11/01/2005

Scotland's Haughty Immigration Tsars' Edicts

The Scottish edition of the 'Daily Mail' carried a report today(not avaialble online) entitled 'Boom in immigration 'may trigger a racist backlash in Scotland' by one Graham Grant (send him e-mail).

It concerns the reported tongue-lashing we received from the butch-looking Ali Jarvis that I blogged about yesterday.

The nuts and bolts of the report is a document published by the publicly funded Commission for Racial Equality Scotland entitled 'Broadening Our Horizons' (.pdf); and this is where it gets very, very interesting.

The document, an analysis of our famously metrosexual First Minister Jack McConnell's 'Fresh Talent' initiative, was published on October 31 but was based on a conference held on June 22. Why was its publication delayed for four months? It couldn't have been because of the late unpleasantness caused by the Binbag Crew? Could it?

The 'keynote' speakers were,

"Kay Hampton, CRE,
Louise MacDonald, Scottish Executive
Gordon Dewar, First ScotRail
Rita Stephen, Aberdeen City Council
Professor David McCrone, University of Edinburgh"

And thus they pronounced Scotland's Haughty Immigration Tsars' Edicts.

Kay Hampton (send her e-mail) has little public footprint other than apparently springing fully-formed like Athena as Deputy Commissioner of CRE from the head of, if not Zeus, then Jack McConnell; and has previously stuck her oar in where it wasn't really necessary.

Will the real Louise MacDonald please stand up? Are you the one who does this job? Or this(.pdf)? Or this?

Four days before this conference, Gordon Dewar (send him e-mail) was speaking to the press about a poor service fine levied on First ScotRail which he attributed to ticket-offices being closed on account of staff shortages. And of course there's no commercial imperative for increasing immigration, is there?

Three weeks before this conference, Rita Stephen (send her e-mail) was doing her bit for globalisation in her role as Director of Economic Development at Aberdeen City Council by touting a visit to the city by the stooges of Hugo Chavez.

She had, however, noted nearly a year ago that unemployment in Aberdeen at that time was only 1.8% - so the Silver City'll no' be needin' migrants, fit like...

The curriculum vitae of David McCrone (send him e-mail) shows it to be heavy on sociology, light on law and economics; which means I'm probably as well-qualified to discuss immigration issues as he is.

The conference was sponsored by 'Hudson'. I wonder if this international recruitment consultancy, the one that makes money by moving people across borders, is the Hudson they are referring to.

The report itself begins,

"The Scottish Executive, main opposition parties, academics and and business organisations are in broad agreement about the need to encourage more people to live and work in Scotland in order to stem population decline and to strengthen economic growth".

So Scotland is run by a committee of politicians, academics and businessmen. The object of their governance is to maintain the population levels in order to maintain their respective bases of a) taxpayers b) students and c) consumers and workers; and it's justified by citing the need to maintain 'growth'.

Perhaps I've spent too long paddling around in the shallow end of the income pool, but I am yet to meet a single person who tells me that increased growth has given them more money in thier pockets at the end of the month. Some, even some in my own family, have enjoyed increased notional gains in the value of fixed assets, like their dwellings; some of these people have even realised these gains - but absolutely nobody has bounced up to me and sang, like Ethel Merman, 'The economy's grown by five percent and everything's coming up roses and daffodils!'

It's the same with GDP. The next politician to say that immigration is good for us because some evidence indicates it may be good for GDP deserves to be whipped naked across Tower Bridge. It is the vaguest, most general of measurements, if only because it encompasses everything. It's like getting a birthday cake that weighs one kilo, which you share with two other people. The following year, you get one that weighs two kilos, but it has to be shared between 100 people. An immigration enthusiast who says that it's good for GDP actually believes you're better off in the second year.

Make sure they don't get any icing - or marzipan.
The report itself is a masterpiece of pro-immigration political correctness, even going as far at one stage to say, 'We shouldn't celebrate diversity in isolation'.
What the f...?
But the overwhelming impression that one gets from reading it is that of the inadequacy of the private citizen. Clearly, immigration is regarded by the important people, you know, the ones who apologise for there not being enough ticket-collectors on the trains, as being too important an issue for the citizens who keep many of them in gravy to be consulted about. They might, you know, disturb the established dynamic of the political-academic-business consensus.
They might instead want to see something dangerous and radical - like jobs for Scots; or even democracy; and growth be buggered.
Grant concluded his report with a quote from the improbably named Irina Dyke, an engineer from Kazakhstan. One hopes our new devotion to the cult of the immigrant does not mean we will be having horsemeat in our haggis.
Irina says,
"I wanted to continue to work in my chosen profession. I didn't want to work as a waitress for the rest of my life, but that's what I was doing.
I had about 100 interviews and nearly gave up, but I had lots of support and I'm now working as a civil engineer".
'I had lots of support'. That's nice. I work with a lot of Scottish engineering graduates with outstanding student loans who can't get engineering jobs.
I hope she's grateful for their support, if only because she's clearly got so much more fresh talent than they have.

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