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"Billy Bones"?!! Sounds like a pirate - I wonder if he has a mate called Jack Sparrow?..
Seriously - as I commented on the other thread - the combination of Brown's idiotic slogan which was coined to try and stop white working class voters moving to the BNP from Labour plus Union leaders manipulating the workforce for their own ends have created a heady cocktail! Sadly it is all too easy for radical union leaders to manipulate the workfordce as we have seen time and time again since the 1970s. Most of the workers simply want to do their job, go home and go to the pub. They are not interested in Union meetings and Union politics. So the hot-heads move in and begin to wind everyone up like little clockwork toys! Works every time...

You are probably right Tim but I have much sympathy for those workers and am often taken aback by the lack of patriotism of the CBI and the British government.
I see nothing wrong with us launching a buy British campaign in the same way as they do in France, Germany or the USA.

I wrote this on the other site.

It would be difficult to imagine a more crass statement than Gordon Brown`s. He, and the striking workers as well, should know that in the eyes of Brussels we are all Europeans now, with equal rights to live and work anywhere in the EU. Some of course are more equal than others. This would never be allowed in Germany, France, or Spain.

Nothing will change unless we leave the EU.

I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I understand the theory of comparative advantage and the various other reasons for free trade.

On the other hand, it is distressing to see work go abroad and see our companies being bought up by overseas interests. It causes people to feel alienated in their own country, me included. I also like spontaneous grassroots actions like this seems to be.

I attended a job interview for a software developer this week and was told that I wouldn't actually be writing any software I would just be checking code that was written in India!

At least there is a refreshing absence of Socialist Worker placades here. Too nationalistic for them I suppose or maybe they are too clever now to advertise their presence. Or maybe they just got caught on the hop.

I have every sympathy too Malcolm. British workers have been let down by a government that hasn't invested in education and skills and has suffocated their employers with red tape. All economies will lose from protectionism but an open economy like Britain will lose the most.

Forgot to say that this might be the first major sign that the ordinary British public are realising that New Labour are, as Cameron says, taking them for fools.

Editor, with all due respects, the age of free-markets, and with it the free movement of migrant labour are over.

The only way out of this recession is for each nation to re-balance its economy and that means national economy developing more of an internal market and becoming less dependent on the world economy.

At a time of deep recession and national crisis, it is sad, though not unexpected, to see Conservatives lining up behind the outdated ideological banner of open markets.

Those who strike to defend British jobs are patriots and heroes, in contrast to those who just want to sell our country off to the cheapest bidder.

I was expecting you Tony :-)

I know this is your big concern.

I profoundly disagree with you. So much of British industry depends upon other countries giving us access to their markets. We really do have most to lose from a world that starts erecting barriers to trade.

Could soeone please explain Cameron's comments about Gordon Brown and "British Jobs for British People."

Cameron said that he advised Brown not to use a BNP sounding slogan.

Here are my questions:

1) When did this chat take place?
2) Why is Cameron advising Brown on policy when he should be focusing his efforts on removing him from power?
3) Cameron wants to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom so what is wrong with the slogan "British Jobs for British Workers"?
4) When is Cameron going to come out of the closet and state exactly whether he wants Britain to remain in or out of the European Union?

Why has Cameron failed to land a knockout blow against Brown even though Brown has practically killed himself off?

Letters from a Tory warns that the BNP will prosper from this:


You are right that illegal strikes shouldn't be tolerated but we should also be careful not to add grievance upon grievance in this situation in the way that we deal with this. The last thing that is needed is to be heavy handed and risk alienating these workers or indeed those who have sympathy for them. These are just the sort of issues that can form the first step in a very slippery slope. Those involved are clearly very frustrated, and I think we would be wise not to add to their frustration.

This is a specific protest against specific grievances as far as we can tell, I think the danger is if it gets widened into a general sense and a group of people get treated as scapegoats for our economic ills. That way lies ruination, but when this sort of thing gets added to a general lack of faith in the prevailing political system it can become a very pernicious cocktail. We need to ensure that any frontbench statement on this is extremely measured and incapable of being misinterpreted and we need to ensure also that associations are monitoring even more closely the political activity of those who would willfully exploit this to sow discord and disaffection.

"It's a temptation but one we should resist."

Well that depends if the Conservatives believe in the nation state or not. A nation state isn't just a place where the ruling elite have their snouts buried in the trough, they have to do more than just that, they have to justify their existence, like having some concern for their citizens, like being able to act on the employment of their citizens, like being able to ensure their people have housing.

Unfortunately the British establishment have signed away being able to do anything about jobs because of their beloved EU project, and they have put British people at the back of the queue on housing in what they have signed up to in the HRA. So this crisis could very easily become a question about the British state, for if they have Pontius pilot like washed their hands in regards to employment and housing, then the question will be what's the bloody point of the British state?

These idiots don't know the first thing about capitalism, they are socialists who haven't got a clue what capitalism is supposed to do. The "Free Market" is not supposed to work AGAINST people, it is supposed to work FOR people.

The approach of "letting the market sort it out" is WRONG, for the market will only sort ITSELF out and has no social conscience.

We elect politicians for our own considerations, not to stand back, "do nothing", and let the free market pirates have their way, but to LIMIT and CONTROL their influences so what they do brings more benefit to OUR societies.

Making wealth is first and foremost to better ones own standard of life which THEN allows you to look after others who are poor.

If we are poor then the entire world will become poor, so it is imperative that we become wealthy so we can give to others.

Presently, the people are becoming poorer, the poor are going to die, and the rich are becoming richer.

The EU is alone in its quest in a so called "free market", which has barriers around it which prevent British, Italian, French or other workers working in "The Global Economy", which we're led by Gordon Brown to believe includes America, China and Russia et al.........It doesn't !

All the "free market" has produced is a "free ride" on Europe and it must stop.

Obama is set to deliver a "Big Bang" policy next week to save the US economy. ( He will seek to 'protect' the USA )

Putin has already said he wants nothing to do with the uni-polar structures which control economies, money and finance. He has already protected the Russian economy.

Since I don't see many European workers taking up contracts in China, then I can't see how we're in a "Global Economy", yet Brown gave £2 billion to China and another billion to India - WHY ?

Gordon Brown talks a load of bollox and no one is listening to him any more, so if you're reading this David Cameron, I'd like to know when you are going to say that Gordon Brown should be put out of our misery before he puts Britain on the scrap heap with the ludicrous pomposity he expelled in an empty room at Davos, TALKING about saving the world when other leaders were and are, saving their own economies.

"We really do have most to lose from a world that starts erecting barriers to trade."

Tim whare have you been, haven't you noticed we have an £80 billion trade in goods deficit only partially compensated for by a £30 biillion services surplus?

well if the comments here are anything to go by these British workers will get nothing from Cameron and the tories.
BNP it is then.

