by Ed West
Monday, 30
March 2020
Reaction
10:43

Let Brits pick their own fruit!

Flying 90,000 migrants to the UK in the middle of a pandemic would be utterly mad
by Ed West
The UK needs to fill 90,000 positions to pick crops that will otherwise die in the fields, a charity warned

What a brilliant idea. Right in the middle of a lethal pandemic killing thousands a day, let’s fly over 90,000 fruit pickers from eastern Europe to pick fruit, while keeping millions of young people here imprisoned in their homes.

British people, of course, are genetically incapable of picking fruit so we must bring them in from Bulgaria.

Here’s a fun exercise. Google “crops rotting in the field” or something to that effect and go through the news story covering this terrible danger down the years – there are dozens of them.

Then type into the search bar “wages” and see what you find. The usual result is, of course, nothing; no counter-response that British workers are capable of doing this labour but would demand higher wages than foreign workers. We simply have to hire immigrants, sorry!

Centre-left papers run this genre of story the most, and if it seems odd that they are not on the side of higher wages, then it all makes sense if you look at the modern economy as a sort of informal caste system.

The British hierarchy is slightly different to the more extreme California model cited in that article, but it’s not much. At So at the top we have our highest caste, or First Estate, comprised of the ultra-rich and in particular the world of finance. They tend to be liberal, in the sense of valuing freedom; they support whatever’s good for the market, and therefore free movement of goods, services and people, and they’re not “Left-wing” by any real means, certainly.

The Second Estate are the thinkers, working in the media, schools, quangos and academia; their values tend to be progressive, in that they believe in equality, and this has become more extreme as their financial situation has worsened (the housing market is the biggest but not only aggravating factor).

When people talk about the “liberal elite” worrying about their nannies from Romania, it’s a bit of a mischaracterisation because the intellectual elite today can’t afford nannies anymore; they can barely afford children. Corbynism is explained, largely, by the impoverishment of this section of society.

The first and second caste have little in common, and liberty and equality both clash, but they both have a strong interest in supporting globalisation and free movement; the former for financial reasons, the latter for moral and emotional needs.

They also both fear the third estate, which you might call “the people” for want of a better word; this is why, as the brilliant “smug style in American liberalism” article once explained, progressives now see “the people” as the obstacle to progress.

(Because of these trends, of course, Right-wingers increasingly make — often laughably insincere — appeals to the “people” opposed to the elites.)

That’s why, even with the virtual apocalypse coming, you still see a Left-wing paper covering, without criticism, a policy proposal by a campaigning charity that benefits landowners and harms the interests of the poor. We don’t need to fly people over to do this labour — we can do it ourselves, if only we paid people the right amount (or, if necessary, mechanised). And, as perhaps people are now beginning to realise, we never did.

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Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
2 years ago

Every able-bodied, furloughed worker on taxpayer-funded Government support should be regarded as a candidate for deployment to work in the national interest. Including harvesting fruit and vegetables.

J Cor
J Cor
2 years ago

Why just them? All people consume taxpayer-funded services. We are all ultimately on some form of government support.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
2 years ago
Reply to  J Cor

Why just them? Because they are, by definition, at a loose end at the moment.

Veronica Lowe
Veronica Lowe
2 years ago

Bearing in mind that students and many others cannot go to the gym or play sports, I see no reason why they should not do what I did as a student, and pick fruit and vegetables. We have an able workforce. And those who object and insist we need all those thousands brought in from across Europe are making the same argument as justified slavery: ‘We are too important to do jobs like that.’
And if you can’t run the London marathon, there is nothing to stop you keeping fit, doing something vital and donating the proceeds to your chosen charity.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago

I wonder does Sweden have the UK’s history of fear based memes in the Dawkins/Darwin sense of the word? UK’s psychological evolution comes from “reds under the bed” and “rivers of blood” via AIDS, Edwina Curries Eggs, BSE, FMD, Swine Flu, Designer Drugs and more recently our own dear Labour Party’s fear of “Jews who control The Banks and Media”??

Pierre Lefevre
Pierre Lefevre
2 years ago

The position of poorer countries is part of the reason I cannot see how the lock down strategy works – there will always be a pool of the virus in poor countries that even with the most generous aid could not be eradicated as the infrastructure and institutions are simply not there to do it. So unless we cut them off from the rich world completely we will just re-infect as soon as lock down stops.

What is the strategy for coming out of lock down?

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
2 years ago
Reply to  Pierre Lefevre

could place all travellers into the country into quarantine for 14 days

Hywel Morgan
Hywel Morgan
2 years ago

Good article. It had 3 sage and compliant comments.
Thought For The Day: maybe I’ll join.

So I did. Went through the process, diligently.
Now back to the article. Sorry, no can do.
So I re-load the article, and here I am.

But where did those 3 comments go?
Were they just teasers, to tickle people into signing up?
Please explain.
And, I hope, deny.

Jerry W
Jerry W
2 years ago

What, no room for chess? We could do with more chessplayers, and fewer gamblers