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Wednesday 24 February 2010

Sarah McDermott | 15:41 UK time, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

We'll be leading tonight with an investigation by Richard Watson which exposes fraud at the heart of the student visa system. Newsnight has gone undercover to buy two bogus visa documents which would have virtually guaranteed entry to the UK. Read more on that story here.

We'll be discussing the findings of Richard's film with the Immigration Minister Phil Woolas and his shadow Damian Green.

Before we come on air this evening - at 9pm on the other side (BBC One) - our colleague Evan Davis is presenting a unique experiment which explores the impact of central and European migration to Britain. In Wisbech in Cambridgeshire around 9,000 immigrants have arrived since the EU expanded. But what happens when a dozen or so unemployed Brits try to do the jobs currently carried out by workers from abroad?

Well, you'll need to watch to find out. But we'll be debating the big questions thrown up by the film on Newsnight tonight. We'll be joined by the asparagus farmer, and a British worker who took part in the film, as well as Phil Woolas and Damian Green.

We'll be exploring the social change that resulted from the migration and asking whether there's more the government can do to help British people left out of the job market, including those who prefer to remain unemployed?

And Michael Crick will be reporting on the 'forces of hell' - read Michael's blog where Damian McBride gives his version of events.

Do join Kirsty Wark at 10.30pm on BBC Two for all that and more.


  • Comment number 1.

  • Comment number 2.

    'We'll be exploring the social change that resulted from the migration and asking whether there's more the government can do to help British people left out of the job market, including those who prefer to remain unemployed?'

    I wonder - I really do. We all know this....

    Does Newsnight have the gumption to look at this in conjunction with the rising depression rate, falling birth rate, rising crime rate, rising breakdown of marriage rate, rising obesity, alcoholism etc....Because that's what happens when 'permanent revolution' is peddled as de rigueur, good for 'efficiency etc - People end up without communities and just graze their way to illness and death (supermarkets etc do well though). This is what was done to the USSR in the name of 'freedom' remember.

  • Comment number 3.

    Re feminisation

    Its happened for sure in the publicly funded arts world in the UK - they definitely have a bias towards women issues, promote female artists and in art gallery management and curating . When I tried to promote my work, well you cant promote in the art world - there are reviewers and its their judgment and the influence upon them within the art world hierarchy. I was told I would need model release forms for everyone in my images. The reviewer knew full well that I didn't and nor would anyone who had made my kind of work unless they were doing a commercial commission. Its their way of saying forget it - probably best to move on - all doors will be closed. They were correct.

    Its not about the quality of the work any more, I recently viewed one artist up for a major award - the technical mistakes or should I say carelessness was glaring. That's not a female thing - its just how things have become.

    That said Mr Statist (probably jaded_jean) I would very much distance myself from what you post about on here .

    Don't forget its International Women's day 8th March 2010

  • Comment number 4.

    will the british workers also be living 9 to a room? then once they made their bundle go back to the home country and build a palace?

    you can buy detached houses in belorussia for 2k. here that might pay the council tax.

    i hope the cost of internal security is factored into those inevitable quotes that immigration is only a profit to the uk. Unlimited migration is just as an extreme policy as no migration.

    i see the regulator admits that the multinational energy companies were making an extra £100 per person due to the low cost of gas. They now say it has come down to 'only' £70 on top of the normal profit. So £70 x 20 million household = rubbish regulator.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    3. flicks 'Don't forget its International Women's day 8th March 2010'

    Tnanks for the advanced notice - I'll make sure I stay in.

    Watch this nation continue to decline. Most haven't a clue what they're talking about, or how they're being abused, and abusing others. That's vanity for you.

  • Comment number 7.

    And will Newsnight be discussing this....

    No thought not, and I don't suppose you'll have Andrew Green, Frank Field or Nicholas Soames on either.

    It will all be about bashing the British workers, who as Stat said in #2 are thoroughly demoralized, I know I am.

  • Comment number 8.

    4. jauntycyclist 'So £70 x 20 million household = rubbish regulator'

    It's their job to be rubbish. It's why good staff leave (i.e are made unwelcome). The really scary thing is that those who are doing this generally don't see themselves as doing it! That's the true 'beauty' of referential opacity aka narcissistic blindness.

    Human psychology - it's pretty dire if you look into it - in fact, it's hideous. Point out the driving problem, and well, as they say, 'hell hath no fury...'

    Sadly, for too much of their lives males are betwitched by sex, and by the time this stops, they're usually too frail to do anything about it all.

  • Comment number 9.

    Mod, you've got to be joking, I mean what!! what was wrong with the post?

    I'll clean it up for yer - although I don't know what to clean up.

    I'll check me mail and see what i can do with it.

    Here goes take two:

    No report on the staffordshire nightmare hospital so I'll do one for you. A summery
    Financial mismanagement, Government Targets, Third rate and overpaid managers, Staff shortages, Doctors overstreched and nurses to 'posh to wash', Little or no work ethic from top to bottom - which is always very prominent in the public sector, no ability to sack useless employees because of employement laws/rights, a legal team and
    14yrs of a socialist Government.

    I've removed two words from the above. 'Bags' and 'scum'

    Hows that moddy, will that do?

  • Comment number 10.

    I hope the mods got a sense of humour because my patience is wearing thin with having to do the Russian bear dance and jump through hoops routine with the BBC post guidelines. I live in a sanitised and oversensitive world when I come on here...would'nt it be great if we were really allowed to express how we felt. I pray for that day when we can do that...but still i pay my TV licence..unlike some eh Mr Woolas, got any statistics on that one phil mate. eh eh EH!

  • Comment number 11.


    "We'll be leading tonight with an investigation by Richard Watson which exposes fraud at the heart of the student visa system. Newsnight has gone undercover to buy two bogus visa documents which would have virtually guaranteed entry to the UK".

    BBC should ask for their money back, enrolment letters are handed out so lavishly by the many ersats training colleges and schools, eager to get the fees, so why set up a sting operation to buy one from yet another foreign crook?

