Jonathan Freedland is deluded

They picture the young Brit who will now need a hard-to-get visa to work as, say, a holiday rep in Italy or chef in Portugal,

Umm, why would a young Brit want to work here as a chef?

Sure, the food’s just fine even if not haute in any particular manner. But the pay, compared to British, is shite.

I can imagine coming to work as a cook for the sunshine and beaches and all that. But chef?

31 thoughts on “Jonathan Freedland is deluded”

  1. Somehow, lots of young Americans acquire “hard-to-get” visas to travel and work in the EU. Perhaps they’ll share the secret.

  2. Before the single market, it was hardly unknown for young Brits to pick up seasonal jobs in bars in Spain, France, Italy. Perhaps we just had bigger cojones back then

  3. Damn you, Worstall, I clicked on the link and read a Freedland article. It is so vacuous that it makes his screeds of manlove for Obama seem like chunks of knotty analytical philosophy.

    Instead, they expect – or hope – that the argument might be won generationally and culturally, as young people see their peers in Germany, France or Spain move freely across the continent and demand that same right for themselves.

    It makes you wonder if he has ever visited this exciting place called Europe, where highly qualified doctors and lawyers from Poland, Baltic States, Albania etc wait on tables at Pizza Express, manage the front desk at Travelodges etc. because it pays more than lawyering or doctoring back home, if there were vacancies. They find it much harder to get such jobs in most other countries of the EU (clue is the English language that they tend to speak quite well). The shortage of jobs in the countries they come from is quite a deterrent for Brits to go there in search of casual employ.

    Last summer, on a visit to Narbonne, I made friends with a chef from Spain who had come to work there on a short-term contract because there were zero opportunities back in Spain. He was uncomfortable trying to speak French and liked the chance to practise English with us. Has Freedland factored this in to his unevidenced bullshit?

    This “moving freely around” stuff needs more citation. Does he think that inter-railing will cease to exist? If so, why? As far as I know, all you need to do is show your f**king passport.

    If this bozo had ever visited London, he might notice that the few existing true Italian and Spanish restaurants are invariably staffed by the assorted youthful relatives of the owner from back in the home country. Does he really think this flow will stop? There are work permits and “work permits” and always have been.

    I admit, this does depend on the government letting us out of solitary confinement and permitting the hospitality industry to emerge from coma.

  4. Yes i’ve always thought this is a con of Brexit. But holiday companies help’em with the paperwork if it turns out their customers still want young native english speakers to chivvy them around or cook for them. And this extends the other way. Middle england can’t hire automatically from the whole continent for nanny’s, live in servants. But it’s also an opportunity. I can see Boris’ gvt signing a new bigger enlarged Au pair scheme. he might even put himself personally in charge.

  5. In the last few years I’ve visited France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Czech republic, Slovakia, Austria, Portugal and Poland and have yet to come across any of these mythical youngsters working there. In fact the only person I know who’s worked in Europe was an ex girlfriend and a mate, both specialist computer programmers earning large amounts of money. Myself worked in the Netherlands for 3 months prior to the eec morphing into the EU in 1980. I call bullshit on youngsters from the uk moving to work on the continent.
    Meanwhile where I live is overrun with Roma and various Eastern Europeans. The large amount of Portugese appear to have fucked off.

    Friedland (the man with a face I’d never tire of punching) lives in a fantasy.

  6. Yeap, I’ve worked in 3 Asian countries, each time I found a job then applied for the visa. It wasn’t hard at all, the biggest hassle was taking a train to the embassies in London.

    Ironically the most vocal anti-Brexit ex-pats on my FB feed tend to live in non-EU countries, which I enjoy reminding them.

  7. Myself worked in the Netherlands for 3 months prior to the eec morphing into the EU in 1980.

    I fairly regularly get enquiries into if I fancy a contract working in .nl, even after the referendum and us technically leaving last January. I always tell them “no thanks” due to the crazy cloggie tax laws about personal limited companies. So it’s never been quite as straightforward as the grauniad twats like to pretend.

  8. It would be slightly better if Freedland showed any kind of intellectual consistency. For example, in this article he bemoans the 6.4% drop in GDP that Brexit will cause. Readers of this blog will know instantly that this is a fake number. The person who produced it, probably an economist with zero integrity such as Simon Wrong-Lewis, thinks that the number is a fall in GDP. If it’s less than say 4%, no one will care. Can GDP be measured within 5%. If he says 10% or more, even a chump like Freedland will request more detail. So he goes for 6% and then adds a decimal place to make it seem rigorous.

    However next week he will happily denounce our obsession with growth and demand everyone apart from Guardian journalists stop travelling in planes and burning those wicked fossil fuels. While weeping at the fate of all those poor ammonites

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    I can imagine coming to work as a cook for the sunshine and beaches and all that. But chef?

    Somebody’s got to cook those authentic all-day English breakfasts, washed down with Watneys Red Barrel. Can’t have them funny foreigners sully our national cuisine.

  10. moqifen,

    “In the last few years I’ve visited France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Czech republic, Slovakia, Austria, Portugal and Poland and have yet to come across any of these mythical youngsters working there. In fact the only person I know who’s worked in Europe was an ex girlfriend and a mate, both specialist computer programmers earning large amounts of money. Myself worked in the Netherlands for 3 months prior to the eec morphing into the EU in 1980. I call bullshit on youngsters from the uk moving to work on the continent.”

    There’s a tiny amount of UK-Europe software exchange. Most countries have developers for websites natively. It’s only where they have specific technical needs that they hire people from abroad.

    I Know more people who have gone off to live in the USA and Australia than the whole of the EU (weather, language).

