“Are foreign workers really taking jobs from Irish people?”

There’s little doubt that anxieties emerged over the Irish labour market around the issue of the Irish Ferries dispute. George blogged on the subject of immigration here. Next week Leviathan sees David McWilliams pull together an excellent panel of discussants at CrawDaddy, in Dublin next Thursday, February 2nd. If you’re in town, you’d be mad to miss it.David McWilliamsThe panel consists of both old and new Irish, including TCD academic and director of the Open Republic Institute, Constantin Gurdgiev; Sinn Féin councillor, Killian Forde; Polish-born TV presenter and marketing manager, Izabela Chudzicka and Larissa Nolan of the Sunday Independent. There’s also musical satire from Clint Velour and soaring blues from singer-songwriter Shaz Oye.

Thursday 2nd February 9pm (Doors 8.30pm).

  • Fenian Bastard

    Great idea for a discussion but from looking at the panel is there anyone there that is going to argue for the topic. I would imagine that the Ruskie, Pole and Shinner will be all for migrants.

    As for the Sindo person lord knows what they will say.

  • Naoise Nunn

    Let’s not assume what people are going to say or what position they will adopt. Rather than rehearsing the same old familiar for and against arguments, is it not more interesting and useful to unpick the nuances of the proposition? For example, how will Sinn Fein’s “liberal” position on immigration contend with their woking class constituents telling them that they’re being done out of jobs by foreigners? Or who’s to say that immigrants who have been here a couple of years don’t want to pull the ladder up behind them. A standard, entrenched bi-polar debate would just be predictable and pointless. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I?!

  • Biffo

    “There’s little doubt that anxieties emerged over the Irish labour market around the issue of the Irish Ferries dispute..”

    Absolutely. I’m terrified.

    Immigration is having an obvious and dramatic impact on the Irish labour market.

    Unemployment is reaching dangerously low and unprecedented levels.

    Wages are rising faster than inflation.

    Native Irish people are facing the propect of further ecconomic properity. But at last there are signs they are waking up to the danger.

    Immigrants take your useful skills and bugger off home, I say. We don’t want you here. You threaten our values and way of life

  • eranu

    foreign workers are just taking jobs that are open to everyone. it just happens that irish people wont do those jobs. they want a better job with more money. for example, nearly all the workers in the supermarkets where i live in dublin are now chinese, eastern european, pakistani etc. the 4 or 5 local internet cafes are the same, not a local in sight! why dont irish people on the dole do those jobs? – they just dont want to..
    with irish ferries it just boils down to the fact that other people are prepared to do a job for a fraction of the price as the locals. thats business! the legality and general shittyness of what irish ferries did is another issue.
    in general the people coming into the country are prepared to work hard at any job for less money. the locals will have to match that, or get a different job.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    This has become a contentious issue in the US, and a perfect example of the strange bedfellowship of politics.

    Left-of-center Democratic Party, pro-immigration generally, including illegal immigration, nevertheless contains a critical mass of anti-immigration unionised labour, Afro-Americans, and strangley enough, recently naturalised immigrants, including some Hispanics.

    Right-of-center Republican Party, anti-immigration generally, especially illegal immigration, nevertheless contains a critical mass of pro-immigration Big Business, who nod and wink at illegal immigrant labour, and abuses of legal immigrant work visas.

    The standard response to criticism of the flood of illegal immigrants coming in is racism, partly on the basis that so many are coming here from Mexico.

    To the charge that immigrants, especially illegal ones, are taking jobs from citisens, the reply is that they do the jobs that Americans won’t do because the job is dirty, difficult, or dangerous. Even Mexican President Vincente Fox jumped on the bandwagon, declaring that illegal Mexican workers do jobs that, “Even American blacks won’t take.”

    To all this, I would ask the reader to look at recent photos of the miners gathered around disasters in West Virginia recently. Coal mining has to rank right up there for dirty, difficult, and dangerous. Yet, the faces I saw were white, if besmudged. And the voices I heard, with perhaps an accent influenced by a long ago Ulster-Scots presence, nevertheless spoke American English as a first language.

    So why haven’t illegal immigrants taken these jobs? Certainly the owners of the mines would love to replace those costly citisens with compliant indentured wet-backs. They could cut holiday, sick, and vacation pay; health benefits; pensions; safety expenses. And best of all, wages, perhaps to what was once termed “coolie wages”.

    I will leave it for you to figure out what is blocking managements’ wet dreams. But if Big Business has its way in the race to the bottom, coal mining, too, will become a job that Americans won’t take. For all these same reasons, coal mining wouldn’t be the first, nor the last dirty, difficult, or dangerous job to be tabulated in this slanderous and patently business interests’ category.

    As to Democratic Party pro-immigration policy, I see it as mainly a way to attack the cultural status quo, and don’t underestimate the damage that this has already caused. But it pales in comparison to Big Business’s assault on the working class and lower middle-class.

  • The Devil

    Hey they can have our jobs cos we don’t want to work, anyway DLA for life was part of the Stormont agreement….

    Just leave the white women alone or you’ll get petrol bombed.

  • Biffo

    Does anybody remember the days when Mary Robinson kept a candle lit in the window at Áras an Uachtaráin for the “diaspora”? – to remind us of the of the millions who left Ireland looking for better paid jobs and a bit of excitement.

    How times change.

  • George

    At least the government is standing firm against this rubbish.

    Although Fianna Fail backbench TD Ned O’Keeffe (FF) takes the biscuit when he said there was a need for the Government to look after the interests of “natives”.

    This of course is the same Ned who has a shedload of immigrants working on his pig farm near Fermoy in Co Cork.

    Will Ned be sending them home and doubling the measly wages on offer in an attempt to lure “natives” in to a spot of pig bashing. Will he f…

    The hypocrisy of people on this makes me sick.

    Rabbitte, O’Keeffe, SIPTU and the rest should all hang their heads – just low enough so I can kick them.

    It didn’t occur to any of them that the money it would cost to introduce and manage a work permit system for well over 100,000 people would more than cover an army of inspectors in the construction, agriculture and other industries to prevent the terrible abuse of workers that is still going on throughout Ireland today.

    A sort of a pandemic Morecombe Bay Cocklepicker syndrome, if you will.

    Of course not because there are no votes in that.

    Shows SIPTU don’t really care a toss about the plight of non-unionised workers.

    No much better to try and shore up the position of their own privileged cabal of workers by driving these already vulnerable people into black labour.

    These are all the same shites who were jumping up and down in support of Make Poverty History and all these other middle class guilt alleviatian schemes we have to endure.

    Yeah Make Poverty History but not by coming here and achieving it through your own hard work and dedication.

    Don’t forget to renew your annual subscription to Concern boys and girls.

  • Daugavas

    The idea that immigrants are “taking jobs from locals” presupposes that those immigrants do not buy consumer goods, do not need clothes, use cinemas, cafes, leisure facilites or do things like drink or eat. Therefore new businesses will not be set up to cater for the extra demand that a larger population brings. Of course this is all bollocks – in one street in Valencia Spain for example the bulk of businesses (cheap phone places, Ukrainian video stores, Russian supermarkets and Ecuadorian bar etc) only exist because of immigrants. But then arguments against reasonable levels of immigration usually are nothing other than scare mongering bollocks.

  • Young Fogey

    Coal mining has to rank right up there for dirty, difficult, and dangerous.

    But well paid?

    In the UK it was about the best paid manual job going, and remained an overwhelmingly white job until the mines were shut by Major.

    In Belgium and Germany, it wasn’t all that well paid, at least not in comparison with other available industrial jobs. Increasingly it was done by immigrants from Turkey and Morocco, just as a century before it had been done by immigrants from Poland.

  • wild turkey

    Does anybody remember the days when Mary Robinson kept a candle lit in the window at Áras an Uachtaráin for the “diaspora”?

    yeah, and aer lingus wistfully remembers a lots of empty seats on the homeward bound flights out of NewYork and Boston…

    the hypocrisy surrounding the issue of immigrant workers in ireland is hilarious.. and sickening.

    there are an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 ‘illegal’ irish immigrants currently working in the states. let them remain in the USA if they want.

    but get ready for the shitstorm of wheeling dealing and whinging from politicians (see extract from a recent washington post article below) throughout the 32 counties, many of whom might be making noises (sorry voicing concerns)about immigrants here, when the USA goes ahead full bore with the the Border Protection Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005.

    Of course the US should not go ahead with the Border Protection Act,its draconian, racist, flawed, etc… but it will.

    Maybe the USA group Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will open up a Dublin branch?

    Inside the Beltway
    January 25, 2006
    No escaping terror
    A VIP reception will be held this evening at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in honor of Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume, former leader of the Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP) of Northern Ireland, and current SDLP leader Mark Durkan…
    But while he had their ears, SDLP member P.J. Bradley told the visiting lawmakers — including Rep. Tim Murphy, Pennsylvania Republican, and Rep. Brian Higgins, New York Democrat — of concerns surrounding undocumented Irish workers here in the United States who are now suddenly threatened by the Border Protection Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005.
    “I explained … the fears of many parents and families, in all of the 32 counties of Ireland, as a result of the threat to their U.S.-based family members,” Mr. Bradley said. “I reminded the congressmen that if the [anti-terror] act in its present form ever becomes a reality, it will create a break in the 300-plus years’ tradition of the Irish traveling to, working in and building America. And in a few generations it will no longer be possible for prominent Americans to refer to their Irish ancestry in their profiles or biographies.
    “Given the fact that all three of the visiting [U.S. congressmen] are of Irish descent and proud of the fact, I believe they fully understood what I was saying.”

