Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Rise Of British Nationalism In North Birmingham?

The debate over what the Lords have said over neutral benefits from recent immigration is followed hotly by what is happening locally in North Birmingham .

The British National Party (BNP) have put out leaflets in North Birmingham UK in anticipation of a swing towards them in the coming May 2008 elections ...North Birmingham UK consists of a few voter wards (areas) where there is a lot of worklessness and where traditionally the New Labour Party have picked up the main "working class vote".. So what's "mental health" got to do with this story ?

Well it does feature in New Labour's recently targeted push in the North Birmingham UK area to form "Community Interest Groups" (CIG's) which have as their main function to study the barriers to work of the "workless" and those on Incapacity Benefit and get the job brokers in to shift the IB workless back into paradoxically non-existent work - this means targeting the disabled and those with mental health problems on IB and we already know from Alistair Darling Chancellor , ALL IB claimants will be reassessed even after they have been assessed a few times before ..

In mental health terms, the area of North Birmingham saw its main community mental health resource Highcroft Hospital, which was an ex working class "workhouse", sold off cheaply in 2004 for 2+ million by the Dept of Health's own property company. Then the land was developed and resold for mainly middle class housing and 68 luxury apartments ..... The area now built on is worth maybe 60 - 70 million .....

In 2004 onwards the working class in North Birmingham if they were poorly of mind could not get counselling or therapy which even now is in very rationed form. On paper its supposed to be there - just like it was in 2002-3-4-5-6 onwards - but the reality is services without service Users being able to use them properly ..... What we are trying to say is mental health concealed servicelessness has been deeply embedded in the North of Birmingham . At UserWatch we have said time and time again the resources for help ought to have been pushed through the GP supply gateway instead of the Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust which has been a cost cutting, and inward looking ambitious business shaping up for "core" psychosis etc - helped along by New Labour policies .. It has little to do with North Birmingham apart from some skeletal services .

North Birmingham has been identified as a particularly difficult "workless" area. It used to see many people work at factories in the traditional metal bashing areas of Digbeth and Aston and some at car factories in Washwood Heath and some at Witton in a large firm named IMI ...But its mostly a ghosted past now .

Locally North Birmingham particularly Kingstanding is not favoured by business development . So its easy to see why disillusioned "workless" class people just think Labour are part of the problem and we know they do think that .

Many will not vote . Or they might if you put a extra box free so that can put an "X" by a statement : "This system and politicians are shit"......

Hang on ! Maybe the BNP will pick up the understandable "shit factor" then ...?

The Lords findings of no real economic benefit of recent work migrants to the host UK community comes at a time when Labour are defending its open floodgate policy for migrant workers over years . ALL PARTIES have been able avoid talk of "immigration" and "immigrants" because of the trap they set each other of oversensitivity to issues of race. However the situation has changed, EU migrants are "white", and the issues of people's feelings about resource-sharing in the country can no longer be dishonestly twisted and avoided by accusations of racial insensitivity .

The pressures of resource-sharing fall disproportionately on the low paid, the non professionals, those who need housing, and the "workless class" without the right supportive services over years. North Birmingham has some of the worse general health outcomes in all of Birmingham UK

At UserWatch we will not back off from discussing these issues of work migrants in the weave of what is happening to mental health - its part of the moving social strands and we think the BNP literature is symptomatic of years of a lack of debate and help for the now "workless classes"

What does the Lords report say ?

The report, by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, says immigrants have had "little or no impact" on the economic well-being of Britons. The committee, which includes Indian steel tycoon and Labour Party supporter Swraj Paul, rejects the government assertion that immigrants contribute six billion pounds to Britain's gross domestic product (GDP), arguing their effects on per capita income could be counted in pennies.

Controversially, the report suggests that the Labour government led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown impose a cap on non-EU immigration - echoing a long-standing demand of the opposition Tory Party.

The issue becomes political because a cap on migration is a Tory article of faith but is rejected by the Labour government.

Experts fear the capping recommendation by the House of Lords, which is the non-elected upper house of parliament, may end up hitting Indian skilled migrants the most because there is nothing that the British government can do to stop immigration from the EU countries.

"Tata Motors' recent acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover is an example of how Indian companies and labour are together hugely benefiting the British economy. The authors of this report did not travel to India to seek opinion there," Vaz said. "

UserWatch Comment

We have an extra comment about Keith Vaz Labour M.P. who talks about "Tata Motors" (who we think are real innovators) benefiting the British economy. In one sense he is right yet locally in Birmingham, the 2nd largest city in the UK, the benefit will be mainly in the East of Birmingham in the Shirley and Sheldon areas as well as Castle Bromwich and Hall green ... The aspirational working class with middle class incomes in these areas have hung onto their jobs at Rover, but they do not represent North Birmingham and the feelings of the workless-locked people without much opportunity there. The BNP too are aware of that ..

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