Another two strikes for Jacqui

Jacqui Smith has already won my coveted “Most hated UK female politician after Margaret Thatcher” award. But she’s still in there fighting for the crown, seeing off any opposition. On current showing she could even beat Anne Widdecombe into the ground.

Two triumphs for Jacqui today, then, in her claim to the title. And it’s a Sunday, ffs. Surely Parliament is shut? Who’d have expected she’d even be in London today. She must be staying in her “main residence?” *snigger*

The first was just annoyingly typical of the Home office’s recent encroachments into every area of civil life. The police have apparently taken to rounding up teenagers who are out late at night and taking them home.

Operation Staysafe was intended to stop children becoming victims of crime or being drawn into criminal behaviour.

This was a police operation that was supposedly for the good of the community and for the young people’s own good.

More than 1,000 young people were spoken to by Staysafe teams, and 103 were referred to other services, according to Home Office figures.

Oh, yes, and add all their personal details to the stop and search database, in passing.

You have to assume this is a general Home Office policy. The Home Secretary is happy to take credit for it, anyway.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith says it is unacceptable for parents not to know what their children are up to at night.

Do I have to explain the nature of adolescence, Jacqui? Teenagers tell lies to their parents. (They are “going to the library” or staying with acceptable friend X. ) So they can hang out with their mates and get drunk and so on. It’s part of being a youth. Transgressing, defining one’s identity in opposition to the adult world, all that complex natural stuff.

Sure teenagers make mistakes. that’s generally part of the learning process. Sometimes those mistakes have really bad consequences but there are few circumstances in which getting dragged home to your Mum and Dad in a squad car would be a better option.

More seriously, Jacqui has been responding to the immigrant-scapegoating agenda set by the BNP and the Daily Mail. By parroting their nonsense.

She is trying to steal the anti-immigrant sector’s clothing and wear it as her own.

Immigrants should not be able to take a skilled job in the UK unless it has been advertised to British workers, the home secretary has said.

This can only apply to non-EU workers, of course. So she is actually referring to a tiny number of immigrants. Not enough to satisfy the anti-immigration opportunists, but accepting their definition of “immigration” as a serious problem.

From April, non-EU workers wanting to come to Britain without securing a job beforehand must have a master’s degree – rather than a bachelor’s degree, as currently – and a previous salary equivalent to at least £20,000.

What is this about? A master’s degree? A salary of £20k?

The BBC sets some context for this, but somehow – like the BNP and the Home Secretary and the Tory party – is determined to present it as an inti-immigrant issue:

The employment of foreign labour has been a high-profile issue recently after a week-long dispute at the French-owned Lindsey oil refinery in eastern England, which was settled when operators Total agreed to hire more local employees.

These disputes were not anti-foreigner. (In any case, the French, Portuguese etc workers that the firms have been planning to import were all EU workers.) They were about the awarding of contracts for crucial UK infrastructure projects to foreign firms, which then imported their own employees.

Now, this seems to me to be a completely different issue. These were projects which would gather profits from British customers and the UK government for non-UK companies. They could at least have had the grace to provide some UK jobs. The workers were angry at the process of awarding contracts not at the workers who were brought in.

The far right have tried to frame these disputes in anti-immigrant terms that would make them appear to have political leadership. And, who could blame individual workers for seeing the disputes in anti-immigrant terms if the government is willing to do so.

Shame on you, Jacqui Smith. Shame on the government if you allow the Daily Mail or worse to drive your agenda.

3 thoughts on “Another two strikes for Jacqui

  1. Unfortunately, this seems par for the course – every politician who becomes Home Secretary seems to veer sharply towards excessive authoritarianism. Must be something in the Home Office water!

  2. It is insane. It depresses me that the labour party have become so obsessed with power that any concept of “social values” has been thrown down the pan so that they can pander to the readership of the Daily Mail (etc).

    The cynic in me worries this is just an easy way for the government to improve its database of the population, with each stop making sure your details go on the great big central record.

    It is equally comical that this tirade is against “immigrants” when, as you say, the majority of those who offend the Mail are EU members. These laws will restrict the numbers of already skilled workers coming into this country at a time when skilled labour is needed. We have outsourced our physiotherapy departments to Australians because they have the skills – if we stop them coming in, it will take a decade for us to grow our own skills.

    Equally, what fundamental difference is there in a skilled worker with a Bachelors degree rather than a Masters? It is crazy, meaningless pandering to the stupidity of the herd. The government shames the entire nation.

    Personally, I now think we should have a law saying no political party can serve more than 1 term in government. If they spend more time, they no longer consider themselves accountable to the public for anything other than seeking re-election. Think back to 1997 when Labour had good ideas and were seeking to rescue the nation from too many years under the Conservatives. The same happened to them when they rescued the nation from Labour. It seems 4 years is as long as a political party can survive…

    [BTW: Grumpy Bob – great site]

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