saying it's not worth explaining something to somebody who doesn't understand it because they don't understand it.

Benzo89
Sep 8 2015 00:35
Pennoid wrote:
What? You're saying it's not worth explaining something to somebody who doesn't understand it because they don't understand it.

Is this directed towards me? If so no, i am not saying that. I am saying pretending immigration does not have a negative affect on indigenous workers within a capitalist context is a lie, lying to workers isn't going to get them to support immigration.

Either tell them it does negatively affect them, as all the evidence shows and tell them to be anti immigration or pro immigration within capitalism and just face the negative affects, or offer the anti-capitalist solution, which is abolish wage slavery which in turns alleviates job scarcity or jobs as we know them under capitalism.

radicalgraffiti
Sep 8 2015 01:36
Quote:
It isn't white working class men making up stories in order to generate hate against foreigners,

no its middle class men who work for national publications making up stories, and members of the bougeose paying them to do it.

The main reasons capitalists will use immigrant workers rather than native workers are that they are in a worse situation and so willing to accept worse conditions and pay, and because they are already trained to do things eg nurses, the logical solution for an native worker who is afraid of there job being taken by an immigrant short of full communism is to improve the condition of immigrates, demand they have the same rights to healthcare benefits etc, then they will not need to accept shit from capitalists and the capitalists will have no incentive to use immigrant workers. and for the second issue then the solution would be to demand better education and free to, so that anyone who wanted can be trained in any kind of work they want.

but i notice that people who are "concerned that immigrants are taking there jobs" do the opposite of this, eg i notice that anti immigration people never oppose work fair, which replaces paid workers with free labour. so we have to conclude that their response is not based on a rational analysis of how they are being harmed by immigration but in fact racism.

racism fueled by propergander from the media, of cause, the cause of the racism is not immigration, people are the most hostile to immigrants where there are the least immigrants, its caused by anti immigration propaganda

radicalgraffiti
Sep 8 2015 01:38

not to mention that if the job supply was fixed the doubling of the uk population over the last century would have resulted in a lot more unemployed people

Benzo89
Sep 8 2015 01:46
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Quote:
It isn't white working class men making up stories in order to generate hate against foreigners,

no its middle class men who work for national publications making up stories, and members of the bougeose paying them to do it.

The main reasons capitalists will use immigrant workers rather than native workers are that they are in a worse situation and so willing to accept worse conditions and pay, and because they are already trained to do things eg nurses, the logical solution for an native worker who is afraid of there job being taken by an immigrant short of full communism is to improve the condition of immigrates, demand they have the same rights to healthcare benefits etc, then they will not need to accept shit from capitalists and the capitalists will have no incentive to use immigrant workers. and for the second issue then the solution would be to demand better education and free to, so that anyone who wanted can be trained in any kind of work they want.

but i notice that people who are "concerned that immigrants are taking there jobs" do the opposite of this, eg i notice that anti immigration people never oppose work fair, which replaces paid workers with free labour. so we have to conclude that their response is not based on a rational analysis of how they are being harmed by immigration but in fact racism.

racism fueled by propergander from the media, of cause, the cause of the racism is not immigration, people are the most hostile to immigrants where there are the least immigrants, its caused by anti immigration propaganda

So basically you just said immigration does affect indigenous workers. But then said workers should fight for immigrants to be paid higher wages, somethings immigrants are not on board with as the only way capitalists will employ them over native labour is if they will take worse wages and undercut the competition.

This is basically snobbish victim blaming and completely unrealistic. It is basically acknowledging immigration does negatively affect native workers and then blaming those people for not magically having the power to force employers to pay immigrants the same wages as them. If that was possible economic migration wouldn't be a bloody phenomena.

radicalgraffiti
Sep 8 2015 02:12
Benzo89 wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Quote:
It isn't white working class men making up stories in order to generate hate against foreigners,

no its middle class men who work for national publications making up stories, and members of the bougeose paying them to do it.

