« Further cuts in interest rates endanger banks' deposit base and penalise thrift, warns Redwood | Main | Gove summarises the Tory education message »


The strikers victory is a victory for racist bully`s. It is something I think we as a country will live to regret deeply in the coming months and years.

Classical liberal theory calls for free movement of goods, services and capital. It does not call for unrestricted immigration (EU or not). Milton Friedman was very clear about this, pointing out that if you have a social security system with minimum income gurantees, you simply cannot welcome all comers. We need a controlled and rational immigration policy, and it should apply to immigrants from both EU and non-EU countries.

On numerous occasions contributors to this site have complained about almost every subject being twisted round to involve our membership of the EU.

Well here is one directly connected with it and it will be interesting to see how many think Brussels is right, or we would be Better Off Out.

I am having a little holiday in my heart!

Firstly I imagine Jack Stone and his type choking on their muesli this morning at this outcome.

I am pleased by the result and it is good to see Gordon Brown make to complete idiot of himself. His performance at PMQs yesterday was embarrassment personified. If he was a horse they would have shot him.

It's a victory for Union bully boys, and lawlessness. We have seen Wildcat strikes and secondary picketing. It's a very big step backwards for Union democracy, and a big blow to industrial relations. Maybe the Law is unjust but as the party of law and order we should continue to support it until its repeal. This hollow victory, will be bad for Britain and further undermine investment into our country. It's a few jobs for the boys today, how many it will cost long term is anyone's guess. Of course I am gleefully happy about the loss of unity inside organised Labour but I know a bad thing when I see it. I agree with Jack we will live to regret this day.

How gracious we must be for a few crumbs thrown down from the globalists table. Our workers should be given priority for all UK based non-specialist jobs, and if the foreign investors don't like it, we should deny them the right to trade in our country. Put Britain first.

A small victory, in the ongoing battle with EU legislation! Without a doubt, our country should leave the EU.

The PM's empty words, "British jobs for British workers", has returned to haunt him. And, understandably so.

Edward Huxley:

I agree we would indeed be "better off out" but the law is an important concept and one which we cannot play pick and choose with. Obeying only the laws we agree with would be a recipe for civil breakdown.

Janet Daley is off her trolley. This is a victory for union intimidation. Her hatred for the eu is getting the better of her.

"Classical liberal theory calls for free movement of goods, services and capital. It does not call for unrestricted immigration (EU or not). Milton Friedman was very clear about this, pointing out that if you have a social security system with minimum income gurantees, you simply cannot welcome all comers. We need a controlled and rational immigration policy, and it should apply to immigrants from both EU and non-EU countries."

This is rather irrelevant to the merits of the Lindsey dispute isn't it? The perceived problem was nothing to do with foreign workers coming to take advantage of minimum income guarantees or social security benefits. It was to do with them coming and NOT taking advantage of such protections (or rather, highlighting that the UK does not have such protections in legally binding form other than the minimum wage). I didn't think that Friedman was a big fan of social safety nets - clearly if you have to be impure and have them politically it would make sense to limit the class of beneficiaries, but wouldn't he have rather removed them entirely (and thus not had them as the justification for restricting immigration)?

There was so much anti-foreigner sentiment on those picket lines.
This is only the beginning of economic isolationism.

Oh look, another thread where ConHome seems to be making a real effort of labelling and attacking the "Right" since the weekend.

It is beginning to look like a clumsy ersatz realignment to keep in with the Red Tories.

Of course, many of those you are attacking as "Right" are actually very far to the left of the conhome social authoritarians on the political compass social scale...

If the Right is so confused, why has Andrew Lilico's judgement proved so right?
(classifying Andrew as 'Right' based on your accusation that those who accused Cameron of having socialist policies are the "Angry Right")

TBS I agree with you entirely. We should either be completely IN the EU, stop complaining and accept every law, or leave. If only David Cameron would promise to give us the choice.

Phyllis, you are one of the few to recognize that public sentiment towards free-trade, free-movement of labour has completely changed. Those who continue to peddle the idea that our home market should be an open free-for-all are behind the times, that includes the prime minister and David Cameron. The free-traders have had their season in the sun, paid for by credit, their time is over.

Free trade does not mean free movement of labour.

Tim you appear to be falling into the trap of describing those of us who want to either leave the eu or for it to have less influence on our lives, liberty and laws as right wing. We are a very broad church.

1. The Govt has chosen not to properly enforce the law to our national advantage.

2. If we really are heading into a long depression, reducing immigration from the EC and elsewhere will be a necessity. That will force us out of the EC.

