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Vote No: Send a Message to McDowell on June 11th

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Wednesday June 02, 2004 11:32author by WSM Report this post to the editors

If we vote 'Yes' on June 11th, children who were born in Ireland, and have never set foot outside of Ireland, will have no rights as Irish citizens. They will be liable to be kicked out of their own country. They will be discriminated against because of where their parents came from.

This proposal is a blatant attempt to whip up racial prejudice to divert our attention away from real problems like a crumbling health service, overpriced houses and prefab classrooms. All of these are the fault of government, not the small number of Irish children whose skin happens to be a different colour to other Irish born babies.

They want us to think the problems in the maternity service are caused by overcrowding as a result of 'too many babies'. But there has been a dramatic fall in the number of births in Ireland over the last twenty years. For example, there were 16,604 less births in 2000 than in 1982. The crisis in the health service is a result, of cut-backs, underfunding, and ward closures. 40% of births take place in 3 hospitals.

One of our busiest hospitals, the National Maternity in Holles Street, experienced a cut in income of 594,000 Euro between 2001 and 2002, which led to cut-backs in medicines, staff and heating. This referendum will do nothing to solve these problems. What is needed is cash for hospitals, not huge grants to rich horse owners. The government's plan, in the Hanly report, is that 10 more maternity units in nine counties will be closed.

Instead of blaming the greedy, selfish ruling class and their pals in Leinster House, we are supposed to take out our frustration on people with a different colour skin or a different accent. Even more unpleasantly, we are supposed to take it out on babies!

Our rulers get away with so much because they keep us divided. In the North they played Protestant off against Catholic, in the South Bertie and his friends want to play off White against Black. Instead of getting together with other working people to win improvements, we are supposed to be happy if we can blame someone worse off then ourselves. The bosses criminalise immigrant workers because they want a cheap and obedient workforce to do the less desirable jobs. This only benefits the rich, who care about nothing but their profits. An open immigration policy would benefit all Irish people because of the taxes those legal immigrant workers could be used to increase the budget for housing, education and health.

The best way to stop immigrants being used as a low pay workforce is to recruit them into our unions and win decent conditions and the 'going rate' for all workers. Sadly, because of capitalism, all children are not equal. A child born to a wealthy business owner has a much better start in life than one born to a shop assistant or security guard. The government wants to make this even worse. It wants to leave some children with no constitutional rights whatsoever.
It is a nasty proposal. You can send the government a message that we won't scapegoat the children of new arrivals so he can take the heat off his corrupt friends. Vote NO on June 11th.

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author by Yawnpublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will the editors deal with this in an impartial manner and delete it or send it to the media updates?

author by Joepublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We normally stick our material onto indymedia first so its not a 'cut n paste' but for now at least unique content. Now trot back to the puppy farm.

author by Joepublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Both text and PDF versions are now online on the WSM site. If you like it you can download the PDf version, make copies and distribute them yourself at the link below.

PDF file of leaflet
PDF file of leaflet

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author by Anonymouspublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 13:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

(This is a devil's advocate question as unfortunately so few right wingers come on this site, proper debate is very limited)

Would you be in favour of totally opening up Ireland's border and citizenship to whoever wanted to live here?

author by Joepublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes we would.

Some stuff online on this

Open Borders: The case against immigration controls (review)
Most mainstream groups eventually come down clearly in favour of immigration controls and deportations, though arguing for "generosity." This book takes a position that so far has only won over a small but growing minority and argues for the immediate ending of all border controls

Most (probably all) anarchist groups in Europe and around the globe take this position.

The document 'The libertarian alternative to the bosses Europe' which can be found at demands "the freedom of movement and of residence for all, without taking nationality into account." and is signed by libertarian groups from all over the globe including some pretty large ones like the (Spanish) CGT which has 45,000 members.

It's worth quoting in full the section that explains this position in relation to Europe


Immigration policies are becoming more and more coercive. But their goal is not that of expulsing all illegal immigrants from Europe. This is impossible due to three reasons:

. A lack of means: how many aeroplanes or boats would be needed to expel all the illegal immigrants?

