The EU 'For Dummies' question

I have limited understanding of the EU and all the arguments. Although it should interest me - it simply does not. For that reason I find it hard to gain an understanding.
I have been following the other threads and searched, (peace be upon Jarrod) and although I have grasped a few general concepts, some of the more erudite posters (Alib et alia) appeared to be on the verge of slipping into Koine Greek, such was their verbosity.

I gather that the UK immigration problem is mostly blamed on the EU and their directives. I also gather that it's our own government's interpretation of how those directives should be implemented. The resultant apparently being - us being a magnet for welfare / economic immigration, whereas asylum-seekers / immigrants in other EU countries are not afforded any form of luxury.

If that is the case then can anyone explain (in simple terms) why our governments (Past & previous) would choose the liberal option?

Are politicians playing the really long ball and not considering effects in the short term but...years after their tenure..probably when they are long dead and buried?
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
Wind up right?

The Baltic States would dearly love to have their emigres back. However, in their words, our welfare system is a model. It is how it should be.

Of course it supports EU nationals from other countries it also supports the lazy bastards from the UK - under ECHR - NOT an EU Institution, there can be no discrimination in receipt of benefits.

Will any political party suck it up and say - Oi, fat chav, get off your arrse and work... well they look to the polls and to who will vote for them.

Britain needs to reduce welfare dependency. British politicians need to address the issue.

As an example. I had a girlfriend. She has two kids. Should we have left Latvia and gone to England to live, we could have claimed some GBP 800 should I have declared the past year incomes for claiming Working Families Tax Credit. Never mind child benefit etc... the UK system is broken with regard to Working Families Tax Credit. It needs fixing - after a brief holiday in England she could have returned to Latvia and no one would have known.

Sometimes we do need a surveillance State that knows what people are doing - it would save a lot of money.

However, do not blame the EU.
 
Try reading through the "compelling arguments for & against the EU" thread, posts by "halo_jones" for & "Crepello" against, for some reasoned & lucid views. Ignore Bugsy, who as an Irish republican SWP supporter and alleged drug dealer & user, should be ignored as deluded/irrelevant.
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
Try reading through the "compelling arguments for & against the EU" thread, posts by "halo_jones" for & "Crepello" against, for some reasoned & lucid views. Ignore Bugsy, who as an Irish republican SWP supporter and alleged drug dealer & user, should be ignored as deluded/irrelevant.
Ho hum, Wrong again, ex-clownial. I’m not a supporter of the SWP; I’m actually a member, and also a supporter of revolutionary Socialism.

However, Kromeriz is correct that the politicians should do something to remedy the benefits picture in the UK. Moreover, it’s well within their capabilities. The reason that so many are on benefits is not because they’re lazy and feckless, but rather because they see no real financial advantage to working. In fact, most would have a lot less than they have now. Solution? Make it worth their while with a wage on which they can actually live. Have state-sponsored childcare facilities so that mothers know that their children are well cared for while they’re working.

Why not start up production facilities for the manufacture of all the generic drugs that the NHS uses, which constitute about 80 percent of drugs prescribed? Not only would that provide much-needed workplaces, it would also save the NHS billions per year on the drugs that they now buy at highly inflated prices from the pharma industry. In addition, those drugs that still have a patent on them could also be produced and commission paid to the various companies. That would again radically reduce the costs for the NHS and also provide more jobs.

But that’s hardly likely to happen, is it? So it’s not because it can’t be done, but rather because the politicians have no interest in it. Maybe we should start a lobby about it.

MsG
 
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Try reading through the "compelling arguments for & against the EU" thread, posts by "halo_jones" for & "Crepello" against, for some reasoned & lucid views. Ignore Bugsy, who as an Irish republican SWP supporter and alleged drug dealer & user, should be ignored as deluded/irrelevant.
Er, Crepello is FOR the EU, as am I.
 
If you feel like digging into the whole thing a bit more there's a free Booker/North book download here:

The purpose of this book is to tell for the first time the real story of how,
through what had come to be known to its insiders as ‘the project’, the
continent’s politicians had for half a century been seeking gradually to
construct and to impose on their peoples a unique system of government. Not
the least remarkable feature of this political experiment had been how few
people really understood its real nature, aims and origins.

The form of government it created was unique because it was designed to
place the nation states which belonged to it under a ‘supranational’ power,
unaccountable to any electorate, ruling its citizens through the agency of each
country’s own national authorities. Although the nation states and their
institutions of government remained outwardly intact, all these institutions,
from heads of state and parliaments to civil services and judicial systems, in
reality became increasingly subject to the decisions and laws of the new power
that was above them all.
http://www.eureferendum.com/documents/greatdeception.pdf
 
Cheers Legallybald, and everyone. I just can't help thinking there is some ideological end game that is way ahead of the lifespan of those implementing things..and why they would bother do do so if it was such. Are our politicians doing what they truly believe is best for our country now or..to make their names in history so their great grandchildren can be proud (or ashamed) of them?