Buy British! nonsense, buy what's best for you, quality and price is what matters, nationality does not.

Buying British because its British is the sure way to reward complacency and inefficiency.

Well I do hope the Governments have learnt from history, my understanding is that it was the erection of trade barriers that created the Great Depression.

British workers are angry, as can be expected, that the pool of jobs has massively shrunk and continuing to do so, in some industries it's every man for himself, if you can eliminate foreign workers from competing with you for a scarce resource then that's what you do.

With the jobs pool in the UK is contracting out of work British workers are going to look at us having 3.7 million foreign workers in the UK, however we have around 6 million plus British expatiates around the world and although I'm not sure how many of them are working I would hazard a guess of quite a few.

Protectionism has to be resisted as although in the short term it may provide some comfort further down the field it will only cause massive problems.

Difficult call for the Tories.Did they object to free access to the UK from new EU accession countries?--- no.Who did away with embarkation controls?---the Tories.

Using unlimited uncontrolled mass immigration as an economic tool to lower wages and inflation was bound to end in grief and now possible violence.It may be time to fill the larder.Greece,France,Latvia ---now the UK.Perhaps the 80% of Brits who don't matter will remind Barroso that they do matter.With thousands joining the jobs queue about to find out they'll only get £60.50pw the cry may soon be 'British benefits for British jobless'

Editor, this is all about balance and having control over our own economy. We musn't equate a desire to make our economy self-sufficient with a desire to stop trading with the wider world.

The problem is that we have become so dependent on the wider world that we now can no longer provide jobs for our own people. Ideally I should like all our industry to be British owned. However if we are to have foreign investment then it should be conditioned by a stipulation that any work offered should go to British workers first.

I sometimes feel I am on thorny ground when being critical on the question of migrant labour, because I have been a migrant worker, having lived abroad in two countries for much of the 1980s. Nontheless, I still feel that nations have to offer work to their own people first, government needs to introduce legislation that makes this happen, in spite of the EU.


The free market applies where the tendering process is open to all. As per the Lindsay Oil Refinery.

Protectionism applies where the employment subsequent to contract is ring fenced to foreign workers imported like cut-price cattle aboard floating accommodation blocks and isolated from the host community.

Protectionism applies where:

'Associated British Ports banned filming of the huge grey barges that brought them in from the continent and are now moored at Grimsby docks as a cost-cutting floating workers' hostel.'

Free trade at the tendering process, yes, but the tender should be conditional upon first refusal of employment going to local workers.

Unless we are saying that the economic exploitation of foreign workers supersedes access to employment of British workers at an ethically fair market rate. I though we were all Red Tories now.

"Buying British because its British is the sure way to reward complacency and inefficiency."

Where as the migrant labour policy has left British business addicted to cheap labour and inefficieny.

"I know this is your big concern.

I profoundly disagree with you. So much of British industry depends upon other countries giving us access to their markets. We really do have most to lose from a world that starts erecting barriers to trade."

That's a good point Tim, but I don't think people will care that much if we hit 3,000,000 unemployed. I must say, I believe that only by rebuilding our industries and securing our own supplies of energy will we avoid a constant cycle of world wide boom and bust. Either we build Nuclear or we reopen the pit's, we have to do one or the other. It's very much the same picture with the rest of industry, we need a National plan to rebuild our manufacturing base. We as a Party are committed to moving away from Union with Europe (and quite right to) we need a new privateer mindset and a will to make Britain Great not some satellite state of the EEC.

What I think is refreshing about this strike is that, when English workers walked out, their Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish counter-parts also walked out in support, despite the threat to their own jobs from doing so. This shows that the bonds which bind our country together are still strong, despite Labour's anti-English constitutional vandalism and the anti-Scottish and anti-British "English Democrat" trolls on ConservativeHome who so badly want to tear this country apart.

The issue is not migration from outside the EU as Tim thinks, as we do still have control over this, but EU migration and discrimination against British workers in their own country. This could result in a very combustable situation and we will need care and skill to defuse this and set things right, much less to gain political capital from it.

Is Dell planning to take it's 2,000 Irish workers to Poland with it ? - NO

Is Cadbury intending to take its British workforce with it to Europe ? - NO

Do I need to list all the jobs Britain has created in Britain for foreign workers and compile a list of the unemployed skills of Brits who could have done those jobs if it were not for Polish recruitment agencies seeking Polish workers, or Italian firms seeking Italians, etc etc etc ?

We even give honours to these petty traitors.
Instead we should have a campaign of naming and shaming those Board room thieves who export work abroad. In short its time to put Great Britain first, not profit.

"English workers walked out, their Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish counter-parts also walked out in support,"

Isn't that what Union means to Britain? I also applaud the unity that has been shown in this first real strike of the National Crisis.

"The bigger message we need to get across - at a time when Barack Obama is making protectionist noises - is that a retreat from free trade is the surest way to turn today's recession into tomorrow's depression."

I think we need to distinguish between free trade in goods and free movement of labour. Conservatives have always supported limits on movements of people.

To The Bishop's Wife etc

Not too many comments please. You clog up the thread.

I feel there will soon be a groundswell to leave the EU but I WON'T BANG ON ABOUT IT--
-----I'll vote UKIP in June..

BOO Dave!

I tend to side more with Tony Makara than you, Editor. And A Candid Mover @ 10.00 has put the point pithily.

One thing I notice repeatedly in a wide variety of articles here (or on Centre Right) is that the original writers often seem to think that pure economic theory is a trump card. "My text book on free market economics says this, so it must be right." But we live in a real world where people have feeling and emotions. They have families to feed. It's no use talking about the grand ideals of the Treaty of Rome to unemployed, skilled workers. You might as well say "let them eat cake". The need to address the needs of the common man is surely as essential to politics as any fine economic theory.

Our European friends realise this. Do you seriously believe there is a continental European politician that wouldn't be stamping down hard on this sort of situation? Similarly when it comes to state aid, they have come up with much more generous packages for the car and steel industry than we have. We are so naive, we sometimes seem to be the only country that follows the rules slavishly. Politicians in other countries find ways to bend or if necessary, break, the rules; ours are just supine.

Please forgive my copying a post from the other thread. My excuse is that it's an efficient process!

"Andrew Lilico

"Do you *really* want us to abandon the free movement of labour within the European Union?"

No, but there must be a level playing field. No one is objecting to Total awarding a contract to an Italian company, the objection is that having won that contract the Italian company *appears* to be excluding British workers entirely. Some will say this is a vile BNP lie. If so why are all the workforce segregated in a floating hotel? It looks rather furtive.

