Thursday, July 01, 2010


Today (on Newsnight) someone uttered a statement I've heard a thousand times:

"Immigrants do the low paid jobs that the British don't want to do themselves"

Why have I never heard the obvious reply?

"The only reason the Brits won't do these jobs is because they are paid benefits to allow them to sit at home watching daytime TV"


Anonymous said...

So the statement was grammatically correct in the first place

Anonymous said...

anonymous - nobody said it wasn't

Hideki said...


Are you a Tory by any chance?

I've heard the grumbling about people sitting around not getting jobs hundreds of times too...

In my case I'm on benefits for a valid disability related reason but in other cases people don't have jobs because the jobs aren't there, if you unfudge the figures there are something like 5-7 times the number of people on various benefits as there are jobs available.

What I really don't understand is why you (and others with similar opinions) believe people want to live on £60/week (or £120 or so including housing benefit and council tax benefit)?

Even a part time job 2 or 3 days/week would pay more than that with the minimum wage, I just find it had to believe that people would put up with the insulting and intrusive benefit system if they didn't have to...

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for Frank, Adam (though I suspect he would agree with me), but I don't mind you receiving benefits if you have a valid disability.

I also don't mind paying benefits to people who genuinely cannot get a job.

I object to paying people benefits when there either are jobs, or there were vacancies which have now been taken by people who are prepared to work.

In Coventry, near where I live, there are job vacancies but there are also able bodied young men who don't want to take them up. This is just wrong.

(I would make them do something - visit elderly people, litter pick, go to adult education, anything, to get their benefits, too, instead of hanging around the streets smoking dope and drinking, which is what many of them do.)

Stonehead said...

There is another factor: "I'm too special to do dirty, hard, stinking work".

Many, many people are convinced they're undiscovered, multi-talented singing dancing footballing tennis-playing megastar celebrity author television personality and doing any sort of real work is beneath them. They want to be given megabucks in return for them sitting around looking vacuous and dribbling verbal diarrhoea.

I'm pitied because I'm happy to work my croft day in, day out, in all weathers, and for a pittance. The man who empties our septic tank can't find anyone to work as his number two.

Our plumber couldn't find an apprentice because the job is too hard and too dirty. Ditto blacksmiths, agricultural mechanics, stonemasons, drystone wallers, foresters and the like.

The work is there but, with some exceptions, few people under 45-50 are prepared to take it on. They want lifestyles, not work.

Stonehead said...

Oh, and I should have said I'm not a Tory. And I am an immigrant.

marksany said...

The reason they don't work is not that they are given benefits, but that the benefits are withdrawn at an aggressive rate when any income is earned.

Kimpatsu said...

"Immigrants do the low paid jobs that the British don't want to do themselves"

The key phrase here, Frank, is "low-paid". As Barbera Erenreich wrote in "Nickled and Dimed", "if the waiter in the restaurant where you dine can't afford the rent, you aren't paying enough for your meal."
If the pay reflected a reasonable standard of living for the worker, more people would be inclined to work.

Furor Teutonicus said...

"Immigrants do the low paid jobs that the British don't want to do themselves"

They have never taken into account of course, that these low paid jobs don't even cover the mortgage, let alone food, electric, clothing, etc, etc. Whilst, from an example going on RIGHT as a write this behind my house, fifteen Polish "workers" are re-rendering a school. They offered to do the job for A THIRD less than German workers.

How? Simple. They sleep in the tool and canteen wagons.

But then, THESE are the jobs Germans do not WANT to do...right?

WRONG! The German firm that tendered for the job went bankrupt last week, because of not getting the contract, and now, these Germans that "do not want to do the work", are sitting on the dole. Not wanting to work, obviously.

Anonymous said...

"The man who empties our septic tank can't find anyone to work as his number two"

Might I suggest former senior Met policeman and immigrant Ali Dizai (when he gets out of jail that is...)

Anonymous said...

Much, you know what I honestly don't care if people are using tax payers money to avoid work.
As it is there are bigger fish to direct your frustration against. Tax evasion makes benefit fraud and the like look like pocket change.

Furor Teutonicus said...

At least a person who "avoids tax" has done a days work in their lives.

English Pensioner said...

Historically there have always been low paid jobs which no-one wanted to do. And historically the country has always survived, not because of immigrants, but because the employers were either forced to pay more, or come up with some innovation which overcame the problem.
It is because of the cheap labour from immigrants that wages for the lowly jobs are kept down and we have lost our will to innovate.
Think of all the filthy jobs in the past: what about the night-soil man, or those who cleaned up after the horses in town. Both jobs gone because of inventions - sewers in one case and the petrol engine in the other.

Anonymous said...

And the highest levels of unemployment and economic inactivity are to be found in Britain's Afro-Caribbean and Asian population.

Lilyofthefield said...

If the alternative to working long hours in a soul-sapping job for the minimum wage is to be at home with your children drawing benefits that allow you to live much more comfortably than you would flogging your guts out and paying for childcare, why on earth would you not take it? Immigrants do it because the benefit alternative is not there.

Unskilled labour in this country is overpaid. We can't compete globally. But if the minimum wage isn't enough to live on, something has gone to shit with the system.

John Boardman said...

Why have some commentators assumed that you cannot live on the minimum wage?

£5.80 an hour times say 45 hours gives over £250 a week. Maybe you can't live like a king after you've paid your rent but you can certainly live a damn sight better than we did in the early 1960s when I started work.

British people have just got lazy and want everything on a plate without any kind of hard effort. The immigrants from Eastern Europe put them to shame, as did the Asians who came over when Idi Amin threw them out of Uganda. Even the first generation of blacks in the fifties were hard grafters.

Anonymous said...

Are there not quite a lot of immigrants in well paid jobs? Or dont we talk about them.
Or just invoke a 'shortage'.

Anonymous said...

When I was 18 I moved across the country to go to University because there wasn't one in my home town.

Why is it so bad to tell young people that they might need to move to find work?

There are loads of job vacancies in Britain, but it has become acceptable for the lazy to sit at home and sponge of the taxpayer.