I'll end up googling illuminati if I think on this much more!
 
Er, Crepello is FOR the EU, as am I.

My error, I meant for & against getting out of the corrupt, expensive farce, needless to say I am very much FOR getting out. Unlike some who are against coming out as they have a vested interest in staying in, Like Clegg who would lose his lucrative EU pension should he advocate getting out!
 
Ho hum, Wrong again, ex-clownial. I’m not a supporter of the SWP; I’m actually a member, and also a supporter of revolutionary Socialism.

An even more compelling reason to ignore the overwhelming majority of what you have to say.
 
You might want to have a butcher’s at these figures before you believe all the UKIP dross trumpeted about the UK being flooded with immigrants:

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/sep/07/immigration-europe-foreign-citizens

Here are a few more interesting numbers. Not only about immigration, but also about emigration (from the UK):

http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/latest-immigration-statistics


MsG

The Guardian graph is 4 years old and, even then, the UK figures weren't up to date (2008 )

With regard to the migrationwatch figures, what constitutes immigration? People who have applied for citizenship? People who have houses, either bought or rented (i.e. excluding those who rent rooms) and are thus likely to appear on a census? People who have bona fide jobs or claim benefits plus their families (i.e. are listed in official documentation)? Does it include seasonal workers who may return to their country of origin out of season? Is there some allowance for people who shouldn't really be here?

Also the migrationwatch graph shows the migration for each year. Were it produced to show cumulative figures, it would give a better picture of how many foreign nationals are currently in UK.

Figures that would be really useful would be those of workers or local-benefit-claimants and their families as I suspect that the figures for Italy, Spain and France are skewed due to the number of people who have second/holiday homes or who have retired there and thus put little burden on the state or the job market.
 
The Guardian graph is 4 years old and, even then, the UK figures weren't up to date (2008 )

With regard to the migrationwatch figures, what constitutes immigration? People who have applied for citizenship? People who have houses, either bought or rented (i.e. excluding those who rent rooms) and are thus likely to appear on a census? People who have bona fide jobs or claim benefits plus their families (i.e. are listed in official documentation)? Does it include seasonal workers who may return to their country of origin out of season? Is there some allowance for people who shouldn't really be here?

Also the migrationwatch graph shows the migration for each year. Were it produced to show cumulative figures, it would give a better picture of how many foreign nationals are currently in UK.

Figures that would be really useful would be those of workers or local-benefit-claimants and their families as I suspect that the figures for Italy, Spain and France are skewed due to the number of people who have second/holiday homes or who have retired there and thus put little burden on the state or the job market.

It does, however, show a nice spike in net immigration from the late 1990's which shows no sign of going back to pre-1996 levels.......
 

alib

LE
It's a mistake to confuse the general need in the richer EU countries to lure in a young working population with anything the EU does. It's all about demographics, due to the baby boom of the 50s and 60s we have a growing bulge of retirees and a undersized working population that does not provide a tax base to support their entitlements to pensions and healthcare. These entitlements are fast becoming the lion's share of public spending in the UK, they soar up to a peak in 2050 It's worse in much of the EU birthrates following the baby boom disastrously collapsed while populations also awarded themselves luxurious retirement entitlements that UK OAPs can only dream of. This is a inevitable fiscal crisis that should be causing far more fear and alarm.

UK unemployment is relatively low by EU standards and large numbers of positions lay open for lack of a skilled workforce. It's increasingly a low wage, low productivity economy with a high demand for labour that's being satisfied by the happy accident of EU8 accession. Eager young people much more skilled than previous waves of migrants, willing to work hard and pay UK taxes simply don't face a mountain of bureaucracy. The UK hasn't had to expensively invest in their education and training and only has its self to blame for largely abandoning it's poorer kids in a system slanted for decades by reliable middle class voters to their own brats needs. Most of these migrant rotate out before retiring thus greatly lightening the load on the British tax payer. In effect the EU8 countries are being robbed blind of tax revenues by the UK creaming off the best of their dwindling youth.

If the EU did not exist in Europe the rich countries would still have a great deal of domestic political pressure to invent practically open borders. The elderlies entitlements in practice being untouchable the alternative is very high taxation on the working population which in the UK is already facing collapsed incomes and often having to be supported by the tax payer even when waged.

Given the way UK politics works with two dominant "business friendly" parties there is little real prospect of mass migration from the EU ending if the UK left the EU. It will just result in HMG pandering to voters by expensively adding something like the old style quota system but the quotas will be very high as UK PLC will demand it. If they don't get it you'll see a wave of failures of businesses with a Pole dependency and even higher unemployment. I'd worry about what happens to the UK when it runs out of Poles and that day will come, the buggers are not breeding back home.