"if the foreign investors don't like it, we should deny them the right to trade in our country"

Whilst Tony always phrases his arguments with great passion and eloquency, this sentance scares the hell out of me. It would be utterly disastrous to adopt such a narrow, inward looking mentality and I hope that we have the sense to take a deep breath and think about the awful consequences such an action would bring.

Is Nigel Farage really a right- wing commentator and is UKIP a right-wing political party? Right of centre, yes, but is it to the right of the Tory Party? For example, how about the policy to increase the personal allowance to £10K and thus reduce tax for the poorest? Amongst the UKIP membership there is a significant faction who are from the Labour Party.

I have attended both UKIP and Tory meetings. At UKIP meetings it is rare to see a car in the car park less than 5 years old and many are only just better than “old bangers” whereas, at Tory party meetings, there is a good selection of new BMWs and Mercs, company cars no doubt, though I would not like to imply that all Tories are rich for certainly this is not the case and the financial situation of some of “Tony’s Cronies” is as high as the Cameroons.

These days, the chattering classes like to imply that it is “racist” or “xenophobic” to seek to escape from the EU but it was not always thus. Hugh Gaitskell agued strongly against the Common Market, citing our “100 years of History. Furthermore, within living memory, the “Old” Labour Party was highly EU-sceptic.

Then there is the question of democratic accountability, or the lack of it, within the EU. UKIP and some Tory MEPs too, frequently draw attention to this issue but is that such a right wing thing to do?

Finally, Cui Bono? The ordinary British manual worker (of the type that Jack Stone so despises) or the employers of low skilled low waged labour?

Anyway, you can listen to Nigel Farage himself on BBC 1 Question Time from 10.35 this evening.

Overall I doubt that this is such a victory for the local workers. None of the shipped-in workers is being replaced, so these 100 jobs are probably ones that would have been available to British workers anyway. But if the local workers are satisfied, well and good. This sort of issue is, however, likely to flare up regularly from now on.

Tim Montgomerie: "This story will run and run as the recession deepens and will be a new test for the party's attitude to capitalism."

Indeed. And as you will have gathered from all the previous threads here and on Centre Right, it is doubtful that the party has been winning hearts and minds with its purist stance on free trade. Theory is one thing, dealing with practicalities in this wicked world quite another.

If you are an unemployed, skilled worker in Lincolnshire with a family and mortgage to support, hearing preaching about thousands of Britons going to work in Europe is a red rag to a bull.

Can't party spokesmen understand that we seem to be the only country in the EU that plays by these globalist rules. Can you imagine that the Italians would tolerate such a mass shipment in of workers? Still less the French......

The Bishop Swine "It's a victory for Union bully boys,"

Far fom it. The union bosses have long since bought into the EU and globalisation in general.It was the rank and file who forced them into taking some kind of stance on this.

Phyllis Crash: "There was so much anti-foreigner sentiment on those picket lines."

There's a difference between being xenophobic and believing that an unemployed, qualified local person should have first call on a vacancy in his area over some one from a thousand miles away.

Left, right, centre labels are clap trap. Common sense versus state and bureaucratic incompetence is the argument. The EU is a corrupt, disgraceful, unelected quango of quangos. A free trade block was the camouflage used by The Civil Servant Mandarins to pander to Heath's passion for a legacy. Every PM since has been the same.

When in business I always found the adage "Think Global, Act Local" to be very useful. Yes it is difficult to enshrine the concept in law, but that does not stop it being an appropriate principle.

I find that EU commissioners past and present veer too much towards the think global but ignore acting local.

I think the confused response echoes my own sentiments exactly. I have no liking for strikers and see people going on stike during a recession as a bit moronic.
And yet, and yet I can't help feeling that if we don't look after our workers no one else will and this contract seemed most unfair to them.
I can see all the puitfalls with protectionism but it does seem that Britain practices a freer form of free trade than many of our competitors.

This is utterly ridiculous. A victory for base nationalism, bullying and intimidation. A victory for narrow protectionism. And it is being welcomed by Tories - an odd little world.

I wonder what the reaction of the British public would be if the same attitude were adopted to British ex-pats working legally in other countries. I presume that the supporters of this move are putting a call out for all their ex-pats to return home?

I know a company down the road from where I work (Dublin, Ireland) who employ British workers. They're here, legally. They're employer meets all national requirements (which indeed, are in excess of what they would get back in the UK). Maybe I'll go down there and intimidate them and their employers.