The main reasons capitalists will use immigrant workers rather than native workers are that they are in a worse situation and so willing to accept worse conditions and pay, and because they are already trained to do things eg nurses, the logical solution for an native worker who is afraid of there job being taken by an immigrant short of full communism is to improve the condition of immigrates, demand they have the same rights to healthcare benefits etc, then they will not need to accept shit from capitalists and the capitalists will have no incentive to use immigrant workers. and for the second issue then the solution would be to demand better education and free to, so that anyone who wanted can be trained in any kind of work they want.

but i notice that people who are "concerned that immigrants are taking there jobs" do the opposite of this, eg i notice that anti immigration people never oppose work fair, which replaces paid workers with free labour. so we have to conclude that their response is not based on a rational analysis of how they are being harmed by immigration but in fact racism.

racism fueled by propergander from the media, of cause, the cause of the racism is not immigration, people are the most hostile to immigrants where there are the least immigrants, its caused by anti immigration propaganda

So basically you just said immigration does affect indigenous workers. But then said workers should fight for immigrants to be paid higher wages, somethings immigrants are not on board with as the only way capitalists will employ them over native labour is if they will take worse wages and undercut the competition.

This is basically snobbish victim blaming and completely unrealistic. It is basically acknowledging immigration does negatively affect native workers and then blaming those people for not magically having the power to force employers to pay immigrants the same wages as them. If that was possible economic migration wouldn't be a bloody phenomena.

if immigration actually harms native workers, which you have not in any way established, the supporting attacks on immigrant is making the problem worse. Any one who supports the idea that the logical solution for native workers is to attack immigrants is making the situation worse. native workers have at least as much capacity to show solidarity with immigrant workers and undermine the racism of the state and bosses as they do to attack immigrants and support discrimination against them

and actually, saying the immigrants are the cause of the problem, not the bosses would be a classic example of victim blaming.

And i note you ignore the rest of my post

Benzo89
Sep 8 2015 02:22
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Quote:
It isn't white working class men making up stories in order to generate hate against foreigners,

no its middle class men who work for national publications making up stories, and members of the bougeose paying them to do it.

The main reasons capitalists will use immigrant workers rather than native workers are that they are in a worse situation and so willing to accept worse conditions and pay, and because they are already trained to do things eg nurses, the logical solution for an native worker who is afraid of there job being taken by an immigrant short of full communism is to improve the condition of immigrates, demand they have the same rights to healthcare benefits etc, then they will not need to accept shit from capitalists and the capitalists will have no incentive to use immigrant workers. and for the second issue then the solution would be to demand better education and free to, so that anyone who wanted can be trained in any kind of work they want.

but i notice that people who are "concerned that immigrants are taking there jobs" do the opposite of this, eg i notice that anti immigration people never oppose work fair, which replaces paid workers with free labour. so we have to conclude that their response is not based on a rational analysis of how they are being harmed by immigration but in fact racism.

racism fueled by propergander from the media, of cause, the cause of the racism is not immigration, people are the most hostile to immigrants where there are the least immigrants, its caused by anti immigration propaganda

So basically you just said immigration does affect indigenous workers. But then said workers should fight for immigrants to be paid higher wages, somethings immigrants are not on board with as the only way capitalists will employ them over native labour is if they will take worse wages and undercut the competition.

This is basically snobbish victim blaming and completely unrealistic. It is basically acknowledging immigration does negatively affect native workers and then blaming those people for not magically having the power to force employers to pay immigrants the same wages as them. If that was possible economic migration wouldn't be a bloody phenomena.

if immigration actually harms native workers, which you have not in any way established, the supporting attacks on immigrant is making the problem worse. Any one who supports the idea that the logical solution for native workers is to attack immigrants is making the situation worse. native workers have at least as much capacity to show solidarity with immigrant workers and undermine the racism of the state and bosses as they do to attack immigrants and support discrimination against them

and actually, saying the immigrants are the cause of the problem, not the bosses would be a classic example of victim blaming.