Imagine that a British company (e.g. Balfour Beatty) won a power station contract in Italy. What would happen? Obviously some key British personnel would go out to manage and work on the project. But equally a large number of local Italian workers would be recruited for the bulk of the jobs.

I can't see how the approach of the Italian contractor makes financial sense, unless they are undercutting the market and keeping their workers in the dark about going rates of pay in the UK.

Having said "no" above, I must admit that I'm keener on the free movement of capital than I am on totally free movement of labour. The latter sounded a good idea in times of great prosperity less so in times of distress.Do we really want to have a Europe that works on a beggar my neighbour basis? We need to consider social impacts as well as pure economics."

It will be interesting to see how the police deal with this one vs the recent violent mulsim marches and looting etc in London etc under the guise of "free gaza" when what they really mean is "lets create a caliphate in Europe"......

"Instead we should have a campaign of naming and shaming those Board room thieves who export work abroad."

The Bishop's Nationalist and proud wife, Newsnight did an interesting piece on the strike, here they cited a European Court case of Viking/Laval where the EC declared that local working agreements should not be respected as this was a restriction on trade, an attempt to amend the EC decision was knocked down by the Labour Government.

Newsnight also showed the 'benefits' we have got from this free movement of labour, here they showed inflation adjusted wages growth which has barely got above 1%pa in the last 10 years, when we have had all this so called growth. Meanwhile other reports have shown the Directors salaries have been increasing at a rate of 20-30-40%.

Newsnight story about 8 mins in


Director pay


"It's a temptation but one we should resist. Conservatives should not tolerate illegal strikes and, more strategically, we should argue for the long-term benefits of open markets even when they conflict with immediate British interests. That will often be a very tough argument to make but there will be many other times when UK workers - not least in the financial services sector - benefit from our free access to other markets.

The bigger message we need to get across - at a time when Barack Obama is making protectionist noises - is that a retreat from free trade is the surest way to turn today's recession into tomorrow's depression".

The car industry is foreign owned; we have no problem with that because it employs a British workforce. It does not transport its own nationalities residing in hotels in Britain in order to produce the goods.

We have banks and financial services in the EU. I use a Halifax bank in Spain; it employs a Spanish workforce. To suggest that our foreign based financial services employ a predominantly British workforce is incorrect.

This dispute is NOT about a retreat from free trade: it is about protectionism. Unless it can be proved that the skills need to complete this contract cannot be supplied with British expertise and labour then I have every sympathy with the strikers protecting their livelihoods puting bread on he table and roofs over heads. - legal or otherwise. I believe the Tolpuddle Martyrs were also considered to be "illegal". Legality in this context is in the eye of the beholder, but, surprise, surprise, I expect the judiciary to come down on the side of the EU.

Unusually, I agree with Tim, but the fingers and will of Brussels are all over this dispute.

"To The Bishop's Wife etc

Not too many comments please. You clog up the thread."

You should try living with her Tim, she's always making to many comments. I'll try and keep her under some sort of control.

"It's a temptation but one we should resist. Conservatives should not tolerate illegal strikes and, more strategically, we should argue for the long-term benefits of open markets even when they conflict with immediate British interests. That will often be a very tough argument to make but there will be many other times when UK workers - not least in the financial services sector - benefit from our free access to other markets.

The bigger message we need to get across - at a time when Barack Obama is making protectionist noises - is that a retreat from free trade is the surest way to turn today's recession into tomorrow's depression".

The car industry is foreign owned; we have no problem with that because it employs a British workforce. It does not transport its own nationalities residing in hotels in Britain in order to produce the goods.

We have banks and financial services in the EU. I use a Halifax bank in Spain; it employs a Spanish workforce. To suggest that our foreign based financial services employ a predominantly British workforce is incorrect.

This dispute is NOT about a retreat from free trade: it is about protectionism. Unless it can be proved that the skills need to complete this contract cannot be supplied with British expertise and labour then I have every sympathy with the strikers protecting their livelihoods puting bread on he table and roofs over heads. - legal or otherwise. I believe the Tolpuddle Martyrs were also considered to be "illegal". Legality in this context is in the eye of the beholder, but, surprise, surprise, I expect the judiciary to come down on the side of the EU.

Unusually, I agree with Tim, but the fingers and will of Brussels are all over this dispute.

@Bishop lol

I meant to say that usually I agree with Tim, but no on this occasion.

Nevertheless, TM for PM.

The critical question to ask is "why didn't a British Company win the contract instead of the Italian one?"

This is the most worrying aspect of this affair. Are there any UK companies good enough to do the work or was it due to close relations between the Total and another European company? (I know the final contract came from a US company but who knows how it was set up).

I believe that the refusal by Blair to implement transition controls for new accession EU countries is partly explained by Blair's need to get a broad coalition for troops to fight in Iraq.

"feel there will soon be a groundswell to leave the EU but I WON'T BANG ON ABOUT IT--
-----I'll vote UKIP in June..

BOO Dave!"

Don't waste your vote, try rejoining the Party and working with the "better off out"
people. Your UKIP is not going to gain power meanwhile your watering down the groundswell within the party for a highly skeptical agenda vis a vis Europe. Seriously UKIP has a lot of good people but very like the SDP did to Labour its simply splitting the vote and is a negative factor in Conservative politics. We can agree that we want Labour out and we want to renegotiate European integration, isn't that what you want? The Party has mede it plain that we are now a euro skeptic party. So what exactly is holding you back? I don't get it.

I am very disappointed in you Tim.

I thought you believed in family, community and solidarity - not the selfish, rootless ethos of the management consultant.

The vision of large groups of workers being transported across Europe by multinational companies to live in barracks and work on contracts is a hellish future.

The lads in Licolnshire are not underclass layabouts, not are they left-wing union militants - they are the salt of the earth: skilled workers who see that they and their families are likely to be screwed by ever-more avaricious international businessmen with no consciences or decency.

You profess admiration for John Hayes. Why not ask him, as a Lincolnshire MP what he thinks about his constituents being offered a glittering future - as contract workers in Italy?

A nation that doesn't control its own borders is worth nothing. The only foreign workers (and that includes EU workers) who should be allowed into Britain are the ones who are doing a job for which no suitable Brit is available.

"British jobs for Italian workers today but there'll be Italian jobs for British workers tomorrow"

So are you suggesting that British workers go to Italy and undercut the Italians on pay? And who would that benefit? Not the workers, either British or Italian, but some fat cat businessman who would get an even bigger bonus.

In the 1980s Norman Tebbit said that people should move from areas without jobs to those with them. The situation in Immingham is that there already are jobs so why should communities be disrupted in this way. Take a look at Bradford if you want to see the long term effects of importing cheap labour.

It's very easy for affluent middle class people to support the importation of cheap workers. After all it's not your job or house at risk, it's not your street or kids' school being ruined.

