Leading Brexiter and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, appears to be in two minds when it comes to free movement of labour, but don’t be fooled.
I admire his politic skill in use of “free”. Freedom on one hand is “immigration out of control” (bad), on the other it’s an “end to EU bureacracy” (good). Good and bad, all in the one word “free”. Amazing interpretation, but no more than we’ve come to expect.
You can be absolutely sure that Boris Johnson and his neoliberals are of one mind. They’ve created a cycle of power that goes like this:
- There is no collective pay bargaining for Britain (Unions, remember them?)
- Therefore pay will never increase faster than prices (Stopping free movement of labour will not increase pay)
- Therefore productivity will never increase (people don’t aspire to work for nothing, they expire)
- Therefore there will always be economic demand for migrant workers
- Boris says immigration is “out of control”
- Please don’t vote Tory
- Too late
- Boris clips the unions wings with the Trade Union Bill
- Go back to step 1.
The Migrants’ Rights Network posted an excellent article that shows how doublespeak is working to take Tories like Johnson to the top. For him, immigration is the gift that keeps giving:
“Last week’s immigration statistics, covering the year up to June 2016, show that the movement of people across frontiers continues to be much more responsive to economic factors than it is to the highly-politicised control agenda.”
In a nutshell, this is another fine mess Britain’s got itself into, a classic scissor crisis, where prices are outstripping wages, creating a wage/price scissor shape on the graph, killing off productivity increases:
“flat-lining productivity rates [ ] shifted economic growth into demand for new workers, rather than making existing employees work more productively. Until this problem is cracked it seems inevitable that all economic growth will require more workers – and more immigrants – to turn out new goods and run services.”
Political will is needed to crack this problem. Political will is needed to make Britain accept migrant workers, because they’re here to stay. Political will? Political will is what set up the NHS. It’s in very short supply because it means facing short term unpopularity. It’s the opposite of popularism, ie saying what people want to hear, like “immigration is out of control”. It isn’t, it’s the free movement of Labour.
Now who’s the only political leader left in Britian with political will? Jeremy Corbyn, of course.