That was then and this is now

I know the print is small so I’ve strained my eyes in your service.

In the tweets on the right-hand side, Nigel says that Britain will be:

1/ safer and better off;

2/ more prosperous:

3/ better off:

4/ better off.

Now he says that, in fact, he never said it would be a beneficial thing, just that we would be self-governing.

!!!!!!promises proises

Now I can understand the desire for self-government. Most of us here can. But there has to be a bigger objective than just that. I want to be self-governing because…

Well, we’ve discussed this before. Personally, I’d like to live like the small, rather unimportant, peaceful, democratic northern European country that we actually are, one that puts its citizens first, rather than the “punching above its weight”, nuclear weapons holding, sad little joke of a poodle appendage to the USA, basking in a long-forgotten glorious empire and generally being laughed at… that the UK is today.

I mean how much difference will we notice when the UK is “independent”. After all, the EU didn’t poke its nose into that many things despite what they try to tell you.

It didn’t set our personal taxes or taxes on businesses. It didn’t interfere with our education systems throughout the UK. It didn’t poke its nose into our health services either.

It didn’t tell us when we had to go to war, or what size our armed forces should be or that we should spend money we don’t have on nuclear weapons we can never use and that aren’t a deterrent to anyone.

Image result for state pomp in England

It didn’t interfere with our constitution, no matter how dubious our “democracy”. No one told us you have to have to have an elected president, an elected Senate, a proportional representation system so there should be some semblance of democracy in your government. Oh and get rid of that privy council nonsense. No sir.

Nor did it set our minimum wage, our social security rates, our retirement age, our pensions (if it had we could have looked forward to a much more prosperous retirement), or the way we treat our sick and disabled people with ATOS and the likes.

It didn’t interfere in law and order, policing, prisons, courts, nor our railways or buses, or the generation of our electricity and our gas networks. It didn’t poke its nose much into our water (only to ensure that it met a minimum standard on beaches may be… you know, keep the sewerage down).

Image result for soldiers begging

It didn’t even demand that we treat living returning military personnel with any kind of respect. It hasn’t insisted that we ensure that they don’t die homeless and penniless as a result of the traumas they have suffered.

Most of what it did poke its nose into had to do with trade, employment, making Europe a reasonably level playing field in the four competencies, and for many of us that was probably a good thing, as we are probably about to find out. Who needs health and safety at work anyway?

Yes, it is true that with a dire shortage of labour in this country and a rapidly ageing population to support, had we had no access to foreign workers the labour market would have had the upper hand in wage negotiations. Employers would have to pay more.

Image result for immigrants coming to england

Simple case of supply and demand. (I’ve heard it said that in previous times of economic boom when there was almost no unemployment, workers would start a new job on a Monday morning, but be poached by another company on the Wednesday with a higher wage and finish on the Friday.)  So maybe wages will go up after March, but as prices are likely to dramatically increase too, that may be rather a double-edged sword.

Mr Rees Mogg tells us that it may be around 50 years before we feel the benefit of being out of the EU and Mr Farage said he never thought it was a great idea, except for the independence bit.

Ever get the idea you’ve been had?


20 thoughts on “That was then and this is now”

  1. I’m unsure that with slightly less migration there will be better wages. Unless we have stronger unions and an end to a flexible labour market, employers will still be able to pay too little. I do think that (unless there is a change in government) a political culture of divide & rule can help suppress wages & benefits. That said, it’s great to be reminded of what Farage promised while he smoked his cigarette & posed with his pint.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it’s possible. It was just a suggestion that wages MIGHT increase. It’s certainly something they say. Immigration kept wages down. It wold be fair to say that the ridiculous so called “living” wage legislation did that too.

      Of course, if we paid decent wages, like for example Denmark does, we’d probably get better workers that didn’t hate their jobs so much because they didn’t feel they were being scammed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I listened to a caller to James O’Brien on LBC a while back who seemed quite knowledgable about these things. His point was that for many industries, the availability of cheap labour acted as a discouragement to invest in mechanisation in order to modernise their means of production. He felt that one result of the foreign labour drying up would be that some companies would be forced into these investments to survive.

    If he’s right and it does make a lot of sense, then don’t be getting too excited about wages increasing in the long term. There may be some short term bubble, there may not.

    We all heard horror stories from building sites etc.. but I was local council middle management, a minor functionary if you like and I moved around more than most of my colleagues. I never at any time felt I was competing with foreign workers for any of the jobs I applied for.

    There may be facts and figures that prove me wrong but most of what I’ve heard has been anecdotal, leading me to believe that ‘them taking wor joabs’ is just another myth, originated by people with a stake in spreading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have a largely de-skilled, dumbed down and degraded workforce being prepared for retailing, warehouses/distribution and call centres.

      That’s why Fergusons at Port Glasgow have squads of Romanians building the SG’s wildly overdue Calmac ferries and why East Ayrshire council have skilled Eastern Europeans installing insulation in their council houses!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I seem to remember that they withdrew the training levy and grant system which encouraged employers to train apprentices to do these things.

        What a mess the Uk has made of things over the years compared to Germany, for example.


        1. But never mind we have x factor, everybody can be a star!

          Sometimes you can’t move on Buchanan Street for caterwauling teenagers who’re convinced they’re next.

          Liked by 1 person



    Both here and in the States we are in the interesting economic situation of having unemployment rates that are historically low, but with wages flat or even declining, and wealth gaps that are wider than at any time since – 1929, maybe.

