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AUDIO: Chris Bryant’s car crash Today interview puts more pressure on Ed Miliband

12 August 2013

Listen to Chris Bryant’s disastrous interview on Today earlier today:

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Chris Bryant, the shadow borders and immigration minister, is under fire this morning after his much trailed speech on employers that exploit migrant workers to undercut British workers unravelled. He mentioned two case studies in pre-released material: a Tesco distribution centre in Kent and a Next warehouse in West Yorkshire, both of which use migrant workers from the ‘Eastern Bloc’.

Alas, Bryant got his facts wrong. First, Tesco has no distribution centres in Kent. There is a centre in Dagenham, in Essex, where the company uses a mixture of local and migrant workers and pays above the minimum wage. Meanwhile, Next says that it uses migrant workers to meet short demand when local sources are unavailable. In a quietly devastating press release, the company rejects the suggestion that it uses eastern Europeans to avoid agency regulations by pointing out that such regulations apply to all workers irrespective of their nationality, ‘a fact Mr Bryant should be aware of’.

Indeed, the failure to get basic facts straight seriously undermines Bryant – who, to make the very worst of a bad situation, has just made a catastrophic appearance on Today. And it embarrasses Ed Miliband, while also making his commitment to control immigration look insincere.

All of which is a pity, because Bryant’s central point is something that most people would agree with: 1 million young people are out of work and very many millions on low incomes are struggling to make ends meet, we should be trying to help them in as many ways as possible. You may not agree with Bryant’s prescription of more employment regulation, but at least he is clear about the problem. Furthermore, Bryant draws attention to the fall in hourly wages; down by 5.5% (inflation adjusted) since mid-2010 according to new research. Low pay is one problem, inflation another. Mark Carney’s recent inflation report showed that the Bank of England reckons that inflation is a price worth paying through this recovery, as unemployment and underemployment remain stubbornly high – an analysis with which George Osborne must agree, particularly if you look at his borrowing policies and fondness for QE. Labour’s assault on the cost of living has the potential to damage the government, even as the economy improves. Yet that potential will remain unrealised unless shadow ministers shape up.

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Show comments
  • the viceroy’s gin

    Well OF COURSE this guy is going to be pilloried by the entire Londonistan bubble, and by the Tory tribalists and Camerloons in particular, as here. He’s speaking against the received wisdom of the Londonistan bubble, afterall. And no doubt, he’s now receiving a caning from the LibLabCon coalition, publicly and privately, as would be expected from these clones.

    But best pay attention to the core of this, and its significance. This lefty MP, directly involved with their borders and immigration policy, is speaking out against unfettered immigration.

    Thus, the tectonic plates have just shifted a bit, perhaps a bit too imperceptible a shift for a Cameroon or tribalist to pick up, but they’ve shifted. Whether this is merely a trial balloon or not, we’ll see. But it’s a significant event, even at that. Dave might be stupid enough to get outflanked by the ‘KIPers, but apparently the Millipedes aren’t going to go down so easily. They could very well abandon their fellow clones, on immigration policy.

    And if they do that deftly, coupled with Cameroonian incompetence and stasis, they have a small shot to win a 2015 majority.

    • Holly

      Are you suggesting that Bryant meant to publicly make himself look unprepared, released ‘headline grabbing’ parts of his speech, only to chop it up into something more plausible, and deliberately ‘shifted’ off to the right?

      Mmmmm…Let me just ponder that for a bit.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, he responded to bubble pressure, from the LibLabCon clones, who all and in solidarity favor unfettered immigration.

        And that isn’t a shift to the “right”, it’s a shift to the Londonistan bubble.

        • Holly

          I don’t think Bryant ‘responded’ to anything or anyone.
          Bryant and the rest of the opposition believe THEY are fantastic and above reproach, yet somehow they always manage to come across as useless and infantile.
          Bryant now saying Tesco’s is fab, and denying he said stuff he himself, as a shadow minister, seeking to govern in a vital government department, allowed to be released just to grab a headline, does not instil a lot of confidence in his ability to be immigration minister.
          Surely it would have been better if Bryant had stepped aside and let the new Labour guru Chuck deal with this ‘thorny’ issue as shadow business bod.
          But Bryant being Bryant, and a typical Labour know all, he knew best.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            He’s dealing with it because it’s an immigration and borders issue, not a business issue, which is why he knocked out the business side of his talk. This seems to have completely escaped the Cameroons, as they seek to shoehorn this into a tribalist template. It won’t fit there, and I’m wondering if the Millipedes are reformulating the template on immigration.

            • Holly

              Tesco and Next are businesses.
              Borders and catching illegals are immigration.
              Legal Immigrants are even allowed to live here, not just work.

              What the terms and conditions of employment are, and if they are adhered to is NOT the responsibility of the immigration minister.