And i note you ignore the rest of my post

As I said above I can accept the fact (based on all the studies including ones which show net benefits of migration as well as the fact it has cost 95 billion since the 90s) that immigration negatively affects native workers and at the same time support immigrants and not attack them.

Simply lying about the negative affects is simply lying for political expediency. It also pistes off workers and drives them towards the right wing. I personally don't like lying or right wing movements so I don't play that game.

radicalgraffiti
Sep 8 2015 02:37
Benzo89 wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Quote:
It isn't white working class men making up stories in order to generate hate against foreigners,

no its middle class men who work for national publications making up stories, and members of the bougeose paying them to do it.

The main reasons capitalists will use immigrant workers rather than native workers are that they are in a worse situation and so willing to accept worse conditions and pay, and because they are already trained to do things eg nurses, the logical solution for an native worker who is afraid of there job being taken by an immigrant short of full communism is to improve the condition of immigrates, demand they have the same rights to healthcare benefits etc, then they will not need to accept shit from capitalists and the capitalists will have no incentive to use immigrant workers. and for the second issue then the solution would be to demand better education and free to, so that anyone who wanted can be trained in any kind of work they want.

but i notice that people who are "concerned that immigrants are taking there jobs" do the opposite of this, eg i notice that anti immigration people never oppose work fair, which replaces paid workers with free labour. so we have to conclude that their response is not based on a rational analysis of how they are being harmed by immigration but in fact racism.

racism fueled by propergander from the media, of cause, the cause of the racism is not immigration, people are the most hostile to immigrants where there are the least immigrants, its caused by anti immigration propaganda

So basically you just said immigration does affect indigenous workers. But then said workers should fight for immigrants to be paid higher wages, somethings immigrants are not on board with as the only way capitalists will employ them over native labour is if they will take worse wages and undercut the competition.

This is basically snobbish victim blaming and completely unrealistic. It is basically acknowledging immigration does negatively affect native workers and then blaming those people for not magically having the power to force employers to pay immigrants the same wages as them. If that was possible economic migration wouldn't be a bloody phenomena.

if immigration actually harms native workers, which you have not in any way established, the supporting attacks on immigrant is making the problem worse. Any one who supports the idea that the logical solution for native workers is to attack immigrants is making the situation worse. native workers have at least as much capacity to show solidarity with immigrant workers and undermine the racism of the state and bosses as they do to attack immigrants and support discrimination against them

and actually, saying the immigrants are the cause of the problem, not the bosses would be a classic example of victim blaming.

And i note you ignore the rest of my post

As I said above I can accept the fact (based on all the studies including ones which show net benefits of migration as well as the fact it has cost 95 billion since the 90s) that immigration negatively affects native workers and at the same time support immigrants and not attack them.

Simply lying about the negative affects is simply lying for political expediency. It also pistes off workers and drives them towards the right wing. I personally don't like lying or right wing movements so I don't play that game.

you have provided 0 sources. also costing money doesn't = harms workers, also you have ignored the rest of my post, instead attacking a straw man.

fingers malone
Sep 8 2015 07:11
Benzo89 wrote:

So basically you just said immigration does affect indigenous workers. But then said workers should fight for immigrants to be paid higher wages, somethings immigrants are not on board with as the only way capitalists will employ them over native labour is if they will take worse wages and undercut .

There's been loads of militant struggles by immigrant workers in the UK recently to improve their conditions, especially by cleaners.

fingers malone
Sep 8 2015 07:21
Benzo89 wrote:

This is basically snobbish victim blaming and completely unrealistic. It is basically acknowledging immigration does negatively affect native workers and then blaming those people for not magically having the power to force employers to pay immigrants the same wages as them. If that was possible economic migration wouldn't be a bloody phenomena.