UKIP tying immigration to the EU are simply selling the voter a pup. There are other reasons to get upset with the EU but post 04 immigration is mainly created by demand in the UK labour market. The downsides, such as soaring accommodation costs, are a direct product of UK domestic policy. By necessity the country will have to compete with aging Europe to shore up its working population so it can provide for the elderly for the foreseeable future.
 
Most of these migrant rotate out before retiring thus greatly lightening the load on the British tax payer. In effect the EU8 countries are being robbed blind of tax revenues by the UK creaming off the best of their dwindling youth.

I enjoyed reading most of your post but I'd dispute the quoted snip.

My experience of migrant labour is that they have every intention of doing what you say when they first arrive but that perspective changes over the course of several years. For example, two Polish brothers - One was married before he arrived. After a year of living in England, he brought his wife across and a year later they had the first of their two kids. Another couple of years and his parents died, leaving him with a half share of their family farm. He decided that he didn't want to return to farming (he was a Polish-qualified electrician but that didn't count in UK so he was doing other construction work), so he gave his half-share to his brother. At this point, he realised that he had no reason to return to Poland and decided to remain in Britain.

The other brother came across with the intention to raise money to improve the family farm. For the first few years, he'd take a block 4 weeks leave and work his guts out renovating the place in an effort to make it more productive. It wasn't very long before he realised that his UK earnings were greater than what he could ever achieve on his farm. He still retains ownership of it but he has said that he'll never go back other than to visit what has become a retirement nest egg.

I've come across the same with many other migrants. An intention to raise cash in order to improve things back at home then their parents die off, leaving them with less reason to return. This is compounded when they raise a family in Britain and the kids integrate. What choice for the future? Go back and leave the grown up kids in Britain? Go back, taking the kids, knowing that the kids will go back to Britain within a matter of years? Once they have kids, the situation ceases to be a purely economic one.

All the migrants that I've worked with have been extremely hard working, clearly for valid economic reasons as well as for any personal character traits. Some started their career in UK less than honestly but became legitimate either as a result of cross-border employment legislation or because of the benefits that would accrue from working openly (though many still register and insure their cars abroad and drive on foreign licences). Although they pay tax and NI, this typically starts when they are in their late 20s so come retirement, they'll have contributed to the welfare system only 75% of what would have been paid by an indiginous worker.

We think that we're having a crisis with regard to welfare income and welfare outlay now. Wait until the migrants reach retirement age. The rate of migration must be at least on a par with the Baby Boom.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Wot Alib said...

At present we have too low a percentage of working population to support the current retired segment. By encouraging immigration we increase the working population relative to the retired one and make it easier to pay retirement benefits. However,

- This is a massive tin can kicking exercise as the increased working population will eventually retire and want supporting in its turn.

- By importing a largely unskilled workforce, we are condemning our own idle professionally unemployed to exactly that: a life on the dole. This is a problem successive governments have ducked. It will take 20 - 30 years to fix.

- We are stripping out the most productive pool of workers from poor east European countries like Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. That will hurt their economy in the long term.

Immigration is like the curate's egg - good in parts.

Wordsmith
 
Ho hum, Wrong again, ex-clownial. I’m not a supporter of the SWP; I’m actually a member, and also a supporter of revolutionary Socialism.

However, Kromeriz is correct that the politicians should do something to remedy the benefits picture in the UK. Moreover, it’s well within their capabilities. The reason that so many are on benefits is not because they’re lazy and feckless, but rather because they see no real financial advantage to working. In fact, most would have a lot less than they have now. Solution? Make it worth their while with a wage on which they can actually live. Have state-sponsored childcare facilities so that mothers know that their children are well cared for while they’re working.

Why not start up production facilities for the manufacture of all the generic drugs that the NHS uses, which constitute about 80 percent of drugs prescribed? Not only would that provide much-needed workplaces, it would also save the NHS billions per year on the drugs that they now buy at highly inflated prices from the pharma industry. In addition, those drugs that still have a patent on them could also be produced and commission paid to the various companies. That would again radically reduce the costs for the NHS and also provide more jobs.

But that’s hardly likely to happen, is it? So it’s not because it can’t be done, but rather because the politicians have no interest in it. Maybe we should start a lobby about it.

MsG
What a brilliant idea, we could have a 5 year plan, followed by an inquiry. Why not get the state to produce tractors as well.
 
I’m actually a member, and also a supporter of revolutionary Socialism.
But feel the need to hang around here polluting the air.
Ain't democracy a wonderful thing?




