Which mental disease is Aditya Chakrabortty suffering from today?

If it was staff you wanted, you could offshore your work to Asia, or outsource it to an agency that relied on imported workers from eastern Europe. Out of sight, out of mind, big companies could now make invisible large tranches of their workforce.

But no other country faces our one-two of Brexit and Covid. That has prompted a mini-exodus of eastern European workers from the UK – more than one in four Bulgarian and Romanian workers have left since the start of 2020 – which is primarily what accounts for those empty supermarket shelves, the fruit left unpicked, the small-town hotels that have just lost their second summer in a row. Perhaps slamming the door on the way out is the only way an invisibilised, underprotected and underpaid workforce gets our attention.

OK, mass immigration lowers the wages of the workers. The absence of the mass immigration will raise the wages of the workers.

Yet if you actually said to Aditya, well, does immigration damage the wages of the workers he would stoutly, even hysterically, deny it.

That’s a sufficient mental contortion to be regarded as an illness, isn’t it?

23 thoughts on “Which mental disease is Aditya Chakrabortty suffering from today?”

  1. Didn’t I read in the ‘Mail’ just the other day that Waitrose HGV drivers were raking it in as a result of the demand for delivery workers?

    Gosh, maybe the market will sort itself out without any help from Aditya…

  2. Isn’t one of the main issues with HGV drivers that the sainted State that Aditya loves is failing to process enough HGV tests to allow people to avail themselves of the new higher wages for HGV drivers?

  3. Incidentally it is highly amusing that the people who are decrying the effect of Brexit on labour shortages are the very same ones who have spent the last 15-20 years insisting that importing millions of extra workers has not one jot of effect on workers wages…..it is quite rare for an economic argument to be settled in such a conclusive manner in such a short space of time.

  4. There’s an interesting comment in here from a fruit farmer

    https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/people/absolute-bedlam-as-hundreds-turn-up-for-free-raspberries-after-yorkshire-farm-cancels-harvest-because-of-worker-shortage-3367886

    “She said they’d stopped growing strawberries a few years ago “because it’s cheaper not to grow them.” “Our bank balance looked much healthier not growing 40 tonnes of strawberries,” she said.

    “There’s a lot of people coming out of soft fruits according to our agronomist – if you’re not in it in a big way, it’s not worth it.””

    If there’s raspberries on the shelves in the supermarket, clearly someone is picking them…

  5. I still haven’t spotted any missing produce in our local M&S or Waitrose. Perhaps they pay their drivers a bit better or haven’t outsourced their warehousing to the lowest bidder?

  6. BoM4 – PYO is a thing. Has been for donkeys. Farmer buys a pallet load of plastic or cardboard punnets, and a couple of scales. Job done.

    Something doesn’t smell right about that story.

  7. Ducky,

    “BoM4 – PYO is a thing. Has been for donkeys. Farmer buys a pallet load of plastic or cardboard punnets, and a couple of scales. Job done.

    Something doesn’t smell right about that story.”

    Yeah. Why wouldn’t you do that?

    The problem with a lot of stories about businesses is that sometimes, they’re just shit at their jobs. And they always blame the government. “I can’t get people” well, someone can, because the local Co-Op isn’t short of anything.

  8. He’s just upset that English people might get jobs….

    And better paid jobs too.

    It’s the Graun of course, but there was some stupid bitch writing in the Telegraph the other day, claiming immigration had little effect on wages. Leftist malice and stupidity is everywhere.

  9. PYO isn’t all plain sailing. There needs to be somewhere for people to park and the location shouldn’t be too remote either so people can walk from the cars to where the crop is.

    Then, there are the problems you can expect from the Great British Public as presently constituted. Whereas folk would previously pick what they wanted, then pay for it and go away, the predation now caused by people grazing ad lib. and damaging crops has become a serious disincentive.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    All EU nationals were given the opportunity to stay with minimal bureaucracy so I don’t see why it was Brexit that created the problem. I can see why Brexit is making it difficult to cheaply fix the problem, but that was part of the reason for Brexit.

  11. Brexit has had the effect of losing one job local to me. My Tesco local no longer employs a security guard to stop the local infestation of Roma engaging in prolific shoplifting as the numbers of Roma appears to have decreased locally (unfortunately still a few left) No doubt the remaining Roma will take up the slack in due course and the guard will reappear. I never thought I’d see a security guard in what’s basically a slightly large corner shop.

  12. From the consumer end, Pick Your Own only works if it’s local, doesn’t need transport, isn’t “gatekeeper”ed and isn’t a specific journey just for that one task. So, essentially, foraging in hedgerows and the local park is what I do. I’d be in the park anyway, I’d be strolling down that lane anyway, combine it with harvesting nature “to the extent one can carry”. Came back with two buckets of blackberries last weekend.