    Irish immigration group will meet tonight
    THE JOURNAL NEWS
    (Original publication: January 27, 2006)
    YONKERS — The illegal-immigration debate often summons images of Latin Americans, but the issue affects a wide range of people.
    The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will hold a community forum tonight in Yonkers to discuss how immigration reform would affect the estimated 40,000 illegal Irish immigrants in the United States.

    “I think you should send them back home because they’re taking American jobs,” said Mike Curtin, 43, a construction worker.

  • Sean

    ‘Of course the US should not go ahead with the Border Protection Act,its draconian, racist, flawed, etc… but it will.

    Maybe the USA group Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will open up a Dublin branch? ‘

    Excellent Blog!

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Turkey:

    “Border Protection Act,its draconian, racist, flawed, etc”

    How is it draconian, racist or flawed? And what is “etc”?

    Or is it just a kneejerk response that should read, “Border Protection Act, it is bad, blah blah blah”?

  • wild turkey

    Ultonian Scottis American

    Draconian: Any U.S. citizen found driving an immigrant anywhere — even to a hospital or school — could be arrested as an “alien smuggler” if the immigrant were determined to be here illegally.
    It seeks to criminalize over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. as well as U.S. citizens and permanent residents who come in contact with them. Other disturbing provisions would broaden mandatory detention while restricting judicial review and create a mandatory Employment Eligibility Verification System that would affect the rights of every worker in the U.S.

    Racist: The legislation disproportionately targets Mexicans and latinos.

    Flawed: It would fund the building of nearly 700 miles of new high-tech fences along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Etc, etc. etc: Another tedious, but dangerous example, of the empire’s inward looking xenophobia

    Blah, Blah: I appeal to the evidence rather self-serving bias and received wisdom.

    The bottomline?

    If you’re not a Native American, you’re an immigrant. We’re a nation of immigrants.

    News for you buddy.

    Even whites from islands off the north atlantic coast of europe were or are immigrants.

    Try it on for size sometime.

    PS. attempting to hijack USA? Nixon & Co tried it decades ago. It failed.

  • Lafcadio

    well said george (not sure I’ve ever said that before!!) and Daugavus..

    “lump of labour fallacy” anyone?

  • Brian Boru

    “foreign workers are just taking jobs that are open to everyone. it just happens that irish people wont do those jobs. they want a better job with more money. for example, nearly all the workers in the supermarkets where i live in dublin are now chinese, eastern european, pakistani etc. the 4 or 5 local internet cafes are the same, not a local in sight! why dont irish people on the dole do those jobs? – they just dont want to..
    with irish ferries it just boils down to the fact that other people are prepared to do a job for a fraction of the price as the locals. thats business! the legality and general shittyness of what irish ferries did is another issue.
    in general the people coming into the country are prepared to work hard at any job for less money. the locals will have to match that, or get a different job. ”

    I reject that dog-eats-dog attitude. We are entitled to protect Western wage-levels from neo-liberal ideology. We are told we need 30,000-50,000 immigrants per annum yet 180,000 PPS no.s were issued to nationals of the new EU states in 2005 and another 27,000 non-EU nationals were allowed in under the non-EU work-permit. This doesn’t even include ‘student-visas’ (a huge scam involving Chinese ‘students’ has been closed down recently) or asylum-seekers. In other words we are taking in 4-7 times the numbers of immigrants the economy needs.

    This puts undue pressure on our hospitals and means more people waiting on trollies due to overcrowding, as well as a longer wait for couples on the public-housing list, higher demand for housing pushing up house prices which rose 8% last year, potential welfare-tourism now that the Govt has caved into PC-pressure to liberalise the restrictions on access to social-welfare for nationals of other EU states, and a continuing waste of around 400 million euro on free accommodation for asylum-seekers. Great!

    The government has to heed the will of the people, as expressed in the recent TNS/MRBI poll showing that only 24% want more immigration, 72% opposed, divided into 29% wanting a immigrants removed from Ireland, and 43% wanting no increase in the existing numbers in the country. The Government must listen or face the inevitable long-term consequences of the rise of an anti-immigration party in the future. We need such a party unless the ‘mainstream’ parties are going to give us a choice.

    I resent the crass comparisons with Irish emigration to other countries which were far smaller than us population-wise. Very few of us proportionately went to mainland Europe so this isn’t a question of giving something “back to Europe”. We overwhelmingly went to the US or the UK or other New World countries. The New World countries have a different concept of national identity reflected in the difference between EU citizenship laws (including the UK) i.e. jus-sanguine, and jus-sanguine in the EU. Every European country – not just the EU – grants automatic citizenship to children born in the country ONLY if they also have a parent born in the country or if the parents have lived in the country for a set number of years prior to birth, whereas the New World countries all hand it out solely on the basis of being born there. This reflects the greater emphasis on ethnic-nationhood in Europe compared to the New World. So people who rant about Irish emigration to the US are not comparing like with like when using it as an argument against Irish immigration controls.

    Another fly in the ointment on this argument is the citizen population size of the Republic (3.8 million) compared with 290 million in the US and 55 million in the UK. We were never going to outnumber people in their own countries, not were we going to amount to a huge burden on their infrastructures or social-welfare systems compared to the pressure immigration is putting on us, as our infrastructure was already designed for a small population and not tens of millions of people. And remember that the US never had a social-welfare system until the 1930’s nor did the UK until the 40’s. So please stop making these bogus comparisons George and co.

    Only 23% of deportation orders for asylum-seekers are being enforced, 17% are tied up in the courts, and 60% are being evaded by people on the run. Only the other day Justice Finlay Geoghan released that Nigerian mother who had gone into hiding without her children – on her own admission – to try to make the Government let her stay on a “your breaking up the family” argument. She will now probably do a runner again, exposing the PCness of the judiciary and the government for not getting on with it and removing failed asylum-seekers from this country.

    PCness is an attack on democracy. Why should immigration be insulated from political debate? The PC-brigade believe that the whole world is divided into 2 groups: Victims and Oppressors, and that if you’re not one your the other. Grrr…

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Brian Bóruma:

    “neo-liberal ideology”

    Or just old-fashioned capitalist greed. And maybe both. I told you, it is a case of strange bedfellows.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Wild:

    Draconian: This is of course a subjective description. Is anything less than unfettered open borders draconian to you? Summary execution, now then you’d be approaching draconian. But anything that let’s bosses off of the hook for hiring illegals will doom the effort. Immigrants, illegal or otherwise, have no inherent right to be here.

    Racist: Sorry, that just doesn’t wash. We don’t want 11 million illegal ignorant uneducated Anglo-Saxons immigrants here now either. It’s not our fault that the Atlantic and Pacific don’t freeze in the winter so that Europe and Asia can ice-skate over during winter. Personally, I see the solution to be the USA and the United States of Mexico becoming one country.

    Flawed: Any other country would put its army on the border. This would be my preferred solution.

    Even the Gaelic Irish are immigrants to Hibernia. The US once had slavery, Catholics couldn’t hold high office, and wives were the chattels of their husbands. Times and situations change.

    If the US still had the jobs in manufacturing and high-tech that are now located in other countries, I might be less concerned. Let India, China, and RoI take ’em in instead. Oh, yeah, immigrants to RoI. That’s what the actual topic is.

  • Lafcadio

    The lump of labour fallacy is a way of thinking of labour markets that is intuitivey attractive, but patently untenable – and a derivation of it informs much of the public debate on this matter. It refers to the perception that there are only a fixed number of jobs to go around (the “lump of labour”) which gives rise to a zero-sum game in the job market whereby each job that goes to johnny foreigner means that one more “native” is deprived of a job.

    It is, of course, a fallacy, because labour markets and economies are not static like that; if more employment in general leads to more economic growth, then the economy is more likely to keep creating more jobs than would have been the case otherwise, so the bar is lifted throughout the economy.

    In a fast-growing economy, bumping along at nigh on full employment, an influx of, broadly-speaking, hard-working, mobile, and keenly-priced labour is exactly what the doctor ordered; and these people need bank accounts, buy newspapers, shop in supermarkets, go to the cinema etc etc.. the only way they would be stealing from the Irish worker is if they bring all their own building materials with them, build houses on stolen land, buy all their goods and services solely from each other, and repatriate all their profits..

    That there may be may be increased pressures on some specific aspects of the country’s infrastructure in the short- or medium-term is probably inevitable, but to try to pitch the blame for over-crowding in hospitals, house prices etc at the feet of this particular sliver of the population smacks of scare-mongering; and like George touched on in his earlier blog, I often get the feeling that concerns for “native workers” etc are often a fig leaf covering a simple distaste for foreigners walking “our” streets.