. A political problem: if the State wanted to expel all the illegal immigrants, it would have to organise raids on a major scale. The European States cannot risk the enormous protests that this action would cause.

. Problems of the economy: illegal workers are a workforce that can be easily controlled and which, against their will, can put pressure on fellow insecure workers.

The goal is have at hand a workforce that will accept the most insecure working conditions together with the worst salaries and conditions. Entire sections of the economy base their profits on the exploitation of these people: building companies, restaurants, textiles, agriculture, etc.

Immigrants are those who most suffer the freedom-killings measures taken to build the EU. All over Europe we are experiencing a flood of undocumented "sans papiers," and forced expulsions, which, at best, return the immigrants to oppression, misery or death. These measures affect all those who live in Europe. Restrictions on public and individual freedom are the norm. The global war declared against terrorism as a result of the 11th September is used as a pretext to continually reinforce emergency policies, under the plan of truly increasing the power of capital and of the State over society.

To this respect we demand:

An ample development of public liberties and elementary rights. In first place the freedom of movement and of residence for all, without taking nationality into account.
The abolition of all racist and xenophobic European laws.
International solidarity to those countries where the immigrants in Europe originally came from.

--- end of quoted section ---

From this you can see why we believe that such a policy is in the interests of Irish workers as well as workers outside of the EU. Racist migration policies do not protect Irish workers, they undermine our pay and conditions and divide us from our fellow workers whether they be migrants living here or working elsewhere.

author by .:. qualified at such advocacypublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 13:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in harmony with EU migration policy as decided by the majority of the 450,000,000 people, of the 25 states.
Interestingly less than 36% of the Irish when polled for Le Monde last week, knew that there were 25 states.
They must be focussed elsewhere.
Boston is closer to Salt Lake City
than it is to Dublin.
Ireland is a European nation not a middle class suburb of the USA.-

author by TTpublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 14:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nobody seems to object to money flowing freely around the world, yet when some unfortunate finds it necessary to up and move to another country people get all hot and bothered. Much of that money is the profit that multinational corporations squeeze out of us, and tax-free too!
McDowell and his ilk are a disgrace, and are just appealing to the zenophobic ignorance of a section of the electorate.

author by Orla Ni Chomhraipublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 14:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is a good article by Monbiot on the scaremongering about immigrants that accompanied the May 1 expansion of the EU

Immigrants the rich love

Hysteria over legal migrants allows lucrative exploitation of illegal workers to go on unchecked

George Monbiot
Tuesday May 25, 2004
The Guardian

'But, as a Home Office adviser told the Times this year, if our illegal abourers "disappeared overnight, London and the south-east would break down before breakfast". The corporate economy depends on them, and it intends to remain dependent on them. The legalisation of illegal east European workers on May 1 is likely to have been a disaster for some of our most respectable businesses.

.... As Stephen Castles, the director of Oxford University's Refugee Studies Centre, observes, "policies that claim to exclude undocumented workers may often really be about allowing them in through side doors and back doors, so that they can be more readily exploited".

If the government is doing what business tells it to, you can bet your life the same policy guides the rightwing press. It might never be stated; it might never need to be stated. But it isn't hard to see how a campaign against mass legalisation of labour would coincide with the interests of the rich men's trade union.

For more see:,3604,1223802,00.html

author by Anonymouspublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 15:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the response Joe.

So you and most anarchist groups would be in favour of totally opening up Ireland’s (and all other countries) borders and citizenship to whoever wanted to liver here.

You further state that:-

“we believe that such (an open borders) policy is in the interests of Irish workers as well as workers outside of the EU. Racist migration policies do not protect Irish workers, they undermine our pay and conditions and divide us from our fellow workers whether they be migrants living here or working elsewhere.”

Firstly, are there any countries in the world that operate such an open borders policy?

I know that there are only 46 countries in the world (including ourselves) (Office of Personel Management of the US government: “Citizenship Laws of the World” 2001) that grant citizenship to children born in a country irregardless of who their parents are.

