This was written back in January but it’s still relevant. It’s a long read, a very long one in fact but trust us, it’s well worth making the effort, not least because of the way it demolishes a lot of the myths that have been allowed to build up around migration and it’s impact on the labour market. It’s not written by academics but by a group of factory / warehouse / food processing workers in the western hinterlands of London and as such, they know what it’s like at the sharp end…
(Article written for friends of the German collective Wildcat: http://www.wildcat-www.de)
PDF_Version: Migration and social democracy_PDF
“There is a reason for wanting to ensure that we can control migration. It is because of the impact that net migration can have on people, on access to services, on infrastructure. But, crucially, it often hits those at the lower end of the income scale hardest.”
Theresa May, 6th of September 2017
“What there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from Central Europe to order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”
Jeremy Corbyn, 23rd of July 2017
“In the last 10 years, there has been a gigantic experiment at the expense of ordinary workers. Countries with vast historical differences in wage rates and living standards have been brought together in a common labour market. The result has been sustained pressure on living standards, a systematic attempt to hold down…
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It’s worth pointing out also that the effect of Universal Credit could be equivalent to a million more migrant workers.By a combination of incentives and sanctions, the intention is to submit every actual and potential hour of labour-power to the market, thereby reducing its price to an absolute minimum.
Its reproduction costs will be subsidised from taxation, guaranteeing that the poor will continue to be resented by the not-quite-poor however hard they work and however miserable their conditions. It’s not far removed from the Speenhamland system of pauperage – which at least led to the Swing uprising and brought down the government.
Critisticuffs describe it as a mechanism for state management of useful poverty. They did an excellent presentation on the subject at Dorset Bookfair last year.