Have you heard? The immigrants ruined Britain

Of all those cockle-pickers who brought the banking system to its knees, not one has voluntarily given back their knighthood. At last the Government is taking action

Share

You know who mucked up the economy, don’t you? It’s obvious from the laws proposed in the Queen’s Speech. It’s immigrants who don’t have their papers in order, that’s who. It was Somali refugees, popping out from their hostel to the local council to say: “Yesterday, on the way home from the Jobcentre, I whiled away the afternoon by speculating on the American loans market. So this week, as well as my £24 social security, I need a £20bn bailout as I seem to have lost the lot. And a £3m bonus, otherwise I’ll leave the country.”

Then there’s the £90bn a year lost through tax avoidance schemes, most of which is down to Polish strawberry-pickers. It’s about £8m a strawberry they’re paid, and then they put it all in special accounts in the Cayman Islands and we don’t get a penny. No wonder Ukip is becoming so popular. And of all those cockle-pickers who brought the banking system to its knees – not one has voluntarily given back their knighthood.

So at last the Government is taking action. One measure it’s proposing is to make landlords and doctors responsible for checking that immigrants have the proper papers. This is an imaginative idea, as it’s hard to recall any time in history when public servants were required to snoop on people so they could be reported to the state as illegal aliens. Maybe this scheme could even have an artistic edge, by making the outsiders wear a series of colourful stars, not only clamping down on immigration but brightening up some of our downtrodden areas.

Landlords, in particular, are an inspired profession to entrust with this sort of power because, of all social groups, whoever heard of an unscrupulous landlord? Maybe the new law could be extended to include burglars, who will be held responsible for checking the papers of any immigrant’s house they rob. Then it will be announced that a series of 1970s celebrities have been arrested because some of the children they abused were illegal immigrants, making them liable to £1,000 fine for not ensuring their visa was in order.

Eventually, when the system’s working really well, neighbours will be grassing each other up as Latvians, and Macmillan nurses will be legally obliged to tell cancer patients they can’t expect to be given a glass of water if they can’t find their passport. Then, at last, we’ll have this situation under control.

For now, though, the Government is taking it one step at a time. Another measure it proposes is that immigrants should pay a “contribution” towards any healthcare they receive. It could be argued, if you were picky, that people born in Britain are three times more likely to use the Health Service than immigrants, as those born here are on average older than those who come here to work. But if the new system works well, we can cause so much stress to every foreigner by having everyone they meet checking their papers, they’ll be in hospital most of the time which could make the NHS a handy profit.

Other public services could then follow. The Fire Brigade will have to ask anyone on fire if they have evidence of their legal status before hosing them down, and excuses such as “It was in the drawer but it’s been burned to a crisp” will not be acceptable.

That wouldn’t be as delightfully scatty as some of the immigration laws that already exist. For example, there was a rule that if an immigrant living here had an elderly relative abroad who was entirely dependent, with no one to look after them, that family member was entitled to join them in Britain. That rule has been tightened, so now anyone capable of making the journey is deemed too healthy to qualify as dependent. This not only cuts down on immigration, but solves the dependent family member’s loneliness by leaving them all day pondering such a tricky philosophical puzzle.

There are already vast restrictions on immigration for anyone not deemed economically useful, so the tragedy of the Government’s obsession with the issue is that it’s unlikely even to win it back the votes it’s lost to Ukip.

Because hostility towards immigration derives from maintaining a series of ideas that are upside-down; that if foreign tradesmen are employed on lower wages than those born in Britain, that’s the fault of the foreigners rather than the employers paying lower wages. Or maybe not, and the employers try to pay the higher rate but the Poles say: “No. We insist you give us almost nothing.” Or that when a landlord charges £1,000 a month that’s paid in housing benefit so a family can live in a squalid dump, that’s the fault of the family not the landlord. As if the family begs the landlord: “Surely £300 isn’t nearly enough for you to maintain such a musty aroma and so many varieties of mould.”

So whatever laws are introduced, Ukip will demand more, until next year the Queen’s Speech will go: “My Government will introduce a Bill to prevent immigrants from eating an Aero without supervision, that in a game of pool their British opponent can knock in the ball with their hand, and every Wednesday they must report to the nearest branch of Boots the chemist and tap dance by the Nurofen. And that’s about it for this year.”

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Newspaper stands have been criticised by the Child Eyes campaign  

There were more reader complaints this year – but, then again, there were more readers

Will Gore
 

People drink to shut out pain and stress. Arresting them won’t help

Deborah Coughlin
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?