    All this chuntering about “natives” etc will be moot in any case, as the children of those immigrants who decide to stay will be natives!

  • wild turkey

    Ultonian Scottis American

    ‘Oh, yeah, immigrants to RoI. That’s what the actual topic is. ‘

    But if the topic is immigrants to RoI, why does YOUR initial post start with

    ‘This has become a contentious issue in the US,’

    Later in the same post you
    ‘ask the reader to look at recent photos of the miners gathered around disasters in West Virginia recently. Coal mining has to rank right up there for dirty, difficult, and dangerous. Yet, the faces I saw were white, if besmudged. And the voices I heard, with perhaps an accent influenced by a long ago Ulster-Scots presence, ‘

    white faces and an ulster-scots presence?

    thats very helpful. I have never appreciated that the hierarchy of victimhood has gone transatlantic.

    ‘Personally, I see the solution to be the USA and the United States of Mexico becoming one country. ‘

    C’mon. where’s your history? it already happened a 160 years ago!

    The 1846 war that we fought against Mexico gave us California and half a dozen other states. it is generally seen to be americas first imperial adventure.

    You may recall Ulysses S Grant, a great man and a great general but a failed president? As a young lieutenant, recently graduated from West Point,he fought dutifully against Mexico in 1846. In his memoirs reflecting upon the war of aggression against Mexico he registered his hatred of that war.

    ‘The war was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory…To us it was an empire, and one of incalculable value, but it might have been obtained by other means. The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war in modern times. ‘

    The current border area,where you would propose to deploy the army, was indeed a united country. It was/is called Mexico.

    Illegal immigrants? Maybe the ‘illegals’ are just going home.

    sorry folks. this has gone a bit off thread but am responding to the wisdom of Mr/Ms Ultonian SA

  • “Are foreign workers really taking jobs from the Irish people?”

    According to Global Policy Network, the Irish unemployment rate in 1992 was 15.2% (8.5% long term).

    What was the unemployment rate last year?

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Wild T:

    Glad that I can debate in a gender neutral fashion. FTR, I’m XY based. And my legal spouse is XX based. Viva la différence!

    My initial post is a compare & contrast exposition, so not entirely OT.

    My mock outrage at the end just means that I need to consider a course at the stand-up comedy workshop.

    There are many parallels between the US-Mexico situation and the history (still unfolding) in the British Isles (or Anglo-Celtic Isles if you prefer).

    “I have never appreciated that the hierarchy of victimhood has gone transatlantic.”

    My point was re the calumny that illegal immigrants only do jobs that citisens won’t take. Clearly, in the case of coal mining, that isn’t true. So, a big part of the answer seems to be that the pay is good, and organised labour is able to keep it that way. But break the union, fire the citisens, and they can be replaced with for such low wages by illegals that yes, perhaps citisens would eschew the profession. Wouldn’t you?

    The 1846 war was fought on the heels of the 1836 Texas War of Independance, and the admittance of the Republic of Texas into the USA in 1845. RoT considered the Rio Grande the border, Mexico a river to the north, creating a “Debatable Land”, which the US inherited. And not that dissimiliar to the situation along the Anglo-Scottish border before the ascension of James VI, King of Scots, to the English throne as James I.

    Much ill will still existed amoungst Texans due to the genocidal policies of Mexican President and Commander-In-Chief General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, “Napolean of the West”, who repeated his role in the 1846 war. How much better would it have been for him if he had let the US buy the “Debatable Land” and retain that which he was forced to sell later on, California, Arizona, etc.

    “Maybe the ‘illegals’ are just going home.”

    You mean like the Ulster Plantation?

    Some say that they didn’t move over the border, the border moved over them. Tell it to the Alsacians.

    There is a philosphy amoungst some in the US that calls itself Atzlan. It calls for the American south-west to be returned to Mexican sovereignty. It claims to be based upon some mythic Aztec ethno-nationalism. I’d be more impressed of their sincerity if they’d reject their obviously Spanish/Catholic dominated trappings and began speaking in a native American language rather than Spanish, and practicing human sacrifice (of themselves, of course).

    I believe that that are the political descendants of the Plan of San Diego that inspired a genocidal campaign against white Americans in the early decades of the 20th Century. Their conspiracy found out, their organised terror exposed, it unfortunately did lead to a backlash against Mexican-Americans along the border. This genocidal campaign was supported by Mexicans across the border, and I believe was entwined with the events that led to Pancho Villa’s attack against a town in the US state of New Mexico, which led to General Pershing’s punitive expedition against Mexico in 1916.

    I see many parallels here with the IRA genocidal campaigns in the 1920’s and again in the late 20th century. Coincidence?

  • Biffo

    Ultonian

    “You mean like the Ulster Plantation?”

    That’s a theory dreamt up by a unionist politician in the 1970’s to bestow a kind retrospective legitimacy to the plantation.

    It’s absolute rubbish.

    Sometimes history makes uncomfortable reading. As you Americans say – deal with it.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Biffo:

    Do you agree that the notion that Mexicans should not be regulated re entry to the US because, as Wild Turkey contends, “the ‘illegals’ are just going home”, is also “absolute rubbish”?

  • George

    Brian,
    “We are entitled to protect Western wage-levels from neo-liberal ideology.”

    There is no evidence that preventing EU citizens from coming here to work and help fuel the booming Irish economy will “protect” western wage-levels in Ireland. You are dealing in fear not fact.

    Go to Germany or Belgium, where they aren’t allowed in and you will find that wage levels compared to Ireland are dropping as are social benefits. So Ireland’s wages are increasing, our welfare/health/education expenditure is growing and our social benefits are improving while also letting in immigrants. Maybe you can explain that one to me?

    It seems to hole your argument below the waterline.

    Maybe you could also point out a functioning economy which follows your model and which could apply to Ireland?

    “We are told we need 30,000-50,000 immigrants per annum yet 180,000 PPS no.s were issued … In other words we are taking in 4-7 times the numbers of immigrants the economy needs.”

    This is only true if we want growth rates at 1-2%. You name me a party in Ireland that wants to slash economic growth to that level. There isn’t one.

    “This puts undue pressure on our hospitals and means more people waiting on trollies due to overcrowding, as well as a longer wait for couples on the public-housing list, higher demand for housing pushing up house prices which rose 8% last year”

    Virtually all immigrants work and pay taxes so because there is pressure on our hospitals you are blaming the taxpayer rather than the people who run the health service so poorly.

    This is what really gets on my goat, people like you who happily see the government take immigrants hard-earned money in taxes, direct and indirect, and then whinge that they might want to use some of the services these taxes are supposed to provide. Talk about double standards.

    ” and a continuing waste of around 400 million euro on free accommodation for asylum-seekers. Great!”

    This shows that your real fear is with foreigners and not with immigrants. You appear to me to be a xenophobe.

    What we are talking about is European Union citizens allowed to travel to work and you pit them in with asylum seekers, scaremongering as if there is a flood.

    There were only around 4,000 asylum seekers last year. To put this in context, during the Bosnia War, Germany took in over 400,000 asylum seekers.

    How many did humanitarian Ireland take in? A couple of hundred.

    “The government has to heed the will of the people, as expressed in the recent TNS/MRBI poll showing that only 24% want more immigration, 72% opposed, divided into 29% wanting a immigrants removed from Ireland, and 43% wanting no increase in the existing numbers in the country.”

    No it doesn’t, the only opinion that matters is the one in the ballot box. You may want a country run on weekly whims, I don’t.
    Why don’t we have a poll with the question: Do you want to cut economic growth to 1% and are you willing to work in jobs that otherwise would have been done by immigrants?

    “The Government must listen or face the inevitable long-term consequences of the rise of an anti-immigration party in the future. We need such a party unless the ‘mainstream’ parties are going to give us a choice.”

    As I said to you before, see you at the ballot box. Maybe you could stand on this platform yourself? How many seats to you think you’ll win?
    If you have no representation, you don’t represent anyone.

    “I resent the crass comparisons with Irish emigration to other countries which were far smaller than us population-wise.”

    What are you afraid of? Are you so insecure in your identity that you feel it will be diluted by people who are better educated than the average Irish person?

    I have to laugh I really do. You obviously have never emigrated and don’t know how difficult it is.

    Many of these people are coming here without a strong grasp of the language, with perfectly good qualifications that aren’t recognised and facing prejudice from large swathes of the population.

    If you or anyone else born in Ireland who have an automatic advantage is afraid of losing out to these people, then you only have yourself to blame.

    “We were never going to outnumber people in their own countries, not were we going to amount to a huge burden on their infrastructures or social-welfare systems”

    Scaremongering again. When do you think you’ll be in a minority because when you are I’ll be cracking open the champagnski. Even even if the Celtic Tiger roared until 2200, Irish would still be a majority.

    How many immigrants are on social welfare Brian and and how many are working. The figure I have heard is that less than 1% get any help from the state.

    Considering the numbers claiming unemployment benefit has dropped since this 128,000 flood arrived it would seem that 128,000 are working and none are on the dole.

    Give me a figure. Show me that immigrants are proving a burden to Ireland, the EU’s fastest growing economy.