I do not know of any country that has a totally open borders policy. Maybe there are a few.

If there are none or even a few does this not suggest that the governments and the vast majority of the population of these countries (i.e. all the countries in the world) disagree with the anarchist assessment that “racist migration policies do not protect workers and undermine pay and conditions”.

Is it not the simple economics of the case that if Ireland were to totally open up its borders we would be flooded by a countless number of people who originally lived outside Ireland? That consequently the labor supply would increase by huge amounts and that the demand for labor would not increase by near the same amounts. And that consequently by simple economics a large excess in the supply of labor over demand for labor would arise which would in turn lead to a decrease in workers wages and increased unemployment for current Irish workers?? For example China has one of the cheapest labor markets in the world. Poor wages & large unemployment. Despite a currently booming economy and huge increase in industrial production it is estimated that it could take another 60 years before the price of labor in China increases. This being due to the huge excess in the supply of labor over demand. The population of course being 1.3 billion.

Is it not further the case that it is the already low paid workers, and the unemployed, that would be most hurt by a flood of people into the country? The current educated Irish, white and English speaking might get over the flood to some degree. But would the above mentioned already disadvantaged groups not be most hurt by the flood of incoming immigrants??

Best regards,

author by Joepublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 16:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Many countries in the world have no effective restrictions on the majority of population flow across their borders including most of those in Southern America and Africa. Effective restrictions only tend to exist where there is either a land border between two countries of vastly different wealth (USA and Mexico) or very narrow seas. Effective restrictions have resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 people trying to enter Europe in the last decade and large number also die on the Mexican US border.

As an anarchist I don't think government policy reflects the interests of the working class so I'm more likely to see border controls as an attack on the working class then vice versa as you try and present them above.

Of course those who want to 'keep them out' always start to talk of 'floods' as soon as the removal of border controls is raised but there is very little historical evidence for such 'floods'. Currently mass movements of people do occur but they occur between neighboring poor countries as populations flee genocide and civil war. As Monbiot points out in his article the 'floods' of East Europeans moving west predicted by the (British) tabloids have not manifested themselves.

In any case it is 'Fortress Europe' we are fighting here and the referendum is just part of the adoptation of the 'keeping migrant labour insecure' strategy that has been going on elsewhere for a couple of decades. You worry about the Chinese but in reality this strategy already means there are tens of thousands of Chinese already working here, but on student visas that keep them insecure and short term. For unskilled workers this is a disaster as it means that they are 'competing' with workers who have little access to legal protection and who don't have the stability to organise to fight to better their lot. For unskilled workers in Ireland, whether born here or elsewhere, border controls are already a disaster.

author by Chekovpublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 16:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1) We live in a capitalist world, immigration policy is decidedly not designed to protect local workers. If government's did legislate for such a goal, then surely they'd start off by clamping down on capital production outsourcing to third world countries.

2) legislative barriers are not a significant rate limiting factor on immigration; the availability of jobs is. Consider Ireland:
1980's -> no immigrants
late 1990's -> lots of immigrants,
2004 -> declining number of immigrants.

There was no significant change in immigration law during this period, what did change was the number of jobs available. The idea of floods of foreigners coming to Ireland if we opened our borders is not realistic. Immigration is limited by job-supply, not legislation.

There is no evidence from anywhere in the world that an open immigration policy has ever led to a flood of immigrants. In fact, during much of the late 19th century and early 20th, governments of colonies not only operated open immigration policies, but they heavily subsidised the transport of immigrants to go there.

3) The low paid and marginal are most affected by the current situation, where many of our immigrants are 'illegal' people and are thus forced to work for lower pay and conditions. Changes to immigration law are not designed to have a real affect on immigration, they are designed to maintain a pool of super-exploitable workers. Any real attempt to limit immigration and deport 'illegals' would cause the economies of virtually all first world countries to collapse overnight.