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If the EU did not exist in Europe the rich countries would still have a great deal of domestic political pressure to invent practically open borders.
EU countries already have their own policies in regards to EU immigrants, the Germans have a few million Turks within their borders. The difference is they can shut the door any time they like.
 

alib

LE
I enjoyed reading most of your post but I'd dispute the quoted snip.

My experience of migrant labour is that they have every intention of doing what you say when they first arrive but that perspective changes over the course of several years. For example, two Polish brothers - One was married before he arrived. After a year of living in England, he brought his wife across and a year later they had the first of their two kids. Another couple of years and his parents died, leaving him with a half share of their family farm. He decided that he didn't want to return to farming (he was a Polish-qualified electrician but that didn't count in UK so he was doing other construction work), so he gave his half-share to his brother. At this point, he realised that he had no reason to return to Poland and decided to remain in Britain.

The other brother came across with the intention to raise money to improve the family farm. For the first few years, he'd take a block 4 weeks leave and work his guts out renovating the place in an effort to make it more productive. It wasn't very long before he realised that his UK earnings were greater than what he could ever achieve on his farm. He still retains ownership of it but he has said that he'll never go back other than to visit what has become a retirement nest egg.

I've come across the same with many other migrants. An intention to raise cash in order to improve things back at home then their parents die off, leaving them with less reason to return. This is compounded when they raise a family in Britain and the kids integrate. What choice for the future? Go back and leave the grown up kids in Britain? Go back, taking the kids, knowing that the kids will go back to Britain within a matter of years? Once they have kids, the situation ceases to be a purely economic one.

All the migrants that I've worked with have been extremely hard working, clearly for valid economic reasons as well as for any personal character traits. Some started their career in UK less than honestly but became legitimate either as a result of cross-border employment legislation or because of the benefits that would accrue from working openly (though many still register and insure their cars abroad and drive on foreign licences). Although they pay tax and NI, this typically starts when they are in their late 20s so come retirement, they'll have contributed to the welfare system only 75% of what would have been paid by an indiginous worker.

We think that we're having a crisis with regard to welfare income and welfare outlay now. Wait until the migrants reach retirement age. The rate of migration must be at least on a par with the Baby Boom.
Of course a lot of Irish are a major immigrant community and do stay in large numbers. The 21st century Irish actually like the English and their little ways. One of the demographic reasons for the Irish boom was much of a couple of generations of Irish OAPs bed blocking British rather than Irish hospitals. The retention pattern varies with populations, so far the EU8 been a very beneficial crop of genuinely mobile labour. Albania and Turkey could of course be different.

I'm basing the assumption that EU8 folk will leave on the experience so far from what I've seen in British and RoI stats. The retention level is persistently well under 40% and dipped dramatically when Lehman hit. Very few are immigrants proper in the way commonwealth folk have been.

Though I agree with you anecdotally that more stay than expect to. I've worked quite a lot in Warsaw and have many Polish colleagues, a fair few nearly ended up entrapped by the gloomy islands. Romance or an unexpected opportunity do present themselves. Papist Ireland is a good deal less alien than Godless England for Poles. Major disincentives to stay and raise kids are actually the social systems, particularly British education and the NHS, these often appall Poles.

A fair few see the UK as an easy bridge to the US or Canada. Most will be off back home when a decent job turns up back there. Poles are hyper patriotic and its actually a place of Wild West opportunities for anyone with a bankroll, just not great for some trades and professions.

The Poles are often skilled and far more likely to be steadily employed compared to young natives who down at the bottom of the food chain ducking in and out of income supported jobs. Facing lengthy unemployment they'll scan all of the EU for opportunities or self deport with their stash which will go a long way back home.

I'm told they can also claim six months host country benefits back there. RoI bru is three times UK levels and with a far lower Polish cost of living this is a major incentive to leave and really the only attraction of the benefit systems that I hear talked about. I'm afraid too many of the English lack the get up and go of the Poles or Irish and will remain trapped in their own part of the UK eking out a miserably meager life on benefits often in a state of guilty depression. A most perplexing national trait.

You can also entirely subtract the cost of education, the other big drain on social spending after the elderlies voracious entitlements. All these bonuses more than makes up for periods of black working which of course no youthful native would ever indulge in.

The other thing is the retired boomers peak in 2050, this lot will likely be retiring likely in their late 70s decades later so if they do stay into the most costly period of state dependency the critical bulge of boomers will have died off and you'll have a more balanced population. It's a much needed bonanza in term of revenues. The ONS just wearily acknowledges there are political limits to the level of this fiscal life line.

This is far from ideal, it would be much better if the existing UK population was highly skilled, working in well paid highly productive jobs but failings in decades of domestic policy and a blip in demographics really don't leave the UK with any alternatives. It's just dumb luck that the EU happened to make migration easy, nobody in British government seems to have seen it coming.
 
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