“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Lifting the irony curtain.

There is no means of knowing how many Romanian and Bulgarian citizens will give life in the UK a try when they are entitled to come here for work next year. Few people, least of all those most concerned about the possibility of another mass movement of people similar to the Polish influx, seem to know anything about Romania and Bulgaria. Estimates of the possible number of new arrivals sometimes exceeds the actual population of the two countries; nineteen and seven million respectively as you ask. If people feel that they can make a better life for themselves over here, the more adventurous  will give it a go. Once this advance guard have got established the more timid and conservative souls will follow. That's how emigration works. Will the social infrastructure, housing, education and health care, be able to cope? Well it will if the tax generated by the incomers is used wisely rather than funding bankers bailouts  and military adventures. Will a new pool of labour drive down wages? Of course. If we allow that to happen. Can anything be done to prevent all these people rocking up on the shores of Albion? Probably not. The "push and pull" dynamic of emigration is well known as is the fact that if the motivation is there people will go through hell and high water to get to a place where life is perceived as being better. Even the most draconian border controls fail to deter people who want to exercise their basic right of movement from one place to another. Even the old Soviet regime was unable to completely stop it's citizens from escaping the delights of a workers paradise. Truly the Iron Curtain has been replaced by a curtain of irony. All those imprisoned East Europeans that the west felt so concerned about can now travel where they like - with the inevitable consequences.
There is a current in British political life that seems to be claiming to have found the answer to this dilemma. Why not manipulate the "pull" factor? Make this country less desirable. Make Britain even more of a two tier society than it has already become. By downgrading health, welfare, working conditions, education and housing it should be possible to turn this land into the kind of shit hole that no one would want to come to. No one that is apart from the rich.

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