By the way, could people here tell me what law - domestically or at an EU level- they would change which would have prevented this situation?

"The Right is hugely confused by this issue."

I don't think so, only those of the right who have forgotten the concept of nation and have sold it out to the market, EU etc. For the rest of us we understand there is a balance to be struck between our nation and the economic politics we follow. I believe John Redwood said on Hardtalk to the question, ‘what has priority, nation or market?’ His reply, ‘nation’, and so would mine.

The problem we have is that left and right politics worked to our benefit when it was constrained to the borders of our nation. When our political establishment abdicated their responsibilities to the country, and dropped any sort of controls, the people of this country were left to the ravages that comes from the extreme left and right political wings. The internationalist left don't recognise the nation and seek to advance their cause with the mass immigration of the poor from around the world, the capitalist right wants the cheapest labour force it can get and sod the consequences to the country. Essentially these two political wing have come to an unholy alliance, and people getting screwed from this unholy alliance are the British people.

Hi Tim

'The Right is hugely confused by this issue. Concern for British workers is tempered by concern at wildcat industrial action.'

Not confused at all. We need more wild cats and less passive poodles furtively humping the leg of Europe.

These guys drew a line in the sand and good for them whilst being shot at from all sides.

John @12.43 There was no bullying or intimidation. It was a peaceful demonstration. People could enter the refinery if they wanted to etc.Equally workers have the right to withdraw their labour.

I see this as a healthy letting off of steam.Workers across the country are becoming increasingly angry about this sort of syndrome. At least politicians are now in no doubt that there is an issue.

Isn't that better than suppressing the ill feeling for another year and then finding far worse things happening?

I applaud the victory of the strikers at the Lindsey Oil Refinery. We are allowing th EU to trample all over us and it's high time it was stopped.

This story will run and run as the recession deepens and will be a new test for the party's attitude to capitalism.

Tim Montgomerie

Surely, Mr Montgomerie, it will test the Tory Party's attitude to the EU. Indeed I believe with the unrest throughout Europe, the EU may have to have a makeover!

Cameron and the Conservatives lost my vote over his failure to support British workers.

Cameron's empty promises on a referendum on the EU are a sham.

I also have started to doubt his promise to scrap the ID Card scheme.

Cameron is just another Labour clone. I started to get my doubts about him when he urged the Tories to applaud Blair on his last day in the House.

The situation well summed up by Nigel Farage:

We'll only have British jobs for British workers when we have a Britain run by Britons

"British jobs for British workers" simply cannot happen while we're still in the prison of nations that is the European Union. For we've signed away, without any consultation with the British people or, whisper it if you dare, any vote or referendum on the subject, our right as a country to decide who comes to this country or who works in this country.

We can all pore over the provisions of the Posted Workers Directive if we choose, agree with the Lindsey workers or not as we wish, but the basic fact is that the government, Acas, unions and hundreds or thousands of angry workers cannot have any effect upon the situation. For it is the law, confirmed by the highest court that applies to us, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), that this is so. The Laval and Viking cases are simply confirmation of how the unions themselves were sadly hoodwinked by Jacques Delors. He promised them a "social Europe" and they thought that was what they wanted. What's come back to bite them is that the Europe on offer is not what they thought. The absolute free movement of labour is what is on offer and there's no way of changing that without leaving the EU itself.

The ECJ rulings are not mistakes: they are the aim, the purpose. To stop any country, any nation, from deciding who may live or work in that country or nation. We must all be Europeans now and any dissent, any action that might change or threaten that has been made illegal.

This point is a great deal more important than those few hundreds of jobs that have brought thousands out on wildcat strikes. You may have noticed that there are huge infrastructure spending plans in the works. Tens of billions of pounds, possibly hundreds of billions, for a Severn Barrage, windmills on every mountain top, the insulation of every house, the Olympics. At least half of the argument for these spending plans is that they will mitigate, even end, the recession, that millions of jobs will be created for the willing British worker to do. But given our EU membership we cannot in fact ensure this. We must tender such contracts out right across the union, we cannot even prefer our own companies or people, let alone insist that our tax money should be spent on our own. When the very point of a fiscal stimulus is to provide an alternative to rotting on the dole it beggars belief that we'll be spending British taxes on foreigners' jobs. As we will be, for we already know that one third of those working on the Olympic sites are indeed foreigners.

