At the Labour Party conference, Chris Bryant, Shadow Immigration Minister said:
“…. I think there are three industries, the hospitality industry, the construction industry and agriculture who have done remarkably little to make sure there are British people able to come in [and work in] those industries.
“Why is it that you go to a hotel in France and you’re welcomed by a French person, that’s delightful.
“You’ve actually got to invest in skills and training and make sure you’ve got the balance and work force that is going to take on those jobs.”
OK. Between 1997 to 2010, didn’t Labour invest in skills and training, then? I thought they did.
If not, why not?
If it did, why do British businesses employ foreign workers?
And what does Chris Bryant mean regarding British businesses need to do more? How?
How will he ensure that restaurants and hotels employ more people from Britain, to match his vision of France? Quotas? If it’s left to market forces, how long would it take to up-skill people? Then, isn’t this a long term project being sold as a short term fix?
I worry that if you add this to Ed Miliband’s speech in the summer when he was “sorry” about immigration, come election time, in front of a hostile media, it will be all too easy to be all too tough on immigration.
If the Tories are trying to take a sledgehammer to the EU’s freedom of movement by people, where will Labour be by the time they are courting votes in the South-east of England?
And where in all this is Blue Labour?
John Cruddas, once the darling of the Left, made me uncomfortable as I watched his interview a few weeks ago. Everything seemed to be up in the air, to be looked at.
The suspicion was that this is all a prelude to a return to Gordon Brown’s “British jobs for British Workers”.
Today, a deal on a referendum to decide Scotland’s independence was signed.
If the Scots did decide to leave, then would that slogan have to be changed to “English Jobs for English Workers”?
Now, how nasty does that sound?