Since there seems to be no imminent end to the petulant, childish rage of disappointed Remain supporters at the prospect of being forcibly ripped away from their beloved European Union, we may as well start cataloguing some of the most hyperbolic and far-fetched tales of woe and prophesies of doom.
The inaugural submission comes, naturally, from the Guardian:
Social services for older and disabled people face crisis because post-Brexit migration restrictions could cause a massive shortage of care workers, leading care organisations have said.
The 1.4-million-strong UK care sector’s reliance on European migrant workers means it is vital they are given the right to remain in any future migration arrangements, the charities Independent Age and the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) said.
Currently about 84,000 care workers – equivalent to one in 20 of England’s growing care workforce – are from European Economic Area countries. About 90% do not have British citizenship and their future immigration status remains uncertain.
The charities said failure to tackle workforce shortages would mean thousands of older people would lose out on support, meaning they could be left housebound, struggle to recover properly from a stroke or fall, or fail to get assistance in getting up and dressed in the morning.
Translation: overturn the EU referendum result, or granny gets it.
(Note too the hyperbolic doomsday assumption of “a scenario which closed off all migration”, something which no serious person expects to happen).
The counterargument to this mini-tantrum, of course, is that cheap, young foreign labour from the EU and elsewhere has helped to ensure that care workers in Britain are paid an absolute pittance – often hovering around minimum wage – for performing a physically and mentally taxing job requiring skill, tact, empathy, good humour and great emotional intelligence in order to look after our loved ones in their final years.
The surly Guardianista charities moaning about the potential impact of Brexit on their sector clearly have no qualms or concerns that a worker can often make more money flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant than caring for our elderly and infirm senior citizens. This is just fine, apparently. But the mere possibility that free movement of labour restrictions might force employers to pay less desultory sums of money to frontline staff sends these “charities” into paroxysms of terror and rage. Whose side are they on? Not that of the patients or the care workers, that’s for sure.
Want to stop the endless drip-drip of care home abuse scandals? Try getting outraged that care is a borderline minimum wage occupation in this country, understand that people who might just as easily be flipping burgers for a living won’t always display the same dedication as Florence Nightingale – and be inordinately grateful for those care workers who do possess these criminally undervalued qualities. And in the meantime, forgive me for questioning the calibration of these charities’ moral compasses.
But why should we be surprised by their intervention? Everything about modern leftism and pro-Europeanism revolves around signalling virtue and ostentatiously displaying the “right” progressive beliefs to the right people.
And right now, it is far more important to be seen opposing those awful racist Brexiteers than it is to question the moral sustainability of an industry which hits its profit margin targets by providing our oldest and most vulnerable citizens with a Tesco Value standard of care.
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Excellent post. Totally agree with the problem of virtue signalling. I’m a trustee of a small local charity and it boils my p*ss at how large national charities spend half their time lobbying government and politicising rather than doing the work their funders expect. The issue of wage compression was one of the main reasons I voted brexit. Never affected me I’m lucky to be in a professional field, but anyone hourly paid has been made poorer by mass immigration. Which is why the corporates love it. Keep up the good work. Bunged you a few quid for your pains via paypal too. 🙂
Many thanks Neil for sharing your perspective, and for the very generous support via PayPal – I am much obliged!
Whenever I have witnessed the charitable sector up close I have inevitably been disappointed by their reflective left-wingery, contempt for ordinary people and near-complete dependence on government or council funding. Not all their fault, as most charities are very much a function of their environment – and the current environment is one where we consent to be heavily taxed by central government in exchange of washing our hands of any kind of social responsibility or private philanthropy. The entire system needs changing – I remember ranting about this point at the time of the Kids Company collapse:
But to your point, I quite agree. While salary earners have largely been protected and seen neutral or positive effects from mass immigration, wage earners have suffered and seen their prosperity stagnate. The political class were defiantly oblivious for so long because they all belong to the former class, not the latter.
One of the problems with minimum wage care is care home owners are sometimes sandwiched cost wise, between one public body demanding higher wages and one which won’t increase expenditure to cover that (Local Authorities). Hence most of them just say f**k it.
The issue, IMO anyway, is neither of them, it’s the third ; an appalling public sector monitoring body that “checks standards”, which has continually added cost for zero or little benefit for years. It’s a bit like the OFSTED schools body, except its worse (it behaves far worse than OFSTED do). Like most tickbox entities, it is about paperwork, writing things down pointlessly to tick boxes, cover your rear end, and so on, rather than anything that actually improves anything.
Though the other two posters are right as well. Charities are a racket. The whole thing is part of a problem that exploded in Brown/Blair’s time, 2000-7 where there was a massive growth in people who wanted lots of money but had no skills to offer and became embedded in the system ; they neither work hard or attempt to generate wealth by running a business, they just suck money out to pay themselves using the power of the state.
It’s a complete mess with everyone demanding everything and no-one being willing to pay for it.
I take your point about care providers being stuck between a rock and a hard place cost-wise. The current system of funding for care doesn’t work, and together with healthcare needs to be reformed from the ground upward.
And yes, sadly much of the third sector is a racket, with dubious organisations offering questionable services to local authorities and paying themselves handsomely despite bringing mediocre talent to bear. Fortunately there are some moves afoot to try to change this, and introduce more rigorous performance reporting standards and ways to measure non-financial “social impact”. Though still far from widespread, at its best these new reporting methods could go a long way to shining a light on what is currently a very opaque sector, making it easier to reward genuine high-performing charities and expose others for the financial drains that they are.
A large number of these care workers achieve minimum wage on paper only. It’s a commonplace practice in the industry that workers find themselves working unrecorded and unpaid overtime well into the late evening to cover someone who is vulnerable and for whom there is no-one else to turn.
Yes, this is an important point. Care workers are often expected to go above and beyond in terms of workload and overtime because employers take advantage of their normal human decency in not wanting people to go un-cared for. Staffing is pared back to a bare minimum, terms and conditions are slashed, quality inevitably suffers – yet there is still an inexhaustible supply of cheap replacement labour available.
I could tell you about one charity whose care staff have just had their pay effectively frozen, while all their work benefits, especially sick pay, have been cut as “unaffordable”, while increasing its profits year on year. Oh, and the senior management have had a big pay rise this year.
Charities in name only.
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This sounds sadly typical. The senior management of many charities are often completely divorced from any front-line work or services that their organisations may perform. Employees toil away in obscurity doing their best while the executives attend lavish functions and swan around Westminster with MPs.
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