There are those who say that to raise these points is xenophobia, that there's some heinous sin of protectionism being committed in simply pointing out the truth. But even that apostle of free markets and opponent of protectionism for either goods or labour, Milton Friedman, pointed out that you cannot simply open the floodgates one bright and sunny day. Huge changes like this require time, a certain management, otherwise society itself will fracture under the stress. Which is why we in Ukip call for two things. Firstly, a cap on the total number of inward migrants. How many can we absorb in: not that people cannot come here to work, but how many can we as a society cope with coming? The second is that there be a system of work permits. Again, we don't want to either stop or dissuade those whose skills we desire, we just want to be able to make sure that it is those with the skills that we desire and need who come.

Neither of these things are possible while we remain in the European Union, so they are both simply two of the many reasons we argue that we must leave. Reform from within is not going to be possible. They didn't listen to the Dutch or the French on their referendums, they're not listening to the Irish now and they'll not listen to anything that we say while we stay in. Only by leaving can we control our own destiny once again.

There are of course those who say that there is nothing wrong here. Like Lord Mandelson: well, he would say that wouldn't he?

Instead, Mandelson declared that he received a ministerial salary and a transitional £78,000 a year EU allowance following his decision to quit the trade commissioner's job and return to the cabinet.

Not only is he getting that £78,000 a year, he's also due a conditional pension, the whole package being worth £1m. To get that cash he's got to continue to uphold his oath as a commissioner: that he'll continue to support the aims and the objectives of the European Union. Thus the "move along now, nothing to see here" nature of his remarks on the issue. They would rather we didn't see that we've lost control not just of our own country but of our own fate.

While this is satire the basic point holds. There'll be some fudge, some symbolic act and victory will be declared. But the underlying reality, that we've parcelled up our right to govern ourselves and posted it to Brussels will remain. We're simply not in charge of our own country: all we're asked to do is pay for it without being able to influence what happens.

British jobs for British workers will only be a possibility when Britain is ruled by Britons again. When we leave the European Union and become a free and independent nation, when we who live here are able to decide what are the laws here, something that is the very essence of the democratic ideal.

Here's a simple proposition, both fair and Conservative:

Foreigners should be welcomed and encouraged to take up jobs in the UK - but only where there are no suitable British applicants.

Put that to a vote: you'd get 90% 'yes' and all the disingenuous talk of 'protectionism' and 'racism' from the likes of Mandelson would melt away.

The strikers are not militants - they are just decent hard-working Brits who have had enough.

So what are the 102 Italians going to be doing if they are being replaced by 1002 British workers and none of them are loosing their jobs? Sounds a bit fishy to me.......

"The strikers are not militants - they are just decent hard-working Brits who have had enough."

I believe you, but that should not be an excuse for Wildcat strikes and a return to the kind of union activism that was so damaging to the UK in the 70's. There is a right and legal way of doing things. I would have been more supportive of the Unions if they had balloted their member in every case. Then the strikes would have been official and within the law.

"Phyllis, you are one of the few to recognize that public sentiment towards free-trade, free-movement of labour has completely changed."

Actually I suspect public sentiment hasn't changed much on either. There has always been significant opposition to free movement of labour but free trade in goods will continue to be popular as long as we can buy cheap goods from the Far East or high quality cars from Germany.

I agree with Tim the "right" is confused but right wing now seems to be measured only on how anti EU you can be so this includes former Thatcherites espousing the collective bargaining power of closed shop UK Unions now -which has to be a protectionist measure in economic tyerms if ever there was one. UK MEPs have always supported the "posting of workers directive" and the proposed "services directive" precisely to allow UK firms to compete for contracts in the single market, and vice-versa. Of course ideally a number of these workers will be recruited in the receiving host member state particulalrly if they have the requisite skills and the pay de,manded is reasonable but this cannot be mandatory as it defeats the whole object of the single market, which involves open competition. Its funny when I posted a while back on ConHome criticising the idea of free and totally unfettered trade globally I was lambasted as a quasi socialist by some of the same types who now defend excluding EU companies with their acompanying short term contracted staff from bidding for contracts in the UK. Sometimes people are so blinded by their hatred of the EU they will ditch all their previously sacred economic principles, and that goes for UKIP which claims to be a global free trade party.

I tend to think personally if you believe in free markets it is difficult to square that with Economic protectionism. Carried to its logical conclusion do we really want to see less job opportunities for British workers and lost contracts for British firms in other EU Countries, or do we the party of small government really want to see nation states dictating who businesses should be employing.

It would be interesting to know what the business case for these 102 new jobs is though, as presumably before the dispute there were not plans to create them.

