RANDOM THOUGHTS

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John Redwood‏ @johnredwood

Once out of the EU Customs Union the UK could unilaterally cut all tariffs on products we don’t grow for ourselves or could offer to do so in return for some free trade response from those who would benefit. Inside, we can’t do this as the others don’t agree with this strategy.

Yes, that would all be fine, Mr Redwood, but it would involve leaving the World Trade Organisation too. You did know that, didn’t you?

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It appears that Fluffy Muddle wasn’t available for an interview this morning on Radio Scotland to talk about the EU withdrawal economic impact assessments from the British government, y’know, the ones that they had and didn’t have and then had again (or something).

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I suspect he must have been on early morning tea duties at Downing Street (tea tray at 6 am, tea, milk, 2 digestives, open curtains). But I wonder where his blue-blooded aristocratic assistant was. Don’t we pay him to be available for occasions on which the Rt Hon blokey is otherwise engaged in beard cleaning …or domestic duties… or whatever it is he does?

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And what about the Colonel, who assured us she attends British Cabinet meetings? Was she on manoeuvres somewhere with her rusty troops?

Why does no one want to talk about this stuff?

Murdo, oh Murdo????

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A Fife farmer has had to let crops die in the fields because he can’t get anyone to pick them since so many Europeans have left for home, or somewhere else in the union with more stability.

This is before we have actually left Europe.

It is a bit worrying that we will be bringing back control only to find that it’s all got out of control.

Some quote the unemployment figures and ask why we are so short of people when so many are unemployed. However, government figures (1.4 million) show an unemployment rate of 4.2%, which by common consent, is considered to be more or less full employment.

A substantial section of this is made up of people simply between jobs. Starting a new job in a few weeks but left the present one and needing “NI stamps”. After a few weeks they sign off to be replaced by others in the same situation.

This figure also includes the ever-growing number of people who are over 50 and over 60 (and unless you’ve been used to outdoor, hard physical work all your life it’s unlikely [not impossible] you’d be able to start …and be effective… in that kind of work at that time of life).

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Clearly, some older people have no problems landing a job.

 

Having worked in the employment business, I can assure you that it is harder for older folk to get into work. If it’s a physical job, employers are looking for younger people who will still be standing at the end of a hard 8-hour shift. If it’s office work, employers are looking for people whose IT skills are up to the lastest mark. In hospitality and retail, they tend to be overlooked too. When did you last see a barista in Costa Coffee, or an assistant in Next with grey hair

It also includes people who have disabilities but who are able to work if someone gives them the chance, but for some of whom a job bent over in muddy field wouldn’t be appropriate, or even possible.

Unemployment figures also include those who, for other reasons, are pretty much unemployable. (Michael Something of the Night Howard’s “prison works” may have been a cool slogan for the blue rinses and retired colonels, but the truth is it does damage people’s employment prospects in the future, one reason that Scotland’s government has tried to reduce the number of people incarcerated).

Then there are those who have drink and drug issues which render them unemployable. Not a small number.

So if, in the end, 2 million of the 3 million Europeans do leave, from what pool of labour will we recruit?

We need to remember too, that farm labour is a tiny part our problems. Perhaps even more important are the care staff for our old people’s homes, the highly trained medical staff that work in the NHS, doctors, nurses, radiologists, physios, etc, etc.

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Munguin4

Oh and, I won’t tell you again…

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