    "43. At 4:48pm on 12 Dec 2009, you wrote:
    NN's first item "Richard Watson has new revelations on the chaos in the student work visa system" confirmed the utter chaos and sham of the student visa system that NN revealed a month ago on November 12th, following which on 13th Nov I blogged my findings, based on substantial practical experience of challenging student visa cases.

    In last night's NN interview Minister Vaz admitted massive failures and kept repeating 'what was needed' to correct this continuing Home Office charade. Is he a member of government, or just an innocent bystander?
    Either way, from his diatribe he is clearly unaware (concealing?)the realities of this major source of disguised immigration, for that is what it is on a massive scale.

    My earlier post is at #71. At 1:53pm on 13 Nov 2009. IN brief:

    The points system for students is simply:
    Get a letter from a 'college'; which may as stated be an office over a chip shop with no credentials (and usually owned, managed and staffed by previous immigrants) = 30 points;
    Produce a bank statement with funds to cover travel, fees, and £600 per month of tuition for food and board (£800 in London) = 10 points.
    BINGO you have 40 points.
    ADVANCE TO UK, having applied for the visa online - interview was not required by any of my students.

    The students shown in last night's NN were obviously expecting paid 'work experience' of 20 hours per week, and did not have the funds required for food and board; another area of fraudulent cash transfers?.

    The 'lucky' students who find work get minimum wage (even if higher qaulified) and often get more hours than the permitted 20/week, either through dishonest employers, or by working for two employers; it does not have to be employment relevant to the course, any supermarket will do.

    The UK Border staff at airport terminals can hardly be expected to check every entrant: the control must be on Visa Issue in each country.
    How can Gordo's 'tougher immigration policy' result from such a weak and flawed system? Not designed to foster British Jobs for British Workers, so Unfit for Purpose again.

    One answer may be found in watching BBC Parliament TV channel, which often covers so-called cross-party committees, such as Vaz chairs.
    Usually the camera shows a conference table with some 60 places (set with papers, water jugs etc) often with just 1 person addressing only 1 or 2 attendees. Not much room for constructive debate there. Fade out to Neil Diamond singing 'I am I cried, but nobody heard - not even the chair.'
    Time for NN to consider a Vazectomy."

    From my experence in this area this is an issue of commission, not ommission by government and opposition. I am convinced that no government or opposition could possible introduce such a flawed scheme (after several get tougher poses) than this entire charade of student visas.
    The conclusion must be that this was a scheme deliberately designed to allow more immigrants into UK under the guise of education. Even worse is that the statistics show most of the students are from Pakistan, and the beneficiaries are 'schools' owned and operated by past immigrants.

    Ask Woolas for a breakdown of the figures: they are on the Border CONTROL(!)Agency website.

  • Comment number 12.

  • Comment number 13.

    4. jauntycyclist Exactly - I bet there will be the standard, glib, neglect of ceteris paribus. Just glib use of classic preconceptions which beg all the important questions like 'if they are hungry for work..' without any attention at all to differences in purchasing power etc.

    The problem is that neglectful assumptions about equality are subtle and usually the researchers/producers just don't get it. Will the workers be randomly selected? Are all people the same? Is it all environmental? Even once the harsh realities are pointed out, the producers will just 'argue'. It will be painful viewing.

    The truth is that a caring nation has to cater for all sorts. That's what diversity really means.

  • Comment number 14.

    Did Review talk about the 'On Expenses' play on BBC4?

    i thought the script was quite funny.

    i heard it was just Kirsty on her hobby horse banging on about women's rights again so gave it a miss.

  • Comment number 15.

    Meritocracy - why did Michael Young (who coined the term), warn that Blair and others just didn't appreciate why it's so dangerous not to understand his critique of societies based on this exclusively? It's divisive is the basic message.

    It's because people are not all the same....Evan Davis - does he really not appreciate the problem?

    Evan Davis to Headteacher: 'Maybe you're seeing things through rose-tinted spectacles?'

    Headteacher: Maybe....why not?


  • Comment number 16.

    It's a national disgrace that so many business owners and foreigners appearing on the BBC saying that they feel compelled to import/export foreign labour in preference to British labour when this Labour government has these same British people caught in a benefits poverty trap.

    This is a betrayal of trust against British people and is racist against British people as these sell our yellow striped cowards will not support those who have no option other than to try and stay in their country of birth and survive.

    For all the money received by the BBC I've yet to see a programme made by the BBC tracking the efforts of 'typically unemployed persons in Britian' trying to find there way and get a job overseas in e.g Poland, Pakistan wherever it is - most of know there would be nigh on impossible and that this one way gravy train traffic is not reciprocated.

    If someone is from overseas and perceived to be better at something than someone in Britain - surely the Brit should still have preference in their own country - that is something that used to be called 'fairness'.

    Let's face it - who would object to Gonzo 'Danger Mouse' Woollas being replaced?

    Come on BBC - you're making this much worse for British people - I hope that a change of government brings the necessary change at the BBC - time for a few heads to roll there - the BBC are going to far with this politically correct band wagon that is seriously damaging British people - its time ther for a campaign against the BBC - some cuts, some sackings, competition from other broadcasters if this is the best you can do for British people

  • Comment number 17.

    14. jauntycyclist 'i heard it was just Kirsty on her hobby horse banging on about women's rights again so gave it a miss.'

    I see her as a media bully. She doesn't make rational points on NN, she just emotionally brow-beats guests she doesn't agree with.

    Does she appreciate this I wonder?

  • Comment number 18.

    The BBC seem to be doing a "Foreign Good, British Bad" season at the moment in history (Snow, Dimbleby) and current affairs as in tonight's immigration show. The BBC seem to have gone to Wisbech with the deliberate intent to select those British workers who are most likely to fail and then highlight the worst of those failures and contrast it to the fantastic immigrants. And we have to pay for all this on pain of prison if we do not. Shame on you BBC.

  • Comment number 19.

    "We'll be exploring the social change that resulted from the migration"

    That will have to be somewhat superficially.
    Did Evan Davis set out to find those British workshy wallies that made the immigrants seem like supermen, or are all locals in Wisbech like the one's hired to pick vegetables? And in Brighton we have too many curry take-aways every day pushing their menus through our letter-boxes, because most of these immigrants thought that there was an unlimited demand for their only skill, now met by supermarkets. And all such restaurants and small supermarkets like NISA and COSTCUTTER seem to employ only their own nationals.

