Thursday, 23 October 2014

Juncker is right. And oh so wrong.

Austria requires hairdressers to undergo four years of technical college training and apprenticeship before being allowed to style hair commercially. In the UK, a school leaver fresh out of uniform can set up as a hairdresser. Result? Austrian women have the most unattractive and unflattering hair in all Europe, including Bulgaria, whilst for fifty years British hairstyling has thrilled and inspired women across the world. It's a neat and visible lesson in the effects of over-regulation in stifling creativity and innovation - qualities essential for economic success in a global economy. And just as mediaeval builders who moved for work from Saint Denis to Kent brought England's first ever gothic arches, English Ironmasters taught northern Germany the art of Industry. Free movement of skill, innovation and knowledge throughout Europe has for centuries been the secret of European competitive advantage - and this means allowing free movement of skilled workers. 

Even economic migrants or refugees from pogroms and persecution have enriched England; Hugueneots with glassworking  and mechanical craft skills, the anonymous German potter who brought the secret of salt-glazed stoneware to London, and not least the poor Russian Jews whose offspring would later found the IEA. And many more, many enriching, enabling and inspiring our own development. 

So free movement of people in Europe is always a good thing? To a point, Lord Copper. Try telling that to a Fenlands town where a third of the population are eastern European field labour, strong-backed peasants who can stand all day in the Winter mud and pluck mangel-worzels from the sticky clay. Making food cheap for Tesco, but killing local cultural heritage and cultural identity.

And this is the dichotomy we face; open interchange of skills, ideas and innovation helps us all, but free movement without any restriction whatsoever can destroy a traditional way of life, swamp historic communities and dilute national congruence. And you can't really tell which is which; Ralph Harris' father was a poor Jewish shoemaker, a penniless refugee, who wouldn't have made it past a points system.


right_writes said...

It is true that there was a good deal of "free movement" Raedwald...

But there were two (at least) major differences.

The potential immigrants had a very hard time getting here, and they didn't realise that British people would give them 70% of their income, to help them settle.

Fewer of them, more difficult to establish a foothold...

And yet when it was more difficult, we had high art, and now we get high celebrity.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Free movement of skilled workers is a fine principle.

What is not a fine principle, is the free movement of enormous numbers of unproductive people from completely different (and often hostile) cultural traditions.

Especially if we're expected to pay all their living expenses too.

Mr Ecks said...

Digging turnips is not a skill. We don't need turnip diggers. Europeans came here in the past because we were a freer country where they could live in peace. Now we are just another socialistic shithole in terminal decline.

Anonymous said...

This "free movenment of people" is a nation killer. They know it, we know it so why write about positives and negitives? The endgame is a Europe with no borders, its citizens a human melange of indeterminate heritage: The Village of the Churned.


Fasttimes said...

Irish labour built the canals and railroads. Totally unskilled.

They drove down wages. Took indigenous jobs. were culturally and religiously totally different to the natives. They were poor and ill educated and despised. And , even by the standards of the day, had poor health and were prone to drink.

What is the difference? Is it just a hundred and fifty years after the fact? So now they are as native as anyone else.

Is it that they were white? Their christian upbringing allowed a much easier integration within communities?

Or was it that when they came , like the Germans and Italians and Russians, that they came with little. Were given even less, and had to create their place on their own labours?

Today MOST immigrants work.
Most immigrants claim no benefits.
Most are revenue neutral or at least no more a drain than our own homegrown do-nothings.

What is the problem with immigration? Really? What is the real issue?

Anonymous said...

Fasttimes said @ 21:43

'What is the problem with immigration? Really? What is the real issue?'

Simple, nobody asked us what we wanted - and before this century is out we'll be a minority in our own land. Nations don't vote for their own demise so take from that what you will. Its the end of days for us, you won. Now go away while we weep in private.