Barlow's Beef: It's time to be honest about immigration


Immigration is a topic on everyone's lips but impossible to discuss with objectivity. Any suggestion of a meaningful immigration policy triggers outbursts of indignation and accusations of xenophobia.

Business leaders continually assert that any control would stifle their ability to recruit the 'right staff.' Whilst it's true key management are often recruited from oversees the 'right staff' to which they allude are often desperate individuals prepared to work under whatever conditions employers dictate.

Last month a car wash franchise operating on a local Tesco site was investigated by the BBC Inside Out programme revealing their Romanian workers earned half the minimum wage.

A large national retailer with huge UK warehousing facilities has been under fire by MP's for operating 'Dickensian' standards of employment amongst staff many of whom are immigrants.

Can we dispense with this hypocrisy and recognise that these so-called 'businesses' would simply not exist were it not for the exploitation of migrant labour.

Do we really need these companies? If they can't compete offering decent working conditions and a living wage they should close. Are we so desperate for a cheap car wash that we condone paying poor desperate souls £3.63 an hour?

Of course we need to do our share of caring for those in need but net immigration of 330,000 a year means a new city the size of Bristol every 18 months which is clearly unsustainable.

Apart from a few zealots no one wants to close our borders completely but we do need a sensible well-managed immigration policy and we have not had a government of any persuasion that has proved anything but totally inept.

It's this lack of credibility that fuels public distrust especially in those communities struggling to cope. It's fine for the chattering classes to spout open-door theories whilst their own children attend good schools and BUPA picks up the slack. It may not be so fine if they were to share the burden.

It's weird don't you think that we hear so much from those whose lives are relatively untouched by immigration and so little from those living with it?

We have thousands of hard working responsible immigrants now residing in the UK surely their opinions and those of their communities would be more informative than the sanctimonious babble we hear via the media.

Perhaps during refurbishment Parliament could move to one of those struggling communities and gain a better sense of perspective on the immigration issue?

The host town/city would receive a huge financial boost and MP's would gain first-hand experience.

Everyone's a winner.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlow's Beef, Vic Barlow


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Barry Stafford
Wednesday 26th October 2016 at 12:59 pm
Very good Vic. 17million agreed in Brexit. The liberal elite like Lily Allan, Esher Ranzen, Diane abbot and all the London Luvvies ,live in a vacuem.Do not worry about the cost of private medicine, trying to get a Doctor appt.Theyhave cars with a driver,so have never seen a car wash, let alone, seen inside a sports wear warehouse. Purely on the size of our island. 65 million population is already causing major problems for schools,NHS, social services. and a huge drain on our benefits. £45,000 pa for each immigrant and a lot more for the child immigrant?? Baz
Graham Shaw
Wednesday 26th October 2016 at 4:22 pm
Well said!

I'd like to ask all those do gooders such as Lily Allen crying in the camp and apologising on behalf of our country, what they are doing about immigration? If they are so concerned why don't they let some of these 'refugees' set up camp in the grounds of their massive properties or live in their holiday homes!

We are not racist, we simply have come to a point where we need to say I'm sorry, but for the moment our country is full. Until such times as we have caught up with building new homes, schools and managed to take the pressure of our NHS, then we won't be accepting anymore into our country, unless we specifically need their skills.

What we need is a Gov't that is brave enough to say this year we need 100 Doctors and 500 Nurses and then apply a points based system to those applying from overseas, including a written and oral exam in English.

Even after giving politicians a bloody nose with the Brexit vote, they still aren't listening when we are outraged by these 'children' who look 40 and ask for a simple dental check to be carried out. I don't mind a few hundred children and I'm sure that every one of those under 16 would readily submit to a dental check to gain access to our country. What I do mind is being called a racist.
David Hoyle
Wednesday 26th October 2016 at 10:35 pm
Graham. I agree with what you say I'm sure a lot of people In this country also agree.we are a small island,with cuts to police,fire brigade,armed services and council funding how can we keep on going. I notice this government has not cut a penny off oversees aid..
Simon Worthington
Thursday 27th October 2016 at 8:43 am
I love listening to my remainer pals bragging about how cheap it is to get their expensive cars washed and moaning about the poor English of shop assistants and moaning about how busy the roads and the airport are!!!!
Vic Barlow
Friday 28th October 2016 at 5:14 am
Can we stay on topic please?
We've done the Brexit bit to death.
Can we please move on ?
Oliver Romain
Saturday 29th October 2016 at 2:10 am
If Vic lived in Wilmslow you would know what an harmonious place it is with lots of families from all over Europe and the world making a go of it. We live next to an international airporf after all.
Immigaration tosh like that spouted by Vic only helps fuel xenophobia and racially agravated crime.
But Vic doesnt care about that - I remember when he said that an ethnic minority community group in Macclessfield were accused of 'banging the racist drum' by Vic for having the temerity to report vile racist abuse to the police.
I know of a local family who have had swasticas painted on their property after the Brexit vote.
You only have to read the frothing above from the likes of the 'I am not a racist but...Graham'. To see the effect.
Come on Lisa you are not running the Daily Mail and dont have to publish this stuff. Stick to real local issues and leave Barlow where he belongs - in the past.
Vic Barlow
Saturday 29th October 2016 at 11:12 am
Respecting the opinion of others would help greatly in discussing such important issues.
Oliver Romain
Saturday 29th October 2016 at 11:28 pm
Shall we move on. Lets ditch the armchair shock jock articles and focus on issues local residents really care about.
Vic, best you steer clear of race or immigration. Do you have any views or anything interesting to say about Wilmslow?
Sunday 30th October 2016 at 9:39 am
Oliver - Wilmslow does have people from "all over the world" : Manchester has people from "all over the world": Macclesfield has people from "all over the world": The issues come down to:

a) Numbers
b) Are the people the ones needed for a thriving economy
c) Categorisation of "migrants" and "refugees"

What you have written seems to me a personal attack on someone giving his "opinions". You, hide behind words like race and xenophobia as a way of trying to crush debate. A debate should be had without fear of "thought police". As to your point about concentrating on Wilmslow - you might want to look at the Local Plan. Why do you think all the extra dwellings are needed? What has been factored in is a rise in "migration". This means migration from within the uk and oversees. You might consider this a good thing, or a bad thing, - that is not the point. The issue is that the debate should be had.