    This is not an economic or a social environment that can remain stable over the long term. Politically – well.

    The idea that foreign workers drive down wages for everyone, because it increases the supply of labour and thereby reduces the cost, is at its best extremely simplistic and at worst a far-right, racist rallying cry. The idea could work, theoretically, perhaps, if people could be treated as simply economic actors with no rights, i.e., if there were a truly free market in labour – and that would mean dismantling all the protections that have been built into labour legislation over the years since we stopped tiny kids climbing up chimneys to clean them from the inside. Oh – wait a minute – dismantling the unions – removing labour protections – aiming to abolish the maximum working time regulations brought in by the EU … I seem to have heard something about that…

    The real solution to the problem of low wages is not to ban non-native-born workers, but to punish employers who think it is perfectly OK to exploit them by paying them even less than home-grown ones. What we actually need is more forceful legislation that obliges employers to pay employees the same wages regardless of where they come from, and then to enforce it.

    Employers must also be obliged to pay their employees at least the minimum wages arrived at by collective bargaining, and to pay wages that do not leave their employees so poor that they qualify for social security payments to enable them to survive – otherwise, that leaves the whole society enabling companies to pay starvation wages, and paying them to do it. On the back of that, and with the 10% drop in average wages here since 2008, companies have boosted profitability, executive pay and shareholder dividends to sky-high levels not seen since – 1929, perhaps.

    If you oblige employers to pay people equal wages for equal work, and also to offer them all the same conditions of employment, there can be no built-in economic incentive to employ “foreign” labour. The situation we have at present is ideal only for the 1%; for people who prefer the BSE – Blame Someone Else – principle to explain their own failures and failings; and for evil, racist regimes that want to keep the Lower Orders down and at each other’s throats so that they don’t identify and turn on the real villains of the piece.

    Here’s a piece from Alternet from a few years back about taxation, economic inequality and the right-wing myths and misconceptions surrounding them –

    Homework for this time next week: compare, contrast and discuss the economic and social pros and cons of globalization v. protectionism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have put this here not as a reply to your above post, but so that wordpress will inform you and you will avail yourself of the info. It is important information for you as well as other indy supporters to understand so that we all know where the SNP are going in the next few months. My xmas timetable may be slipping but I am ever hopeful. Anyway enjoy the elucidation. Regards

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks, Kangaroo! They agree with me, so obviously (kof) they are right. It’s good strategy, so I’ve signed the petition and forwarded / facebooked it to all my friends, promising dire consequences if they don’t sign it of their own free will.

        It’s good to see the situation set forth in such fine detail, which I would be a liar if I said I knew already – but it really is the same conclusion I had come to – we have to give Them every opportunity to say “No” that we can reasonably be expected to give Them. There will, of course, always be people who will still think we didn’t try hard enough, but when -not if – the international courts agree with us then we will know exactly what to say to the eejits.

        I like it too because it’s not the Government’s or individual politicians’ a*rses they’re covering with that strategy, it’s our country’s.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. They’re politicians, they inhabit a parallel world to us but their income is derived from us.
    Try to get a copy of the Gillian Tett book on how $300m of bad mortgages in the USA caused the 2008 financial crash. Worth the read.
    Her take on it is that the deregulation of sound money gave way to the casino.
    One chapter deals with the flatlining of the blue collar worker’s salaries against the returns from investments, ie the people with spare cash looking for better returns on the money. This was tied into the problems for the local government getting their annual funding in large transfers. We had a similar problem with the loss of capital from the outer hebridean council’s investment in Icelandic banks.
    The creation of derivatives finally caused the collapse and the magical creation of QE, the electronic ‘printing’ of money and giving to to banks to magic their annual accounts into surplus.
    The same trick wasn’t used for manufacturing, the steelworkers found themselves out of work due to the Chinese steel being cheaper to produce due to investment in up to date equipment and lower wages.
    If the workers don’t have enough disposable income they either don’t buy or as we see now they buy on credit, kick the can down the road advice from accountants, don’t buy with your money use someone else’s.
    Invest in property, that’s a triple A storage place, see Ireland for large scale building of houses that are still being sold on after 10 years of lying empty.
    The futures market that has transactions in Florida orange production that massively exceed the actual annual harvest, stand back and see for yourself the lunacy.
    In Scotland we are told that the OIL is a huge problem, nobody will buy at $100 a barrel, but they will as the cost is WHAT IS BEING PAID for it on the market.
    The latest gas find is again in the Atlantic but the ‘news’ tells us the North Sea wells are finished, a kind of truth that the EBC are happy to sell.
    What our so called masters forget at their peril is that the Russian Revolution came about because the people finally saw that their poverty was funding lavish living for a few.
    I still can’t get my head around the fact that we now have Russian Billionaires from a system that said the resources of the country were possessed by the people.
    That crash led to the money grab by the leadership and their families just like in the dim and distant past, the powerful just rewrite the law to suit.
    So all we can hope for is the the STAR TREK WORLD ORDER to take over, you know the one where even the aliens speak american english, and have the same rights of superiority.
    As someone else pointed out,” We’re doomed”, thanks private Fraser. “Don’t panic” says corporal Jones .
    And meanwhile the maybot says that a no deal is better than a Canada plus .
    Why can’t they listen to their own propaganda, we all know the stuff they fed Scotland about leaving the big market of Englanland, that doesn’t apply to the ununited kingdom leaving the EU.

    Liked by 3 people

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