We don't have the power to do it magically, no. We do have the power to try to fight to improve our own working conditions and our own lives by collective action, often at some risk to ourselves and definitely involving loads of hard graft. Within that fight we have the choice about whether to fight excluding other workers and attacking them or including them and fighting alongside them. Making this choice often means making more trouble for yourself but it's the right thing to do.

Benzo89
Sep 8 2015 09:13
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Quote:
It isn't white working class men making up stories in order to generate hate against foreigners,

no its middle class men who work for national publications making up stories, and members of the bougeose paying them to do it.

The main reasons capitalists will use immigrant workers rather than native workers are that they are in a worse situation and so willing to accept worse conditions and pay, and because they are already trained to do things eg nurses, the logical solution for an native worker who is afraid of there job being taken by an immigrant short of full communism is to improve the condition of immigrates, demand they have the same rights to healthcare benefits etc, then they will not need to accept shit from capitalists and the capitalists will have no incentive to use immigrant workers. and for the second issue then the solution would be to demand better education and free to, so that anyone who wanted can be trained in any kind of work they want.

but i notice that people who are "concerned that immigrants are taking there jobs" do the opposite of this, eg i notice that anti immigration people never oppose work fair, which replaces paid workers with free labour. so we have to conclude that their response is not based on a rational analysis of how they are being harmed by immigration but in fact racism.

racism fueled by propergander from the media, of cause, the cause of the racism is not immigration, people are the most hostile to immigrants where there are the least immigrants, its caused by anti immigration propaganda

So basically you just said immigration does affect indigenous workers. But then said workers should fight for immigrants to be paid higher wages, somethings immigrants are not on board with as the only way capitalists will employ them over native labour is if they will take worse wages and undercut the competition.

This is basically snobbish victim blaming and completely unrealistic. It is basically acknowledging immigration does negatively affect native workers and then blaming those people for not magically having the power to force employers to pay immigrants the same wages as them. If that was possible economic migration wouldn't be a bloody phenomena.

if immigration actually harms native workers, which you have not in any way established, the supporting attacks on immigrant is making the problem worse. Any one who supports the idea that the logical solution for native workers is to attack immigrants is making the situation worse. native workers have at least as much capacity to show solidarity with immigrant workers and undermine the racism of the state and bosses as they do to attack immigrants and support discrimination against them

and actually, saying the immigrants are the cause of the problem, not the bosses would be a classic example of victim blaming.

And i note you ignore the rest of my post

As I said above I can accept the fact (based on all the studies including ones which show net benefits of migration as well as the fact it has cost 95 billion since the 90s) that immigration negatively affects native workers and at the same time support immigrants and not attack them.

Simply lying about the negative affects is simply lying for political expediency. It also pistes off workers and drives them towards the right wing. I personally don't like lying or right wing movements so I don't play that game.

you have provided 0 sources. also costing money doesn't = harms workers, also you have ignored the rest of my post, instead attacking a straw man.

In what fairyland does taking 95 billion not take from workers taxes, from their health service, from their public housing options etc? This is the problem, the inability to be honest about things within the context of capitalism.

Benzo89
Sep 8 2015 12:02
fingers malone wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:

This is basically snobbish victim blaming and completely unrealistic. It is basically acknowledging immigration does negatively affect native workers and then blaming those people for not magically having the power to force employers to pay immigrants the same wages as them. If that was possible economic migration wouldn't be a bloody phenomena.

We don't have the power to do it magically, no. We do have the power to try to fight to improve our own working conditions and our own lives by collective action, often at some risk to ourselves and definitely involving loads of hard graft. Within that fight we have the choice about whether to fight excluding other workers and attacking them or including them and fighting alongside them. Making this choice often means making more trouble for yourself but it's the right thing to do.

But no matter what legislation or laws are pushed through regarding equal pay, desperate migrants and greedy capitalists will come to an arrangement. Especially with smaller scale businesses. It won't matter what laws are on the books about fair pay because both immigrants and employers will break those laws.

