Immigration Controls

I think you\’ll find that this was predicted:

According to Romanians who have worked in Britain, many who exercise their right as EU citizens to enter the country simply disappear into the black economy. Others sidestep the regulations by seeking self-employed status or by securing a contract with a British firm.

Daniela Marinescu, who runs the Phoenix recruitment agency from an office in a concrete block near the centre of Bucharest, said the rules simply pushed those who wanted to work in Britain underground. "Most people who want to go to the UK will go there to find jobs on the black market," she said.

All that happened, following the denial of the right to work, but with the right to enter as EU citizens, was that people entered and worked illegally. Such a victory for those wanting immigration curbed, eh?

You What?


Fresh doubts over the Government\’s immigration figures emerged last night after new statistics showed that almost one million people from outside Europe have been given the right to work in Britain over the past three years.

This is the one part of the immigration process that the Government can, in theory, control. And they can\’t even count it properly, let alone control it?


Well, sorta. John Kampfner is generally pretty good in this piece about immigration. Distinguishing between asylum and economic migration and so on. Except, except:

In truth, nobody could have envisaged the scale of the influx. A decade or more of strong economic growth has been cause and the consequence of such a higher number of immigrants. It is the middle classes, and employers in general, who have benefited most from a ready source of eager, skilled and undemanding workers. They have driven down wages and business costs, thereby increasing profits.

No, the people who have benefitted the most are the immigrants themselves. That always gets left out of the calculations from people like MigrationWatch and it shouldn\’t be left out. We\’ve clearly and obviously had an increase in both human happiness and wealth as a result of this wave of immigration. Sure, ther are also problems associated with it: but when looking at any form of cost benefit analysis we do have to include all of the costs and all of the benefits.

A Grown Up Debate on Immigration

Yes, as David Cameron says, let\’s have a grown up debate on immigration. Most important that we do actually.

Immigration is too high and must be reduced, David Cameron is to announce.

In his first major speech on the issue, the Tory leader will challenge Gordon Brown to a "grown-up" debate.

As has been noted here before the only one of the four types of immigration that the UK really controls is family reunification. Intra EU movements cannot be stopped, asylum is ruled by UN agreements and extra EU economic migration is about to become subject to the new EU "blue cards".

So anyone who wants to seriously change the amount of immigration needs to state that we have to be outside the EU for this to happen. That would be the adult debate…we\’d like to change this situation but we don\’t actually have the power to do so. So how do we reclaim it?

I\’m, as most will know, in favour of the free movement of labour, so I\’m not actually advocating that we do change the immigration rules. Just pointing out that it\’s all very well to talk about it, but if you don\’t actually have the power to change it, then that\’s all it is, talk.

Seumas on Health Care

Is it too much to ask for factual accuracy in a newspaper?

UnitedHealth is the largest healthcare corporation in the US, making billions of dollars a year out of cherry-picking patients and treatments, squeezing costs and restricting benefits to 70 million Americans forced to get by in the developed world\’s only fully privatised health system.

The US does not have a fully privatised health care system, nothing like. For one thing, "privatised" means that it was once a socially provided system which was then returned to the private sector. As the US system has never been fully socially provided, "private" might have done, but "privatised" is simply incorrect.

It\’s also entirely incorrect because the US system is not fully private either. With Medicare, Medicaid, the VA and so on something like 50% of the US system is in fact socially provided. In the UK, it\’s 90%. What we have here is a difference in emphasis, not the complete divide that Milne is suggesting.

Last month, UnitedHealth agreed with insurance regulators in 36 states to pay out $20m in fines for failures in processing claims and responding to patient complaints. That follows a string of other fines over delayed payments, Medicare fraud and "cheating patients out of money" in New York State.

It\’s a different way of doing it, for sure, but then that\’s the way the US does its regulating, through the courts. It might not be the best system ever but it contrasts quite nicely with how the NHS Trusts deal with their own failures, doesn\’t it? Wasn\’t that manager in line for a £250,000 pay off for presiding over the deaths by infection of 100 or so people before the mob started to bay?

a compelling indictment of the US health system – under which 18,000 Americans die a year because they are uninsured.

Interesting number I\’ve not seen before. Anyone know where it comes from?Worth contrasting that with the 100,000 Americans a year who die because they do get medical treatment though, isn\’t it? And how many does the NHS kill?

I agree with him that the current reforms don\’t look all that good, and that recent ones have not performed as advertised: but why is it necessary to make such statements clearly not grounded in reality to try and bolster the case?

Maddy Bunting Sensible Column Shocker!

No, really, she\’s actually managed to make contact with the same planet the rest of us live on:

No, Brown is much too savvy a politician; he\’s been wary of going anywhere near this most difficult of public debates. Yet in a poll in the summer, voters put reducing immigration as the task they most wanted the new prime minister to tackle, well ahead of health or education. He may dodge the issue today, but at some point Brown has to get stuck into how you persuade the voters that: a) migrants bring economic benefits – indeed, parts of our economy would collapse without them; b) rapid migration is not a cost-free option; and c) it\’s worth paying for.

What is the world coming too when we\’ve got good sense from the Mahdi in The Guardian?