  11. Ironically the most vocal anti-Brexit ex-pats on my FB feed tend to live in non-EU countries, which I enjoy reminding them.

    I have a number of anti-Brexit friends in HK, however my most vocal anti-Brexit chum is based in the UK. He is half-French and speaks fluent French. Guess how many of the 25 years since graduation he has spent working outside the UK?

  12. Meanwhile my most vocally anti-Brexit friend in HK has been desperately keen to move for some years…. to New Zealand.

  13. @jgh – it’s missing a comma “Myself worked in the Netherlands for 3 months prior to the eec morphing into the EU, in 1980″. Ie i worked in 1980 in the netherlands. On reflection it would be better to say” I myself worked in the netherlands in 1980 for 3 months when it was just the eec”.

  14. “the crazy cloggie tax laws about personal limited companies.”

    Maybe because that particular construction has been abused so much it’s attracted Special Attention…

  15. @Diogenes – January 2, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    … he bemoans the 6.4% drop in GDP that Brexit will cause…

    It’s “an old saw” but worth repeating – “economic forecasters use decimal points to show that they have a sense of humour”. 🙂

  16. In the last few years I’ve visited France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Czech republic, Slovakia, Austria, Portugal and Poland and have yet to come across any of these mythical youngsters working there.

    We recently did a six month tour of Europe, mostly the old Eastern bloc. We never saw a British person who wasn’t a tourist.

    The money is so tragically bad, the language issues severe and in any case UK youngsters have zero interest in the continent. As one to tell you anything about Romania other than the capital, for example.

    There are pockets though — Geneva, for example, because of the number of UN and company headquarters. It’s not young people though, but highly qualified movers in early middle age who don’t struggle to get visas.

  17. In the early 90s, Munich was jam-packed full of young-ish Brits and Irish, doing a variety of jobs : building, IT, bar work even (usually pretty, but surly Irish girls).

    I did not need a visa but had to register and obtain an Aufenthaltserlaubnis, I said to the chap at the office, that surely as an EEC citizen I didn’t need one – he just laughed and pointed enigmatically at the big crowd of Africans outside in the corridor.

    I think that I’ve paid all my stamp for a full pension, but I need to keep my wage slips from back then just in case we need to claim anything from the Jerries.

  18. Bloke in North Dorset

    In the early 90s, Munich was jam-packed full of young-ish Brits and Irish, doing a variety of jobs : building, IT, bar work even (usually pretty, but surly Irish girls).

    That started in the ’80s. We used to have a couple of weeks a year doing adventure training, staying at the American Kaserne in Berchtesgaden and the nightclubs really were full of pissed up Scousers doing the Oops Upside Your Head ‘dance’. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet was based on reality.

  19. Back in the 90’s, everywhere you went in Europe was full of Irish Bars. The Italian ones were delightful if not exactly authentic. I know a couple in Munich were actually run by some Turkish blokes.
    To be fair, many of the young folk working in them were Irish, but there were plenty of Brits, Aussies and others from the Anglosphere.
    One of the reasons that Britain is such a hot destination for ‘asylum’ seekers is that we have no necessity to register where we live, like in practically every other European nation.
    Makes it a doddle to work and live under the radar. (and sponge benefits)

  20. So Much For Subtlety

    Chester Draws January 2, 2021 at 7:45 pm – “As one to tell you anything about Romania other than the capital, for example.”

    Dracula?

  21. In the late 50s and early 60s I travelled all over Europe either alone or with my parents.The only time we were subjected to anything other than cursory checks was when we entered East Germany to go to Berlin.I also worked with several people who went Olive or Grape picking in Greece and France and returned to the UK in the winter to see family and earn some real money to fund the next summer.None of them reported any difficulty with work permits or visas.

  22. Let’s look at this in economic terms. How much utility do skilled professionals like cooks and chefs obtain from lifestyle aspects like sunshine and beaches in comparison to the basic salary for a job? I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the regular readers or commenters can point us to relevant academic papers. But it could be an interesting study in how you go about measuring the factors that determine the desirability of any given job when every aspect of its economic and social context is taken into account.

  23. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ Back in the 90’s, everywhere you went in Europe was full of Irish Bars. “

    Asia as well.

    My Irish mate who I worked with on some of those trips assured me they had them in Dublin.

  24. It makes you wonder if he has ever visited this exciting place called Europe, where highly qualified doctors and lawyers from Poland, Baltic States, Albania etc wait on tables at Pizza Express, manage the front desk at Travelodges etc. because it pays more than lawyering or doctoring back home, if there were vacancies.

    It is one of the essentials of Progressivism. I think the loudest adherents secretly enjoy seeing others humbled and forced to serve them in this way.

  25. Presumably all these highly qualified and enthusiastic potential EU workers will now have to languish on the sole in Merrie Olde Engerland!

    Just how valuable is a crappy humanities degree in continental Europe anyway?

    I have to tell the Remainers but the mythical job opportunities for their unemployable offspring are now filled by east Europeans and illegal immigrants

  26. I don’t think the cooks and chefs ever went abroad for the salary and/or sunshine…

    They may well have done it to expand their repertoire, given that “I learned it from a book” loses out on “I picked up the [X] kitchen while working [there] and [there], here’s my references.”
    And being able to do Furrin’ Kitchen properly is a saleable skill as a cook…

  27. Thinking about this – is it really important? Is it really so important that a young British chef be able to take a job in Portugal or elsewhere on the continent that being part of the EU is worth doing to enable that?

    And that leads me to the question – there’s a large number of other countries where its *always* been ‘difficult’ to get a work permit for. So why is being able to work inside the EU more important than being able to work in, say, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, the US, etc?

    Why is being in an economic union with the EU worth putting up with when one with any other nation or set of nations is not?

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