This leaves the native working class, mostly its poorest segments, losing jobs, having job spaces filled by cheap immigrant labour. And yeah abolishing capitalism will solve the problem, but seeing as revolution isn't round the corner, that isn't any help to a minimum wage worker who loses his job to immigrant labour. So if that is the only alternative you offer him he will inevitably gravitate to a far right solution.

You can't build solidarity with immigrant labour because their entire reason for migrating is to compete for your low paying job, this means that they won't unite with native workers and vice versa. As I said earlier, within capitalism immigration does harm native workers, it also exploits immigrants. So the logical stances are:

1. Support statism and capitalism and be against immigration
2. Be a libertarian and know immigration affects workers but argue wages in the first world are artificially high and welcome capital and labour and super exploitation to cross borders
2. Be anti capitalist and argue for a long sighted view, where workers simply accept the harm immigration does to them momentarily and try and organise and end statism and capitalism.

Being an Anarchist and trying to argue immigration is good within capitalism, because you support immigration and want a non capitalist system where it wouldn't harm indigenous workers, is extremely disingenuous. People see us try and fit facts to our agenda and they are instantly turned off by blatant lying.

Ed
Sep 8 2015 12:16
Benzo89 wrote:
You can't build solidarity with immigrant labour because their entire reason for migrating is to compete for your low paying job, this means that they won't unite with native workers and vice versa. As I said earlier, within capitalism immigration does harm native workers, it also exploits immigrants.

Not being funny mate but this sort of goes against all the history of migrants (or women) being introduced into the labour market. Asian workers in Britain were often paid much less than British counter-parts when they came to the UK, they also became a really important part of the labour movement here (i.e. Red Scar, Grunwick, Imperial Typewriters etc etc) and the struggles of migrant workers eventually helped lessen the pay disparity and help with integration. And even today, some of the most important workers' struggles going on are amongst migrant workers i.e. the numerous cleaners' struggles in London for a living wage. This idea that you can't build solidarity with immigrant labour is, then, demonstrably bollocks.

So to your 'logical stances', I'd add "4) Admit that immigration is used by bosses to negatively affect workers by increasing competition for jobs and deflating wages, but argue that that is the fault of the bosses not the migrants and organise alongside migrants to improve conditions of both native and foreign workers." As has happened in the past and indeed continues to do so today..

Ed
Sep 8 2015 12:20

I mean, watch this documentary on warehouse workers' struggles in Italy since 2008 by mostly migrant workers (though often working with native Italians) and then tell me solidarity can't be built with immigrant labour (also, just watch the documentary coz it's amazing! But also relevant to this discussion..)

Benzo89
Sep 8 2015 12:29
Ed wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
You can't build solidarity with immigrant labour because their entire reason for migrating is to compete for your low paying job, this means that they won't unite with native workers and vice versa. As I said earlier, within capitalism immigration does harm native workers, it also exploits immigrants.

Not being funny mate but this sort of goes against all the history of migrants (or women) being introduced into the labour market. Asian workers in Britain were often paid much less than British counter-parts when they came to the UK, they also became a really important part of the labour movement here (i.e. Red Scar, Grunwick, Imperial Typewriters etc etc) and the struggles of migrant workers eventually helped lessen the pay disparity and help with integration. And even today, some of the most important workers' struggles going on are amongst migrant workers i.e. the numerous cleaners' struggles in London for a living wage. This idea that you can't build solidarity with immigrant labour is, then, demonstrably bollocks.

So to your 'logical stances', I'd add "4) Admit that immigration is used by bosses to negatively affect workers by increasing competition for jobs and deflating wages, but argue that that is the fault of the bosses not the migrants and organise alongside migrants to improve conditions of both native and foreign workers." As has happened in the past and indeed continues to do so today..

I in no way whatsoever blame immigrants. If I was born somewhere with no opportunity I would illegally come looking for it. I blame the employers. This however does not change the fact it does drive down wages, takes jobs and resources from native workers.

It is possible to both support immigrants and also recognise the negative aspects of immigration impact upon the working class.