              Businesses employing legal workers is NOT the responsibility of the immigration minister….Unless he was saying they employ illegal workers, then that WOULD be the responsibility of the immigration minister… and others.

              You somehow confuse my belief that Bryant, (along with the rest of the Shadow Cabinet) is not up to the job, with being a Cameroon. I am nothing of the sort.
              Not a UKIPer either.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                What the terms and conditions of employment are, and if they are adhered to is NOT the responsibility of the immigration minister.


                Precisely. You’ve grasped it. He’s the borders and immigrations fellow, and this isn’t about business, no matter that you Cameroons are attempting to force it into that template.

                It’s about immigration. That’s the changed condition here. A lefty is (however mildly) confronting the Londonistan bubble on its pet position re unfettered immigration.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  He may have huffed and puffed in 2004, but this isn’t 2004. He’s
                  tracking well away from the bien pensant bubble’s stock position on
                  this, and if it sticks, the Left will gain purchase, I suspect.

                  The Left may not be quite as dumb as the Camerloons, in other words.

    • HookesLaw

      More bo££ocks

    • Makroon

      Way off-beam as usual.
      By my reckoning, a large percentage of those criticising Bryant are UKIPpers.
      And for your further education, TESCO, an excellent British company, is a favourite target of “the Londonistan bubble denizens”, the BBC luvvies, and the right-on home counties greenie set (see Mirtha above).

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Camerloonian “reckoning” as to UKIP isn’t of consideration for the sensible, is it?

        And for your further education, the conversation isn’t about a company, it’s about unfettered immigration, and from a lefty. As I say, this is a tectonic shift, but likely unrecognizable to you Camerloons.

        • Holly

          Actually it’s about Bryant thinking way out of his pay band.

          Many businesses and companies in this country employ foreign workers. They are legally entitled to do so, because Bryant’s super Labour party made it possible.
          He also acted too self righteous when naming individual companies. He could have behaved like an adult instead of acting like a grass waiting for the masses to pat him on the back, for raising their plight.
          Any job is better than no job at all.
          A work ethic foreign workers should be proud of.
          Drummed out of young Brits by Labour.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Yes, you are determined to cram this into a Cameroonian tribalist template. We get that.

            But it won’t fit. However tentatively, a lefty has just opened up the discussion re unfettered immigration policy. Mark this date down.

            The Camerloons have failed to record such a date, fyi.

      • MirthaTidville

        Tesco an excellent company???….you seriously are deluded my friend

    • The_greyhound

      “This lefty MP, directly involved with their borders and immigration policy, is speaking out against unfettered immigration.”

      If I understood him, Bryant’s comments were aimed at white immigrants, nominally Christian, in employment and legally here because of a reciprocal agreement with their country of origin. That’s rather different from Labour’s more natural immigrant constituency, isn’t it?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        I don’t really see much difference among the LibLabCon clones, re immigration. The collective supports unfettered immigration, of all types. That’s what makes this guy’s words significant, he’s calving-off from the bubble collective.

  • Smithersjones2013

    And people wonder why Labour always view immigration through a prism of racism. Has anyone ever considered that its because at heart many of them actually are bigots of various flavours and haven’t a clue what equality truly means?

    This is ‘British Jobs for British Workers’ all over again. Labour just haven’t a clue about dealing with these issues with a modicum of intelligent.

  • Paul Owen

    So, given that Labour want controls or regulations on the employment of workers from the east, something that is impossible under EU law, does that mean they are now in favour of renegotiation with the EU and a referendum?

    • The_greyhound

      They are happy to be seen to ask for it, because they know they can not have it.

      And it’s business as usual.

  • HookesLaw

    At the heart of the problem is a Labour made disaster. They destroyed education standard and destroyed a work ethic with welfare largesse.

  • teigitur

    It was indeed a car crash, but as much for Evan Davis as for Bryant.

    • Makroon

      It was a “car crash” for Bryant, because it revealed to all that he is a gobby incompetent. It wasn’t a “car crash” for Davis, because everyone already knows that he’s a bog-standard, snivelling Today lefty.

      • teigitur

        Indeed and a simply awful interviewer. The Justin and Evan show, would put one off the porridge in the morning.

  • Paul Ryan Lee

    Bryant & Labour have finally figured out the link of
    accommodation costs forming part of salary, and therefore favouring
    migrant workers. He also mentioned “sheds with beds” and employers
    paying NMW then deducting this charge for a shared accommodation block.
    This disadvantages UK born workers who not unsurprisingly wish to be
    paid in money.

    Many “locals “who lost their jobs to EU immigration now sit at home
    claiming benefits (in part because they don’t want to live in a shed or a
    HMO with 10 Poles). The foreigners now doing their jobs probably send a
    good portion of the money back home to be spent in that economy, rather
    than our own. Needless to say the Directors will have made good bonuses
    out of this.