    As one employer stated, it's the dole culture that has wrecked our indigenous culture. As previously posted, Frank Field, who wanted to 'think the unthinkable' and reform the benefits system, was sacked by Blair who wanted vote-winning policies instead.
    Also, the government policy and obsession on pushing higher education and equality for all has destroyed the pride that many once had in learning a skilled trade and even labouring. In my hod-carrying days there were no immigrants other than a few Irish labourers. Later, as a time-study engineer on building sites and in other industries, incentive bonus schemes paid individuals and gangs according to work measured output and productivities were high. Nowadays it’s all Growth and Greed.

    The programme skimmed over the fact that more immigrants has created more work and demand- for even more immigrants.

  • Comment number 20.

    It's like everything else that's so annoying today, there's literally a blind assumption that everyone is the same everywhere so therefore it's fair to let market-forces rip. The reality is we're not all the same. The guy with ADHD has ADHD because it's genetic and thus runs in families. The same goes for all sorts of other behaviours/aptitudes.

    Those who strongly object to 'eugenics' need to pay very close attention to what they are encouraging by trusting to the alleged fairness of international migration and 'market-forces' which presume 'equality' and trust 'mental effort' etc.

    These people are our modern witches and warlocks! They are clueless and the BBC is pumping this stuff out.

  • Comment number 21.

    "I do not think an Englishman can do the job as well as an Indian man"

    Is that racist?

  • Comment number 22.

    17 statist: Regards the wark:

    "I see her as a media bully. She doesn't make rational points on NN, she just emotionally brow-beats guests she doesn't agree with"

    Bully, not rational, emotional...that describes most women I know.

    Bogus Student visas: I see the BBC are playing catch-up with what the rest of us have known for years. Pop that bubble your in will yer and get up to speed with the rest of us.

  • Comment number 23.

    13. At 9:26pm on 24 Feb 2010, Statist
    I know, lets take some poor folk and give them Bank chairman jobs to see if that has a positive effect on both the nation and the lives of said poor folk.
    What group will be bullied in this recession, the group everyone will blame. Oh, the poor! Well can't have racism, can't have religious discrimination..... can we? And there is Aunty Beeb at the front of it all, hand in hand with the tabloid daily, you know the one!
    Anyone who knows anything about economic history will know that this vile discussion is playing with fire. How dare the BBC be so irresponsible.
    With so many graduates working unpaid internships, many literally paying thousands for the privillege to work, how dare you paint such a nasty picture, peddling such an attitude. Brits work for nothing, is more like it.
    How dare the BBC do this, isolating the poorest people in our society. How many people are working on BBC productions/suppliers and receiving no wage? Do you even know? Do you even care?
    I know a Brit on the dole for a year. She was 'so lazy' she flew to the otherside of the world where employers are gobsmacked at the idea of being 'over-qualified' they begged her to work for them rather than turn their snotty noses up! They loved her bacherlors and doctorate. Too many UK employers don't know what a doctorate is and are too lazy to find out! One employer told her they couldn't give her the job because it was beneath her, and that it would damage her mental health!

    Now, did Evan bother to look at things like this for his trashy programme -

  • Comment number 24.

    22. At 10:38pm on 24 Feb 2010, kevseywevsey

    How do you know that - been down the tennis court with her to hear the locals gripe the same thing have you?

  • Comment number 25.

    "What do you want the government to do Kirsty, outlaw everybody from committing illegal acts?"

    Erm, yeah Phil. Thought that was the gist of it. Government push through laws that will better enable the police to punish people for committing illegal acts such as paying for/selling dodgy application forms that will allow them to come to the UK with suspect VISAs.

  • Comment number 26.

    The government may have closed down 2000 "fraudulent" establishments in the last two years but how many were established during their tenure in office? Fixing your own problem is not progress.

  • Comment number 27.

    21. At 10:37pm on 24 Feb 2010, Statist wrote:
    "I do not think an Englishman can do the job as well as an Indian man"
    Is that racist?

    Yes it is. The guy needs to be taken to court.

    Watch the rise of hatred, of turning against our own as this country goes through the worst recession we've had for how long.... didn't some American rich guy say the '30s?
    And it's being rationalised by the BBC! The BBC we pay for like it or lump it. Evan and kirtsty should go set up home together as a childless couple in Drumchapel or Elderslie for 18 months and see how they get on. A wee mental health check before and after....see how motivated they are....

  • Comment number 28.

    Phil Woolas could be found in a mans leather bar and still be able to tell you "its not what it appears". No shame from this man what so ever. Save it Phil! You and your hideous mind numbingly incompetent Labour colleagues will never be forgiven for what you have done to this country..NEVER!NEVER!NEVER...delivered in Ian Paisley style.

  • Comment number 29.

    What I saw in this programme was a stack of photocopies of so-called visa letters, not originals with an actual signature. I doubt very much any border agent would have accepted these obviously fraudulent documents. And at no point did the report mention the fact that as of 22 February 2010 visa letters are no longer even being used.

    Not the best example of investigative reporting I've ever seen on the BBC, folks.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think the minister who has just quoted all that jobcentre plus is supposed to be doing for the unemployed needs to have been living with my friend and I since we were made redundant last May - we both want to work and currently I have just finished a temp assignment and my friend has got nothing. There have been no courses or help made available from jobcentre plus. I asked for support in updating a crb and was told not considered to lead to a job. I was even told NOT to take temporary work unless it was for more than two weeks work due to the bureaucracy - so the Government representative wants to ensure he is speaking the facts before putting people down who WANT TO WORK!

  • Comment number 31.

    62. At 10:48pm on 24 Feb 2010, Bob

    Many have been using the TheyWorkForYou site. Haven't you?
    My MP has decided to retire and a sincerely hope my emails have been at least a small contributory factor. He has been so awful at responding, I won't be voting for his party, no matter who his replacement is.