4) On a larger level, the imbalance between the mobility of labour and the mobility of capital in a globalised economy will surely accelerate the downward trends in labour rights and conditions across the world. Capital can move to wherever it can find the cheapest labour, labour can not move to wherever it finds the best rates. This is already causing a situation where national governments operate like manpower agencies, competing with each other as to who can provide the cheapest, least protected labour to international capital. That's not the world I want.

author by Anonymouspublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Many thanks for the above responses. Will try and reply properly after work (which could be late).

As an overall response. From what I can figure out from your above respones there are a few Third World countries that operate an open border policy. But there is no industrialized country in the world (correct me if Im wrong) that operates such an open doors policy. The reasoning "seems" self-evident. That if they did - a portion of the huge lower paid workers & unemployed population of the world would move to that country - and thus create all the problems for the local workers that I have outlined above.

I agree with you to the extent that yes I think EVERY country should open up its borders to free access to anybody or any worker in the world.

But here I come off the devil's advocate fence! and state that if Ireland were to do it ALONE it would have a very negative affect on most of the population currently living here and especially for the lower income classes. From a moral point of view I "might" agree that Ireland should, but from an economics perspective I do not concede that the current population of the country, especially the lower income classes, would be economically better off from such an immigration.

As said I will try and respond to your specific responses above later.

author by Deepublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chekov, Joe,

How do you think Ireland would be affected if it unilaterally opened its borders while the rest of the EU makes it so difficult for workers to get in, establish rights to work and stay, and naturalise?

Is this something that is best pursued through multilateral organisations such as the ILO?

author by R. Isiblepublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 21:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anonymous wrote: "But there is no industrialized country in the world (correct me if Im wrong) that operates such an open doors policy."

The Mcloughlin review of "Open Borders" (in one of the first posts by Joe on this thread) is worth reading. Specifically it mentions the case of the open borders between the Carribean and UK from 1950-1980 and how there was a minimal uptake of this opportunity by Carribeans. Sort of different from the usual TV history presentations about the "origins" of the black population in the UK with pictures of boat loads of people arriving in their best suits and hats.

Also worth noting from that (excellent) review is that in order to maintain our current age demographics we're going to have to have a net inflow of millions of immigrants unless we want to see old age pensioners out digging ditches.

author by .:.iosafpublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 21:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

this is one of the slogans we developed over the last decade which has now been used by many multi-national-corporations.
I suppose that's a sign of our success?
They fall over each other to use "no borders", the last lot I caught doing it were Dupont.
Reclaim the Streets has as you might have noticed been used by Sony. I used to get well pissed off about this type of thing, but now I just don't care. What effs me off now is when racists use the word "liberal".

Ireland counts less than 1% of the EU population, it really is going to be quite insignificant in the future and properly so.
This might come as a shock to many, but the gravy train is now over. The bubble will burst, the money will leave. And the "power" which has stayed around the place for these six months is not going to be hanging out anymore either. It is a sad fact that the Irish in general are so ignorant of their fellow 450,000,000 citizens that I doubt seriously they could list the capitals, list the languages or even distinguish a "potential illegal alien from bylerussia/serbia" from a "perfectly legal one of us hard worker from slovenia or cyprus". Yet Minister Mc Dowell who has never spent any siginificant time beyond the city of his birth, is proposing a law change which would institutionalise a insular attitude to ethnicity that in such a small and demographically insignificant nation as Ireland, has already presented us with such delights as "the national question".
He could have been _really clever_ and _far sighted_ and decided to finish the Irish EU Presidency "our moment in the lime-light" by being "liberal" and "tolerant", if he knew what that meant.
Instead, he will as usual store up problems of social division, snobbery, and inequality which will determine our trade and cultural relations with our new European Partners and African nations for years to come.

This sort of thinking is exactly why I left the country, indeed it is why Ireland suffers "brain drain" all the time, if you have any twinkling of intelligence any spark of brilliance and haven't had rich parents, or been signed up to a mainstream political party by 19 years of age, you slowly go mad in Ireland.

I suggest that all my belovéd peers in indymedia who are still resident on the blessèd isle, have long gone quite completely mad.

