Friday, 2 July 2010


Owners of Bangladeshi restaurants are concerned about the recently announced the cap on workers entering the UK from outside the EU. They say that experienced staff are only available from Bangladesh and if this dries up some restaurants will close.
A further point is made that it’s difficult to find and train indigenous workers.
There are however a number of factors that create this problem. First there a tendency for Bangladeshi owners to feel more comfortable with their fellow nationals. The reluctance of UK workers to go for these jobs many preferring the “job option” of benefits. The Government must intensify the pressure on these lay-about s to fill these sort of vacancies.
No exceptions should be made with regards to the cap. Every non-national who enters this country adds to the considerable cost and strains of maintaining the infrastructure of the welfare state
No - not my own words but a rant from what one would expect to be a responsible publication if the name were any guide. I shall not give a link as it is not the suggestion that I want to mention but the way in which such ranting posts have spread of late. I leave aside any comment on the format of this persons contribution other than to say that it might be indicative that they were denied what they would call the privilege of a decent education that might have helped with punctuation and reasoning. The same individual also gave us the benefit of their thoughts on how people should be subjected to some sort of parenting test and, if not rated suitable, would be dissuaded from producing offspring. The solution of sterilisation was not put forward; merely withholding of allowances. Until, one assumes, the innocent child or a feckless parent, dies from starvation.

The policies of the two main Parliamentary parties have long fostered the politics of envy. Over the last couple of decades it has become possible to compare how unequal different countries are. In the more equal of the rich countries, like the Nordic countries and Japan, the richest 20 percent are about four times as rich as the poorest 20 percent. But in the most unequal rich countries, like the USA, Britain and Portugal, the differences are twice as great: the richest 20 percent of the population may be eight or nine times as rich as the poorest 20 percent.

Inequality makes societies hugely dysfunctional. Greater equality is more important than most of us ever imagined. It affects the whole social fabric. It is not simply that more unequal countries have bigger inequalities in health, in how well kids do at school, or in obesity. Instead more unequal countries do worse overall.

Their populations tend to have shorter life expectancy, higher levels of violence, bigger prison populations, more teenage births, worse physical and mental health, higher obesity rates, more widespread drug abuse, lower levels of trust, less involvement in community life, poorer school performance and lower levels of child well-being. And the differences are not small: each of these problems is between two and six times as common in more unequal societies as in the more equal ones.

All that looks as if Britain is at the head, or near the top of one league. An undesirable position. Britain does badly, for instance, on teenage births, prison populations, obesity and on measures of child well-being. But how often do these issues get discussed in their proper context? Yes - they are raised in the yah-boo politics of Wednesday Questions and on late night TV talk-fests but never in any serious context. The well off are complacent with their status, the less well off/underprivileged lack the tools to fight their corner. Any path to improvement seems denied them and insults are their only solution.

Bertrand Russell said envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. It is a universal and most unfortunate aspect of human nature because not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his envy, but also wishes to inflict misfortune on others. Although envy is generally seen as something negative, Russell also believed that envy was a driving force behind the movement towards democracy and must be endured in order to achieve a more just social system. Islamic belief is, if memory serves, that one must be content with what God has given to them by saying Maashallah (God has willed it). Certainly, my local newsagent seems content but his co-religionists in, for example, Pakistan do not have this sagacity.

I suppose that Dave's new idea of inclusiveness springs from a wish to involve everyone - those who feel ignored have an outlet. At the moment, all it appears to have done is increase the level of verbal violence replete with "Wo*s go home" style sentiments. After all, we are not so long away from the exhortations of the rabid ferret Tebbit that the unemployed should take up cycling. Any tax saving - unproven - that might accrue from not supporting incomers would merely be lost in 'improving' things elsewhere in our economy.

I'd be very happy to support anyone who seeks to change things but mere condemnation not backed with any proposal or plan is boring invective. I am lucky; I live in an area where there is no significant penetration of 'foreigners' - those from more than 20 miles away are so classified here. Any who I do encounter are nullified by my policy of reverse-apartheid. I have no need to rant but they exert some sort of fascination and I cannot merely scroll down or click them away.

Perhaps I could do a blog about ranting?

But then, I just have!

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