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Monday, December 06, 2010


just recently the government brought in a cap on non-eu migrant workers.

business leaders were up in arms (no surprises there); they argued that without the ability to bring in skilled labour from overseas there was a chance that uk plc would lose its position in the world economy.

now let’s get this straight. what the business leaders are saying is that there are not enough skilled people in the uk to fill their jobs, nor are there enough skilled people in the whole of the european union to fill those positions. this means that they have to go elsewhere to find those skilled employees.

i find that hard to believe. a friend of mine, who is in a high-tech industry, tells me that it is hard to get the right people. which goes to show what i know.

yet (not giving up on the theme) one of the problems seems to be that the clever bods here are going elsewhere, such as the usa, which implies that they have a lack of specialists over there, except these are the sort of people that business wants to be able to bring over here. odd really.

the welfare to work programme i attend has an american in charge of it, basically he is an office manager – there are probably several hundred unemployed people on their books who can do that job.

think of all the spokesmen from various think tanks that pop up on the tv or the radio who are not from the uk and not from the eu. then ask yourself just how ‘vital’, how ‘specialised’ their roles are?

the keen eyed among you might be shouting and pointing “daily mail reader, daily mail reader.” not sure i can defend myself against that accusation in this instance.

why am i writing about it now?

spies in westminster is why.

quite why russian spies would want to be involved with the liberal demoncrats (this was a spelling mistake on my part, but i like it) is one that will remain shrouded in mystery: surely even the russian’s know that the liberal democrats will say one thing and do another.

anyway there is mr. nick hancock, the liberal democrat mp for portsmouth south embroiled in a spying fiasco, as there are claims that his russian parliamentary aide is a spy (cue dramatic music). it appears that mr. hancock has a thing for east european women and has often had them as aides (phnarr phnarr).

mr. hancock says of katia zatuliveter "i have no reason to believe she did any thing but act honourably during the time she was working for me.”

mr. hancock sits on house of commons defence select committee.

he says miss zatuliveter was not involved in any sensitive work. remember this; not involved in any sensitive work. she has been known to show constituents around the house of commons and some have described her as very nice and very intelligent.

a couple of members of parliament were on the radio ‘defending’ mr. hancock and basically it came down to the fact that most backbenchers are not privy to sensitive material, that in fact most of their work was dull and dealt with local issues.

so we have she didn’t deal with anything sensitive add that to the fact that most backbench mps deal with local matters. so you have to wonder why, in this case, mr. hancock felt the need to have a russian aide? wasn’t there a suitable local candidate who could have worked with mr. hancock in the house of commons? after all someone from his local area would know the issues that related to his constituency and would be able to chat amiably with constituents who came to visit their mp in his place of work.

william hague, the coalition government’s foreign secretary, knows a thing or two about hiring aides has said that there is nothing wrong with mps employing foreign-born staff many of whom, he went on to say, did outstanding work.

i am sure they do.

i am also sure that there are more than enough political wannabes from the uk who would love to be a political aide to an mp, to get their first taste of the corridors of power.

if there is one place where gordon brown’s “british jobs for british workers” slogan could easily be put into practice then it has to be the houses of parliament.

after all what are the dears to do when they come out of university? while it may sound like a facetiously made point, it is still valid. what is the point of encouraging people to go to university if as a country we are happy to import talent?

i know i know the counter argument is strong; it is persuasive and only goes so far up the pole. what is the argument? that we need the best people for the jobs, without the best we fall behind. strange how this is never taken to its logical conclusion that maybe, just maybe those in charge are not quite up to it and that actually in those far off foreign lands that we wish to import the cheap labour from or outsource the work to there is a chief executive officer just waiting for his chance.

why stop there? bill clinton and george bush are a loss with what to do with themselves. i am sure nelson mandela has some spare time. i reckon that before she cleans up burma aung san suu kyi could rediscover her political legs by doing a turn over here.

so why not just get the best politicians in as well?

let’s be fair they can’t do a worse job than the lot we have, and as they keep telling us: we need the best for the job.

or maybe the politicians can take a look at themselves and do their bit for the economy and the jobs market and look to employ british staff.

just a thought.

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