Gordon Brown's remarkably stupid "british jobs for British workers" remarks emboldened these hardliners to try to inflict damage on the British economy at a time when we are in a deep recession (or even a depression as the PM said yesterday).

"Sometimes people are so blinded by their hatred of the EU they will ditch all their previously sacred economic principles, and that goes for UKIP which claims to be a global free trade party."

To be fair there is a difference between free trade and the free movement of labour.

The only thing that has been proven by this result is that the trade union movement has become completely disconnected from its membership.

"but right wing now seems to be measured only on how anti EU you can be so this includes former Thatcherites espousing the collective bargaining power of closed shop UK Unions now -which has to be a protectionist measure in economic tyerms if ever there was one."

Precisely, Charles - that point was not lost on me either!

Like you I find it strange to see formerly free traders becoming protectionist in their views.

Conservatives = protectionists.

Simple as that.

I find Dr. Tannock`s postings very difficult to understand. Am I the only one?

Any nail in the EU/NuLab coffin is to be welcolmed.

It shows just how out of its depth browns labour government is regarding business and the eurpean way of doing things.

Browns government put on a big act to appear as a stand of principal - meanwhile the companies create an extra hundred jobs and gets on with its £200 million contract.

Meanwhile Alan Johnsons attempt to get a bit of class war going is left looking out of touch too.

The more we are forced to operate to european principles, the more we are forced to behave like europeans...

There is no 'british dividend' in being integrated with europe - because to be integrated we cant be british, we will just be 'yet more' europeans.

"Conservatives = protectionists.

Simple as that."

The Tories are not advocating tariffs. This is not the 1930s. Protectionism has always been a phrase used to refer to those who oppose free movement of goods, not free movement of labour.

Roger @ 11:40 is of course spot on.

You can only have completely unrestricted movement of people (a great aim which I support) if you remove the welfare state, to prevent "soft spots" within the free movement zone (with better unemployment benefits etc), being abused.

Seeing as this aim will not be adopted by New or Blue Labour, then only rational option is to impose some kind of restrictions on immigration based on a needs-based system.

It goes without saying that we currently have the worst possible solution, unrestricted movement for people from with in the EU and a generous honeypot of welfare (Free NHS at point of use etc) to make the UK a magnet for non-Brits, creating a very raw deal for taxpayers.

“I find Dr. Tannock`s postings very difficult to understand. Am I the only one?”

Dr Tannock, please, please break up your lengthy posts into sentences (max about 45 words) and paragraphs; otherwise it is very difficult to grasp the meaning of your words.

“……and that goes for UKIP which claims to be a global free trade party.”

How many times must we explain to you that free trade in goods and services is quite different from free trade in labour because, unlike artefacts, the movement of people involves implications for the welfare state, health, education, security, criminal justice and taxation. Furthermore people often get married (or don’t) and have children which is not generally the case for goods and services.

Yes, UKIP is in favour of free trade with the entire world and the controlled movement of labour whereas the EU is an inherently protectionist trade block. You are (or were) a medical man and my daughter is a junior doctor so let me give you this example of how the EU restricts the movement of labour

To comply with various EU rules and directives, the NHS is obliged to recognise the qualifications of doctors from EU countries such as Bulgaria and Romania and must give preference to the employment of such doctors above doctors from more culturally aligned Commonwealth countries, such as India or Ghana, even if, as is generally the case, these Commonwealth doctors may have recognised UK qualifications.

It could work if welfare entitlement followed the individual.

Pensioners claim their pension from their original country (where they have presumably paid taxes all their lives) - why shouldn't all benefits operate in this way?

As the full facts have not yet emerged, it is difficult to know on what basis the agreements have been forged - and on what principles, so the thread is useful as a what-if rowdy-box, but too early to be informative.

"foreign contractors only have to pay the minimum wage in the UK, currently £5.73 an hour for workers aged 22 years and older, rather than the higher rates paid to British workers under industry agreements which are not legally binding - unlike in other EU countries such as France, Belgium and Germany."

That is interesting. If we are one EU with equal mobility of labour, why are there these different variations in legality of industry agreements? The fact that there are differences will lead to disputes in interpretations.
Is this yet another British failure (a la our Armed Forces can be sued for battlefield errors but nobody else) or an Eu error/oversight?

"People close to the Commission however say that a rewriting of the framework law was unlikely but states could be pushed into a reinterpretation more favourable to locals."

How very interesting. We, the EU, are guilty of ambiguity, but not liable for the results and never admit a mistake (like That wonderful Mr Brown).

