Sajid Javid is a Conservative politician and the British Home Secretary as of October 2018. His principal responsibilities are internal security, the police, prisons and immigration. Conservative immigration policy is therefore his policy. That policy is that only highly skilled, well paid immigrants are welcome. Those without capital or demonstrable talents are excluded.
Sajid Javid and the social wage
Sajid Javid’s father was an economic immigrant. Pakistan was tribal and brutally hierarchical in 1961. The rich sent their children abroad to be educated.1 For everyone else there was restricted social mobility. Sajid Javid’s father saw Britain as a land of opportunity and knew his aspirations would be thwarted in Pakistan. He emigrated to Britain penniless, uneducated and talentless.
Britain provided him with a social wage supporting his transition to British society. Sajid’s family received free health care and schooling for his five children. His father took working-class jobs before moving into entry-level capitalism. During Sajid’s childhood he lived above a corner shop in a poor area in Bristol. He graduated in 1991 having had a free education up to and including university.2 Displaying his father’s aspirational attitude, he worked in South America and finally as a banker in London where he, allegedly, earned £3 million p.a.
Sajid’s family are successful immigrants. His father came to Britain penniless and his son has risen to great wealth and a top political post. Theresa May referenced him in her 2018 Conference speech about opportunity:
To dream, to strive, to achieve a better life. To know that if your dad arrived on a plane from Pakistan, you can become Home Secretary.3
The Javid family epitomise Conservative Opportunity political thinking.
Yet it’s precisely people like Sajid’s father who are excluded by Conservative immigration policy today.4 Theresa May went on to say:
Those with the skills we need, who want to come here and work hard, will find a welcome. But we will be able to reduce the numbers, as we promised.3 [emphasis added]
Sajid Javid’s father didn’t have demonstrable skills or capital.5 He was an unskilled worker. In 2018 he’d have been barred from entry into Britain and Sajid’s stellar career trajectory would be a castle in the sand. Sajid doesn’t care.6 It’s quite remarkable to see him blatantly endorsing a system which has no intellectual or economic sense. But then he has leadership aspirations.
The Conservative immigration policy isn’t driven by data. The Migration Advisory Committee who published their report in September 20187 need not have bothered. Conservative immigration policy is driven by political fear not economics. Working-class work isn’t valued, it’s belittled. Conservative immigration focus is on people ‘like us’. But those people are not the people that are literally risking their lives to get to Britain: they aren’t pathologically motivated to succeed.8 Economic immigrants now risk everything to reach the lands of opportunity in Europe.
Theresa May’s conference speech was exactly right. Britain is the land of opportunity. The Javid family are inspirational. And Conservative immigration policy is exactly wrong for precisely the reasons that she spelt out with such clarity: To dream, to strive, to achieve a better life. Men, women and children literally risk their lives to get here, not to receive benefits but to work as many hours as possible to achieve their aspirations. And the sickening hypocrisy of Sajid Javid endorsing a policy that negates his own biography shows moral bankruptcy. He is entirely unfitted to be Home Secretary, having no moral compass. Perhaps he should go back to being a banker?
1 The current Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was educated at a public school in Worcester and then Oxford University.
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sajid_Javid This wikipedia entry outlines both his political career and his biography.
4 The government commissioned research on immigration and its impact on life in Britain. This is an academic survey and is compelling except to the Home Office.
5 Tier one immigrant status relates to personal wealth https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-entrepreneur
6 “…the home secretary said he was not concerned by the thought that under such a regime his father, who arrived from Pakistan in 1961 with £1 and no skills, would be barred from entry.”
8 There’s a great deal of research on this point but this is a personal account from America. It exactly matches the Javid story. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/298257