  • Comment number 32.

    I heard all the Guardian readership were all dead..they were wrong, there's one of them on here:) Oh what must it be like to be a minority of one I wonder? it must be like the last Dodo felt before he took some lead.

  • Comment number 33.

    22. kevseywevsey, fair cop guv!

    As to the Woolas touch - well, I'm going to have to re-watch that first bit again tomorrow (and write it all down just in case he was telling the truth!), as I started feeling very peculiar whilst trying to listen to him.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    US refuses to endorse British sovereignty in Falklands oil dispute

    ha. there's what the special relationship means to them Tony. Hundreds of Brits dead and billions spent on helping them out means nothing. bring the troops home. let the usa fight its own wars. the way this is going we might soon have our own.

  • Comment number 36.

    Student visa immigration scams...

    The Immigration Minister's less than honest comments, coupled with a more than a little arrogance, need some exposure.

    Before I continue I should mention my empathy with immigration officers and student victims of the student visa scam scenario.

    My remit was China. The exposure that follows is common for many areas in the world, especially the Indian subcontinent and Africa.

    Newsnight's student visa fraud exposure this evening is far from new. During 2004 I contacted Andrew Bomford of the BBC Radio 4 program. His time with me, and consequently elsewhere, exposed the same issues along with the working practices of illegal migrants holding student visas. On that occasion David Blunkett tightened immigration rules (23 April 2004 I recall).

    Taking Chinese student visa applications as an example, I was in China (yet again) for two months between October and December last year. There, student visa applications are dealt with not by the visa section of the consular office but by a Chinese owned subcontractor. In other words, The British Government has shifted obligations for entry to the UK to another state. The Immigration Minister is fully aware of this.

    What happens with a student visa application is this.

    First a student intending to study in the UK first needs to display they will in fact study. Generally, if they have obtained a degree in their homeland, made significant efforts in studying a subject (English language for example) and can display ability, they will pass the intention test. Their intention will be supported by a letter of acceptance to a college or university, especially if they have paid a significant proportion of the institution's fees. The accepting institution must be registered as legitimate. Next, the applicant must satisfy the criterion that they will not rely on State funds. Proof of this is sufficient funds in a bank account to meet all expenses of accommodation, food, study materials and something extra for emergencies. Last, they must display travel plans and duration of stay. Once granted, a student visa (which is authorisation for entry and leave to remain in the UK) would result in arrival of the immigrant. Once in the UK a student is allowed to work 20 hours each week and must register with the Police for each address they live at.

    What used to happen is that student visas would be fraudulently obtained to gain entry for work, not study. Those with insufficient funds, qualifications and other documents would pay an agent to "fix" an application to make it appear they were legitimate. To do this they could borrow funds, wrongly represented as from their own source or family. In fact, funds arranged by an agent attract high rates of interest paid back with the principle when a visa holder works in the UK - usually for 3-5 years. False documents would be provided, including bank account details, qualifications and institution acceptance letters. The latter used to be provided for non-existent colleges. All of this type of fraud was considerably reduced by the implementation of regulations forcing colleges and employers to prove the legitimacy of their students' attendance and employees using a "guilty until proven innocent" system. In this regard, one senior politician was recently caught employing an illegal immigrant. This legislation almost stopped economic immigration fraud with legitimate employers. It largely resolved student fraud from China.

    So how can student immigration fraud continue if there's no employment?

    There are large numbers of firms owned by those originating from the Indian subcontinent who are prepared to employ "illegals". Places like Chinese, African and Middle Eastern restaurants could too, although the occurrence of this has significantly reduced. There are very few checks made on such firms. The problem is comparatively acute with Indian subcontinent employers - not all, of course, but in signicant numbers to warrant illegal entry scams. These employers traditionally employ more of their own country-folk than mixed race employment, contrary to racial descrimination requirements but who gets caught or penalised? Consequently, economic migrants holding falsely obtained student visas find a ready place of income in an underground system. They are afforded accommodation too. In effect, these firms and their illegal migrant employees are off the immigration radar. All it needs to gain entry to this UK underground is an acceptance letter from an educational establishment.

    Why aren't checks carried out by consular officers in British mission visa departments?

    By around 2005/6, consular immigration officers were getting reasonable intelligence as to methods of false documents, the agents providing them, and the techniques used for illegitimate applications. Unfortunately, they have a high workload and their systems were changed more to automated ones. Efforts by immigration officers who once with an experienced eye could quickly detect a false application were usurped by cuts and central government meddling. Do not believe for one moment that Mr Woolass has a handle on immigration control - his spin and arrogance undermines the efforts of those on the front line. Simply put, he needs more officers where needed, not the subcontracting or so-called automation of systems. His methods do not work. They penalise legitimate students (like those over 32 who fail to score on the points based system). They lead to other problems.

    Other problems?

    Once in the UK a "student" having wrongly obtained a visa can stay under the immigration radar, abuse the appeals process once caught, or make ongoing in-country applications when visas come close to expiry. They offer nothing to the income of educational establishments or tax from employment. They chew up a lot of resources when it comes to getting caught. UK residents identifying an illegal immigrant can try to reort to the Police. The Police ask them to contact UKBA. UKBA are ineffective because they are overloaded and under-staffed.

    This sorry mess has been known by Home Secretaries and the Immigration Minister for a considerable time.

    How to deal with it?

    Let immigration officers do their job, their way. Stop sub-contracting UK State duties to other states. Give investigative and penal powers to local authorities - they know the restaurants, supermarkets and factories in their areas and can check several issues at the same time: immigrant legitimacy as well as hygiene and health & safety. Also, they are amenable to reporting from local residents. Make removal of fraud-based immigrants faster and higher profile - this sends a message back to their homeland, to alter generally held opinions of British softness and stupidity.

    Whilst an economic attraction exists, so will the sale of services to obtain visas by any means, student or otherwise. Tonight's Newsnight student visa scam exposure is merely an instance of a common event.

  • Comment number 37.


    We should hunt down all who voted for the rosette that this oaf carried in May 2005, and make them pick Asparagus.