We don’t wont protectionism?
As I’m a bit dim, I’m going to need someone to help me out here!

So, as long as other people from the EU can give a better price to do a job, no matter what standard of living & how much they need to live on back home, they get the work & the British people don’t?
Doesn’t that mean that in the end we could see many many British people unemployed while they have to watch others from over seas do a job they could do?
Fair enough! Were all friends in the EU aren’t we? Why should I care that somebody from the EU gets a job here & not me, after all, I’m sure they don’t mind either!

Those people from over seas! Will they be spending their money in our economy or do they take it home with them? That money will circulate anyhow won’t it? Does it help pay unemployment for the workers in the EU who have lost their jobs to those others?

As we don’t wont protectionism I puzzled why we don’t allow anyone from anywhere in the world to live & work in the EU, after all, don’t we want to trade with those countries as well?

Why do I get the feeling that I’m not allowed to be patriotic anymore? When I talk of MY people I now have to think of all the people in the EU as my own, so if a town here runs out of work for its people to do, to people from a town over there, I should say good luck to them as their town is going to flourish & I shouldn’t be bitter!

Human nature is going to be a massive factor in what is unfolding is it not?
Governments in their idyllic world think that by making rules for us to tolerate their ideals it’s a done deal & all that has to be put in place is a way to enforce their idealist laws, forget our emotions, after all, who wants to be British anyhow?

One last thing!
We Brits it seems MUST go abroad more & be more competitive, we need to be able to get jobs over seas don’t we? Gosh this is getting confusing!!!
When we go over seas, say to Poland, can we get benefits to help our families back home, what about education for our children, what about language lessons for ourselves, what about how sad I will feel leaving my family!

If the British can’t afford to live in Britain any more & have to get work over seas doesn’t that mean it’s only those with money will be able to afford to stay in Britain with cheap services & those who can’t, have to go to mainland Europe to live?

I told you I’m a bit dim, I’ve got myself all confused now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why do our politicians seem to think that it's common sense to exclude a worker from Turkey - but a disastrous breach of free trade principles to exclude a worker from Slovakia? It's all EU bollocks.

I believe in the free movement of capital but not in the free movement of labour - and nor, unless you accept unlimited immigration from Somalia, Iran and China - do you. So can we please stop attempting to smear Tory supporters of the Lincs workers as 'protectionists'?

"The vision of large groups of workers being transported across Europe by multinational companies to live in barracks and work on contracts is a hellish future."

A point well made.

Although I am inclined to support the editorial line, it is difficult to see the point of encouraging foreigners to invest in Britain if it does not result in any jobs for British workers. We might as well run advertising campaigns to encourage Spaniards with capital to invest in Egypt - completely useless to us. I don't think we can blame Labour's red tape and other employment restrictions, because presumably the Italians will be subject to the same requirements whilst working in the UK.

I wonder how much money the company is saving by using Italian workers?

Common Sense: John Hayes would definitely be on your side. He's not the most economically liberal Conservative MP!

My main concern is to avoid enacting barriers to free movement of capital and labour.

One of the interpretations of yesterday's speech by David Cameron on moral capitalism is the hope that firms are responsible to their local communities and behave accordingly. But should they be required by law to do so? I think not.

The slogan – “British jobs for British workers” by Brown, was neither a mistake nor a slip of the tong, he meant it and probably still does and wonders what’s all the fuss about. As a Socialist he can not help but be inwardly thinking, and an introvert by nature.

The problem as I see it is not that British jobs are being lost; it is that they are not being protected or valued. British jobs must be protected. By investing in the British worker, that means continued training, better and more flexible working conditions. By lighter regulations and ‘off course’ lower taxes, by taking a stand in Europe, if we “must” stay then we need to make a stand for our rights.

Open market is still the best way forward, and a retreat from free trade is wrong even in today’s economic climate. Retreating now will be more damaging in the long run than the rewards of a quick fix solution the socialist left is scrambling for. But now that we know and saw what might and could go wrong, we should be bold in implanting the necessary safe guards that will protect our industries’ and workers and put their interest first. We should never again give away rights and benefits freely, there must be an equal and clear advantage in return there must be a balance.

@T. England

Protectionism != Patriotism

Anyway half of what you've typed is reactionary guff. If you fail at sarcasm then don't use it in an "I'm trying to make a point using a irrelevant sarcastic prose writing style"

If only we could import cheaper politicians, but they are a prime example of a protectionist closed shop and when Turkey joins the EU wages will come down further.
If we remain in the EU we have no choice but to accept a complete free for all instead of a work permit system which is the choice for major economies outside of the E.U.
Watch this and weep:

Tim - when mining communities were decimated it was because there was no more coal. What we are seeing here is settled and viable communities - and real lives - being screwed by greedy businessmen with no conscience or decency.

A straight question for you: do you support genuine free movement of labour across the globe - including, as it would, the absolute right of Somalian, Iranian and Chinese workers to come to Britain?

Other than David Cameron and 'Vladimir Putin' of all people, who else is giving this message to the world about the so called free market and globalisation which only really applies to the European Union ?

“This is what too many people see when they look at capitalism today. Markets without morality, Globalisation without competition, and wealth without fairness. It all adds up to capitalism without a conscience and we’ve got to put it right”. “Markets are there to serve our society, not to suck the joy out of it or trample over its values. So we must shape capitalism to suit the needs of society; not shape society to suit the needs of capitalism”. - David Cameron at Davos

Gordon Brown may also tell us how we can be in a 'global economy' when it has British housing supporting the internal British economy, we have a trade deficit with Europe in excess of £500 billion, companies such as Dell and Cadbury for example take their operations to Europe leaving their workforces unemployed, yet an Italian firm brings its own labour to Britain, Polish recruitment agencies set up here to hire only Polish workers, and you have a government which advertises around the world for immigrants to fill the National Health Service and other public services, which again leaves British workers unemployed ?

Saying as he's so bright about these things, what would Gordon Brown advise we need to find employment for British workers, other than what David Cameron and Vladimir Putin are saying ?

Further, how are we benefiting from a global economy when we're the only ones taking part in it ?

Further, how is it "good business" to allow the Olympic stadium, high speed rail, environmental plans and nuclear power plants to be owned by foreign companies, built by foreign companies, and partly / mostly /, wholly ( ? ), financed with British taxes to create jobs and profits for foreign workers and foreign companies ?

This is all a con I'm afraid and we're the mugs. David Cameron should stand up for Britain because Brown has already shown he doesn't care about it.

No I don't Common Sense but within the EU there is free movement of labour which I support.

"Turkey joins the EU wages will come down further."