  • George

    Brian,
    “Only 23% of deportation orders for asylum-seekers are being enforced”…,

    Back to interswitching between EU citizens coming here to work and asylum seekers. All these foreigners are the same to you.

    “PCness is an attack on democracy. Why should immigration be insulated from political debate?”

    Informed debate is fine but when you say in one sentence that 128,00 people have got PPS numbers to work here and then you say they are a burden on social welfare in the next then you are not debating.

    You are peddling resentment because of your own fear of change. What is it – are they working or not?

    How can they be driving down wage-levels from the dole queue?

    Ireland is a growing nation and it can well accommodate these people at the moment. That’s why they come. Only a tenth of the figure have gone to Sweden, which is a much bigger economy.

    If the jobs dry up most will go back anyway and the ones that stay will only add to our culture.

    Don’t forget many are already better educated than us so it’s hardly going to dumb down the nation.

    And if you don’t like this new nation we are creating here in Ireland you can always emigrate yourself.

  • Mustapha Mond

    Good post George.
    I happen to know a fella who came over a while back, started his own business and employs many “natives”, actually they are all natives!.

    Just read that back, “native” … what like pocohontas maguire and tonto o’reilly?

    “Just leave the white women alone or you’ll get petrol bombed.”

    You can keep them! :oP, Some of them eastern euro ladies are purrdy

  • wild turkey

    ‘Glad that I can debate in a gender neutral fashion. FTR, I’m XY based. And my legal spouse is XX based. Viva la différence! ‘

    what the above has to do with the price of bread i leave to you.

    listen…

    having just returned from the funeral of a friends 9 year old puts things in a different perspective…

    in the best of natures and intentions i have attemped to engage with you and discuss what i see as gaps and inconsistencies in your arguments.

    the response? abuse.its tedious.

    i defer to your wit, wisdom, and no doubt, legal chromosome sequence. i’m outta here, well at least on this thread.

    in the future, when you chose to induldge in exercises of intellectual handjobbery, stick to home matches.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Turkey:

    I am sorry for your friends loss.

    I attempted to clear up with humour your confusion as to whether I was male or female.

    I don’t understand your comment about abuse.

    As to your parting comments, was that humour, or the tossing down of the gauntlet?

  • My point was re the calumny that illegal immigrants only do jobs that citisens won’t take. Clearly, in the case of coal mining, that isn’t true

    I have just spent the past 10 minutes trying to decide whether this statement is specious or vacuous. The jury is still out.

    In order to get into the mine you have to be a UMWA member — in order to become a UMWA apprentice you must have someone on the inside of the local, just like getting a job at Harlan and Wolfe — in the dying, clannish, West Virginia mine communities that means a family connection. No one is going to sponsor an outsider, let alone a dark-skinned Mexican while the white kid next door doesn’t have a job. This is West Virginia not the ALCU ferchristsakes.

    That’s why all the miners in the Sago cave-in were Lilly white.

    Next, take an early morning trip down any California freeway on your way to Home Depot. On the on ramp you will find a white derelict with a cardboard sign begging for money. When you get to Home Depot you will pass 15 to 20 men all of whom are Hispanics (Mexicans, Guatemalans, whatever) who solicit you to give them a job installing your home or garden project.

    It’s not like it’s rocket science.

  • Crataegus

    Immigrants are an asset not a liability.

    The nob of the potential problem is to ensure that they are fairly paid, are here legally, and have the same rights as everyone else.

    In many ways they are an economic cushion for in reality the economy is running above the capacity of the Irish population. So if there is some future recession it will be from these higher levels and in all probability many of the immigrants who have not established ties here will leave.

    If they come here and make a few Euro to send home, just as many Irish did through most of the last century, then good luck to them. Politicians need to be careful not to be playing the race card.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Smilin’ Jim:

    “No one is going to sponsor an outsider, let alone a dark-skinned Mexican while the white kid next door doesn’t have a job.”

    But this is precisely what is happening.

    According to illegal immigrant advocates, illegal immigrants only do jobs that are dirty, difficult, or dangerous; jobs that citisens won’t do. Clearly, in the case of coal mining, this isn’t true.

    Money is the deciding factor. Countries like Mexico, which are dumping their responsibilities on the backs of US citisens, need to create the jobs their own citisens can do.

    Now, I realise that there is always going to be a certain level of immigrant labour. I can’t blame the sheik of an oil rich nation if one of its wealthy citisens wants to work abroad, even illegally. But 5 million Mexican illegals? Not to mention all illegal immgrants, around 11 million. Not to mention however many million more legal immigrants.

    As to my post being “vacuous or specious”, this is a barely disguised back-door ad hominem. I thought this blog demanded a higher standard than that.

  • But this is precisely what is happening.

    What we’ve got here is FAILure to communicate.
    (God bless you, Strother Martin, where ever you ended up.)

    Lets cut to the chase: The nordies are purely deadly sick of this Yankee brouhaha and want to get back to bashing the shit out of each other.

    Mexico is a failed state. The PRI looted the place and now, even with an ocean of petro dollars, the corruption skims off everything leaving the hewers of wood and the carriers of water with zip, zero, butkus, unless they can sell cocaine to those insatiable Yankees. Fox, with something like Marx’s industrial reserve army on his hands and knowing the fate of the losers of the last two Mexican revolutions, is anxious as hell to get them the hell out of the country.

    Enter the Yankee businessman whose sole ethic is to buy cheap and sell dear.

    Enter the Yankee ‘Gumint who is scared as hell of a revolution, especially a Zapatista one, in Mexico now that Latin America is lurching to the left.

    The US needs someone to haul all that garbage, mow all those lawns, pick all that lettuce, wash all those dishes, sell all those Big Macs. Ozzie and Harriet’s slacker kids would rather play video games and hang out at the Mall and maybe worry about their SAT’s later. Mexico needs to get rid of potential revolutionaries. Any US administration wants a stable state to the south. It’s a deal made in heaven.

    I recommend the film, A Day Without A Mexican to anyone who wants an ironic view of what the Gomers in Lilly white America are whining/whinging about.

    If you wanted to stop the entire process dead in it’s tracks all you need to do is to point Migra to the Yankees who employ the illegal migrants. As soon as Mexicans know that they can’t make a dime in El Norte then they will stay home and it’ll be 1910 all over again.

    Or, in other words

    DUH!!!

    Now go back and hit the books. You’re making us look bad.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    SJ:

    “The nordies are purely deadly sick of this Yankee brouhaha and want to get back to bashing the shit out of each other.”

    This may be true.

    I have no problem with your next three paragraphs.

    In your 5th paragraph, you state “Ozzie and Harriet’s slacker kids would rather play video games and hang out at the Mall and maybe worry about their SAT’s later.” This is just a fraction of teenagers. I worked as a teen. Things like lawn maintenance were done by teens. Now, illegals do it. Why? Partly because contractors can get economy of scale and supply equipment and transportation for the illegals that they employ. Not to mention that if a teen gets hurt cutting the grass, the homeowner is liable.

    I’m waiting for the movie entitled, “A Day Without An Illegal Immigrant”, TY very much. You know, the one where an unskilled citisen cuts lawns and can still afford to decently raise a family. (OK, maybe that’s a stretch.)

    “…what the Gomers in Lilly white America are whining/whinging about.”

    This is as racist a remark as I have ever read on this site.

    “(A)ll you need to do is to point Migra to the Yankees who employ the illegal migrants.”

    LOL! Talk about detached from reality. In the past few years, there has been only a handful of these prosecutions. I’d get a better gov’t response if I called the Pentagon and asked them to retrieve the cat stuck in my tree.

    Sorry, if this is the nail that you’re hanging your hat on, you got nothing.

    “As soon as Mexicans know that they can’t make a dime in El Norte then they will stay home and it’ll be 1910 all over again.”

    Maybe so, but that’s not my fault. As I wrote earlier on this thread, all the more reason for the US to politically, and democraticly, absorb Mexico, lock, stock & barrel. Mexico’s oligarchy would never let that happen. But neither should the US allow itself to be blackmailed by this same 3d world shitehole-of-a-country’s government.

    I’ve written to congressmen and governors. They sent me nice letters passing the buck. Guess what, though. They are beginning to implement my suggestions, anyway. Obviously, I’m not the only one who has written.

    This will become a major issue in upcoming elections. You can count on it, regardless of all your mockery of me or my position. And you only make yourself look bad.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll kiss your butte in Harrod’s window, and give you 15 minutes to draw a crowd.

  • Brian Boru

    George, we already have a nation. We don’t need to “create” one thank you very much. Furthermore, they are driving up the price of land and any economist worth his salt knows that when you increase demand for housing including by immigration then you increase house prices. Dublin is now one of the most expensive capital cities on earth and this is making life difficult for young Irish couples trying to buy a house. This is unfair.

    If a “new nation” means the French riots then no thank you.

    “Immigrants are an asset not a liability.”

    They can be both. They are going to bring costs and not just benefits. They will cost money to treat in the hospitals, to educate, and their presence will require more and more infrastructure to be built which could otherwise have gone on resolving problems for the existing native population. Ned O’Keefe is right: We should look after our own people first. Charity begins at home.