The facts of this series of strikes are at the heart of a number of issues which have people have conflated and separated as suits, Labour not least of all. As I said elsewhere, the only extremism I see here is Labour's extreme lack of focus, diligence, integrity and care for its citizens.

That is why I think a a more studied response should wait until (if) the ACAS findings are published in full. Then we can see if charges of bullying and protectionism are valid (not a good thing) or whether in fact someone carelessly communicated (Globish the new language of the EU being to blame) the phrase "No English here" and the bid was based on poor pay (seems to a red herring according to some now, but if perceived as real, who started it?).

Foreign Laws for British Workers

All talk of welfare reform is pointless unless we can put people into work. The fact is that every foreigner we see working in the UK means that another Briton is unemployed.

The Conservative party, and UKIP, need to question whether unfettered free-trade and the free movement of labour is in the national interest.

Last year on this website I proposed that all EU member states reach a common agreement index-linking the free movement of migrant labour to levels of unemployment. This would benefit each nation, and during times of high unemployment would free up jobs for home based workers.

Globalism in general, the EU in particular, and for that matter Thatcher’s anti-union laws, suffered a great defeat in Britain yesterday.

As someone once said, “Rejoice, Rejoice”.

I was disgusted at Cameron for attacking the suggestion that British workers should come first at PMQs.
He has wrecked the Conservative Party just as brown has wrecked the Country.
Time for pastures new for me I think.

Free trade is good, that is why the Western nations have prospered. The EU is not a free trade area, it is protectionist by design. That is why we in this Country have to pay over the odds for many things, food probably being the most important. Behind every problem lies the EU and our fawning politicians who think it is wonderful. It is not. Our lives are governed by Brussels and they a not accountable. Democracy no longer exists in this once proud Country.

Like the recession we should have seen this dispute coming, for a long while British workers have felt that their livelihood has been under cut by imported labour and with a recession and possibly a depression, matters can only get worse. There is a lot of anger in the country, rational and irrational and following this strike a far greater chance of it boiling over into action.

One thing that was missed, this was very much a ‘Working Class’ dispute, but this recession will hit the middle classes hard, (look at the list of layoffs.) when they are to hit be the same problems of finding work, let alone the pittance of £60 given to them by the D.W.P. having paid excessive amount of taxes then we will see real anger

"I was disgusted at Cameron for attacking the suggestion that British workers should come first at PMQs." Why? Would you rather he had missed yet another open goal.Of course it is designed to send a message to the people, and further flame the outrage.
He didn't say what perhaps you might have hoped. I would have preferred an attack on Labours legislation but government doesn't work that way. If we carry on being in Europe notions of Nationality are effectively dead. We have only the next election to decide if they are buried or not.
I do agree that D.C. was disappointing. If the Party will not represent its members then it will not win the next election, and we will be in Europe with little hope of escaping.

There seems to be a lot of confusion between short term contracted workers brought in from an EU country under the posting of workers directive on a temporary assignment in the UK and the general principle of EU law of freedom of movement of people. Under the former scenario as I understand it appplies for one year in which you are entitled as an employer after the Laval interpretation to only have to abide by minimum wage and normal workplace labour conditions of the receiving member state, but no more, although you can pay the workers much more if you wish of course, and you must pay UK taxes, although I believe NI is still paid back home in their sending EU countries ie Italy and Portugal in this case.
If you enter on your own rather than posted by a foreign EU employer you are entitled at least theoretically to draw unemployment benefit from your country of origin eg Italy for up to 3 months whilst you are looking for work in the receiving host country eg the UK. The vast majority of EU migrants have come in this category of workers and most recently from eastern europe.
If you dont find work the presumption is you return to your country of origin although more recent case law has made deportation of unemployed EU workseekers very difficult other than for public health and national security reasons -hence the need for Charities like the Barka foundation to repatriate Poles who havent found work but are sometimes too embarassed to return home with loss of face admitting defeat and end up sleeping rough as they are NOT entitled to UK benefits unless they have paid NI and income tax for a minimum of 1 year. None of these Italian workers or Portuguese will have worked for a year so they are no burden on the taxpayer unless they convert their contracts to long term ones and settle in the UK like any other settled migrant, and at some stage subsequently lose their jobs. Therefore all this stuff about burdening our social security is nonsense as the strict application of habitual residence rules means that in practice very few EU migrants become burdens on our social security system.
Though I fully accept the unfunded pressure on social housing, schools and the health service as we have an extremely generous system of welfare provision unlike the continent which has a much smaller non contributory benefit system and even most continental health services require also having being signedup to paying taxes and only then reimburses a maximum of 80% of costs typically eg France.