    Woolas made plain that, while railing against the mass of migrant workers flooding into Britain, WE SHOULD BE MINDFUL OF THE 2 MILLION BRITS IN SPAIN. If that 'computes' in any rational brain, let me know.
    To me it sounds like TWICE THE PROBLEM, if the Brits are 'like for like'. But I suspect he is being disingenuous (perish the thought) and our 2 million are net-spenders of their pensions.

  • Comment number 38.

    24th February ,program..

    I watched tonight’s TV program on immigration on the employment market, European labor vs. English labor force, then followed by the newsnight show..

    I believe the Indian restaurant was an unfair, anyone going into the restaurant would need to know the menu, I remember some restaurants have pictures of everything on there menu in the kitchen and know what it would look like and be able to recommend it to the customers on taste, anyone would of found it difficult to cope with names and also going to a Indian restaurant you would want the experience, of going to any foreign eatery, however you could of found an English living Indian who was unemployed wanting work, and placed them into the restaurant.....

    On the farm I felt was also unfair case, anyone who as ever traveled the world working there way round doing two weeks picking, here and there, needs to know that working hard gets you good pay and you have to be motivated by that reason alone, because it is hard work on the body and in some bad weather conditions rain, muddy fields, very hot sunny days, they are always pros and cons to every job, because that is exactly what the farmer is looking for ,he wants you to earn your minimum hourly rate and more, because he also wants to know that your going to return year after year for him, or even the next day, what the program didn’t show was what the foreign workers made on the work they did , was, so that they know it was achievable and above the minimum hourly rate, and hard work does pay….I did it and it paid for one trip covering 29 countries.

    what we need is to lift the eligible rules on being/or given training.....anyone who as never been out of work in there life after 10-15 year of work, would feel like a fish out of water and have no idea where to turn, in all the time they were ever employed probably never had more than twos weeks off, i think you lose your job, made redundant or laid off, next day you go down and sign on, your then given an appointment there and then for three weeks time, you collect a form at the same time for you to take away and fill in and send back one simple form of what you can do, what your looking for, want to do, like to do, change direction or improve the existing skills for a new employer or go back to school, college etc ....

    Then when you go to this appointment, your given a form, to whether to except this new job centre mentor or to except a different one, because if personalities clash you just wont get anyway and either party will just put up barriers, but in that three week period will have already done there home work on you and knows the direct you want to go, and guild you all the way, who will see you through getting back into work, quicker and follow you through the first three months, even if this means only a day a month, having found you what you want because not every job we take is for you, we want it but not what we expected from it so you go through the whole procedure again, but the aim is simple keep you away from day time television and getting into a rutt, unemployable, dependant on dole money, its bad for your health doing nothing, feeling useless, filling the black market or turning to crime ….self worth is good for your health.

    Just remind me who was the immigration minister out of the two MP’s , what a poor performance from this minister.

    We need to freeze immigration coming in from anywhere out of the European Market. For a fixed time unless war breaks out and we need to save lives as if out country depended on it . If we don’t have the skilled labor force then train someone who as at least half the skills or pay a foreign student with incentives to stay in the UK after qualifying at our UK Universities.

    No room at the inn, fab show ,raising these issues once again, but we need to bite our bottom lip and get the 2.7milion unemployed back into work before we relax the flow again…..and maybe we can go that extra mile and allow the unemployed a 20 hours week grace, means tested to earn, declare before been totally penalized ..

    we have a big black market of earners on second incomes also out there, that are been paid cash in hand and no tax to the system ...also needs addressing .

  • Comment number 39.

    The Evan Davis film seems to have been an attempt, at a more subtle approach, at justifying mass immigration, from the advocates of cutthroat market economics. But you simply can’t disguise the fact that forcing down wages to £5.80 per hour, in any job, for a UK resident is cheap labour. The costs of living in the UK; put you clearly in an underclass, at this level of pay. This makes the employers richer, leading to massive and increasing inequality. All the excuses for this, on the program, from employers to politicians have become so obviously class based, you can see the contempt they have for the British working class. This because the British working class are less deferential to the employers and ruling classes; who not only get cheap labour from immigrants, but are given a large ego massage from the forelock tugging, of the grateful immigrants. The bourgeoisie have now become so pompous, leading to even more belittling of the British worker; they say we simply can’t do the jobs. The film tried to show they couldn’t do the jobs, by throwing then straight in to it. It’s easy to show that experienced workers in any job will be better than a new starter, in that job.

    Some of us out here, in working class land, do listen to radio 4 and can see through what Oxford educated economists, championing capitalist market forces, have to say. The type of market economics we are currently living through, will only lead to one thing; Revolution. William Blake put the path we‘re on quite well in Auguries of Innocence I think you can replace whore and gambler with Economist and Banker, but that may be what he meant any way.

    The whore and gambler, by the state
    Licensed, build that nation's fate.
    The harlot's cry from street to street
    Shall weave old England's winding-sheet.

    The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
    Dance before dead England's hearse.

    Every night and every morn
    Some to misery are born,
    Every morn and every night
    Some are born to sweet delight.

    Some are born to sweet delight,
    Some are born to endless night.

  • Comment number 40.

    #35 I've never heard a declaration of war sound so prosaic, Americans are stupid, if they choose to back Argentina and die, well that is their choice, I hope they have brought enough body bags, we don't want their corpses stinking up the place.

  • Comment number 41.

    'Campaigners warned that the country is 'sleepingwalking into a crisis for our elderly population' and similar tales of neglect and poor care are reported daily from around the country.

    Claire Rayner, President of the Patients Association said: “The scale of problems at Stafford might have been unique but failures in essential nursing care are not."

    She said elderly people are 'being neglected on an unacceptable scale in our hospitals'.