    “The nob of the potential problem is to ensure that they are fairly paid, are here legally, and have the same rights as everyone else.

    In many ways they are an economic cushion for in reality the economy is running above the capacity of the Irish population. So if there is some future recession it will be from these higher levels and in all probability many of the immigrants who have not established ties here will leave.

    If they come here and make a few Euro to send home, just as many Irish did through most of the last century, then good luck to them. Politicians need to be careful not to be playing the race card.”

    The politicians don’t care about them being fairly paid. We only have 21 labour inspectors and the Government is ducking pressure to increase the number. That is one inspector per 100,000 workers. The brown-envelope brigade will ensure nothing is done about this issue mark my words!

    Bringing in so many immigrants is increasing the economy’s dependence on the construction industry, in which I understand around 850,000 ar employed – out of 2 million workers. This level of dependence will increase further the more immigrants we let in, potentially leaving us with a crisis in the future if there is a sudden fall off. It is better to phase in restrictions now to avoid a hard-landing later with the resultant negative equity that this will bring.

  • George

    “Furthermore, they are driving up the price of land and any economist worth his salt knows that when you increase demand for housing including by immigration then you increase house prices.”

    They aren’t driving up the price of land, that is absolutely ridiculous. It is the developers hoarding huge swathes that is driving up the price of land. You want to see a drop in the price of land? Introduce property/rates on it. At the moment a developer/speculator can hold land indefinitely without paying a cent. The OECD has already recommended it.
    Will Labour advocate introducing rates or a property tax on second properties? No, easier to have a swipe at immigrants.

    “This is making life difficult for young Irish couples trying to buy a house. This is unfair.”
    And how tough do you think it is for young immigrant couples who don’t have mummy and daddy, who are sitting on real estate goldmines, to stump up on average 27,000 euros to help their deposit.
    How long do you think your average immigrant on the minimum wage would have to work to save that? They are buying houses alright but not the same ones as you. They can’t afford them.

    You go on about restricting employment to slow the Irish economy down the levels of growth of Scotland, (the Celtic canary http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/01/24/do2402.xml which is in total decline. Hell even Mark Steyn says Scotland should learn from us.

    I ask you again to name me a party in Ireland that wants to slash economic growth to sclerotic Scottish levels.

    If we are debating, can you answer the other questions I put to you:

    In your view how many immigrants are on social welfare and how many are working?

    When do you think the Irish will be in a minority in Ireland?

    How many seats to you think you would win on this platform?

    Show me a country where your plan works?

    I’ve cut and pasted this one again because you ignored it too.

    Go to Germany or Belgium, where East Europeans aren’t allowed in and you will find that wage levels compared to Ireland are dropping as are social benefits. So Ireland’s wages are increasing, our welfare/health/education expenditure is growing and our social benefits are improving while also letting in immigrants.

    In the name of debate on immigration, maybe you can address all these points?

  • Brian Boru

    “When do you think the Irish will be in a minority in Ireland?

    How many seats to you think you would win on this platform?

    Show me a country where your plan works?

    I’ve cut and pasted this one again because you ignored it too.

    Go to Germany or Belgium, where East Europeans aren’t allowed in and you will find that wage levels compared to Ireland are dropping as are social benefits. So Ireland’s wages are increasing, our welfare/health/education expenditure is growing and our social benefits are improving while also letting in immigrants.

    In the name of debate on immigration, maybe you can address all these points?”

    First of all we should debunk the myths that all the EU countries with controls on immigration on the new EU states are somehoe hellholes of unemployment. Denmark, Austria and Luxembourg have unemployment rates of only 4.6-5% (The UK rate is 5%) and Denmark only allowed 5,400 Eastern EU citizens in in 2005. Is their economy collapsing? Get real George.

    When do I think the Irish would be a minority? Well, at present the CSO estimates the presence of around 400,000 migrants and 3.8 million Irish people down here. Around 200,000 of these were let in since EU Enlargement (180,000) or by non-EU work-permit (27,000). This does not include so-called student-visas which are really cheap-labour-harvesting schemes if recent reports are to be considered correct. 28,500 ‘foreign students’ officially live in the Republic, but the real figure according to the press in recent days is around 150,000. They are generally coming here to work illegally and are not paying tax. Anyway, based on this, I would expect the Irish to become a minority around 2025. 120 years after independence and 800 yrs after 1169, Irish rulers would once again have handed control of their government to foreigners.

    It also seems a fair assumption that the immigrant communities will look mainly East for cultural affinity rather than to Northern Nationalism. As such, they are going to be far less easily swayed by the kind of arguments about 1916 that many Irish people are influenced by. So much for FF ‘The Republican Party’. Neither they nor SF are true Republican parties.

    On the question of “seats” immigration is probably not yet the main issue most Irish voters decide their vote on, although canvassers at the local elections in many towns reported immigration-control being the No.1 issue they were asked about. The reality is that there is no immigration-control party in the South with any great profile. What is needed is for backbench TDs to form such a party so as to give it the necessary high profile to get media attention. Also, they need to organise themselves far better than the Immigration Control Platform did. Note that in 1998, the inaugural meeting of the Platform was stormed by 40 asylum-seekers and 8 members of so-called ‘Anti-Fascist Action’. The PC-brigade like RAR want to limit debate on immigration and see the world in terms of “victims and oppressors”. Whatever your view on immigration there exists a democratic right to freedom of speech.

    SF’s declared support for the Irish language also runs counter to their position that there should be no numerical limits on immigration. The Irish culture will be subsumed by all this immigration. I have no problem with SOME immigration but it should be capped at around 30,000-50,000 per annum – the figure we are told we ‘need’ for economic purposes.

    I would also point out to you the results of the recent TNS/MRBI poll on immigration attitudes and the Ivory Tower approach of the main parties to its findings.

  • George

    Brian,
    you can’t just say “Denmark” has low unemployment. It has virtually the same unemployment rate as Northern Ireland. Are you telling me we should be like Northern Ireland?
    I need some meat on the bone. Tell me what Ireland has to do to be like Denmark?
    Would you take us out of the Euro, for example?

    You say the CSO says there are 400,000 foreigners, where?
    The most common nationality to migrate to Ireland in 2004 was, wait for it…….. Irish.

    There 2002 census found that there were about 182,000 non-nationals living here or under 5%. Don’t forget that 100,000 immigrants have returned home from the UK alone in the last ten years.
    A further 250,000 people living here were born in the UK, which includes Northern Ireland or are the children of Irish migrants, and are also “non-nationals”.)
    The effect of immigration (including the return of Irish emigrants) is still smaller than the natural increase.

    What does this mean in English? It means that immigrants aren’t even outbreeding us never mind swamping us.

    We can wait for the 2006 census if you want but to peddle myths like we are going to be in a minority by 2025 isn’t helping your “case”.

    There is no flood and you need to address your fears and xenophobia. Ireland is not a Gael reservation and never was. Dublin is within the Pale for example. You are also a “mongrel”.
    We are a living, breathing, growing nation and that’s the way it should be.

    There are 21 government inspectors for a workforce of 2 million. You should spend your energies arguing for all workers to be treated equally rather than looking for scapegoats.

    Don’t worry, if the jobs go or better opportunities present themselves elswhere, so will the people. Look at the Irish in Britain, they have left in their droves, a 16% drop in a decade.

    “TNS/MRBI poll”
    Well the latest poll in the Sunday Business Post has Fianna Fail up again after they said they wouldn’t introduce work permits. Hmmm.

    P.S. Have you ever emigrated?

  • Brian Boru

    George, you obviously have not been making any effort whatever to follow the CSO updates (which are often covered in RTE news) and do your own case no favours by pretending that since EU Enlargement in 2004 (not 2002) that 180,000 PPS no.s have not been issued to nationals of the new EU member states. Immigration into this country is very rapid and you strain credulity by bringing up the 2002 figures, which btw said the non-national population was 5.8%, not “under 5%” as you claim. This does not include the 27,000 non-EU work permits issued in 2005. Overall 200,000 per annum then are coming into this country. With only 3.8 million native Irish people down here, and 400,000 non-nationals, we will be a minority here in 20 years at most if the current trend continues. And that’s BEFORE Bulgaria and Romania join in 2007. The Government is currently arguing over whether to agree to give them the same kind of access the current Eastern EU have. They better say no because the polls make it clear how the public feel on this issue – whether they are at this stage prepared to vote on the issue or not. BTW, I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from the FF rise in the poll for the immigration issue. The TNS/MRBI poll showed that over 70% of supporters of all the main parties except the PDs (a fatcat supported party) wanted work-permits for nationals of new EU states. Even among PD voters, 56% wanted them back.

    Rabbitte is perceived by some as having watered down his stance due to PC-pressure from the traditional Labour party. Rabbitte and his deputy McManus are former members of The Workers’ Party (formerly Official SF) and may be at loggerheads with some others in the party. As such, the bounce Labour got in a recent poll seems to have gone in the latest poll, partly because voters feel in truth, there is no difference between any of the parties on immigration. Also, just because we are concerned about immigration doesn’t yet mean that this would be the defining issue for us in deciding how to vote. It was reported that at the last local elections, demands for immigration controls were the main issue being brought up on the doorstep in many urban centres. The main parties’ strategy for dealing with this seems to be an unwritten agreement not to make too much politics with the issue. This is undemocratic and when a new party comes along with high-profile members and plenty of money to promote its case, that will change – especially as more and more people come in.

