“my land’s only borders lie around my heart”

Oh dear, see what happens when politicians say something that my mother might?  Unfortunately, this is one of those times when I agree with what was said, and usually when I start getting bricks thrown at my head for being an unrelenting Tory etc.

It ties in with something I’ve been wanting to write since the weekend (though unpacking put paid to more than a perfunctory checking of email).  This notion of a wider responsibility, which in liberal terms seems to have no end.  We have to feed the starving in other countries, which is noble, but wouldn’t it be more helpful to remove the causes of famine and deprivation, i.e. corrupt governments?  Throwing money at a problem rarely solves it (try telling that to the overspending Labour governments of old) and there has to be some imposition of restraint and building a workable infrastructure.

Anyway, gripes about Make Poverty History aside, social housing (what happened to it being called council housing?) is a fantastic concept, one that we should be proud of, and one that should be as widely available as necessary.

However, why exactly should this facility be extended to economic migrants?  I know this country is appealing in many ways, but a large part of that is how easy it is to get everything for free when you first arrive.  And this has nothing to do with genuine asylum seekers, carry on with helping out there please, but it’s not unreasonable to actually check the veracity of claims.

It is sad that the working class in this country will miss out.  It’s not so bad in places like Lanarkshire where there is still some housing available, albeit it only in rougher areas.  But in London Boroughs like Barking they can’t offer you housing even if you’re pregnant, even if you have problems with addiction, but that’s only the case if you’re born and raised here.  If you were to pitch up at Gatwick or Heathrow, new to the country with no money, and never having contributed tax or National Insurance, you would stroll directly to the head of the queue.   I’m not talking about withholding all services, I’m just saying isn’t there an element of looking after our own first?

Not that I’m a rampant xenophobe, I have the same objection to English expats overstretching public services in the south of Spain etc while only paying taxes at home in Blighty.  Hmph.


4 responses to ““my land’s only borders lie around my heart”

  1. I tend to agree with you here…

    The problem is a lot of people don’t make the distinction between asylum seekers and economic migrants and benefits migrants and tar everyone with the same brush.

    I didn’t even claim jobseekers when I moved to London as I didn’t feel it was right because I had never paid any contributions in the UK… and now, after 7 years of paying tax and national insurance and having a mortgage and owning a flat I am not even allowed to vote in general elections…

    I think the waiting lists should have some sort of points bearings, including time in the council and tax contributions paid…

  2. To both you and Carla, just as a talking point: where do you draw the line at who is allowed to emigrate? I certainly could be called an economic immigrant. I didn’t move here to seek asylum and I certainly am much better off over here than I ever would be in Wisconsin.

  3. There’s lots wrong with this, especially when you say people from abroad go straight to the front of the queue. I could bore you for hours over this as I work in the sector, but you couldn’t be more wrong and are just walking straight into the trap set by the BNP and Daily Mail. Sxx

  4. Bec, the difference is that there are restrictions on your immigration. You can’t pitch up and claim economic asylum because you don’t meet the criteria. Because of that you don’t automatically qualify for NHS and benefits, you have to get citizenship, or at least some form of long term visa.

    Stevie, I appreciate that it may not be the actual policy but L and I were very nearly homeless a few years ago and the woman at Camden housing told us there was a 6 year wait, unless we were seeking asylum or met certain other pretty restrictive criteria in the same sort of genre. It’s also the case in Barking and Dagenham, which wasn’t so hard a few years back when Lande had a council flat there. And Daily Mail or not, there are vast numbers of people in this country who falsely claim asylum. Or they come over legitimately and then ship in family members for NHS treatment which they get for free as it’s classed as emergency. I know this happens, doctors have told me that they treat people anyway, though they know they should kick up some bureaucratic fuss, because at the end of the day, the person is already in the hospital and ill, it would be more hassle to refuse them.

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