You have my sympathy. BTW I can't tell the difference between a Rumanian looking Pole and a Polish looking Rumanian either.

Perhaps we should legislate a tatoo on the forearm to ease identification?

author by Chekovpublication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 21:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You don't seem to have got what I was saying. The openness of a state's borders don't have that much effect on immigration; the possibility of getting a job does. Immigration into Ireland is in decline, despite the fact that there has been no change in policy. What has changed is the availability of decent jobs. Whatever policy the government adopts, as long as it isn't insanely repressive, has little effect on immigration.

author by stickler for detail.publication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 22:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

has a completely open border policy.
You may enter the state without showing identification of any sort, and look for work.
Only two drawbacks:-
There aren't any jobs.
There aren't any hotels.

author by rubbing it in.publication date Wed Jun 02, 2004 22:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

no border controls, no jobs, no hotels, just a bunch of frozen nazis.

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author by chris bondpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 00:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This refurendrum is purely a political ploy on behalf of the fianna fail party.15 weeks ago Michael McDowell said that there would be no more refurendra this year. As soon as he notices that public opinion on the government is down he decides to hold referendrum on citizenship. This fella seriously cant make up his mind first he said it was a "loophole" in the consititution, now hes saying that its to "liberalise" the immigration rules giving the government the power to legislate for all matters dealing with immigration.

6 weeks ago he said that 25% of births in dublin were to non nationals later he admitted that the figure was closer to 2.5%. He also stated that the current influx of immigrants was a" burden" on public services.That was a direct insult to the intelligence of the electorate as we all know that bad housing long waiting lists and rat infested schools are a result of this governments negligance.

The association of GPs and the irish refugee commission are calling for a no vote, these are people who are experienced in dealing with refugees and who clearly know what they are talking about. so who do people trust the experts or some political partisan like McDowell.

The government did not consult the dail all party committee prior to the announcment of this election.No green or white paper was produced to give the referendrum a go ahead. This ammendment will also introduce a contratdiciton into the constitution, the human rights commission set up by this government is calling for a no vote.

A yes vote will shift control of immigration laws from the people to the govenment. This will give the Fianna Fail and PDs a chance to fulfil some of their hidden agendas such as selling irish passports to their foreign friends in big business and allowing foreign workers to be used as cheap labour for big business.

author by Anonymouspublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I think I get what you’re saying alright. Your below statement is a good example I think of what you are talking about.

1980's -> no immigrants
late 1990's -> lots of immigrants,
2004 -> declining number of immigrants

But in an OVERALL sense I just DISAGREE with what you are saying. Yes, I can certainly see your point and it makes good sense. For example when there were no jobs here in the 80’s it did not offer much of an incentive for people to come in.

However when there are jobs available here and there are good social welfare benefits (in a RELATIVE world scale), a totally open borders policy I still believe would greatly increase the influx of foreigners thus pushing up the labor supply and leading to all the problems that I have already spoken of. Of the jobs that are left to be filled in the country, many foreigners would get these jobs, leaving more national Irish people without jobs. I also believer there has been a big change in world culture, telecommunications and transport since the 80’s which has resulted in a much more transient world population. So I think this complicates comparisons with the 80’s.

I do not have factual statistics to back up what I am saying here so I could well be wrong. But I would need you also to come up with much more statistical evidence or even theoretical evidence for me to agree with what you are saying.

Your point about job availability affecting immigration numbers seems to make good common sense. But a totally open borders policy, when no other industrialized country in the world is operating such a policy – that such a policy would have a positive effect rather than a negative effect on the workers (especially the already disadvantaged) of Ireland, job availability, wage prices, national social welfare bill, health bill, old age pension bill etc. etc – by the same token as your job availability point – in my opinion, does not make good “common sense”.

One other question. Would you also be in favor of a totally open borders policy where people came into the country just to avail of social welfare and health benefits??