    Regarding Denmark, its unemployment rate is only 5.2%, one of the lowest in the EU. http://www.mercerhr.no/knowledgecenter/reportsummary.jhtml/dynamic/idContent/1206305

    Unemployment in Denmark is FALLING and low, and they only let 5,400 immigrants in from the new EU states last year. The same remarks apply to Austria and Luxembourg. Luxembourg’s unemployment rate is only 4.6%. We do not ‘need’ uncontrolled immigration. It worsens hospital overcrowding, drives down wages, and pushes up house-prices. Comparisons with NI are really very silly because the NI economy is mainly due directly or indirectly to state-subsidy unlike the economies of either of these countries. You should know better than to bring that up. 😉

  • Brian Boru

    For your information George, the Red C poll today didn’t ask about immigration. Probably because The SBP has swallowed the mass-migrationist line hook, line and sinker as shown in the Citizenship referendum where they opposed it and the people said yes.

    The TNS/MRBI poll also showed a rise in FF support and a fall in FG’s vote, while simultaneously showing the aforementioned findings on immigration. There is no contradiction here. There just isn’t a high-profile anti-immigration party for the electorate to channel their frustrations into.

  • George

    Brian,
    show me the CSO update that says 180,000 non-nationals have come to live here since May 2004 and are still living here. A PPS number does not a human make, it is but a number.

    180,000 pps numbers may have been issued but that includes seasonal workers and those who have moved on or home. I have a German PPS number and a US Social Security number, does that make me the Holy Trinity?

    The estimates on the numbers actually living here on a more permanent basis are at 60-70,000, which, ironically, fits well within your 30,000-50,000 cap. So you should be happy.

    The figure I took from Fintan O’Toole so take up the credulity strain with him. I’ve checked it since and here is what I found.

    The census counted 26,235 Europeans from outside the EU 15, which is 0.7% of the population.
    There were also 26,000 Africans which is another 0.7%. Throw in 28,000 Asians and 29,000 Americans.

    It counts 281,000 EU citizens of which 182,000 were from England and Wales, 50,000 from Northern Ireland and 16,000 from Scotland.

    The majority of these from the UK and the US would be returning members of the Irish diaspora. Are they no longer welcome either. Are they not Irish? You are going to have a hell of a job getting their passports off them and I certainly hope you don’t start spouting that next time your out in the pub or you might end up in deep trouble.

    Back to the point. So I assume you have a problem with 80,000 of these “non-nationals”, namely the Asians, non-EU 15 Europeans and Africans. Or should I add the 30 odd thousand Germans, French etc? Or are are you not as afraid of them?

    Denmark’s unemployment is falling, Northern Ireland’s unemployment is falling, so what. That is why I brought up Northern Ireland to try show you that quoting an unemployment figure to reflect the strength of an economy is meaningless.

    The Soviet Union had full employment.

    What policies from Denmark, if that is your ideal economy, should we take is the question I asked you?

    Repeating that it’s unemployment is falling doesn’t mean anything and certainly doesn’t constitute an economic policy.

    Are you expecting me to accept that we should stop letting immigrants in because Denmark has low unemployment figures and doesn’t let them. Germany has high unemployment and doesn’t let them in.

    You need to tell me how would you structure the Irish economy differently so it could cope without immigrants? I’ve said countless times that the only way is to cut growth to 1-2%.

    Why should we change our model, which is the most successful in the western world?

    “It worsens hospital overcrowding, drives down wages, and pushes up house-prices.”
    You are repeating things that have already been debunked earlier in this thread.

    How much did or will mummy and daddy give you for your house deposit?

  • Brian Boru

    “The majority of these from the UK and the US would be returning members of the Irish diaspora. Are they no longer welcome either. Are they not Irish? You are going to have a hell of a job getting their passports off them and I certainly hope you don’t start spouting that next time your out in the pub or you might end up in deep trouble.”

    Where is your source for this claim? I am aware that around 55% of the UK nationals did indeed have family connections here. Not so for most of the US ones though.

    But First World migration doesn’t really bother me because it just isn’t on anything like the scale of immigration from Eastern Europe and outside of Europe. Economic realities make that inevitable when you have an open-door whereby 75 million Eastern Europeans have a legal right to come to live in a country of under 4 million Irish people.

    “Back to the point. So I assume you have a problem with 80,000 of these “non-nationals”, namely the Asians, non-EU 15 Europeans and Africans. Or should I add the 30 odd thousand Germans, French etc? Or are are you not as afraid of them? ”

    See above.

    “The Soviet Union had full employment.

    What policies from Denmark, if that is your ideal economy, should we take is the question I asked you?

    Repeating that it’s unemployment is falling doesn’t mean anything and certainly doesn’t constitute an economic policy.

    Are you expecting me to accept that we should stop letting immigrants in because Denmark has low unemployment figures and doesn’t let them. Germany has high unemployment and doesn’t let them in.”

    So you admit then that immigration isn’t the determinant of an economy performing strongly. Thank you.

    “You need to tell me how would you structure the Irish economy differently so it could cope without immigrants? I’ve said countless times that the only way is to cut growth to 1-2%.

    Why should we change our model, which is the most successful in the western world?”

    We were coping fine without immigrants until 2001 when the Government starting bringing in 41,000 a year from outside the EU, since when unemployment has risen from 3.7% to 4.3%.

    Would you recommend the NI model of multiculturalism to us? 🙁

  • Lafcadio

    “…I would expect the Irish to become a minority around 2025…” LMFAO!!

    I’ve kind of lost the will to struggle through these massive retorts and counters, but one thing I’ve noticed for some time, Brian, is that you have a fairly fast-and-loose approach to statistics – in fact, not to put to fine a point on it, a lot of them have all the appearance of something pulled from your ar*e.. (as I’m not a frequent commenter these days, I’ll be happy to take a pre-emptive yellow for that, even though it’s true..)

    but the whole question of who counts as “Irish” to you fascinates me – what constitutes an Irish person to you? If being born on the island is enough, then the second generation of these hundreds of thousands of “johnny foreigners” you fear so much will be Irish, no?

    What about Vasily Artemiev, a highly-rated winger on the Irish U-21 rugby team? Is he Irish?

    My girlfriend is French; her mother is from Kenya, and her dad from Guadeloupe – let’s say hypothetically, that we stick together and finally decide to move back to Ireland, and have kids, will they be Irish? Or will they join the ranks of these lazy foreign free-loaders depriving “natives” of hospital beds, school places and reasonably-priced housing?

    In fact am I Irish, as a northern Prod??

  • Brian Boru

    You want to protect “Irish” workers; you also refer at some point to “native born workers”. I would be very interested to hear your definition of “Irish”.

    How about the following scenarios:

    1. A is born in Dublin.
    2. B is born in Dublin to an Irish father and a Somalian mother.
    3. C is born in London to Irish parents.
    4. D is born in London to one Irish and one Malawian parent.
    5. E is Ian Paisley.
    6. F is born in Zagreb to an Irish father and a Ukrainian mother. F has been to Ireland once as a baby.
    7. G is born in New York to joint US and Irish citizens whose grandparents left on a boat to Ellis Island in 1920. They went on a coach tour to Ireland in the 1980’s but hated the place as the people smelt bad. They support the IRA.
    8. H is born to Polish parents in Dublin.
    9. I is born to mixed Irish and Fijian parents and comes to Ireland as a young boy. He turns out to be the best hurler of his generation.

    So, who’s Irish? Can you be Irish even if you do not want to be? Do you have to speak English to be Irish? Can you be Irish without having ever been there? Can you be Irish and have a really patronising view of the place, as millions of “Irish Americans” do?

    For what it is worth, all of the people have one thing in common. They are human, and that is all that matters.

  • Brian Boru

    Arsenal, I would answer that as follows:

    A person can be Irish if they have a parent born on the island, or else ancestory on the island of Ireland, as far as I am concerned. I understand btw that the British Nationality and Citizenship Act 1981 only gives automatic citizenship based on birth if one of the parents is also UK born, and as such it would be hypocritical of you to criticise me for taking this view. We changed our citizenship law in 2004 to make it pretty much along the lines of the rest of Europe i.e. you get Irish citizenship if you are born on the island with a parent born on the island.

    Of course, should such a person reject the Irish label, then that is their right. In that context, if both parents are Irish, I don’t necessarily see the child as Irish. I was having a discussion along those lines a while ago with my mother to get her view on it. She told me that while she would consider the child Irish if one parent was Irish too, that if neither parent was, then she would not. Admittedly this is also how I think.

