I would like to see a survey that correlates public attitudes to immigration with the employment status of the respondents. I suspect we would find that many of the people who say ‘They come over here and take benefits and don’t want to work’ are people who claim benefits and don’t want to work. You may think I’m being snobbish, but even my elitism can’t touch that of the National Government, which will play the immigration card to get these people’s votes and then cut their benefits and throw them out on the street. (And by the way, I’d also like to know why convicts will soon be able to vote when my Polish housemates can’t.)
Illustrating the point is a post by the supported housing worker Winston Smith who records the mad Socratic dialogues he has with the people under his care.
One of our residents, Mike, whom I have written about before, arrived the other day at the office door complete with gormless shuffle and his two hands placed firmly down the front of his tracksuit so as to remind the world that he has testicles and has already used them to pollute the planet with his gene pool. He has recently moved from the Housing Project in to a one bedroom flat provided by the Housing Association. He lives in here at half the cost (which Housing Benefit pay) of what the same flat would cost him in the privately rented sector. Despite living a very comfortable life on the proceeds of others hard work, as well as the income he derives from selling drugs to his peers, Mike still finds a lot of time to come and complain to staff at the project whilst visiting his girlfriend who is still a resident here. As per usual he just walked in to the office uninvited and started demanding what he perceived to be his rights.
‘Winston, I need the spare keys to my flat. I’ve lost mine again. I might have left them in there. Give us the spare keys will you?’
‘No,I won’t give them to you. The last time I gave you the spare keys you lost them as well and we had to get the locks changed at our cost. When the caretaker comes in he can go around with you and let you in and if you want a new set you will have to pay for them to be cut. For God’s sake Mike, that’s the third set you have lost over the past few months. If you can’t even manage keys to a flat how can you manage the flat itself?’
There are several of our residents who as well as being unable to sign on the dole on time without constantly having their benefits cut off are also incapable of having keys without losing them. Before Mike had time to respond to my question the doorbell at the project rang. It was the Pizza delivery man who is about 21, around Mike’s age, and is from Eastern Europe and speaks perfect English. Mike went to answer the door as the Pizza was for him and his pregnant girlfriend. Afterwards, he came back to the office to offer his opinions on EU enlargement and the influx of immigrants that have ensued in to the UK as a result.
‘See that Polish Pizza guy it’s the likes of him that’s stealing all the jobs of young British workers like me. I don’t agree with all these foreigners coming over here taking our jobs. It’s just not right. What do you think of it Winston?’
What I really think is that the Eastern European should be allowed to stay and that Mike should be stripped of his rights as a citizen and deported to an uninhabitated rock in the outer Hebrides.