And don’t get me wrong I will be voting no in the referendum and am not arguing the above points from a moral perspective, but purely on an economic/social perspective for the current citizens (especially the already disadvantaged) of Ireland.

author by Anonymouspublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just one final point. Regarding your example:-

1980's -> no immigrants
late 1990's -> lots of immigrants,
2004 -> declining number of immigrants

If Ireland had been a operating a uniquely (in the industrialized world) totally open doors policy in the 90's I believe the lots of immigrants which you speak about above would have multiplied exponentially leading to all the problems for the current citizens of Ireland which I have spoken about. So I think job availability is certainly not the only factor that affects immigration numbers.

author by Joepublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 15:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bit of a tag team going on here

"I do not have factual statistics to back up what I am saying here so I could well be wrong".

As pointed out current Fortress Europe policy has killed around 3,000 people in the last decade. It will kill more this month, next month and every month that it lasts.

In that context do you not feel a little bit of an obligation to find some 'factual statistics' before backing up the policy that is responsible for this?

The 'floods' of migrants coming to take advantage of social welfare was very popular with the tabloid media prior to the accession on May 1st. I only heard one 'sensible' investigation of this on RTE radio when some reporter decided not to compare the dole in absolute terms but rather in terms of buying power. He discovered that measured in the number of pints you could buy there was little or no difference.

The nature of right wing politics today is that policy is passed not on arguments of merit but by creating panics. Panic about WMD 'justified' the war in Iraq, panic about the WOMBLES justified the suppression of protest on Mayday. The nature of such panics is that they cannot be rationally discussed, you get locked into a cycle of 'what if's' that can even serve to justify the original panic. ('what if Saddam got nuclear weapons and gave them to bin Laden and he detonated them in London').

You want to throw out 'what ifs' that support a policy that is killing people right now. But you also want to wash your hands of the results of spreading this panic as you haven't bothered to find 'factual statistics to back up what I am saying'. And at the same time you proclaim it to be 'common sense'!

author by insulted and befuddled and anoymous most of the effin time.publication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

of EU citizens in the newest states are classified as suffering from Hunger Poverty.

That means they don't get enough nutrition.
In my local city, of 2.3 million people, an estimated 600,000 suffer Complete Poverty.
Not enough food, bills unpaid, rent unpaid, education curtalied, familiar debt higher than three months income.

It's one of the most affluent cities on the Mediterranean. It's "richer" than Dublin.

The proposed new Law if passed while Ireland holds the EU Presidency will send completly the wrong message.

author by Anonymouspublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 16:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I think you might be taking me up wrong here. I am against Fortress Europe, stringent immigration controls and will be probably be voting no in the forthcoming referendum.

What I am doing above is merely trying to find out that if Ireland had a uniquely (in the industrialized world) open borders policy what would the economic implications be on the country. This inquiry has followed on from your initial response to my original question, your response being:-

“we (anarchists) believe that such (an open borders) policy is in the interests of Irish workers as well as workers outside of the EU. Racist migration policies do not protect Irish workers, they undermine our pay and conditions and divide us from our fellow workers whether they are migrants living here or working elsewhere.”

Which Chekov is also backing up.

I am merely contending this viewpoint. I am not backing up, indeed I am rejecting, any policy or really wish to comment on policy here. I am just examining the economic implications for Ireland of an open door immigration policy.

Fear of economic reprisals (and not racism as the NO camp often try to portray) I believe is what is driving the Irish public to be afraid of immigration. And thus why they will vote yes on June 11th. I am trying to examine, from an extreme open borders policy perspective, if such a view justified. If it is justified then the initial statement in the original article:-

“They (children born in Ireland) will be discriminated against because of where their parents came from.”