    One big supermarket concerned (not Tesco) closed depots in London,
    Bristol and Kent to consolidate their operation in the centre of
    England. Six years on and they have new depots in almost exclusively
    manned by eastern Europeans. Here in the North, as a Brit you can pretty
    much forget getting any form of industrial temp work, and forget retail
    where regularly employment is being gradually destroyed by zero hour
    contracts and “Workfare.”

    But yes lets make fun of Bryants underpants and poor research and preperation. IMO BOTH political parties have a deep seated hatred of their own country
    folk, especially if it can be demonised into an underclass and scapegoated.

  • McRobbie

    This is another sign of labour’s desperation at their lack of policies and ideas…they helped create the immigration problem and they helped create the culture of benefits over working..with millieE on permanent vacation then the mad head lefties scrabble for some headlines…even when they aren’t based on truths. But whenever did that stop labour politicians from spouting off…”good days to bury bad news” are at the heart of labours method of communicating with the british public.

  • Ian Walker

    Low-skilled labour, like all other commodities, obeys the laws of supply and demand.
    Two key Labour policies relentlessly increased the supply:
    1) Encourage unrestricted immigration from the EU
    2) Encourage women to take up jobs which are revenue neutral due to childcare costs
    And one in particular has reduced the demand.
    3) Allowed visa abuse from offshore IT and other service companies to remove the vital bottom rung of those career ladders.
    Therefore it is inevitable that wages for the low-skilled jobs will be as low as possible. However there’s an artificial barrier – the minimum wage. Far from being the great leveller, it contributes massively to native British unemployment, because those with the language, residency and accommodation advantages of being local, are unable to deploy the sound capitalist strategy of undercutting their competitors.

    • Count Dooku

      Hear hear! I don’t understand why the punditocracy never mention the minimum wage when discussing youth unemployment. It is one of the most disastrous policies implemented by the Labour govt. you’ll notice that Germany, where youth unemployment is almost the same as national unemployment and is among the lowest in the EU, is one of the few countries without the NMW. NMW hurts the young and favours entrenched, older employees.

  • MirthaTidville

    Bryant is,at best, a half wit, who opens his mouth before he engages what passes for a brain. Which as long as you are a leftie is ok these days. However I think he may be onto something in this case. In general companies like Tesco (utterly awful) have no compunction in bringing in labour from the cheapest source and at very low cost. All their vacancies could of course be filled with British workers very easily, but at a cost they dont want to pay.

    We all rightly complain about too many foreigners in our country and yet we allow these large corporations to get away with little or no scrutiny over how they operate and we still spend our money in their overpriced stores.

    Bryant might have just opened up a worthwhile debate but on the other hand I`m not holding my breath

    • Holly

      It will probably open the debate why companies find people ‘educated’ under Labour, even after years at university, are unemployable or have to be taught basic maths & spelling before actually being trained to do the job they applied for. The employer can see the applicant would be an asset to their business, but lacks the basic skills denied to them by Labour.

      It may even add to the debate on why indigenous Brits were paid more to stay on the scrap heap under Labour, than workers being paid for full time employment.
      Oh yes indeed there will be many worthwhile ‘debates’ before the next election, but Labour are on the wrong side of all of them, regardless of topic being debated.
      Labour would be wise NOT to start ‘opening them up’ by trying to shift the blame for the results of THEIR policies.

      Labour voters would be wise to rid the party of these goons, and hope someone with a better grasp of reality/clean slate is elected further down the track.
      A cabinet reshuffle will stop the death, but a total transfusion is needed, and not simply union backed candidates, who will make it 100% worse.

    • Tom M

      Have you any idea of the function of a business? Why should it pay some hypothetical figure more than it needs to for employees? What would you do if you run a business?
      The problem Mirtha is that supply and demand has engineered a situation whereby there are too many potential employees prepared to take the jobs for the money available. The clue here is “too many potential employees” and how did that happen? Put the blame where it belongs.

      • MirthaTidville

        No your right I dont know anything about a business…apart from the one I run myself….do you run one????

        • Tom M

          Yes I did (retired). Turned over £150 million. So if you run a business, and employ labour then you will (or should) know that you start off by asking “what do I need to pay to hire …..?” The conversation goes around how difficult or not it is to hire the people you require in the particular area you a

    • Makroon

      You repeat Bryant’s calumnies and lies about TESCO, then call him a half-wit.
      What do you think that makes you ?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        A Camerloon?

        • MirthaTidville

          wash your mouth out

      • MirthaTidville

        Well not as daft as you, read what i said..the clue was ..he might have opened up a worthwhile debate..but you were obviously frothing at the mouth before you got to that point..oh yes and Tesco is awful try asking some of the staff who work for them…duh

  • Swiss Bob

    How anyone can take Chris ‘underpants’ Bryant seriously is beyond me.

