The stocks were sold; the Press was squared: The Chatterarti were quite prepared. This was to be Jeremy Corbyn’s Clause IV moment. He would – change his position on immigration.
In politics, all that appears to be needed is a soundbite. Forget telephone book style policy documents that may be used to hold doors open or to act as firelighters, just a few words may do. Remember when half-a-dozen words in a speech by Ronald Reagan paved the way for the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Corbyn, the champion of uncontrolled, unrestricted immigration, was due to say Labour “is not wedded to freedom of movement” in a pre-announced Brexit speech last Tuesday.
Stop the press. Jeremy Corbyn, ‘man of principle’, was to execute a U-turn so momentous it would be compared for generations to come to Tony Blair’s ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ soundbite. The excitement was palpable.
But it was not to be.
The previously-squared press received another draft of the speech. It now read ‘Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle, but I don’t want that to be misinterpreted, nor do we rule it out.’
This was Jeremy being Jeremy, equivocal on everything and torturing the language in the process. Not against violence committed by terrorists, but against violence in general. Bin Laden’s death a tragedy just like his attack on the Twin Towers that caused the deaths of three thousand innocents. Not just concerned about a Conservative MP who received hospital treatment, but all people in hospital any time anywhere.
Corbyn is rarely specific in his comments. He hardly ever comments about a single event without inserting it into the set of all similar events in all of existence in a way to drive absolute equality in every pronouncement. ‘Red is a nice colour, but then so is every other shade and hue of every other colour in the visible spectrum’. Everything must be put together to be ground down to create a spreadable uniformly-tasting paté.
Instead, Corbyn explained to interviewers that he wanted to make it so that employers here did not hire people from overseas in preference to those who live here because it would not be worth their while. Immigration, he indicated, is the fault of capitalism. It seemed he wants to restrict employers by setting a statutory wage control of some kind, accusing them of advertising vacancies overseas with wages that undercut those paid to people living here.
So Corbyn wants to impose yet more state restrictions on commercial activity. How very nineteen-seventies. The predicted outcome seems to be that migrants would be disinclined somehow from coming here to work. Because he believes businesses skimping on wages are the only driver of immigration to these shores. He does not accept there may be others, like free health care.
This is in contrast to the much simpler Conservative policy, which is to reduce numbers by removing a right to enter the country. The predicted outcome in this case is migrants would actually be prevented from coming here to work as they would have no right to be here.
So it’s Labour apparently blaming businesses for immigration levels and restricting businesses versus the Conservatives rightly blaming the EU and definitely restricting immigration.
This is actually nothing new. Corbyn’s Labour, indeed socialism itself, is and has always been about the State imposing restrictions on private-sector commercial activity for ideological reasons. Corbyn believes all that is needed to stem the flow of hundreds of thousands is state wage control. Or he is using that as an excuse to attack business.
Such a restriction would have to be enforced by a whole new set of suitably-trained and ideologically-motivated government inspectors invading offices and factories with a state warrant to look at the books and the payslips. This is just another socialist job-creation scheme, designed to ramp up the number of state-sector employees who will owe Corbyn their jobs and would be expected to vote accordingly.
Corbyn forgets that people do not only come here for wealth, but also for safety and freedom, even from EU countries. Migrants will not be discouraged by restrictions on business practices, no matter how well these are enforced. State-imposed economic restrictions on commercial activity encourage evasion. The stricter the restrictions, the greater the increase in the desirability of evasion.
The real beneficiary of a Corbyn jobs regime would be the black market. The most efficient black markets function under socialism. They thrive by corrupting state officials. The losers would be everyone else.
Alternatively, it would mean that migrant labour would get a state-enforced pay rise. This would not necessarily discourage the numbers coming here.
Restricting immigration is not about targeting or criminalising legitimate businesses. It’s called proper border control, something we do not have while being members of the EU. Immigration control is what people voted for on June 23rd. Corbyn still wants to import more voters for his party while ignoring the voters who live here already. But he also wants to leave the EU and always has, given his semi-detached campaigning for Remain. Another form of having and eating cake. Or paté.
So, this is just Corbyn being Corbyn. His lackey Clive Lewis summed it up recently when he stated Labour’s attitude was ‘Public Good, Private Bad‘. Well, Clive, it’s the ‘Private’ that pays all the bills.
So what appeared to be a U-turn turned out to be another attack on British business by a socialist while potentially encouraging immigration. Move along, nothing to see here…