    First realised that something terrible was going wrong at our hospitals in 1996 when I had to have a minor operation - an over night stay and a general anesthetic. It was the most terrifying, humiliating and abusive 24 hours Ive ever been through. Its why I decided that we have to almost totally scrap the BBC and purify our society of the curse of celebrity and the crazy financial fees beeb managers think they and their choice of celeb deserve and pour that money into care for our increasing elderly and ill. Its that obsession with 'looks' with 'cool' the young the affinity fraud effectiveness of 'celebrity' which helps program us to revile 'old' 'sagging' 'dependent' 'dying'. When will you get that - make the correlation ? The power of the visual to distort our judgment and value of the self and others . Not only do we have to rid ourselves of that but face up to big pharma making people ill with drugs that have 'side effects' which not only cause the very problem they are prescribed for, but exacerbate it and give you a whole load more. Thank god (sorry that should be Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee) for the internet and the ability to look up medicines and other peoples response to them.

    And look where were at with the Labour party - bullies, financial un-regulation , wide-boy banks the rest of us paying for the bullies horrendous mistakes - 'bankers bonus' while we see abuse of the elderly in hospital .

    Imagine if we couldn't vote to get rid of this lot ? Imagine Brown running around for ever more pretending to be an important leader .

    There was a considerable battle on here and else where in the blogging sphere over the IPCC (intergovernmental panel on climate change) aided by the email scandal we eventually got the message through we can do the same on this.

  • Comment number 42.

    .."It doesn't matter which State it is, any State that chooses to do this in relation to Australian passports, frankly, is treating the Australian people, the Australian Government, and the Australian nation with contempt.

    Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told him that if Israeli involvement was proved it would "not be the actions of a friend".....

    a bit different from our FO approach. i wonder why.

    so the uk stabbed in the back by USA over the Falklands and the Israelis treating the uk people with contempt? These are neither friends nor strategic allies when it comes to British interests?

    Time the Govt woke up that being a doormat for USA and Israel for their interests does not work and never will work the other way around.

    The Uk should realise when it comes to UK security the UK is on its own. It always has been. We should plan on that basis.

  • Comment number 43.

    Centrica breaks through billion pound profit barrier

    ..‘The outlook for 2010 is positive and we are trading in line with expectations, with strong downstream performance offsetting the impact of low gas prices on our upstream businesses,’ said chief executive Sam Laidlaw.

    ‘Whilst the final outturn will depend on a number of factors, including commodity prices, production volumes and downstream consumption levels, we have confidence in the robustness of our business model and in the forward momentum we have created.’ ...

    a business model that depends on the regulator turning a blind eye to the extortionate overcharging of the British public?

  • Comment number 44.

    36. Mike A 'Do not believe for one moment that Mr Woolas has a handle on immigration control - his spin and arrogance undermines the efforts of those on the front line. Simply put, he needs more officers where needed, not the subcontracting or so-called automation of systems. His methods do not work.'

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to explain that.

    Many people here will still not have grasped that New Labour is a member of Social Democratic (social-fascist), USA endorsed, Socialist International which has has always, since the end of WWII, promoted free-market anarchism, i.e deregulation (privatisation). New Labour does not get its funding (and thus policy direction/development) from the sources which statist Old Labour once relied upon (which is presumably why Blair was so cosy with investment banks - remember the NN coverage of the Ks & Ps saga and New Labour's funding?).

    What we now have as 'regulators' (of all kids, not just the FSA) are deregulators (anarchsists) - sinecures which ensure intertia if not entropy because like agencies (which are just steps away from privatisation), have little or no power/resources - that's how the organs of state have slowly been eroded via 'reform' over decades. The same goes for government Inspectorates etc. Finally, powers have been sucked away into the EU, which itself is just a sinecure to sap domestic British (and other member state's) powers. This all allows banks etc to do as they wish. This is naked capitalism in all its 'glory'. They pay the pipers.

    I wish more could see this and develop it for the benefit of others - but to many, it's so bad/ugly that they can't believe it's true.....

  • Comment number 45.

    Just seen a polar explorer on the beeb news. When prompted on us being skeptical causing frustration on scientific evidence he replied that 'the science is 'unchallenge-able'

    No qualification by the interviewer of why we are skeptical, why not ?

    If science isn't challenge-able what is it, is it science ?

    Oh dear !

    The question - is Co2 output causing higher acidity in the upper layers of the oceans leading to marine life extinctions ?

  • Comment number 46.

    #39 Stephen Hughes, I agree with all of your post. I wish there had been more information on the affects of such a huge quantity of extra people in the area, but it was barely touched on.

    Nobody asked the indigenous parents at the school how their children were coping with a massive influx of foreign children. Did the locals education suffer, at such a young age it's all about playing, but what happens when the foreign children start school at say 8 or 13. I found Evans film all a bit shallow, I don't feel any better informed, as you say it was saying how wonderful immigration is for us.

    How Woolas keeps his job I just don't know, he sat slouched in his chair, looking like a naughty school boy he didn't apear to understand anything. I've never heard him say anything different, it's always the same old script, repeated ad nauseum, we are tough on immigration. HHmmm the student visa scam, shows just how tough they are.

  • Comment number 47.

    21. At 10:37pm on 24 Feb 2010, Statist wrote:

    "I do not think an Englishman can do the job as well as an Indian man"

    Is that racist?


    Very good point!

    Contextually, it may be if e.g. used by the BBC as a leader as it may be abusing its editorial responsibility to put statements like that, into context and give a balanced programme.

    I watched Newsnight last night and I thought it that it was quite a good programme but had some serious flaws on content such as the big issue:

    'JOHNNIE FOREIGNER PAYS LITTLE OR NO TAX WHILE IN THE UK' I can hear the 'Liberterian yellow backed British sell out' howls of protest coming in to those seeking the world's first totally politically correct immigrant biased and protective environment i.e Britain.

    But what I mean is this - migrant workers have a major advantage over British workers - they generally are young, single, accustomed to travel and living in subsidised accommodation and hard vegetable field picking graft, they pay little if any council taxes or rent and pay little or no income or other taxes while in the UK and many are paid cash in hand.

    This obviously puts British workers at a major disadvantage and whilst mant brits can be described as lazy as not wishing to pick e.g asparagus - the employment laws favour the immigrant if the farmer can contravene EU employment laws and pay immigrant workers less than the UK minimum wage and make UK workers become much much expensive.

