Monday 20 May 2013

Why did Labour open the doors?

That Labour betrayed its own supporters after 1997 by allowing tens of thousands of people into the country is a simple fact, but we are still left to debate the reason why the policy was created. Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail thinks that it was because Labour could no longer take the working class for granted and needed to import a new working class that would vote Labour

The problem with that argument is that Labour had to get elected in the first place, so the idea that it had to introduce new voters having just been put in power by the old ones strikes me as an idea that is ludicrous in the extreme. Not only that, but during the Thatcher years the Tory Party went from being a competitive force in Scotland, Wales and Northern England to near extinction. Today the Tories have one solitary MP in Scotland, just eight in Wales and hardly any in the great cities of  Northern England. Furthermore, the days when people in those cities voted Tory at local level seems to have ended, and a party that cannot win council seats is very much a spent force. So if Labour did not open the doors to the world's flotsam for electoral reasons, why did it order them to be opened?

In opposition prior to 1997 Labour strategists had argued that what destroyed previous Labour governments was wage inflation. The way to prevent that happening, ran the argument, was to allow mass immigration. This rather forces us to ask the question why did the Labour Party rank and file not object as their wages were undermined by the party when it got into power.

The obvious answer must be that Labour members are no longer employed in manual jobs in the private sector, they are lower middle class polytechnic graduates who enjoy cushy numbers in the teaching trade, social work  industry or as generic managers in local government. These people are pretty much insulated from all and any trade cycles, and are more likely to want to patronise the new comers to prove how liberal they are. The fact that those newcomers also provided these middle class types with cheap nannies, gardeners and tradesmen goes without saying. Members of the middle class are past masters at concealing their self interest behind a wall of sanctimonious self-righteousness.

We need to also remember that the Blair regime really believed that it had cured boom and bust. They  presided over a country where pretty much anyone who wanted a job, outside of the urban black spots that is, could have one. The few naysayers around were more or less silenced by the cry of "racism," which mouthy middle class Labourites were encouraged to parrot at every opportunity. 

Was revenge a factor?  Andrew Neather said that  "rubbing the right's noses in diversity" was involved in the policy, and I suspect that the people he had in mind were the Loadsamoney chancers of the Thatcher era who were genuinely loathed by most leftists.

However, basing a government strategy on doing over a few thousand Essex Men makes no sense, and neither does the idea that it was all about replacing the old working class with a new one.

What does make sense is the notion that Labour wanted to ensure that wage inflation did not damage the government, coupled with the hubristic notion that they had cured the trade cycle.

What also makes sense is that Labour is no longer fit to claim any working man's vote.

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