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Attack on British "scroungers" does nothing to help migrants-- we need a living wage and rights at work for all!
letter to The Independent, 24 August 2006
It's sad that in championing the rights of migrants Yasmin Alibhai Brown feels that it is acceptable to attack the existing population of Britain with the prejudices and assumptions often directed against migrants: "too lazy or expensive", "indolent...scroungers" (God bless the 'foreigners' willing to do our dirty work, 23/8/06).
What does she know about the "fit white British men" who didn't want to clear her garden apart from the fact that they beg? What does Ms Alibhai Brown consider a "fair wage" for the work? How does she know that neither have back problems or other disabilities not visible at a glance?
Perhaps Ms Alibhai Brown has some kind of physical disability which prevents her from doing the work. If not, why doesn't she do it herself? Probably a combination of the same reasons the men outside the pub may have refused her "offer" – being able to earn more doing other work, not liking the work, or preferring to spend their free time doing what they wanted.
Migrants would do better without "supporters" like Ms Alibhai Brown making vicious attacks on the existing British population for not welcoming the chance to become her paid servants.
Does she seriously think that migrants will gain in the long-term from her support for the right of big business to smash the wages, conditions and job security won over decades of struggle by workers in Britain, many of them migrants? Migrants – and the existing population – would gain far more by a determined campaign for a living wage and rights at work for all.
Youth against Racism in Europe.
Yasmin Alibhai Brown's column can be viewed on the internet, but only by subscribers to the Independent Online edition or paying £1:http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/ yasmin_alibhai_brown/article1221057.ece
Back issues of The Independent are available in most libraries.