I believe, becomes a little more understandable, although I might disagree with it.

author by Joepublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 17:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But I don't see how you are examining anything here. Rather you seem to be asking the same question again and again and not addressing the answers you have already been given. And which are also in the URL for the review, I'll quote from this article

"There are several examples of countries which had open border arrangements with former colonies. For example the USA allowed open migration from the Caribbean. Between 1950 and 1980 when borders were closed only 0.6% of the Caribbean population moved to the US and England, despite the obvious economic attractions. If this figure were to be applied world wide now the figure would be about 24 million per year or a growth of about 2.4% in population of the industrialised countries - probably under the anticipated labour demand in several European countries. The truth is just because people can go doesn't mean they will. In general no matter how bad things are, very few people have the desire, the ability or the wherewithal to just uproot, leave every thing and move. Often the pattern is small groups of young able bodied men (usually) who can get the fare move over for a number of years, send money back and then return home in their old age"

"When Algeria gained independence in 1962 - 900,000 white settlers moved back to France. Unemployment in Marseille rose to 20% within in months but was back down to 6% within a year and 4% in two years. Right now according to the OECD by 2050 the ratio of working people to over 65s will be 2:1 to keep this ratio at its current level of around 4:1 Italy would need 2.2 million immigrants - Germany 3.4 million. In fact it looks like the capitalists are already well aware of this and wish to keep large numbers of "illegals" around as a cheap and easily exploitable labour source. The Financial Times of 23rd February 2000 went so far as to attribute to economic boom at the end of the 1990s to the "illicit angels of America's Economic miracle" specifically the 3- 12 million Mexican and South American "illegals" doing all the shitty jobs. "Immigration Yes welfare No" is the unspoken watchword of Wall Street."

I guess the core problem is that you are seeking to argue on the wrong terrain, that of which side to take in a presumed conflict between migrant and native workers for limited resources. I want to knock away that whole argument rather then enter into it's logic.

It is not, in any case a question of Ireland in isolation for the 'no borders' movement is both Europe and world wide. With Irelands integration into EU policy while I can see us stalling immigration controls not yet implemented here (ie by voting down the referendum) I can't see us single handly rolling these controls back. This is a European and global struggle and will be won or lost on that level. Until it is won we face tragedy every day.

author by jeffpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 18:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

someone said this;

"Boston is closer to Salt Lake City
than it is to Dublin.
Ireland is a European nation not a middle class suburb of the USA.-"

I'd like that to be true, but if it is, why then do the majoerty of students that choose to work abroad choose J1 Rip off visas to America?

Most people like America. I don't. Neither do you guys. But the rest of the country is stupid.

Which is why de people will vote yes, because the Irish of today are meek sheep that believe everything that is to the right of , well, Right, to be true. Just ask de Star.

Or ask oneself; Why do Westlife sell so
many records.

In terms of evolution, leftist ideals are another millenium ahead of their time.

I won't vote yes, I like foreigners.

author by warming to my new pet hate.publication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 23:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

we will put a blindfold on you, and blotter acid on your eyelids. and talk to you about pet hates. And your responses will be used in our ongoing research. Your partner might get your brain back, though generally we keep them.
Boston is closer to Salt Lake City and to closer to Oklahoma. This is a reference to Bertie Ahern's statement that Dublin is closer to Boston than Berlin.
Bertie was right in terms of cultural ties, student jobs, faked drinking identification, and at a stretch civil rights records in the 1960s but Bertie was referring to his own state not the wee north.
Boston is closer to Oklahoma is a reference to the socio-political reality of who people believe themselves to be, and how they react to terrorist events such as 911 or the Oklahoma bombing.

author by ecpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2004 23:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mary harney Said it

author by Old Redpublication date Fri Jun 04, 2004 02:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"If we vote 'Yes' on June 11th, children who were born in Ireland, and have never set foot outside of Ireland, will have no rights as Irish citizens. They will be liable to be kicked out of their own country. They will be discriminated against because of where their parents came from."

Jesus will you fellas ever cop on... children who were born in Ireland have been kicked out of Ireland for years... it was called emigration and you went in your parents' arms or you got the boat when you were 16. If you didn't you starved.

And as for being discriminated against because of where your parents are from... South Hill, Jobstown, the side of the road. There's no new agenda here, we've always had it. "Ye poor and huddled masses, fuck off."

That's our culture - it's nothing that Dev didn't subscribe to, behind his hand. Now Eoin McNeill's grandson is saying it for everyone to hear and the liberals are getting themselves wet over it. There's nothing so abject as a wet liberal - where were they when we bled another generation in the 1980s?

