Chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips’ speech at the Confederation of British Industry yesterday has resulted in a lot of media attention about the disproportionate effect of economic crisis on the white working class who are after all a majority in UK. And it’s quite right that the right-wing may use simple statistics to scapegoat migrants workers as poverty and employment strikes.
Less well reported (but actually to be found in the Telegraph today) is the prediction that up to one million immigrant workers might leave UK. So Britain is effectively “exporting unemployment” that would otherwise be 3 million instead of 2 million.
Not only do we find that 100,000’s of EU nationals in the UK have already left due to losing jobs or deciding it’s not worth staying anymore, but even though many are eligible to claim benefits including Job Seekers’ Allowance, government figures show there have been only 4,647 successful JSA applications from eastern Europeans since 2004. So any idea of migrants scrounging of the state is nonsense. If any finger is to be pointed, it’s at the capitalist system that cares little about working people whereever they are from, as long as we work and don’t cause trouble.