    How about topping up British workers to the UK minimum wage using the monies they would otherwise receive from the government in unemployment and other benefit payments and create a level playing field for British workers - again on the likelihood that many of the Jonnie foreigners pay little or no UK taxes but consume British health and other social services for themselves and in some cases their families.

    How about a follow up programme to investigate the financial side of this situation so as to end media discrimination against British workers?

    Get real BBC!

  • Comment number 48.

    39 -
    'The bourgeoisie have now become so pompous, leading to even more belittling of the British worker; they say we simply can’t do the jobs. The film tried to show they couldn’t do the jobs, by throwing then straight in to it. It’s easy to show that experienced workers in any job will be better than a new starter, in that job. '

    It was absolutely shameful wasn't it. Do they think we are idiots, well yes they do.
    Were forced to pay for the propaganda - switch off.

  • Comment number 49.

    Now for one of the only sensible politians in parliament

    And his conversation with Evan

    And what really gets peoples backs up

    I know, I know it's the sun, but it gets to the heart of the matter! It's blunt and to the point, just why are we forced to house people that have no right to be here. As I read in another newspaper the whole world can walk right in here on this proviso.

  • Comment number 50.

    Still, is there any point? I mean, really?

  • Comment number 51.

    Kirsty Wark just has to go . Irrespective of the rights or wrongs of the case, the BBC spend best part of the evening building up a story, and she serves Woolas a platform to regail us with how good Labour have performed on the matter, on a plate. Does n't she listen to what is being said?

    Woolas------- We took steps against the college on 15 th FEB. The film showed documents being obtained on 3 rd and 5th FEB.
    Woolas -------- Remember Kirsty 2 m UK citizens live and work in Europe. That represents less than 0.1 % of the European population, 3 m immigrants represents 6 % UK population.

    Farmer Giles------We need seasonal employees, asparagus is only a 6 week duration. He either makes a lot of money from asparagus, and he is not paying his staff accordingly, or he has other crops throughout the year. That 's what seasonal means. Traditionally farm workers were retained, but who put an end to that society?

    The worst performance for a long time, by everyone, or did her earpiece fall out? I bet you guys did n't get paid less than the minimum wage for that.

    On the subject of immigration.

    It is poignant that there have been programmes recently on the miners strike. At least Thatcher fought the unions in the open.
    What government seeks to destroy the results of 100 years of union activity,

    By flooding the workplace with people unfamiliar with UK principles, prepared to work for less than minimum wage in any uncontrolled environment.

    By permitting no common language, least of all English, thus ensuring no rallying calls. Even Arthur Scargill would have had his work cut out in this environment.

    Thus destroying 100 yrs of post industrial development.

    New Labour ? ------- How true the phrase.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    47. 'Very good point!'

    I've got more you know...:-)

  • Comment number 54.

    48. flicks 'It was absolutely shameful wasn't it. Do they think we are idiots, well yes they do.'

    Here's a useful hint as to why - think also 'useful idiots'.

    As to 'the bourgeoisie' - just remember, it was Jewish anarchists who brought down our Russian ally in WWI.

    All you need to do is depict bright people as 'bourgeoisie', and then appeal to 'oppressed' (not very bright) people aka the peasants/underclass, to topple them. Then, of course, you take power yourself and run a free-market NEP (see 1920s USSR)! If lucky, a Stalin may take charge (or a Franco, or a Hitler) to thwart the anarchists' cunning plans, but then they'll migrate somewhere else, like over to the USA, UK etc and in the end declare a 'war on terror' against statists i.e. family folk, the world over, declaring them to be 'evil-doers' etc.

    Life eh?

  • Comment number 55.

    49. ecolizzy 'And what really gets peoples backs up'

    You're right you know. I can rarely find fault with what you post, and I do try (constructively of course).

    This has nothing to do with race, creed, colour etc, it is all about human diversity and finding dignified places for people according to their abilities and needs. This covers young people and the elderly.

    But to do that, one needs to manage i.e to govern, and to govern there have to be contraints on freedoms, i.e. freedom to have as many (or as few) children as one wants without concern to the social good. It all comes down to the birth rate and management of behaviour. How many children and by whom.

    Evan Davis just does not get it in my view. Neither does Kirsty Wark in my view. They are far too quick with their words without thinking about what they are actually saying. For example, what does it really mean 'not to be bothered'? This dispenses with the real problem by shifting what matters to the realm of the psychological, and that is what is always being done. Glib answers = no understanding.

    Or should we all just accept that this is just entertainment?

  • Comment number 56.

    49. ecolizzy From your (Express) link:

    'Mr Field said that Britain has been operating an “open borders policy to allow people to come from countries where wages are a fraction of the wages in this country to compete with British workers”.

    Mr Field was welfare minister under Tony Blair but quit after Labour shied away from introducing his proposals for curbing welfare benefits.'

    The problem is, there is no real Opposition from the Conservatives or Liberal-Democrats. The fringe parties are not credible either.

    We were made too scared of the Soviet bogeyman. Oddly, nobody is scared of Stalinist China, even though it is more Soviet than the old USSR, has nuclear weapons, a much bigger army than the USSR ever did etc and has a much larger population. Odd eh? Mind you, so much is odd these days eh?

  • Comment number 57.


    We are animals - largely programmed as inimals - with a thin veneer of 'humanity. Nature, in all foms of life, has ruthless strategies to keep the gene line going. (That weed, struggling in a pavement crack, grows to a fraction of normal size AND FLOWERS

  • Comment number 58.

    CONTINUING #57 (Windows huh)

    WE, being children of nature, are also ruthless. It is unlikely ruthless nature has programmed us to be positive toward the living dead. And we all know that our 'humanity' is projected onto pets with no more worthwhile life in them. Zimbardo has shown how nasty we can be. That is the same nastiness THAT MUST ARISE in care homes, simply because we are animals - if for no other reason.

  • Comment number 59.

    that minister was just creepy. Anyone who had a nation building science would be able to say how many migrants were 'needed' over and above the existing workforce.
    But as we know there is no nation building science. So its not surprising the govt do not have one. what they do have is an ideology 'to rub noses into multiculturalism'.

    which is more a trot fit rather than a nation building policy.