    I suppose Dr.Paisley is Irish if he wants to be. But does he? 🙂

    I don’t consider Vasily Artemiev to be Irish. He was born in Russia of non-Irish parents for heaven’s sake. We cannot just say that everyone in the world is “Irish” as if it’s some club you decide to join. Some connection with this island has to be part of it. That was the implication of the changes in the Citizenship referendum where we voted 80% to 20% (no doubt to the chagrin of George and co.) to scrap automatic Irish citizenship for the Irish-born children of parents not from the island of Ireland. We were sending a clear signal that we will not allow Irish nationality to be used to facilitate solely-economic-migration. We cannot allow chancers to take advantage of us. We have enough of them already!

    And Lafcadio, yes I do consider you Irish.

  • Brian Boru

    Made a slight error here:

    “In that context, if both parents are Irish, I don’t necessarily see the child as Irish. I was having a discussion along those lines a while ago with my mother to get her view on it. She told me that while she would consider the child Irish if one parent was Irish too, that if neither parent was, then she would not. Admittedly this is also how I think.”

    Should start with “if both parents are Irish, I tend to see the child as Irish.” unless the child feels otherwise.

  • Biffo

    brian boru

    “Bringing in so many immigrants is increasing the economy’s dependence on the construction industry..”

    While nobody really understands how economies work, that has to be the stupidest theory I’ve heard in in a long time.

    Brian, you sound like an irish Alf Garnett.

  • Brian Boru

    Biffo, the Central Bank’s recent warnings bear out what I am saying about the danger of the rapidly rising house prices in the long run. I stand over what I have said.

  • Brian Boru

    I also resent the use of the term “new irish”, as it implies that Irishness is like something you send an application in the post to join. It is a nationality, not something that everyone who comes to live here suddenly becomes like going to Tir na nóg or something. 🙁

  • George

    Brian,
    I am still waiting for you to outline the economic policies you want to see implemented to help create this Brave New World of yours. Would Ireland leave the Euro (Denmark isn’t in it). Would you introduce rates, property tax, remove mortgage relief? These would bring house prices down and certainly appears more reasonable than preventing builders from finding workers to build houses.

    How would you try slow the growth rate down and how would you target the immigrants without also crippling the Irish economy as a whole?

    “Where is your source for this claim? I am aware that around 55% of the UK nationals did indeed have family connections here. Not so for most of the US ones though.”

    My source is the Dept. of Foreign Affairs as cited by the Sunday Tribune December 11, 2005.

    “According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, there have been 11,456 applications for Irish citizenship in the last two years. And, says the department, the vast majority of these applicants are American. IrishAmerican, to be exact – children of immigrants who have rooted out all the relevant information from their pasts. Birth certs, marriage certs, death certs. Hard copy proof that there’s Irish in their blood. And now they want to come home.”

    And despite the umpteen billions their forefathers sent home to keep this country from going under in the dark days you want to close the door?

    Not if I have anything to do with it. As I said see you at the ballot box. Let’s see if you can raise your current electoral representation above zero.

  • PaddyReilly

    The important thing to consider when admitting immigrants is: what will their children turn out like? Will they consider themselves, and be considered by others, to be Irish people with unusual surnames (like the De Valeras for example) or will they be disaffected and angry, muggers and suicide bombers?

    For this reason, Irish nationality is properly restricted to persons of long-standing Irish descent. It doesn’t have to be both parents. It is important to ensure that there is only one Irish race, and that everyone intermarries. The disasters involved when people only marry their ‘own sort’ are blatantly apparent in the history of the six counties.

    Consequently I welcome immigration from Eastern Europe. I can’t see that a second generation Pole is going to want to send home for a wife or husband. But from outside the EC, caution needs to be exercised. There needs to be zero tolerance of arranged marriages. As a way of gaining admission to Ireland, I mean.

    Now, as to the question of taking Irish people’s jobs away from them, there is a certain possibility that this is happening. A firm gets rid of its native workers, and hires immigrants, who are cheaper. The natives then go on the dole. This causes a net loss for the country’s economy, as we are now paying the immigrants’ wages and the natives’ dole. At the same time, it causes a gain for the firm concerned, who may repeat the process (in London Airport there was one company that wanted to shed its Indian catering workers and bring in even cheaper E. Europeans.)

    If the sacked natives ever get off the dole, then there is arguably a profit for the economy. But do they? If this is not the case, then the profit goes solely to the immigrant importing firm, and the social costs are borne by the rest of the population (the cost of investigating the London bombings, for example, was enormous.)

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    From a report by Hans Greimel of the AP today mentioning the effects upon Pakistan of all the Afgan refugees that moved there in the 1980s:

    “The influx strained Pakistan’s infrastructure and labor (sic) market…”

    How can this be true? I challenge all of the pro-mass immigration advocates to immediately contact AP and correct this statement.

    As to mass immigration to RoI, maybe this is the trade-off: This leads to a dilution of “Irish culture” but ultimately a “United Ireland”. Is this an acceptable result?

  • George

    USA,
    you are throwing refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants into the same pot.
    Because “foreigners” are all the same to you I assume. They are not. The majority of immigrants to Ireland are probably better educated than you.

    Those Afghanis coming to Pakistan weren’t coming to look for work in one of the fastest growing economies in the world which needed labour, they were fleeing war. You are comparing apples and oranges to come up with foreigners are bad.

    As for diluting “Irish culture”, I believe they will enhance it. Their children will be Irish so how can an Irish person dilute Irish culture? It’s like saying water dilutes water.

    I don’t know if the British unionists would be too happy with being the third largest culture on the island behind the Irish and the Hiberno-Slavs (or Polo-Hibernians), you will have to ask them, but it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    George:

    It seems that you are equating a legitimate concern over mass immigration with xenophobia. Ní hea.

    I wouldn’t want 11,000,000 Anglo-Saxons to suddenly immigrate to the US, legally or otherwise. But they might assimilate at a different rate than, say, Germans, Tibetans, or Hottentots.

    Question: I’ve read that many immigrants to RoI are from the Baltic states. Do these tend to be ethnic Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians, or ethnic Russians left behind after the collapse of the USSR?

  • George

    No USA,
    I am pointing out that you are equating legal migrants coming here to work of their own free will with refugees fleeing a war zone as if they are the same. They are not. Whatever legitimate concern you may have with immigration is lost in those muddy waters immediately.

    As I said earlier, 400,000 Bosnians fled to Germany in the early 90s, they weren’t migrants, they were refugees. They didn’t want to be in Germany and those who could leave when they got the chance did.

    On “assimilation”, it depends how long our East Europeans stay, which depends on the performance of the economy.
    Many just want to earn enough to head home and buy a home or set up company. Others want to move on to the US or wherever. Others want to stay.

    Either way, we are in the EU have chosen open borders, for which our Eastern European neighbours thank us as we are treating them as equals.

    I for one am not afraid of Ireland becoming more “European”.

    I don’t know the ethic make-up but it would be interesting to know if it is Russians or not.

  • Baluba

    Fearadh na fáilte roimh chách!

  • Brian Boru

    George, I have no problem with the descendents of Irish ppl “coming home” and I thought I made that clear in my post. Read it again.

    And if the vast majority in the past “2 years” were of Irish descent, then that would obviously be the case as the EU only enlarged in June 2004 (not 2003). Under Irish law, the immigrants would have to have lived in Ireland for 4 out of the last 5 years to apply for citizenship. http://oasis.gov.ie/moving_country/migration_and_citizenship/becoming_an_irish_citizen_through_naturalisation.html For this reason, the impact of Eastern European migration on the Citizenship application figures will not be seen yet. It is misleading to present the citizenship-applications as they stand now, as evidence of the true levels of migration into Ireland.

    Please do not misrepresent me, as the PC-brigade tends to misrepresent and indeed demonise the views of those who disagree with them.

  • PaddyReilly

    For a description of some of the new immigrants see:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2091-1920238,00.html

    The assertion is that they come from Lithuania and Latvia.

    The point about a lot of immigrant labour is that it is worthwhile for them only when they return home, where prices are considerably cheaper. Their Euro wage in Ireland means they have to sleep four to a room and deprive themselves of entertainment: but when they get home with their savings, they can put down a deposit on a house, or start a business.

    However, in Ireland it would be fatuous to deny that they contribute to pushing down wages. In certain spheres, banking for example, this is obviously not the case, and consequently the Middle Classes will enthusiastically embrace the cause of immigration, painting themselves as liberals. But a certain bitterness is liable to arise among Irish agricultural labourers.

    Historically, though, much of the resentment of the Irish among the English working classes is for this very reason: and the Orange Lodges aspired to operate a closed shop against cheaper, Catholic labour.

  • Brian Boru

    “Since Latvia joined the EU in May 2004, its people are free to travel to other member states in search of work. It is estimated that there are between 20,000 to 30,000 Latvians and Lithuanians in Ireland. There are doubts over the exact figure because there are many illegal or unregistered cases.”

    This is of particular concern. Census 2006 will reveal more.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Why not Estonians?

    The fact that Estonians are likely to be Protestants, and the other Balts RC or Orthodox, begs the question.

  • “Why not Estonians? The fact that Estonians are likely to be Protestants, and the other Balts RC or Orthodox, begs the question.”