I am not confused.
I too applaud the workers' victory.
Nation before market, yes indeed.
I now look forward to more and more people getting the message about the EU.
Perhaps those who are confused here are those who aligned themselves with Mandelson.

The member countries of the EU would IMO be far better off economically if it were a free trade area. I believe those who support the EU in spite of its failings do so because they support its political objective of closer union. Other countries pay lip service to their EU obligations whilst the UK has been stuffed from day one. Mr Tannock and his overly long sentences do little to dissuade me from my view and I shall in all likelihood vote UKIP in the European elections. It cannot I think be worse than voting Tory.

Charles Tannock, I think you are adding to the confusion.
How long will this contract last?
If these workers worked on min wage (as no longer appears the case) for a year, this still deprives local labour of jobs in a contact based on cheap labour. As I said earlier, other EU nations such as France and Germany do not quite work this way in that industry agreements are legally binding. There is a welfare cost imposed in that a percentage of the local labour will claim benefits until Mandy Antionette can charter planes for them to work in Turkey (I know Turkey is not in the EU yet, but let's think ahead).
The other point about wages, min or not, is the level of repatriation vs local spending. 400 people shipping in "homeland food" and not going out and sending all money home (especially if min wage) does not do much for the local economy.
However, as I said earlier let's wait for the full ACAS report and the results of bickering in Brussels even if they don't rewrite the regs in this case.

There are an awful lot of total idiots in this party.

That 10% lead in the polls is not written in stone. Brown is quite capable of bringing out a string of announcements in the next 16 months to support the jobs of British workers. It was he who first came out with the phrase "British jobs for British workers" and he might just follow through. He could do it in a big way just ignoring EU law for the time being and would gain LOTS of electoral support if he did.

He is in power. He is in a position to capitalise on this if he wants.
Don't underestimate him. This issue is probably worth 10% of the vote. This depression is developing fast and the spectacle of the London based Tory political elite blatantly abandoning our own people to suck up to the international companies will be as offputting to the voters as was the spectacle of toffs in evening dress sneering at the Jarrow marchers in the 1930's which is how Brown will depict it.

By now, the Conservatives should have made a number of non-commital but sympathetic noises to the strikers and generally positioned themselves to be on the side of the people against the government.

And just in from The Economist:
"It is not known why the jobs were given only to foreigners, as the contract is secret: IREM has worked with this team and is thought to believe its staff especially skilled. The strikers, evangelical about British workmanship, say it is because the newcomers are undercutting local wages and conditions—a claim both IREM and Total deny."

But as nobody will allow transparency (the contract is awarded, it shouldn't be able to be revoked) suspicion and mistrust will continue to flourish. The Total and Irem claim can't be proven because they won't say, well then don't let the establishment and outraged business leaders come moaning about volatile workers and protectionism. "Our little secret", a dirty phrase for dirty actions by the powerful. A whispering campaign seems to say the wages are up to UK market rates. If so , why quibble about saying so? What other little gems and bombshells are hidden in this contract?
I have no idea, is the Govt funding any of this in any way? Big energy project, I would have thought so. If so, transparency is called for (at least about the claims that seem to be fuelling the tension) so that whispers and rumours can be knocked on the head, or if valid, dealt with.


"There are an awful lot of total idiots in this party."

Isn't that the truth. Sadly quite a few seem to have got as far as Westminster. G.O.in particular seems to either be actively working for the Labour party or, so nearly asleep that he inhabits a dream world. I find his dozy smug looks, are only exceeded by his dozy smug pronouncements. A 10% lead is nothing, if Brown gets lucky and the economy improves it will evaporate like the alcohol to many MP's Indulge in. We need shadow ministers that take the fight to Labour, unlike the current bunch that seem obsessed with in jokes across the chamber.
A truly disappointing PM's questions have me even doubting that nice Dave. When are we going to see some spunky preformaces from our so say stars.

"By now, the Conservatives should have made a number of non-commital but sympathetic noises to the strikers and generally positioned themselves to be on the side of the people against the government."

No chance they would rather not rule, I suspect, than embrace the smelly oiks. That's the big problem with the Eton in group. By their very nature they are against the "People". I or you would have been diplomatic, supporting the anger of the Unions but not their method. Paying lip service to Job's for local people. Not the like of D.C. & G.O. who it seems believe that the working class of Britain do not have the right skills. Which is short hand for are not cheap enough. I am a conservative but today I am considering joining UKIP, simply because the leadership of the party doesn't represent the vast majority of the British people.