Yes, we can see why the CBI and British establishment want Turkey to join the EU, for here is another 80 million low paid people they can ship into the UK, and no doubt we will see Directors salaries jumping by 60-70-80% this time, rather than the measly 20-30-40% they managed with EE immigrants. Of course that means parking a whole load more undeserving British people on unemployment benefits, but no matter some copious amounts of crocodile tears shed at election time regards the widening gulf between the rich and poor, and a bit of hand wringing over the broken society should see the ruling class over any election difficulties.

Tim - I expect some of our EU partners to cheat, just as they have in th epast with steal quotas etc. Unfortunately free trade is not sufficient built in and we know have a tragedy of the commons situation, where the cheaters will appear to do best, but if everyone cheats everyone loses.

I suspect a more realistic policy here is needed.

Tim, this is the most stupid commentary I've read on here.
Free trade and free markets should not mean untrammelled freedom for foreigners to take British jobs.
If we really need them we can issue work permits to them, just like British workers have to do in the USA.
The problem is the EU and our government's supine surrender to it.

Iain @ 10.57,

You make a very relevant comment in referring to the custom of many other EU member states of bending or even ignoring EU laws and regulations (and even judgements of the ECJ) when this suits their national interests, whilst Britain not only slavishly abides by these, but often interprets them more literally than the legislators originally intended.

This may be partly due to a fundamental difference in temperament between ourselves and our continental neighbours, however, if this is the case, it has certainly worked to our detriment so far as our membership of the EU is concerned.

No I don't Common Sense but within the EU there is free movement of labour which I support.

Posted by: Tim Montgomerie | January 31, 2009 at 12:35

Sad to read it. You therefore support the EU controlling our borders. I have always had the impression that the editor was sympathetic to BOO, so, as far as I am concerned, further comment would be a waste of time.

As someone quite famous once said: "It is a funny old world". We live and learn. I am greatly disappointed. What a waste of time this has all been.

Regarding the question of free movement of labour - why should it be harder for workers from commonwealth countries to come and work in Britain than for our continental "friends"? If we are going to be protectionist about labour movement (and the editor has just said he is in favour of some labour protectionism), why are we favouring the Europeans, of all people? I don't see how it can be logical to support free labour movement between a bunch of countries linked only by a degree of geographical proximity and a good deal of mutual enmity, but to oppose it for everyone else.

The comment that said David Cameron should make it plain if he thinks we should be in Europe or out is astonishing. David Cameron as always made it plain as have all mainstream political leaders that they believe our future lies in Europe.
Only a fool believes Britain will ever leave Europe and an even bigger one believes that the Conservative party could stand on a platform of Britain out and win an election. Look what that did for Labour!!

@Jack Stone: do you think Margaret Thatcher's election victories were caused by Labour's policy on the EU?!

Britain can hardly leave the geographic entity of Europe, being rather firmly stuck to it by granite, chalk, sand, etc. I do not believe we must be inevitably forever-after bound into the EU because there is no reason to presume it will never collapse, just as did the Holy Roman Empire, the Roman Empire, the British Empire, Chzekoslovakia, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, united Scandinavia, that pan-arab entity which lives on only in the colours of a number of flags...

What happened to the free market party? The party of a freely trading Europe?

This thread is stuffed with people with minds ruled by opposition to Europe and immigration.

First work permits. . . . then capital controls. . . . then protection of "strategic induistries". . .

Just out of interest, Tim, has there ever been "Italian jobs for British workers"?
If not, what makes you so sure that there ever will be?

This situation does all stem from our membership of the EU and we cannot do anything about it unless we get a government that will stand up for this country. This would be an ideal issue for the government to demand a change in our relationshio with the EU. It is not simply a case of in or out. We can and should negotiate a free trade agreement while getting back control over our borders and our employment laws. We could then issue permits if we wished. We would be free to deport people as we wished. This is a great opportunity for David Cameron to take the initiative and lead the nation.

I was just wondering how many of those protesters voted for Labour, the party that have allowed this to happen to them, & I also wonder, how many of them would vote for a party that will allow it to continue!

"What happened to the free market party? The party of a freely trading Europe?"

I don't know, I was wondering what happened to the Party of the nation?

Surely the top priority for any government must be Defence of the Realm and central to that must be defending the opportunity of the native population to earn a living.

If we deliberately undermine that principle the fabric of what makes a country falls apart.

The current anger is largely because the broad mass of public opinion did not realise how far our soveriegnty has been handed over to the EU. Now the awful truth is beginning to dawn. Much better off out.


Posted by: ukipwebmaster | January 31, 2009 at 12:30

Excellent video ukipwebmaster !!!

The European Union will survive but if the Party is foolish enough to go down the path that many on this thread are advocating that of leaving the European Union then The Conservative Party will not survive as a potential party of government.

Since 1997 the number of adults in work has risen by 1.7million.

The growth of the immigrant workforce accounts for 1.35million of the new jobs whereas the number of native-born Britons in work rose by just 310,000 - fewer than one in five.

Over the past five years the picture is far more stark. Since 2002 Britain's workforce has grown by 491,000 to 27.2million.

Yet the number of those with jobs who were born in Britain fell by almost the same number - down 478,000, dipping below 24million.

Over the same period the number of foreigners working in Britain soared by 964,000 to nearly 3.3million - up 42 per cent.


The source



Ireland has become the first western European country to have its top-notch credit rating given a negative outlook by Moody’s Investors Service, in a further sign of the strains being put on national economies by the financial crisis.


Irish economy will shrink 10 percent in 2008-10: PM ... "without precedent" for Ireland, Prime Minister Brian Cowen told parliament on Wednesday, ...

Ireland may call in IMF if Economy Worsens, RTE Reports ...


Whenever I read of a politician or journlalist cheerleading for globalisation, I'm almost minded to insist that my job be taken over by a foreigner. Globalisation is the answer, the patriotic thing because, don't you see, it will help us in the long run.

Just kidding. People like the Total refinery protestors seem to be getting tired of 'the long run' to actually arrive here. If a politician as popular as Obama is making 'protectionist' noises, then it might mean he's figured out that people would prefer a real job today, whatever this does to 'free trade', rather than a load of meaningless promises which don't feed their kids and don't pay the mortgage.

Globalisation, I should admit, has been wonderful for businesses. Sadly, sacking all your staff in Europe or the US and hiring industrial serfs in the developing world can only be done once. And once it's done, the competitors do the same thing. Equal footing again. And the market many of these businesses are trying to sell to comprises people who've just been sacked. Aren't our businesses run by the cleverest imagineable people!!??

Its a matter of degree really. Free trade and movement are just mantras which you have to use and manipulate for your own national advantage. A lot of people have fallen hook line and sinker for this globalist, free movement of labour guff parotted by the political class and the big companies. And many of them, peculiarly, are the same types who profess to support the British state in one breathe and are happy to dismiss all English workers as uneducated chavs etc etc in the next.
They tend to be rather malignant innocents abroad.

