Here at 224 we try to be politically open-minded. Though we are very definitely lefties, we consider it important to be patient and understanding when in discussion with those we disagree with. But right now, we are very, very, very angry. It’s been a rough time for Britain’s reputation as a tolerant, intelligent, outward looking nation. Two recent pieces of Tory policy stand out as being particularly horrific.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced plans to publish the proportion of foreign workers a company employs, in order to shame them into employing more British workers. But if the government plans to encourage a sense of shame at employing foreigners, then they will create an environment where managers strongly consider hiring less qualified British workers over their more qualified immigrant rivals. The solution to underemployed British workers is not to rig the hiring process in their favour, but to invest in opportunities for British talent to be trained, to be able to compete with foreign workers on an even basis. The problem needs to be addressed at the root. That takes patience, intelligence, and money.
One of the ‘trending topics’ on Facebook is that an applicant for a job driving buses for Arriva was refused an interview because he’s not Romanian.
If you’ve noticed this story superficially, it’s generally portrayed as Brits being treated as second class citizens in their own country, preference given to the foreigners, etc. You can predict who’s selling this version – the usual suspects such as the Daily Mail, Express, Breitbart and so on.
But when you look deeper into the story, it seems that Arriva have been overcharging the immigrant drivers for the housing they’ve arranged, with 7 people living together in a 3 bedroom house. Between the 7 of them, they were paying £700 a week for a 3-bedroom house, back to an agency that Arriva had arranged a deal with.
Foreign workers are not the enemy. Exploitative bosses are.