From Question Time and Andrew Neil: people are looking for answers. Leaving a void is just not going to work.
The Tories better get this if nothing else: Today is an information age, people will not accept pontifications on trust, they will check it out.
This website prides itself on diversity of opinion, it better return to its roots on managing this principle.
The lack of informed engagement in this this matter is interesting .
I can understand why, but I think a careful re-evaluation could be valuable.

"The lack of informed engagement in this matter is interesting .
I can understand why, but I think a careful re-evaluation could be valuable."

In a void there is a tenancy for rumours to take hold. Why do we not see MP's intervening to support G.O. on this site, let alone in the press or on TV? It's about time we saw some constructive defending of the leadership from their Loyal MPs.

"The Tories better get this"

snegchui, unfortunately they don't for last night we had the shadow Labour party on display on Question Time, and god was Teresa May awful.

You get the distinct feeling that many Conservative MP's got elected for being inoffensive and a 'nice chap' rather than having any allegiance to any political ideals , for while Mrs Thatcher was in power they spouted the mantra that was expected of them then, when Major got elected they went all grey, now they are all Blue Labour. You feel they are playing at politics, and god are they awful at it , Teresa May had me cringing in horror at the rubbish she came up it.

All I can say is thank god for Farrage, for at least there was one politician who believed in what he was saying, and prepared to fight his corner, and didn’t the audience appreciate it, rather than the politically correct verbal diarrhoea we got from May and Hoon.

I dont believe the strikers themselves are in the wrong. They have a right to be concerned. I blame the leaders who manipulated them into this. The leaders of the strikers were coming out with some complete tripe and the strikers knowing no better went along with it.

As for Tony Makara's comment near the top of the thread, I thank God hes not in a position to carry out such a ridiculous idea. Cutting off trade because Europeans come here to work is absurd.

Please, no more rubber stamping of EU "directives".
You have no one to blame but yourselves, especially Tannock.

DECC announced Section 36 consent for three new and very large UK power stations.

Hardly mentioned in the media at all.

Buried in the press release, two thirds of the way down.

"Each of the companies granted consent has indicated that the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry will be a key consideration in the contracts they award."

Translation; We are not having any more Lindseys.

Not picked up by the media at all as far as I can see.

Sorry, missed out the words "yesterday afternoon" between "DECC" and "announced" in my post above.

Rejoice nothing. This is a pyhric victory.

The lesson of this dispute is simple. Make sure that ALL of your employees are non-unionised contract workers from overseas.

The last thing any company wants is to hire a bunch of bolshy trade unionists egged on by a rabble rousing media.

"All I can say is thank god for Farrage, for at least there was one politician who believed in what he was saying, and prepared to fight his corner."

I'm big fan of Farrage too.

I don't think that he's right about the EU, but his honesty and commitment is admirable.

He's pretty much the exact opposite of Brown, who's come out of this looking confused, contradictory and dishonest.

"Rejoice nothing. This is a pyrrhic victory.

The lesson of this dispute is simple. Make sure that ALL of your employees are non-unionised contract workers from overseas.

The last thing any company wants is to hire a bunch of bolshy trade unionists egged on by a rabble rousing media."

At last the right view. This strike was very bad news indeed. If we start sucking up to the unions simply because we are in opposition, we will be screwed over by them when we win the next election. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot, organised Labour can be very short sighted.

This is not a question of sucking up to the Unions at all, and to label it as such is to display an inability to ask any questions, never mind relevant ones.
There are flaws and ambiguities in the Posted Workers Directive and they need addressing. The Companies involved are not willing to release terms of the contracts which indicates to me they have something to hide.
At this stage full facts are not out, and I find that disturbing.
To declare for one side or the other is at present premature. The Tories by not pushing for openness have not helped themselves. I am not advocating turning out on the picket line, but I am advocating that discussions and decisions are made in an open and transparent manner.
There is no political system in the world that is 100% consistent, the best you can do is try and minimise them. A big inconsistency is present here and it should be addressed before some decision comes beetling out of Brussels based on half-truths addressing the wrong issues and potentially leading to more conflicts.

When it comes to the issue of Europe it is Kenneth Clarke who has it right.

We must keep an "open mind on Europe"- as Sie John wanted, and if we do not then we risk turning into very much a 'Lord Palmerston-like' nationalistic party.

We must vigourously pursue our UK agenda from inside the EU, as good Europeans, not as John Redwood-like euro-bas#@$ds.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker