Thursday, July 31, 2014
No welfare payments if you don't contribute to UK: Tories push for new migrant crackdown after limiting the dole to three months
Migrants will be banned from receiving any benefits until they have contributed to Britain, under government plans to limit access to handouts.
David Cameron today announced the period for which European migrants can claim benefits is to be halved and recruitment agencies are to be banned from advertising jobs exclusively overseas.
But Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith revealed plans to go even further to secure EU agreement to stop benefits being paid to people who have not contributed to to the state, raising the prospect of handouts being linked to tax payments.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced migrants would only be allowed to claim benefits for three months, but Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith revealed plans to go further and ban claims for people who have not contributed to the welfare state
The Conservatives are forcing through further measures to deter so-called ‘benefit tourists’.
In January, the Government introduced rules that meant European migrants had to wait three months before they could claim out-of-work benefits – and then could only claim for a maximum of six months.
Today Mr Cameron said the claim period will be cut from six months to three months from November and applied to jobseekers’ allowance, child tax credit and child benefit.
The Government will also stop recruitment firms from advertising British jobs elsewhere in the EU without also doing so in the UK – in English.
Agencies have been accused of recruiting only foreign workers for specific shifts, for jobs such as fruit picking and hotel work, without even offering a chance to UK citizens.
But Mr Duncan Smith said this was the limit of what the government could within European law, but ministers are pushing to go further.
The eventual plan is that people should have contributed to the system when they come in before being able to claim anything
Iain Duncan Smith
He said there was 'growing consensus' with countries like Germany, Holland and Spain to limit access to migrants who have not contributed to the state.
Mr Duncan Smith told BBC Radio 4's World at One: 'What we’re working on with others in Europe [is] that there should not be a right to just enter a country and claim benefits unless you’ve contributed.
Mr Duncan Smith told BBC Radio 4's World at One: 'What we’re working on with others in Europe [is] that there should not be a right to just enter a country and claim benefits unless you’ve contributed. He said there was 'growing consensus' with countries like Germany, Holland and Spain to limit access to migrants who have not
'So the eventual plan – and this is where we want to be and I think there is a lot of general agreement about this – is that people should have contributed to the system when they come in before being able to claim anything.'
Key measures announced today include:
Benefits to be cut off after three months - rather than the current six - unless the migrants have ‘very clear job prospects’
Tougher rules imposed on universities and colleges which sponsor international students to study in the UK
From November, the threshold for stripping educational institutions of their “highly-trusted sponsor” status will be cut, so that they lose it if 10 per cent or more of the individuals they offer places are refused visas, rather than the present 20 per cent
A ban on overseas-only advertising of jobs, by legally requiring employment agencies to seek applicants for posts in Britain
Number of JobCentre Plus vacancies automatically advertised on an EU-wide employment portal will be restricted
He said that under the last Labour government it was possible to claim housing benefit 'so their immigration policies did leave a very, very big open door. We’re shutting that door, but we’ve yet more to do'.
On a visit to an immigration raid in Slough, Mr Cameron claimed the changes announced today will save the British taxpayer half a billion pounds over the next five years.
During this morning's raid, immigration officers found four Albanian men aged between 27 and 31, along with one minor, who all entered the country illegally.
In the same house, they detained a Kenyan woman, aged 35, who had overstayed her visa, while at a separate address was a 35-year-old Indian visa overstayer who was in possession of a false Portuguese passport.
A Home Office spokesman said all of them have been taken to immigration detention pending removal from the country, apart from the minor, who is in the care of social services.
The Prime Minister said the crackdown was the latest attempt to reverse a ‘soft touch’ approach adopted by Labour, who he accused of ‘practically sending out search parties’ for people to come to Britain.
He claimed so-called ‘highly skilled’ migrants allowed in under the last government had ended up ‘stacking shelves’.
Mr Cameron said: 'Let's be clear - some people are coming here to work, some people are coming here to claim, some people are coming here pretending to be students. I have a very clear approach to this, which is, if you don't have a right to be here, you will be sent home, you shouldn't be here.
'People want to know that, yes, we have a fair legal migration system but, in terms of illegal migration, we will find you and we will send you home.'
He added: 'We want an immigration system that puts Britain first and so what we're doing today is a whole series of changes that says to people if you come here illegally we will make it harder for you to have a home, to get a car, to have a job, to get a bank account, and when we find you - and we will find you - we'll make sure you're sent back to the country that you came from.'
Mr Cameron will also warn that some universities and colleges could lose their licences to recruit overseas students in a tightening of visa rules.
Ministers say a current 20 per cent tolerance threshold of student visa refusals that education institutions are allowed before losing their ‘highly trusted’ status is too generous. It is expected to be lowered to 10 per cent.
Other measures coming into force include attempts to rein in abuse of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to family life – by migrants to avoid deportation. In future, judges will have to consider the British public interest too, Mr Cameron said.
The Government is also introducing a new system of ‘deport now, appeal later’, designed to help the authorities remove foreign criminals – who will have to launch any appeal from their own country rather than delaying their departure with endless legal action.
‘Under Labour, 2.5million more people came to this country than left. As Peter Mandelson has admitted, they were practically sending out 'search parties' for people to come here,’ the Prime Minister said.
‘It used to be that European jobseekers could claim JSA (jobseekers’ allowance) or child benefit for a maximum of six months before their benefits would be cut off, unless they had very clear job prospects.
'We will be reducing that cut-off point to three months, saying very clearly: you cannot expect to come to Britain and get something for nothing.’
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the Government was failing on immigration despite Mr Cameron's promise to get it down to the tens of thousands.
'We need less talk from the Prime Minister on immigration and more action,' she said.
'It's almost a year and a half since Labour called for benefit restrictions on new migrants. In that time we've had reannouncement after reannouncement from the Tories but little in the way of firm action.
'Behind the rhetoric, the true picture of this Government on immigration is one of failure, with net migration going up, despite David Cameron's promise to get it down to the tens of thousands.
'The Government should get a grip and finally implement Labour's proposals to stop the undercutting of wages and jobs for local workers by the exploitation of low-skilled migrant labour, including banning recruitment agencies that only hire foreign workers and pressing for stronger controls in Europe.'
Federal Court: Virginia Marriage Is for All
An appeals courts' decision to strike down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban adds to the growing list of decrees on a hot-button issue that will likely end up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, is the second federal appellate court to overturn gay marriage bans, after the Denver circuit, and is the first to affect the South, a region where the rising tide of rulings favoring marriage equality is testing concepts of states' rights and traditional, conservative moral values that have long held sway.
"I am proud that the Commonwealth of Virginia is leading on one of the most important civil rights issues of our day," said Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who had refused to defend the state ban when he took office in January. "We are fighting for the right of loving, committed couples to enter the bonds of marriage."
Virginians voted 57 percent to 43 percent in 2006 to amend their constitution to ban gay marriage and state law prohibits recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states, which the court said infringes on its citizens' fundamental right to marry.
The court itself also highlighted the debate that pits moral values and the idea of equality against states' rights, recognizing that same-sex marriage "makes some people deeply uncomfortable," but argued in its ruling Monday that those concerns are "not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws."
"Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security," Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote. "Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance."
The 2-1 ruling applies throughout the circuit that also includes West Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas, where the attorneys general split Monday on what they'll do next.
North Carolina's top lawman, Roy Cooper, quickly announced that he will stop defending his state's ban, but a spokesman said South Carolina's attorney general, Alan Wilson, sees no need to change course.
Maryland already allows same-sex marriages. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, for his part, said he's reviewing the decision and won't comment until it's final.
The ruling came as Colorado's attorney general, John Suthers, asked his state Supreme Court on Monday to stop county clerks from issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Colorado's gay marriage ban, passed by voters in 2006, is still the law although recent rulings in federal and state court have found it to be unconstitutional. Those rulings have been put on hold during appeals. Suthers argues the state needs to have a consistent practice on gay marriage licenses until the issue is ultimately settled.
Defenders of gay marriage bans are likely to ask for a stay pending their next appeal; otherwise, licenses could be issued to Virginia's same-sex couples in 21 days. And once it becomes final, the decision will apply to the entire circuit, American Civil Liberties Union lawyer James Esseks said.
Gay marriage proponents have won more than 20 legal decisions around the country since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year. Most are still under appeal. More than 70 cases have been filed in all 31 states that prohibit same-sex marriage. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia allow such marriages.
The U.S. Supreme Court could have at least five appellate decisions to consider if it takes up gay marriage again in its next term, beginning in October.
The 6th Circuit in Cincinnati will hear arguments Aug. 6 for Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. The 7th Circuit in Chicago is set for arguments on Aug. 26, and the 9th Circuit in San Francisco for Sept. 8. The 10th Circuit in Denver overturned Utah's ban in June.
The Virginia lawsuit was filed by Timothy Bostic and Tony London of Norfolk, who were denied a marriage license, and Carol Schall and Mary Townley of Chesterfield County. The women were married in California and wanted their marriage recognized in the state where they are raising a 16-year-old daughter.
"Marriage is one of the most fundamental rights — if not the most fundamental right — of all Americans," said plaintiffs' attorney David Boies. "This court has affirmed that our plaintiffs — and all gay and lesbian Virginians — no longer have to live as second-class citizens who are harmed and demeaned every day."
Herring said the decision evoked the notion from a 2003 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in which Justice Anthony Kennedy noted the framers of the U.S. Constitution "knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress."
The decision by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen that Virginia's ban violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection and due-process guarantees was challenged by two circuit court clerks whose duties include issuing marriage licenses. They were supported by the right-wing legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The group said it may ask for a full circuit rehearing, or appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
"Every child deserves a mom and a dad, and the people of Virginia confirmed that at the ballot box when they approved a constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as a man-woman union," ADF Senior Counsel Byron Babione said.
The decision falls in line with the changing climate in the 4th Circuit, which had a reputation as one of the nation's most conservative courts. That has changed in the past five years.
Most of the 14 active judges are Democratic appointees, including five named by President Barack Obama. Floyd was initially appointed as a federal judge in South Carolina by George W. Bush, and then nominated for the appellate court by Obama. Roger Gregory, who joined Floyd in the majority, was a recess appointment of Bill Clinton, re-nominated by Bush in 2001. Paul V. Niemayer, who wrote the dissent, was appointed by George H. W. Bush.
Sen. Marco Rubio: Tolerance 'Is a Two-Way Street'
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Wednesday that supporters of same-sex marriage must “respect those of us who support traditional marriage” because “tolerance is a two-way street.”
“States have always regulated marriage in America, and state legislatures have a right, a constitutional right to change those regulations. But that right to define and regulate marriage is a two-way street,” Rubio said at a Catholic University of America (CUA) symposium on “Strong Values for a Strong America.”
“Just as states have a right to redefine marriage to include same-sex marriage, they also have a right to continue to define it as between one man and one woman,” he said.
Rubio criticized unelected judges who have been redefining marriage even in states where the people have decided that it should exclusively remain a union of one man and one woman.
“All across this country, we have judges overturning state laws and defining marriage and redefining marriage from the bench,” Rubio said.
Last week, a local judge in Rubio’s home state of Florida ruled that same-sex couples in the Florida Keys could get married, contrary to a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
“Those who support same-sex marriage have a right to lobby their state legislatures to change their state laws. But Americans, like myself, who support keeping the traditional definition of marriage also have a right to work to keep the traditional definition of marriage in our laws without seeing them overturned by a judge.”
“Our nation has in the past demonstrated a tremendous capacity to work through issues like this. And I believe it will do it again. But doing so will require those of us who support traditional marriage to respect those who support same- sex marriage. But it will also require those who support same-sex marriage to respect those of us who support traditional marriage, because tolerance is also a two-way street.”
"However, today there is a growing intolerance on this issue. Intolerance towards those who continue to support traditional marriage," Rubio said.
The senator acknowledged that America’s history “is marred by discrimination against gays and lesbians.”
“Many cities carried out law enforcement efforts targeting gay Americans,” he said. “Fortunately, we have come a long way since then. But . . .supporters of same-sex marriage argue that laws banning same-sex marriage are discrimination.”
“I respect their arguments,” Rubio said. “And I would concede that they pose a legitimate question for lawmakers and for society.”
But "thousands of years of human history have shown that the ideal setting for children to grow up is with a mother and a father committed to one another, living together, and sharing the responsibility of raising their children,” the senator said.
“That is the definition of marriage that I personally support - not because I seek to discriminate against people who love someone of the same sex, but because I believe that the union of one man and one woman is a special relationship that has proven to be of great benefit to our society, our nation, and our people, and therefore deserves to be elevated in our laws.”
Rubio mentioned the push earlier this year for Mozilla co-founder Brandon Eich to resign as CEO because of a $1,000 donation he made in 2008 in support of California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriages, as an example of growing intolerance towards supporters of traditional marriage.
Last week, a Colorado cake artist appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that forces him to make cakes for same-sex weddings.
Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop, was sued by a same-sex couple after refusing to make them a wedding cake in 2012. Citing his religious beliefs, he offered to make them another type of cake instead. The commission’s order also compels Phillips and his staff to undergo anti-discrimination training and file quarterly “compliance” reports for the next two years.
“I promise you that even before this speech is over, I will be attacked as a hater, a bigot, or someone who is anti-gay,” Rubio said. “This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy. . .supporting the definition of marriage as one man and one woman is not anti-gay, it is pro-traditional marriage.”
Support among Americans for legalized same-sex marriage has increased to 55 percent, according to a Gallup poll released in May.
Blacking up on the Road to Auschwitz
By Sean Gabb
On Friday, the 25th July, I was called by a female researcher at BBC Radio Ulster for a comment on a story in Northern Ireland. Several members of the Rugby Team there has been photographed at a fancy dress party, with their faces blacked up and wearing chains round their necks. All hell had broken loose on publications of the photographs, and grovelling apologies from all concerned hadn’t been enough to settle things. The local anti-racism bureaucracies were calling for resignations from the Team. Would I, as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, care to make a comment on this?
I could have come out with the boilerplate libertarian reply – that it’s not our business if someone paints his face black or green at a party, or puts on an SS uniform, or hangs himself, or consumes recreational drugs. I could also have said what I do believe about this incident, or what I know about it: that, if the politically correct hegemony makes it almost irresistible not to make jokes, it is uncharitable to laugh at black people in this way. However, I was in a bad mood that day, and so began the following conversation with the researcher:
SIG Can you explain to me why anyone should take offence if a white man chooses to paint his face black?
BBC Because t shows contempt for black people.
SIG I see. Yet there is a black comedian called Lenny Henry who often whites up and mocks white people – and on the BBC. Talking of comedians, the female duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders used to have a sketch where they dressed as fat, working class white men and mocked them. I’m not aware in either case of any outrage and calls for them to be taken off air. Why is it so terrible, then, if a couple of white men paint their faces black? Before I can make a comment on your show, I do need to have it explained what the problem is.
BBC [Long pause] Because they were wearing chains as well. They were mocking slavery.
SIG I think we can both agree that slavery is a terrible thing – and we can celebrate the role of the United Kingdom in putting down both slavery and the slave trade. But is there any reason to suppose that the sportsmen were somehow calling for black people to be made slaves and forced to work on sugar or cotton plantations?
BBC [Another long pause] Making fun of white men is an act of defiance. It’s an attack on patriarchy by the oppressed.
SIG Really? So a couple of women whose comedy has made millionaires of them are oppressed? As for men as a dominant group, is it your ambition to follow French and Saunders into comedy? Men are at a structural disadvantage in divorce and custody proceedings. Men are more often sent to prison than women for the same offences. Men accused of rape are generally treated as guilty until proven innocent. Women who make malicious accusations of rape are seldom punished, and hardly ever harshly. Men die earlier than women. NHS resources committed to male illnesses, such as prostate cancer, are trifling set against the obsession with breast and cervical cancer. Men commit suicide in disproportionate numbers. School teaching and examinations are biased to improving the grades of girls rather than boys. The BBC itself discriminates against men in its hiring and promotion policies. Speaking as a man, I don’t see much evidence of a discourse of patriarchy that consigns women to second place in this country. [Facts here]
BBC [Now impatient] So you think there’s nothing wrong if ethnic minorities are insulted?
SIG I haven’t said that. However, I will elaborate on my earlier comments. We live in a soft totalitarian police state, and the BBC is one of its instruments. Hardly anyone gets locked away for disagreeing with the justifying ideology of multi-culturalism. But dissidents go get stuck in the pillory. They are especially pilloried if there are white men popular with the working classes, and if their disagreement is expressed as mockery. Whatever can be seen as dissident humour – and I really have no idea why those sportsmen blacked up – is portrayed as the start of a continuum than ends in Auschwitz. This has to be done, because nothing is more subversive of a police state than mockery. Also going after these sportsmen in as integral part of manufacturing the appearance of consent. When people can be destroyed for upsetting the inquisitors, the rest of us become vary careful about what we say or do. For most of us, the surest way to be careful is to say or do nothing that is likely to upset. The resulting absence of dissent keeps the unstable equilibrium from falling over….
The debate on air that resulted from this was more Punch and Judy than cultural analysis. To do it justice, the BBC is sometimes a good place for the latter. But a five minute slot, with a nervous presenter to shut me up every few seconds, wasn’t the right place. I sneered at the complainants, pointing out that they were all somewhere on the State’s payroll. At one point, I had to tell the enraged anti-racism campaigner I was up against to shut up and let me have my turn. Before the microphone was turned off on me, I managed to say that this was a story only given prominence because the BBC was a culturally Marxist institution, and that it said more about the obsessions of our ruling class than the wickedness of a few rugby players.
Given another minute without interruptions, I’d have added that apologies never work in these cases. Step on someone’s foot in a railway carriage, or get his name mixed up, and an apology usually works – and may even start an interesting friendship. But do not suppose you can buy off the anti-racist inquisition with an apology. It helps not to get these people sniffing round in the first place. Those sportsmen must have been stupid to think they could get away with what they did – especially in a world where everyone has a mobile telephone packed with recording hardware. After the event, though, the only response should be a shrug and a curt “No comment.” Once you start apologising, these people smell blood and start circling in earnest. Stonewalling works more often than you might suppose. Even when it doesn’t you’ll go down with more dignity on your feet than one your knees.
I sometimes wonder why the BBC lets me so often on air. I’m on the radio once a week on average, and sometimes get an audience of several million. Could it be that the British state broadcaster has a genuine commitment to diversity of opinion, and that, when I make the effort, I can be crisp and entertaining? I doubt this. More likely, the BBC has a legal obligation to go through the motions of allowing a diversity of views, and I have a reputation for not actually swearing at the fools and villains I’m put against.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.