Saturday, February 13, 2016

Government explains why its "Living Wage" is not enough to live on

Parliamentary written questions can sometimes - sometimes - be highly revealing. My recent favourite is this exchange between the brilliant Lord Beecham from Newcastle to the government:

Lord Beecham Shadow Spokesperson (Housing), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Justice)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government why they have labelled the national minimum wage of £7.20 an hour as "the national living wage" when it falls below the UK Living Wage and London Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills                

The National Living Wage will come into force on 1 April 2016. We estimate that a full-time National Minimum Wage worker will earn over £4,400 more by 2020 from the National Living Wage in cash terms.

This Government is committed to improving living standards, particularly for the low paid. Guided by a proportion of median earnings which leading experts recommend, the National Living Wage recognizes the balance needed of an affordable rate for businesses with achieving a significant increase in minimum pay.

The Low Pay Commission will continue to make recommendations on the appropriate rate for the National Living Wage going forward, to make sure that wages rise to reward workers while considering the impact on the economy.


NOTE there is NOTHING here about the "living wage" being a wage that anybody can be expected to live on. It will simply be an "increase" that is "appropriate...going forward".

Read HERE

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Government says it is halfway to relocating 20,000 Syrian refugees to Britain


BREAKING NEWS:

Government says it is halfway to relocating 20,000 Syrian refugees to Britain

For immediate release – Wednesday, 10 February 2016
-With picture-
*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*
Prime Minister David Cameron announced last September that his government would relocate 20,000 Syrian refugees to Britain from camps in the region. Only about one thousand had come by Christmas.
In a House of Lords debate yesterday, Lord Bates, the minister for the Home Office in the Lords, confirmed that the government was halfway towards its target.

In reply to Lord Dubs who challenged the government to accept additional unaccompanied children in Europe as refugees, the minister spoke of Cameron’s pledge on Syrian refugees and claimed that ‘so far, 50% of those have now arrived’.
Professor Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government at Durham University and a leading immigration expert, said ‘it is surprising to find such welcome news hidden in a committee debate without some official announcement from the Prime Minister or Home Secretary. I now wonder if this plan originally meant to silence critics has been put under wraps for fear it may benefit groups campaigning for Brexit – and I hope the government takes pride in this achievement’.

ENDS
MEDIA INFORMATION

NB – Please note that Professor Brooks is a member of the Labour Party.
Interviews 

Professor Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government, in Durham Law School, Durham University, is available for comment on Wednesday, February 10 and Thursday, February 11, 2015, on thom.brooks@durham.ac.uk
Alternatively please contact Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk

*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*
Durham University’s academic experts are available for interview via down-the-line broadcast quality TV facilities from our Durham City campus, via broadcast provider Globelynx.

To request and check the availability of interviewees please contact the Durham University Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075 or email media.relations@durham.ac.uk.
You can book the Globelynx fixed camera and circuit direct by logging into www.globelynx.com. The IFB number is +44 (0)191 384 2019.

If you have not booked a Globelynx feed before please call +44 (0)20 7963 7060 for assistance.
A broadcast quality ISDN radio line is also available at Durham University and bookings can be arranged via the Media Relations Team on the contact details above. The ISDN number is +44 (0)191 386 2749.

A landline number is available in our Media Suite which houses the television and radio facilities - +44 (0)191 334 6472.
Photographs

A high resolution headshot of Professor Thom Brooks is available on request from Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk.
Further reading

Professor Thom Brooks, Durham University Law School websites https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/staff/?id=11140 & http://thombrooks.info

About Durham University
-          A world top 100 university with a global reputation and performance in research and education
-          A member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive UK universities
-          Research at Durham shapes local, national and international agendas, and directly informs the teaching of our students
-          Ranked in the world top 25 for the employability of its students by blue-chip companies world-wide (QS World University Rankings 2014/15)
-          In the global top 50 for Arts and Humanities (THE World University Rankings 2013/14)
-          In the 2015 Complete University Guide, Durham was the only UK university to receive a top ten ranking for all of its subjects and 19 of Durham’s 22 subjects were ranked in the top five.
-          Durham was named as The Times and Sunday Times 'Sports University of the Year 2015' in recognition of outstanding performance in both the research and teaching of sport, and student and community participation in sport at all levels. 
END OF MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Live interview on BBC News channel about David Cameron's claims that Brexit would lead Calais Jungle to move to Britain

 

JOB: Lecturer in Law, Durham Law School, Durham University (3x)

THREE POSTS!

Job Title : Lecturer/Senior LecturerCompany : Durham University
Department : Durham Law SchoolPosition Type : Academic

7/8/9 £31,656 – 55,389

Lectureship/Senior Lectureships in Law (x 3 Vacancies)

Please note that this position closes for applications at 23.30pm on Monday 14 March 2016.