The globalist,free movement of labour stuff is regarded by most countries and their governments as just a line - useful when you need it and very useful to beat the West with and particularly the British government.
Nearly all governments throughout the world are very careful to preserve large chunks of their economies for their own people. Unless it suits them not to for a while and for some jobs they cannot fill themselves. That includes the USA, France, Poland (yes Poland!),India, China,Germany and Dubai(try wafting into Dubai on no visa if you are Phillipino if you are in any doubt about this)

The British government has been happy, often eager to grovel to loyaltyless large companies who have no cumpunction at closing down large chanks of their English operations and transferring them abroad

eg Barclays -is closing its Poole, Dorset operation and sending them to India-

at yet still be happy for those same companies to have the full benefit of using , trading and exploiting the home market- eg again Barclays. This is crazy.

Absolutely no quid pro quo is required. Any problems and a quick prattle of one-sided "globalism" complete with the implied politically correct threat of being labelled racist just renders the British political class and their parties absolutely compliant every time.

Sure, there is an argument for free trade but not the surrendurist variety of free trade mentality which has pervaded most politicians for so long. You have to use your wits and you have to have a base loyalty to your own people and their interests, otherwise you will be shown for the cynical rootless cowards and bigots which many in the political class are.

An issue like calls the bluff of all those who prate on about "Britain". It seems they don't really mean it. In the end, if you do not identify with and refuse to protect and support the interests of your own people in the most elementary way then its time to redo the header logo of Conservative Home/Tory Diary without the bit about patriotism.

The Conservatives had better look lively here. The country is looking for leadership against Labour and the Conservative part of the political class are looking as though they are part of the problem

Derek @13.37
Obviously, after leaving the EU, David Cameron would be in a position to negotiate a new free trade agreement with the EU. Equally obviously, however, he would not be in a position to do this whilst Britain was still a member of the EU.

The entire purpose of the EU is the "harmonisation" (i.e. standardisation and centralisation) of laws and ultimately, taxation, of all member states. There is therefore no possible way in which they would permit individual member states to establish (or regain) their own immigration or employment laws. The entire purpose of all the previous treaties, leading up to Lisbon was gradually to transfer more and more of the rights to self determination from national governments to the control of Brussels. With the ratification of each succeeding treaty the politicians (but not the people) of the member states have endorsed and committed their countries to this take over.

It is both constitutionally and legally possible for a member state to say that it no longer wishes to be bound by any of the terms of the EU treaties and to renounce its membership, but not, without the unanimous consent of all other members, to pick and choose which EU laws it will accept and which it will reject. Needless to say, there is not a cat in hell's chance of all the other member states agreeing to any demands by Britain in this respect.

It is therefore, first and foremost a matter of in or out, before we can even begin to envisage a new and different relationship with the EU. Clearly, any politician who pretends that this is not the case is being disingenuous and should be viewed with the gravest suspicion.

When are we going to realise in this country,when we give biillions to EU every year,for roads & bridges and god knows what else in EU,WE ARE HELPING OUR COMPETITOR,we are not just helping the EZ economy,we are hurting our own currency,that is not a rant,it is a matter of fact,even if you look at it from a dispasionate view,and look rather through the eyes of logic.

How many of those workers will repatriate there money earned,and therefore the money dosn't even stay in the country.

As I wrote on the CR thread, have they never seen the programme 'Auf Wiedersehen'? It was about British workers...in German jobs.

How many Brits work abroad? Lots.
How many Brits employ Brits abroad when they could employ locals? Lots, particularly holiday home owners and expats employing British builders.

The simple fact is a company like this, which works as a contractor, has a full time staff that move project to project. Hiring fresh each time would be a nightmare, especially in different countries speaking different languages. Even for any temporary workers, language would be an issue. The State should get out of people's businesses.

Tim Montgomerie comprehensively misses the point in this piece

Certainly British companies do work abroad but the main labour force is generally recruited locally. Shunting brigades of workers across Europe is destructive of family life and breeds a race accustomed to be marched wherever their bosses want. It is quite different from individuals seeking their own fortunes.

It's the EU at its worst, ignoring the individual in favour of the corporate society

"Letters from a Tory warns that the BNP will prosper from this."

What, you mean like this.

(I don't support the BNP but I work on the basis of "know your enemy".)

David T breaker.

I am just old enough to remember the original series of'Auf Wiedersehen Pet'however i find this a bad example for the following reasons.

1)German Unions were furious,read UK 2009,Germany 1980's.

2)Many British Workers were hated and were threatened,indeed some actually being seriously beaten up.

3)Globilisation was a twink in the German/British Milkmans eye,we are now competing on a much larger scale.

The problem is this,as with the European directive on Services,when it suits the likes of Germany & France they look after themselves,they want everything for their workers,their companies,are you really suggesting in the current economic problems,German workers,Italian workers,French workers,and all their Governments would not protect their own people,look at the strikes in France.

All you who love Europe explain,why we have a free market for Manufacturing,that just so happens to benefit Ger/Fra,and when it comes to what UK is good at,after all we are the 2nd largest Service economy in the world,they want to be protectionist,it works both ways or they can forget it.

Labour have bent over and has taken it the rear,a coward government,led by a coward PM,just like signing away the rebate,for the so called reform of the CAP,has it been reformed?

EU regulations say that you have to advertise jobs locally and attempt to employ locals. At the time that this contract was decided, the majority of skilled workers in the regions were already employed, hence the decision to grant the contract to a firm employing other EU nationals.

There are far more UK citizens living and working abroad than vice versa. After China and India, Brits are the most widely distributed. For example, over 250,000 UK citizens live in France, and 750,000 in Spain. Just remember that when you start talking about the evils of immigration and the advantages of protectionism.

If the state ownership of the 1970s taught us anything it was that isolating yourself from reality is fine until the world come crashing around you.

Why don't we have a ship-building industry, because it was nationalised and the politicians used it as a short term political football, rather than making sensible investment decisions. Skills were not refreshed, plant was allowed to decay and the work - and jobs - moved overseas.

The same can be said for steel, and the railways. The "investment" they were promised from nationalisation never came and we have been left with a legacy of old and unproductive infrastructure which private capital would have replaced and renewed.

Now is the time for more free trade, not less, becasue it reduces costs and so makes more money available to pay wages and make profits, both of which are then taxed to pay for the public services we all rely on. Protectionism increases costs and ultimately beggars you, as well as your neighbour.

Scrap the CAP, end restrictions on the free movement of people, restrict welfare to encourage work and reduce the role of the state in "supporting" industry. There will be more pain in the first instance, but it will be over more quickly and recovery will be swifter and stronger.