Oh yeah, they had safe jobs, started breeding little celtic tiger cubs. How they mewl! Meantime it's survival of the fittest in the inner-city low wage economy, just like it was in Camden, or Hells Kitchen, or South Boston.

Now that we have our 'gast arbeiters' we know we've joined the first world economies. Who else will mop our floors, mind our kids, drive our buses, stack our shelves.

"Don't you find it's so hard to get good 'help' these days? Maeve has a Filipina and she's marvellous with the children."

Where did we go so badly wrong?

author by Joepublication date Fri Jun 04, 2004 14:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I just spotted a good article in the Guardia that does a far better job of why capitalism wants a pool of insecure workers than I can. It's an account of a journalist who posed as a Chinese 'illegal' worker after Morecombe bay.,3604,1179164,00.html

One quote from near the end illustrates the point
"Mr Lin and his brother, anxiously showed me his payslip. "Look, they didn't pay me overtime! It was four hours' work. How can they not pay me?"

I suggested that we go into the agency to find out why. Mr Lin explained that it is the agency's rule that people don't get overtime pay if they work under 40 hours a week. Mr Li wouldn't believe it, and asked me to go in the office with him. As I was going in, Mr Lin pulled me aside, shouting at me: "Who the fuck do you think you are? No legal status, and you think you can just go in and make a complaint? You look after your own job first! Stop minding other people's business! Remember you are illegal!"

Mr Lin wouldn't stop. On our way to the house, he warned me: "Last time when a Chinese was going to make a complaint to the agency, I told him I can make anyone disappear, just like that. You can be thrown into a river and your parents in China would never find out where you are."

From part 2
" I decided to take the advice of my housemates, and prepared £20 and a pack of cigarettes. I went in again at 11 and handed one of the administrators the "present". She accepted it in quite a confident manner, with the other staff and English manager witnessing it.

And it worked. I was given two morning shifts for tomorrow and the day after, at Grampian

A full-time permanent worker, a local, chatted with me, revealing that he gets £240 weekly take-home pay. He had no idea that migrant workers earn at best half that amount for doing the same work."

See also
Fear drives Chinese back to cockle beds
Immigration raids leave many without any other chance of work

"Just two months after the rapidly rising tide claimed the lives of 20 of their compatriots, 180 Chinese migrants are back on the sands of Morecambe Bay to pick cockles."

Related Link:,2763,1208325,00.html
author by Deepublication date Fri Jun 04, 2004 17:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>>>>Immigration into Ireland is in decline, despite the fact that there has been no change in policy.

author by Indymedia Kevinpublication date Fri Jun 04, 2004 17:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From last night's CARR meeting in Liberty Hall

Related Link:
author by Deepublication date Fri Jun 04, 2004 17:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As I was saying...

There has been both a change in policy and a change in policy implementation in the last year.

1. In 2003 restrictions on granting work permits that had previously been overlooked due to a surfeit of jobs started to be implements

2. Since 1 May companies have to source unskilled workers from the new EU states

So those are two pretty significant changes in how easy it is for people to come to Ireland legally to work.

Because there are fewer jobs, it is being made more difficult for people to come here.

Using that fact to argue that people won't come if there are fewer jobs seems like a peculiarly circular logic.

I agree with your idea that people go where there are jobs, but I don't think such a simple model applies in a world where movement is as restricted as it currently is.

Which is why I think that open borders (which I support) is a dangerous policy to follow unilaterally.

author by Garman Lachpublication date Sat Jun 05, 2004 04:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

labour chasing capital did not work in the nineteenth century (devastating ireland and terrible conditions in Ameria) and will not work now.

Racial divisions are fuelled (Irish-American, Italian-American etc.) and often, along the lines of a division of labour.

Opern borders must go hand in hand with 'Fair' Trade; not before.

also, watch for globalisation of culture, which would have you believe that all of us are culturally really all the same - where have our accents gone Chekov & Joe?

Regards for the struggle

author by Garman Lachpublication date Sat Jun 05, 2004 04:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the referendum is a distraction

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