    Paying to do somebody else’s harvesting is not my idea of a fun day out.

  13. “All EU nationals were given the opportunity to stay with minimal bureaucracy so I don’t see why it was Brexit that created the problem. I can see why Brexit is making it difficult to cheaply fix the problem, but that was part of the reason for Brexit.”

    Surely the most obvious trigger for the Eastern Europeans getting out of Dodge would be Covid? Covid and Brexit occurred pretty much simultaneously, how can anyone say it was Brexit that triggered a mass exodus, especially when everything had been sorted, there was no great need for people to leave after the UK legally left the EU?

    If I’d been a migrant worker type rammed together with loads of others in shit accommodation when the covid thing hit I’d have been off at the first opportunity, back home, which at the time seemed less affected than the UK.

    Does anyone know whether the leave to remain in the UK that European nationals got after Brexit allows them to come and go to and from the UK? Or if they leave do they lose it? That’s certainly the case for some permission to remain categories, my late father had carers who were from Fiji, they’d done a tour in the British Army and got leave to remain in the Uk when it finished. But if they leave the UK they can’t re-enter, they’re stuck here permanently, if they want to live here. So does the same apply to any European national who had a right to stay post Brexit, but went home because of the Covid?

  14. TMB – it looks like it’s this place;

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Sand+Hutton,+York+YO41+1LH/@54.0151593,-0.920293,384m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x48792bed543da087:0xdb3ad146daab6716!8m2!3d54.0156701!4d-0.9195117

    Or search for Sand Hutton Asparagus.

    On the map, you can see (don’t know how old the aerial photos are) the areas given over to asparagus, and the soft fruit. Not sure what the ‘gridded’ area with small huts is – pigs? Chickens? Pigs seem to be further east.

    Either way, parking doesn’t appear to be a problem, nor distance to the crop. Access off the road down the track might be, but not beyond the wit of man to sort out.

    Drop into Streetview on the main road at the entrance, and there’s a board out advertising asparagus at £3.20 a bundle/lb, so they’re already running a farm shop – which is what the ArseBook page is all about.

    There is something else going on here.

  15. “Gosh, maybe the market will sort itself out without any help from Aditya…”

    That is what he’s most afraid of.

  16. @Jim it depends on the time they’ve been in the UK before Brexit. Anyone with 5 years or more were offered settled status which can only be lost if they spend 5 consecutive years outside the UK. Those here for fewer than 5 years got pre-settled status which is more limited but can be upgraded once they reach 5 years residence. Plus you only need to be in the country for 6 months out of any 12 month period. Plus there’s loads of leeway if you were stuck outside due to covid restrictions. So they’re free to come and go as they please.

    There is also a seasonal worker visa available to EU nationals to come to the UK for farm work.

  17. Doubt it. These things are usually pretty reciprocal. I applied for residence here when the UK looked like it finally made up its mind to go. I can travel in & out. My status changed because I now have to abide by the conditions of residence rather right of residence. For instance health care insurance. Sustain a sufficient income.

  18. @Paul/Bis: in that case why would the Fijians who had served in the Army be given such a restrictive right of residence? Seems pretty shitty to me – ‘Oh yes you can come and be shot at in the British Army and we’ll allow to to stay afterwards but if you leave once thats it, but some random Romanian beggar who has never lifted a finger to help the UK can come and go as they please’.

  19. Oh yes you can come and be shot at in the British Army and we’ll allow to to stay afterwards but if you leave once thats it, but some random Romanian beggar who has never lifted a finger to help the UK can come and go as they please

    It’s exactly that sort of lack of fair/equal treatment that added weight to the BRExit thing, the fact that EU ne’er-do-well’s like the Roma / Irish Travellers and other pikeys were free to come and go as they please, exporting their proceeds of crime back home without so much as a Money Laundering check or a by-or-leave, whereas Philippino nurses (of which the NHS is heavily reliant) have to jump through hoops to come here and do the messy jobs that our degree educated nurses are now “too posh to do”.

    So yes. I prefer the post-BRExit AND post-COVID aspect of their being AT LEAST SOME barriers to scrotes coming and going.

  20. “Irish Travellers and other pikeys were free to come and go as they please”

    They still are. Shame that Brexit didn’t put an end to that as well.

  21. @Jim, they wanted to leave the EU without upsetting anyone so the usual ILR rules on residence were bumped up from 2 years to 5. The idea being that it’s indefinite with a but and a need to stay here or at least visit regularly which I imagine is a lot more difficult if you’re in Fiji

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