    • monty61

      Indeed, what a useless numpty. Labour’s biggest issue is indeed a lack of any sort of talent on its front or back benches, Bryant’s car crash was uttely symtomatic of that.

    • zanzamander

      Never mind this nincompoop, how can anyone take Labour seriously?

      Here is a party that has caused the largest influx of immigrants to this country in our history, thereby irreversibly changing the very fabric of our society, culture and behavior forever is now complaining about the very mess that they’ve created. And wait for it, it’ll get worse.

      Labour has made Britain into a third world cesspit of a country – and all it took was three wins at general Elections and everything our ancestors did, fought for and died for was undone.

      Biggest treachery.

  • Nicholas chuzzlewit

    Priceless, absolutely priceless. The imbecile cannot even get the location of the distribution centre right let alone the supporting evidence for his argument. It beggars belief that this shower of fools aspires to running a country and the complex integrated economy that comes with it. Blinded by his hatred for private enterprise and wealth creation, a trait he admittedly shares with each and every Labour supporter, he cannot control his rage and frustration sufficiently to make a faintly coherent, let alone credible, case.

    • Baron

      Spot on, Nicholas, absolutely spot on, it often amazes Baron the country does as well as she does with tossers of this kind in charge. Sickening.

  • Chris lancashire

    Mr Bryant might be better concerning himself with why indigenous young people are less well educated and very much less motivated than immigrant workers. Could it be that our education system (particularly vocational education) and an overly generous benefits regime contribute to the fact that employers like taking on well skilled and well motivated workers?

    • HookesLaw

      Yes I posted this myself before spotting your comment.
      But only the other day Labour were complaining about the tory illegal immigrant campaign. They are a bunch of opportunistic hypocrites.

      Note that figures show net migration is down by a third (and the trade gap is down thanks to exports BTW),. Pointers to good Q3 figures.

  • Colonel Mustard

    I’m glad to see that Labour’s statements finally appear to be receiving more challenging scrutiny in the media than hitherto seems to have been the case, where they have been largely accepted at face value and taken up by cheerleaders like the BBC.

    Miliband is surrounded by personalities tainted by association with the previous regime (he is as well). If he wants to distance himself from the politics of his mentors he is going to have to jettison them. Bryant is an especially exacerbating example as his style of speaking and demeanour is so redolent of Blair himself. Miliband needs to put some wiser, more measured and moderate heads in his shadow cabinet and get rid of the Brown gang rump.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Nice idea Colonel but where in the Labour movement are you going to find sufficient “measured and moderate heads” to fill a telephone booth let alone a shadow cabinet. Leftists are blinded by their hatred of freedom of speech, wealth creation, private enterprise, choice etc etc and where you look for measured thinking you will find only ideological fanaticism and destructiveness.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Agreed. Original comment edited. Mr Blackburn has modified the title of the article too!

        • Wessex Man

          Well at least you’ve got some left, I had one zeroed completely, on the measured and moderate heads, no, no, let em keep the morons in place and ensure they come no where near government again!

          • Emulous

            The absolute tragedy is that Labour fuelled by the mass migration into our Land which Cameron fails to turn off still has opinion polls which suggest they may get their hands on the levers of power again.
            It is incumbent on us all to trumpet the incompetence of Bryant, the profligate danger of Balls and the weakness of Miliband from the rafters.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, but you can’t find such people in the Cameroon cabal either. Dave is an insult. Ozzie Osborne would be better than current Chancellor Osborne. May is a devious nanny-stater. Hague is a jumped-up fool.

        LibLabCon are clones. It’s a waste of energy picking out miniscule and spurious differences.

        • HookesLaw

          Stuck in a groove.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Yes, you are.

            • HookesLaw

              Yawn – no end to your brilliance I see.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …nor to your socialist Cameroonianism.

      • DavidL

        I heard the one on Radio 5 Breakfast – another car cash, in which he accused nice Rachel Burden of being aggressive; she was just picking the holes in his threadbare press release. Is this really the best Labour has to offer?

  • Paul Ryan Lee

    Low paid workers, indeed almost everyone is struggling with very high housing costs, an elephant in the room almost every party ignores. Indeed “in work” benefits such as housing benefits are soaring. We need to tackle housing supply shortage, and Rentierism which is likely to suck out any increases in wages and productivity . But what does this government do? Engineer another housing bubble to enrich the speculators and further destroy our international competitiveness.

    • Colonel Mustard

      There is also the issue of foreign “investment” in housing which is both speculative and exploitative. The situation in London is pretty shocking as revealed in the recent Spectator article. I struggle to reconcile this laissez-faire situation with a government pontificating about the “corrosion of childhood” and planning to censor the internet. Britain is increasingly being FUBAR.

    • Makroon

      “Almost everyone” eh ?
      Does that include the 65% of owner occupiers ?

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