    Actually Lutherans outnumber Catholics in Latvia. As for Estonians the reasons is that they have cultural and linguistic ties to nearby Finland and so many of them head there (albeit illegally) furthermore Estonia is slightly richer than the other two Baltic states.

    As for the question of who is moving from Latvia my own “on the ground” observation would be that it is normally ethnic Latvians not ethnic russians who are keener to move but that’s just a personal view so you can take it with a pinch of salt.

  • Biffo

    Ultonian

    “As to mass immigration to RoI, maybe this is the trade-off: This leads to a dilution of “Irish culture” but ultimately a “United Ireland”. Is this an acceptable result?”

    It’s hardly any big deal. Anglo-American culture is the threat to “Irish Culture” and Ireland can’t compete.

  • Lafcadio

    oh thanks! I’m glad I squeak past the Brian Boru nationality test..

    “Some connection with this island has to be part of it” the only connection any of us have with the island is that at some stage in the past, whether it be last week, four hundred years ago, or four thousand years ago, our (im-)migrant forefathers wound up here, and…that’s it. the Irish nation is not now, and has never been, the kind of ethnic or cultural monolith that you fondly suppose.

    Such sense as exists now of an Irish nationality has been forged from the braid of peoples from myriad backgrounds who have found themselves here over the past centuries – and for better or for worse, it will accomodate the current crop of immigrants, so get used to it!

  • George

    Brian,
    My own belief is that in the new enlarged Europe Ireland needs as many friends as it can get to protect its interests and standing up for the interests of the 10 accession countries is an exceedingly smart long-term move. So far, we have played Europe right and I think we still are.

    You are making a kneejerk reaction and not looking at the bigger picture, in my view. Many of your concerns are justified but you are looking in the wrong area to place the blame.

    House prices: it is not first-time buyers, immigrants or otherwise, driving up the price of houses, it is investors and land-hoarding developers. Bring in a property tax or rates.

    Wage-levels: The ICTU said today it is afraid 38,000 jobs will be outsourced to cheaper countries. And trust me €7.65 an hour which is the minimum wage here isn’t cheap. Even our immigrants are too bloody expensive when compared to India and the like.
    We need to upgrade our skills not tie one hand behind our back by denying ourselves a much-needed labour supply to take us to the next level.
    You find me 1,000 Irish people who will work for 7.65 an hour in a dark hole in Cavan picking mushrooms 16 hours a day. You won’t.
    Anyway, even if you could wouldn’t it be better to educate them to be able to do something more?
    Spend the money stamping that crap out and give the immigrants the same opportunity rather than pushing them into illegality.
    We should be spreading more not re-entering the economic dark ages.

    On Americans, you didn’t seem to accept that the majority of American citizens here probably have Irish blood, I was merely pointing out to you that as far as I know they do.
    It has nothing to do with naturalisation as these people are as entitled to an Irish passport as John Aldridge. They don’t need to be naturalised. They don’t even need to play football. They just need their parents’ birthcerts.

    On Latvians etc. naturalising, they don’t need to as long as people like you don’t get their way and make them second class EU citizens in Ireland.

  • PaddyReilly

    The point is, Latvians are not really working for 7.65 an hour. By the time they get the money home, it will be worth 76.5 an hour- to them.

  • George

    Paddy,
    Latvians go shopping too you know and have even been known to have a pint. They don’t live on one grain of rice a day and sit at home with the lights off so as not to use electricity.

    They add value to the economy that would otherwise not be there. Are you saying the Irish who went the America and sent money home didn’t add anything to its economy?

  • Brian Boru

    George, as far Ireland ‘needing allies’ I think that our veto on the EU budget should concentrate their minds before getting bitchy with us. We would not be in any different position to the 12 Old EU states with controls, and these countries might also need Eastern European cooperation at a vote at the Council of Ministers under QMV so don’t lecture on this thank you very much.

    Since we started introducing legal economic migration on a large scale from the developing world, Irish unemployment has actually risen from 3.7% in early 2001 to 4.3% today. Economic growth was 11% back then and now its 6%. The French and German economies have the highest %’s of migrants and also the highest unemployment in the Old EU of 15 member states. The economic case for mass-immigration is unproven.

    But even if such a case existed, I ask this question: If as Michael Martin and IBEC constantly tell us, we need 30-50,000 migrants a year, then why did we let in 180,000 from the new EU states last year not to mention the ‘student visas’ and 27,000 non-EU work-permits?

    What is to happen in the event of a future economic downturn? Who will keep their jobs, the cheap foreign labour, or the Irish labour? Do we need French-style riots?

  • PaddyReilly

    George, you are reading some kind of antipathy towards Latvians into my remarks which isn’t there. I share the e-mail facilities on this computer of mine with a Latvian (who is a friend of Raimo V, the authoress of the book I gave a link for). It’s not the Latvians I’m worried about. Rather, it is getting into a culture where the answer is always fire the staff, reduce the wages and bring in more immigrants.

    As for your remarks about sitting in the dark, Raimo specifically states that she had to live 11 to a three room house, i.e. she had to make comparable economies. Which I can assure you people do not do in Latvia. If bringing the prices down is the only ultimate good, why not re-introduce slavery? And if bringing prices down is good, why aren’t you campaigning for the relaxation of planning permission and the abolition of the false market in housing, or the removal of tax from alcohol? Prosperity is no excuse for introducing a slave-driver culture.

  • Naoise Nunn

    LEVIATHAN UPDATE:

    SIPTU General President Jack O’Connor will discuss his union’s position on foreign workers and immigration in a special one-on-one interview with David McWilliams at this Thursday’s Leviathan.

  • Biffo

    Brian Boru

    “The economic case for mass-immigration is unproven.”

    Maybe you should go and speak to some of the 150 million migrant workers in Eastern China currently making most of the contents of your house.

    Brian do us all a favour and admit your postion is simply “No blacks’ no dogs, just Irish”.

    While your at it why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and apply for a job picking mushrooms in Monaghan.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Biffo:

    The issue is more complicated than that.

    In RoI’s case, I would ask, “How many of the mass immigrants are there to stay?” This will be critical in examining the cultural impact.

    If Irish nationalism wants to keep its Gaelic flavor, at some point the critical mass of here-to-stay immigration will negatively impact this, unless they buy into it.

    As RoI really has paid little more than lip service to Gaelic, except for civil service work, why would they bother?

    And if they do buy into it, eg totally immersing themselves in Gaelic, and even eschewing English, imagine the boost for Gaelic culture across RoI.

    Of course, this could negatively impact NI unionist interest in a UI even further.

    Of course, if the mass immigration consists of workers for short periods who come in, make money, then leave, the cultural impact is much more diminished.

    The economic impact is a different story.

    I would be more in favor of importing cheap immigrant labour, permant or temporary, if citisens displaced by this were to be retrained with courses named something like, “How To Exploit Cheap Foreign Labour For Sadistic Fun And Obscene Profit.” Then, follow it up with gov’t grants, long-term interest-free loans, tax breaks, and immunity from prosecution so that these newly re-educated budding entrepeneurs can put theory into practise.

    You wrote, “While your at it why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and apply for a job picking mushrooms in Monaghan.”

    This is my take: If picking up dog turds in the park by hand paid 1,000,000 Euros per year, not only would I take the job, I’d gladly pay for my own gloves.

    And if being a physician only paid minimum wage, who would do it?

    So it seems like the level of wages paid is a factor in local labour availability.

    If a certain industry’s low consumer prices can only be maintained importing cheap foreign labour, then maybe the product being locally produced needs to be changed to something else.

    Obviously, part of this is the stategic importance of the product. Eg, Japan supports its farming sector against cheap foreign imports in what I assume to be a hedge against being cut off from food supplies.

    This leads to higher rice prices in Japan. But it also provides a higher standard of living for Japanese agricultural workers, assuming that they don’t import cheap foreign labour.

    If Americans want to eat strawberries, citisens can be found to do the work. But they want to be paid livable wages.

    If the price is so high that demand drops, farmers will find other crops to grow, even if they must continue to pay citisen farm workers a livable wage.

    Of course, strawberries could be imported from abroad. But the American farmers will still be employing American citisens growing different crops. Or the land and other capital will be used for something else entirely, and still employ citisen labour at a livable wage.

    As to the RoI, and any EU country, you signed on to allow the movement of workers from one EU country to another. These then would not seem to count as “foreign” workers, as would labourers from non-EU countries. This is similiar to the US situation, where workers in Maine taking a job in California would not be then considered foreign labour.

    The only thing then that mitigates the resulting supply-and-demand lower wage pressure, is unions. If wages can’t be lowered, then there is little economic imperative for importing cheap non-local labour.

    And yes, even cheap non-local labourers will spend some of their hard-earned bucks locally: but they obviously have less of it to spend.

    Maybe you want to be reduced to living four-families-to-a-room, not me.

  • Brian Boru

    “Brian do us all a favour and admit your postion is simply “No blacks’ no dogs, just Irish””

    Biffo that’s just another PC-caricature and false. I am prepared to accept 30,000 immigrants a year but no more.

  • Baluba

    Sorry Mrs 30,001, you’ll have to come back next year when I’ve decided to allow some more of you Untermenschen in.