If the US will not play ball, let them do their own thing - we should take our barriers down, unilaterally if necessary, especially to agricultural produce from Africa. That is an investment market waiting to be established. Not only will we see plentiful, cheap food, we will see good governance and peace as a consequence and the end, largely, to big aid bills.

There are questions about this which need answering before setting about. I think Walaa's posting at 12:24 best encapsulates the issues.

(1) Can the work the imported labour will be doing be done by British labour, local or not? Nobody seems to be answering this question.

(2) No British redundancies: Does this actually mean no British job losses or is is doublespeak that a contract is not a job? When is a job not a job?

I like the reference to "not a slip of the tong". What is Dementor Gordon up to in his dungeons?

Further to Gordon's British jobs soundbite faux pas, there is the much more serious charge that Labour have failed completely, utterly and miserably on "Joined up Govt" and most spectacularly on "Edukashun, Edukashun, Edukashun".

The lack of good education, as symbolised by a holder of 7 GCSEs requiring literacy training to function in the world of work, underpins why perhaps foreign labour is more competitive at the most basic level. Going up from there, the decline of vocational/industrial apprenticeships in favour of B SC Kiteflying (Hons) for all whether you can read or not may be a further reason the pragmatic employer turns, sometimes almost in despair, to the non-British worker.
And then edukayshun again, British Employers don't like paying for it, so rather than reskilling workforces, make-em redundant (and in the Construction Business don't let no bugger build up 20 years service)at the minimum and let's bring in on the cheap the ones educated elsewhere. The Govt side of dealing with experienced unemployed is to offer no training, stick em on the New Deal in front of computer for jobsearch with guess what, inexperienced low-calibre wannabe teachers. The Govt also does not seem to encourage tax relief on self-funded training.

So we are left in the paradoxical position that there is an elite of British Companies, well-respected around the world, with good work-forces and who do believe in bringing on their own staff. And then there is the much bigger rump that could not get access to good schools (down under Labour), good apprenticeships/sponsoring companies, also down under Labour and lastly betrayed by a Labour Govt that seems to think spending vast amounts of money on snooping campaigns to catch benefit cheats is a better investment than educating and reskilling the un-employed, who on going out to do the jobs that must be done find themselves up against foreign labour sometimes willing to work the most brutal conditions (and maybe less than min wage because it is still better than home).

As for outsourcing, perhaps a nifty campaign would be to state at EU level, anything imported to the EU must meet EU "Green" legislation and labour legislation. Guess what would happen then? But by not doing this, a tradeoff between EU pollution and exploitation being done abroad is traded off against higher local unemployment that can never bring in the goods at comparable price. I defy anyone of you that says outsource at any cost to go and live in the Pearl River Delta for 2 months living and working under local conditions and come back alive.

On Any Questions, not only were David Blunkett's well-known Eurosceptical colours fully on display when he called the Strasbourg body "the European Assembly", but the old Blair enforcer also defended secondary striking in the cause of opposition to unnecessarily imported labour.

And then Simon Heffer - yes, Simon Heffer - called for the relevant trade union to take the employer to court. Of course, deep down, the proper Tory tradition has always really thought of trade unions (and co-operatives) as basically Good Things. It was the ones that we happened to have in this country that were Bad. But not any more, they're not.

Look at the situation giving rise to this action, and then think how many MPs have neither any such situation nor any public perception of such in their respective constituencies. Precisely that number will be in favour of globalisation in general, and the European Single Market in particular, within a very few short months.

In a word, none.

It should not, but evidently it does, require the statute law for this one.

Assuming the relevant qualifications and experience, the pecking order should run: British citizens; Irish citizens (a bit prodigal at times, but part of our family), and citizens of countries having the same Head of State as the United Kingdom; other Commonwealth citizens; everyone else. No exceptions. Prosecution for non-compliance.

The only possible change to these arrangements would be if a new body were created parallel to the Commonwealth, also ceremonially headed by the monarch and having his or her Realms and territories as the core members, but open to anywhere, regardless of any connection or otherwise to the British Empire, that wanted to make a (basically Christian) stand against European federalism, American military-industrial hegemony (which the Americans themselves have now rejected at the polls), globalisation, and the rise of China.

Italy probably wouldn't join, but Portugal (and Poland) probably would. And member-states' citizens should at least have parity with those of Commonwealth countries not headed by the Queen.

If necessary, to hell with the EU. And anyway, giving priority to domestic workers (and produce) is normal in many other EU countries, possibly in all of them.

Before anyone tries it, it is quite likely that these Italians are not practising Catholics these days, and if the Portuguese are anything like the Poles then they will be very Catholic indeed at home but barely at all over here. In any case, it is beside the point. Catholic Social Teaching does not permit the deliberate driving down of wages and working conditions. Quite the reverse, in fact.

Note that the workers of all four parts of the United Kingdom have risen as one. For one they are.

I think that christina Speight @ 15.27 outlines some of the disadvantages of free movement of labour quite graphically. I was going to comment that it seems to me that 'Free Trade' works and has worked to the advantage of both parties over time, but that free movement of labour, is like a socialist ideal - it sounds 'ideal', but in practice it is too open to abuse by one party or another, and just does NOT work.

Other people have commented, as I have more than once, that as far as the EU is concerned, England/UK obey all the regulations without a murmur - 'supine' was the word one commenter used! - whereas France and Italy and maybe other EU countries seem to adhere to the regulations that suit them, but have a more easy-going attitude to regulations that don't suit their voters as much. I haven't mentioned Germany because it seems to me that they are the power house, in the law-making process of the EU, so they are more able to arrange what suits themselves!

Thats why I think that the EU - the complete package, is more trouble than it is worth, to us off-shore islands, and as our populations increase - in UK plc, so the EU laws will add extra burdens on our ability to cope!

Why are David Cameron and William Hague silent on this issue? They support the EU's position on this issue so why won't they say so? Blue Labour surrender monkeys!

Personally, I don't see what all the fuss is about. A company gets a contract, and uses its staff to fulfil it. Great!

That the company was able to deliver the product to spec and at a competitive cost - Great!

That the company isn't (British/English)? Tough. Perhaps this will be a wake-up call to (British/English) business that it needs to be more competitive in future?

Why, after all, should the refinery-company pay more for less? That would just be stupid of them.

I'm old enough to remember the stupid "I'm backing Britain" campaign from the late-1960s. I can remember British Leyland friday-cars and 'Red Robbo' too. I'm Backing Britain, if I remember correctly, fell apart when it was revealed that the T-shirts sold to promote it were actually sourced from Portugal after the British factory which had originally contracted to make them had gone on strike.

