I could have asked why do we need so many immigrants? There are three inputs to economic activity, land, labour and equipment. Labour can be further split into skilled and unskilled. Unskillled is easy to recruit and in the UK involves little long term costs thanks to a US imported hire fire them culture. Investment in equipment however does incur considerable long term costs as does skilling your own people. Labour and equipment are functionally substitutable for each other to a considerable extent but for big business its a no brainer just go out and buy cheap labour from Bulgaria etc or even better India where you can source already trained skilled labour as well. Its a double whammy as the great British taxpayer gets to pay the social costs of the immigrants. So you are privatising the profits and nationalising the costs. Wunderbar as the Germans say.
Great for profits and top management with their rewards linked to profits but very bad for our indigenous young who need training. Hence as Matthew Lynn writes in today's DT business is protesting, I would say squealing. about HMG's plans to reduce immigration, Business cares not a jot about immigrant welfare. Their attitudes are as they were in Victorian times, drive down labour costs and increase profits. We tackled this problem in the 19th century Britain with the setting up of trade unions who, realising they had to control the way laws were made, set up the Labour party.
The Labour party is sadly no longer the party promoting workers interests. It has been taken over by the liberal elite to promote their crack pot ideas for social engineering, diversity, feminism etc. To parody George Orwell its black face good, white face bad , homosexuality good heterosexuality bad, women good men all evil rapists, North London BBC driven media good, Northern working men's clubs bad. This will of course lead to electoral and economic disaster. but it will be the workers not the political elite who pay the price.
To return to my title question why do the Franco Prussians beat us in the productivity stakes. They have far tighter labour laws which forces employers to make far better use of their existing work force. They have genuine worker representation on company boards. They pay far more attention to real apprentice ship training and far less to media studies etc. One of the best apprenticeship schemes in the South West is run by the French company EDF. Germany industry is run by engineers not PPE and legal graduate bull shit merchants that dominate our company boards and the higher echelons of government. These people are very good on the media but tend to be very poor at running anything even breweries. We have to rid ourselves of our dependence on cheap imported labour. My esteemed neighbour Lord Paddy Pantsdown could not answer my wife's simple question in a public meeting, what do we do when our imported care workers get old and need care? I ask Mogg to translate into Latin, who cares for the worn out aged imported carers? Lib Dems? I think not.
As Barnier says the clock is ticking on this. Business must recognise this, adapt and stop this pointless political lobbying and PR to try and tilt the rules in their favour and get off the cheap imported labour fix. One of our great companies was Coats of Paisley the thread makers. It was the first genuine multi-national. Around 1920 it had manufacturing plants in almost every country in the world. When it trained its management from its apprentices it did well. When it went over to graduate management it lost its place. Coats is still there but is a shadow of itself. Paisley is now best known as the hometown of AF Neil as Nigel Lawson, Thatcher's great reforming Chancellor, is now best known as Nigella's father.