Hilarious: a weasel attempts to explain what a dog whistle really should have sounded like:
Then, Mr Brown said the government would be "drawing on the talents of all to create British jobs for British workers". Supporters said the remarks emphasised the need to ensure the long-term unemployed had the skills necessary to find work…
...A spokesman said EU laws worked both ways, allowing British workers to work across the EU, but stressed ministers would be meeting construction industry representatives to ensure they were doing all they could to support the economy. Asked about the "British jobs for British workers slogan", he said:
"I do not see a reason for regret in that the action we have taken has meant that we are now putting in place measures to ensure that British workers can have access to the vacancies that exist in the system."
Obviously, people with normal English comprehension skills took the message rather differently. As it happens, I think this was probably more to do with Brown’s weirdly solipsistic obsession with Britishness at the time. He was, for a very long time, unable to keep references to it out of anything he said: that is until the current economic crisis struck, and he rediscovered the world.
There’s also an attempt to blame the EU for the wrong thing. This is nothing to do with the free movement of labour according to single market rules, but on legal interpretation of these designed to allow companies to hire gang labour for low prices in domestic markets to enable them to tender more cheaply in markets where wages are better. So:
But worse has been a series of court rulings that have further deregulated labour markets. In 2003 the Finnish ferry company Viking Line reflagged its vessel and employed an Estonian crew, cutting its wage costs by 60%. Its actions were upheld by the European court of justice. In 2004 a Latvian company, Laval, sent workers to building sites in Sweden. The Swedish construction union asked the company to agree to the existing collective agreement within the building sector. It refused, operating instead under the Latvian agreement - including lower pay that undercut the Swedish workers' wages. Again, the court ruled in the company's favour. Workers' conditions and pay need only comply with the laws of the company's home country.
It’s a series of rulings very much in line with New Labour’s consistent approach to the whole single market idea. Here’s one from the archives.
Barriers, like, for instance, ther obligation to consider local staff for jobs at the agreed rates where the job is to be carried out. That’s Gordon Brown back in June 97, by the way.