    Climate 'science'.

    150 years of data is hardly enough in terms of climate trends?
    but none of this is about climate but about a one world govt religion that wants to use carbon trading as the plaything of specially trained leadership elders.

  • Comment number 60.

    As a Brit living in Spain, I couldn't help getting heated when Phil Woolas glibly described how well the Brits are doing in Spain. He used the phrase "living and working". Well I'll tell you that most just live here as they are retired, they draw their pensions and get no help from the Spanish state whatsoever. Some are caught in the pension trap, but there is no pension credit to top up their income which in my view are fully entitled to as they have paid all their dues to the UK exchequer. Many people in this category are suffering but there is no help from the UK. Thanks to Gordon Brown the pound has devalued,which makes it even harder to exist here. Those who do work are not given any priority by the Spanish, and it is difficult to get any employment with an established company as Spanish citizens come first. I actually support the Spanish view point in this, you should look after your own first.Where the Brits are working, in most cases they are self employed, or employed by other Brits, providing services to the British community. So don't let Phil Woolas fool into thinking that the all is rosey here because it isn't.

  • Comment number 61.

    Woolas - spread like smug full fat lard all over Kirsty. Today 12 noon he was back - dug-in like a tick in a pigs ear - this time smoked out and snookered by an Andrew Neil redaction request.

    You need very good research to deal with Woolas - but no matter he comes across as a smug tick that just wont go away and that's why he will be voted away.

    oh dear

  • Comment number 62.


    "Still, is there any point? I mean, really?"

    Oh STATIST! You disappoint me. OF COURSE THERE IS NO POINT. Well - none that Man in his current level of knowledge/enquiry can divine/define.
    Come on Statist - you know that. This is where a faith can be useful - we tell ouselves we are subordinate, BUT OF SOME RELEVANCE. If one can't manage faith - be sure to have the right brain-chemistry for unfounded positivity - even optimism.

    As things stand: "I blog because I am". (I think you do too.) I am made up of a very precise arrangement of elements, courtesy of a Universe I can't explain and a watery planet of life-conducive configuration. However, it would seem that there is a further supply of elements, IN AN INODRDINATE ABUNDANCE, in this universe, that can make millions more suitable planets, and numberless more me-like beings; all potential bloggers.

    So no more ill-founded, rhetorical questions Statist. It lowers the tone, and does your reputation for rigor no favours.

  • Comment number 63.

    Thanks for the links.
    Frank Field is only one of a few in the Labour Govt who actually has a brain. His debating partner - the economist - was way of the mark, another insulated chap, reality eacapes him. Evan Davis's little film, like most other BBC productions on issues of immigration, whilst interesting, was easily deconstructed with the only conclusion that your left with; it was biased. A classic BBC production.

  • Comment number 64.

    61. flicks - He appears to eat panty-liners, tampons and nappies!

    It takes all sorts. We are indeed a nation which now tolerates, respects, nay reverses, diversity!

  • Comment number 65.

    Someone appears to have used the H word, so I guess this threat is dead.

    But here’s some light entertainment.

    Is this a good analogy of the society we live in today?

    Cutthroat Capitalism – the game

  • Comment number 66.

    62. barriesingleton 'So no more ill-founded, rhetorical questions Statist. It lowers the tone, and does your reputation for rigor no favours.'

    Did you not like my Nigel Farage link then? I thought it illustrated our idiocratic plight of intertia quite well.

  • Comment number 67.


    The clue is in the name. He is a consummate wool-puller and the rest is obvious.

    Why has he got this respoNsibility? Whence his aptitude for 'human management' (let alone HUMANE)? Who gifted him this position? It is just bloody Westminster at its most crass - again. And we must watch it unfold (or should that be ooze out?) for the statutOry period, until it is time for the parties to bribe us at election, with our own money, or with quid-pro-quo donations from dodgy operators.


  • Comment number 68.

    #64 It takes all sorts. We are indeed a nation which now tolerates, respects, nay reverses, diversity!

    Hhhmm Stat another figure I find no one knows about, they look at me as if I'm mad if I talk about it. The 50,000 children in Europe, who now recieve child benefit at Britains rate, they don't live here, their father or mother just works here. Now I wouldn't deny these children benefit at all, but how about paying the going rate for the country they reside in. It gives those few children a huge advantage over their compatriots, does it not?

  • Comment number 69.

    Re #'s 61 and 64....Woolas' purchase of womens clothes, sanitry products and nappies...

    Reminds me a bit of the the Stephen Milligan story...but without the favourable ending!

  • Comment number 70.


    'Classic BBC Productions' are proud to announce the acquisition of a See-through Software, to be used right across all BBC output. Eagle eyed, obsessive viewer, Barrie Singleton, has already noticed translucent buses and ethereal pedestrians. In the interests of economy, the BBC will 'do to death' is expensive piece of technology; no stone will remain opaque. By order: an Overpaid Executive.

  • Comment number 71.

    67. bariesingleton 'The clue is in the name. He is a consummate wool-puller and the rest is obvious.'

    Maybe it's that diet of his?

    PS. That should have been 'reveres' in 64.

  • Comment number 72.


    My admonition was over YOUR rhetorical question; nothing to do with the link. Mr Farage can't help himself, he IS a politician, soul sold, damnation assured. YOU, however, have no excuse. And now you have compounded the matter!

  • Comment number 73.


    Nice! All is forgiven.

  • Comment number 74.

    72. barriesingleton ' YOU, however, have no excuse. And now you have compounded the matter!'

    "I take your point and I understand the extrapolation.".. However..."The original accusation is untrue. I am being hung out to dry for being honest."

  • Comment number 75.

    "The important moves were made by Kinnock and Smith in whose teams Brown and Blair were minor players. Tony Blair is merely putting the gloss on; dumping the remnants of the ideological baggage, emasculating the membership and the unions, prior, I would guess, to instituting state funding of the political parties and the final transformation of the Labour Party into the reliable political face of the European Union, NATO, the global economy and the power of the moneylenders.

    Robin Ramsay to Labour Party branches in late 1996

    Politics eh, you've got to laugh....


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