We do not want to slip back to such horrible times, though I suspect the protectionistas would enjoy it.

Anyone who disagrees should be subjected to the aversion-therapy of being required to listen to Bruce Forsyth's execrable "I'm backing britain" song until they lose the will to live.

Under EU law it would be quite in order for say all the contracts for the London Olympics to go to foreign contractors who then brought in 100% foreign labour.
Free movement of labour in economic terms and even assuming it is temporary shifts resources from competing labour to capital. I am not sure why this is considered good. On your logic we need more of it.

If people feel so strongly about this then they should boycoyy the company. That will solve the problem without having to involve government regulations.

Furthermore I see a lot of people are going on about how this only benefits greedy businessmen etc. It seems that the advantage to consumers is overlooked. The great benefit of globalisation has been low-priced consumer goods. We should think carefully before trying to deprive the public of this.

Also in two minds. What worries me is that we have some very major companies that are dependent on international trade. If other countries say they are not going to buy for example our planes, then what will happen to a key technological industry? To balance our industry and take it away from dependence on the finance setor we need manufacturing but home markets alone can't sustain modern manufacturing industry.

A little digging seems to keep coming back to the fact that the precise facts and who said what are obscure in this matter. The only thing I can establish is that the local British workforce seem to have the necessary skills to do the work for the Italian contractor. If this is the case why are they drafting labour in?

I would hope to see both sides getting a lot more explicit about what they are saying and doing and what their basis for that is. If IREM won the tender on cost grounds that factored in cheap labour costs masquerading as "shorter delivery time due to specialised workforce", what then is the position. A good question to ask is whether the pay to this workforce is by the hour/week or "on completion". It does appear that whatever the answer is, the firm is entitled to proceed as it wishes.

Some points that Times Business Section highlights, would seem to indicate why people are getting humpy about drafted in labour.

"An electricity linesman’s job was apparently advertised in Northern Ireland recently, stating that knowledge of Portuguese was essential." Why?

"If the unions are correct and the companies are using their flexibility simply because they are able to, rather than because of an acute shortage of construction skills in Britain, then they are choosing a pretty bad time to do it"

Please note the ifs,: I find it interesting that 3 days in The FT, Guardian, Independent and Times don't seem to have the full facts to hand.

British jobs for Italian workers today and there'll be both Italian and British jobs for Polish/Romanian/Ukrainian/Turkish workers tomorrow. And so on until the wage levels of British workers are as low as the lowest in the Third World and the poorest in the land will get poorer and poorer whilst the rich become ever richer.

Except that it won’t happen because long before we reach that something will happen. I don’t know what; it might be a Labour or Tory Government which actually acknowledges its duty to look after the interests of the people it is supposed to represent. It might be a UKIP government, it might be an extremist socialist/nationalist government or it might be a new Oliver Cromwell. Maybe there will be a revolution with politicians and bankers hanging from lampposts (and I’m not sure which side I would be on).

Free trade means free trade in goods, not the free the free movement labour since this is incompatible with taxation, a welfare state, a national health service, an effective criminal justice system and the very concept of a nation state.

If the state has no loyalty to its subjects then why should the subjects obey the laws of the state?

" it might be an extremist socialist/nationalist government or it might be a new Oliver Cromwell. Maybe there will be a revolution with politicians and bankers hanging from lampposts "

I never thought I'd find myself thinking of cutting and running....but that is the point at which I leave the country to go - well, anywhere really!

Don't be melodramatic Jack Stone. If The Conservative Party leads a reasoned strategic withdraw, with a renewal of the concept of National Sovereignty we will be able to maintain our links to the common market and remain in control of our own destiny. We may well have to forge stronger links with Putin's Russia but they would certainly understand our desire and need to remain obstinantly apart. Of course I may be a nutter, who wants to reintroduce LSD but lets be reasonable and work at getting our Nation back day by day. There will not come a day when we say we are out of the EEC but there will certainly come a time when we will be effectively OUT, and what is more we will be better off out. Of course we are joined by long held ties to Europe and we can work with Bretton much as well always do.

Perhaps we should consider the price of German asparagus:

The German worker
"Yes, those job stealing Mexicans of Europe who speak a language with no vowels are at it again, taking work from deserving Germans. Yet…"
"After all, surely the Poles could be replaced by some of Germany's 5m jobless? Most farmers are horrified at such suggestions.
The German jobless would turn up their noses at the typical €5 per hour pay rate. A few farmers have tried using German workers, only to find them “unreliable”,"
"German farmers are (in theory) supposed to make payments towards Polish social benefits, of one-fifth of the gross wage." Which it appears they didn't, and when a Polish worker tried to claim against it created an international incident.

Asparagus was €5 a kilo in 2004/5, what is it now? Are the German farmers still in breach of EU law?

These are the kind of questions that arise in a EU-"regulated" jobs market. Where are the answers? And per the IREM draft workers, in which country do their social benefit costs apply?

There is a hole in the EU-bucket, dear Gordon?

"Why are David Cameron and William Hague silent on this issue?"

Yes why?

Mr McGough would you make it clear in your posts that you are on the Eastern Region UKIP MEP list.

"Why are David Cameron and William Hague silent on this issue?"

Well if they support the union they are dammed by the business sector. If they support the business sector they may well end up dammed by the people. Either way they are on a hiding to nothing, so its far better to remind tactfully silant on the issue.Lets have no illusions this is a powder keg issue and one which could blow up in our faces. For the sake of Britain as a whole, I don't want to see a season of Union strife, even if I'm am rubbing my hands with glee at the rising tensions inside organised labour.

Conservatives should not tolerate illegal strikes

The strike is not illegal. Only a tiny number of strikes (eg of the police) are actually illegal. The issue is trade union immunity - a civil matter in the first instance.

That said I am not a supporter of idiotic protectionism.

David at Home - Agreed. The gap between our political leaders and the feelings of large parts of the public on issues like this is very worrying.

On Any Questions, Baronness Warsi criticised Gordon Brown's oft quoted saying "British Jobs for British Workers" as being impossible to deliver, illegal etc. She echoed the sentiment in Westminster, Broadcasting House and the editorial rooms of the Guardian.

What they still don't get is that the public are indeed critical of Brown's saying but for quite different reasons: because he didn't really mean it and won't/can't do anything about it. Point scoring about it being against EU law isn't going to do us any good at all. As if the public gives a flying fig about that!

Hiding behind legalism and saying vitually nothing looks like dereliction of duty. How about taking some sort of position? e.g that we will look to see that EU rules are reformed to ensure that a distinction between EU-wide contract awards and the placement of jobs is observed, so that when EU firms win contracts here, they have a duty to offer jobs fairly in the local labour market -not ship in (in this case literally) foreign labour en bloc.

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