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By Paul Goodman
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Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 19.38.34Ed Miliband is unresponsive to voter concerns about welfare because his electoral base – a relatively small percentage of the electorate – is dependent on it to get by.

However, he has started to cobble together a position on immigration because the economic interests of that base have endangered by the Blair/Brown opening up of our borders.

Meanwhile, Labour as well as the Conservatives are under threat from UKIP, and John Mann's piece on Labour List today is well worth reading in this regard.


Most Tory MPs believe the MP for Bassetlaw to be a nasty piece of work, though I have a soft spot for him on account of his dogged campaigning against anti-semitism (of which there's a lot on the left).

But at any rate, his piece is a sign of how badly rattled many Labour MPs in the north and midlands are by UKIP. Their constituents have had enough of migration from Eastern Europe – particularly in the eastern half of England.  He writes:

  • "How is it fair that a youth can be born in a council house, live in
    it for 18 years and then lose out in allocation to a Polish family who
    have been in the country for a few months. How is this social justice?
  • Why is it fair that a 58 year old man, disabled from coal mining
    loses his incapacity benefit, but a family new to the country gets full
    housing benefit?
  • Why should an employer be able to employ from a Polish agency and refuse to interview a 24 local person seeking work?"

Mann's solutions? No benefits for anyone until they have paid National insurance for two years. No open market in labour in the United Kingdom, rather a system of work permits, including for all Europeans. And "Ed Miliband needs to commit Labour to a people’s Europe, by
announcing that he will tear up the single Market in labour and capital."

It's not only the Conservative Party that's under threat from UKIP. Mann's article shows that Labour's internal compromise between southern multiculturalists and midlands/northern-based MPs is under increasing strain.

27 comments for: No benefits without two years of NI. Work permits for all Europeans. No more single market. A populist right party? No – a Labour MP