Protectionism is alive and well and legal in Scotland, but denounced as xenophobic and illegal in England.
‘If ever proof was needed that this Government under Gordon Brown, the MP for Scotland’s Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, operates double standards in Scotland’s favour, one of his own Scottish Labour MPs has provided it.’ This information has been revealed in the columns of The Scotsman newspaper. Michael Connarty, the Labour MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk accused the English protesting against their exclusion from applying for jobs at the Lindsey refinery in Lincolnshire of ‘xenophobia and protectionism’. Yet at the same time in that newspaper he made the stunning revelation that there are "long-standing working practices in Scotland that allow workers living within 40 miles of a plant to be prioritised for work”.
‘What a display of double standards!” Michael Knowles speaking for the CEP has declared. ‘The number of Portuguese or Italian workers who meet the specified criteria is rather limited to say the very least. The brutal undeniable fact is that they were brought to England, they are being housed in floating hotels by their employment agents and it is can only be suspected therefore that they got their jobs, not on merit, but because they are prepared to accept a rate of pay below Englsh, even local Lincolnshire, rates.
‘How can a Labour Prime Minister allow a situation where the jobs of his own Scottish countrymen and women are protected against foreign competition while those of the people of England are not? How can the Leader of the Conservative Party stand up in Parliament at PMQT and denounce protectionism and say not a word in support of the right of English workers to apply for work in their own country against unfair foreign competition while workers in Scotland operate regulations which protect them from foreign competition?
‘The only conclusion to draw from the revelations made by Mr Connarty is that there is one law for the Scottish workforce in the United Kingdom and another law for the English workforce. As this Campaign asks again and again: Who is there in the UK Parliament who speaks up for England?
Michael Knowles. CEP Media Unit. Tel@ 01260 271139. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org