Durham Law School is seeking to appoint outstanding legal scholars to up to three Lectureships or Senior Lectureships in Law. We welcome applications from exceptional scholars with research interests in any area of law, and a profile that aligns with the position for which they are applying. An ability to teach in one or more of the following areas will be advantageous: Public Law, Family Law, Intellectual Property Law, and any area of English Private Law.

Durham Law School is one of the UK’s very best law schools with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked 3rd in the UK’s last Research Excellence Framework (REF2014: http://www.ref.ac.uk) in terms of grade point average, the Law School is a vibrant and inclusive academic community of imaginative scholars working at the frontiers of legal knowledge. Durham Law School has research strengths in a wide range of sub-disciplinary specialisms, including Public Law and Human Rights, European and International Law, Commercial/Corporate Law and Legal Theory. The School’s strong research culture is supported by a generous research leave scheme and individual staff research allowance. This is supplemented by a university-wide policy providing for additional leave following maternity, adoption and parental leave (www.dur.ac.uk/hr/policies/leave/researchleave).

Durham Law School is committed to research-led and small group teaching. The Law School achieved a 90% overall satisfaction rating in the 2015 National Student Survey and is consistently rated one of top 5 UK law schools in various league tables. The School is housed in fully-accessible, state of the art purpose-built accommodation with superb views of the UNESCO world heritage site comprising Durham Castle and Cathedral.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1 September 2016. Applicants should clearly state in their application for which post or posts they wish to be considered.

All three posts are full time and permanent.

We embrace excellence in all its forms and invite all qualified candidates to apply. Durham Law School particularly welcome applications from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in the university.

Shortlisted applicants will be informed on or by Monday 25 April and invited for interview on Thursday 5 May 2016.

For further details of this position including person specification and success indicators, please read the full applicant brief situated at the bottom of this page.
Close Date : 14-Mar-2016

JOB: Lecturer or Senior Lecturer in International Law at Durham University

This is one of FIVE posts currently advertised at Durham University's Law School. If you want to be part of a leading law school with fabulous colleagues, do apply! Happy to answer questions anyone has.

Job Specification

001167
Job Title : Lecturer/Senior LecturerCompany : Durham University
Department : Durham Law SchoolPosition Type : Academic
7/8/9 £31,656 – 55,389

Lectureship/Senior Lectureship in International Law

Please note that this position closes for applications at 23.30pm on Monday 14 March 2016.

Durham Law School is seeking to appoint an outstanding legal scholar to a Lectureship or Senior Lectureship in International law.

The person appointed to this post will be an exceptional scholar with research and teaching interests in the field of international law (understood broadly as encompassing both public international law and private international law), and with a profile that aligns with the position for which they are applying. The appointee will join one of the UK’s very best law schools with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked 3rd in the UK’s last Research Excellence Framework (REF2014: http://www.ref.ac.uk) in terms of grade point average, the Law School is a vibrant and inclusive academic community of imaginative scholars working at the frontiers of legal knowledge. The School’s strong research culture is supported by a generous research leave scheme and individual staff research allowance. This is supplemented by a university-wide policy providing for additional leave following maternity, adoption and parental leave (www.dur.ac.uk/hr/policies/leave/researchleave).

Durham Law School is committed to research-led and small group teaching. The Law School achieved a 90% overall satisfaction rating in the 2015 National Student Survey and is consistently rated one of top 5 UK law schools in various league tables. The School is housed in fully-accessible, state of the art purpose-built accommodation with superb views of the UNESCO world heritage site comprising Durham Castle and Cathedral.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1 September 2016. Applicants should clearly state in their application for which post or posts they wish to be considered.

We embrace excellence in all its forms and invite all qualified candidates to apply. Durham Law School particularly welcome applications from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in the university.

This post is full time and permanent.

Shortlisted applicants will be informed on or by Wednesday 6 April and invited for interview on Monday 18 April 2016.

For further details of this position including person specification and success indicators, please read the full applicant brief situated at the bottom of this page.
Close Date : 14-Mar-2016
 

Monday, February 08, 2016

Cameron's 'Jungle' in Britain argument a 'fear card' – Thom Brooks (video)



RT UK news

Live interview with RT International on David Cameron's scaremongering over Brexit leading to Calais Jungle moving to Kent


Unpublished The Times Letter - number 14

. . . continuing my series of unpublished letters submitted to The Times in London --

Sir,
 
Theresa May wants the Prime Minister “to adopt tougher measures” against the abuse of EU migration rules. But is she ready to support identity cards? EU countries with them are more easily deporting Europeans abusing rules because identity cards can help provide evidence of this. I shall wait to see if her rhetoric meets the realities.
 
PROFESSOR THOM BROOKS

Unpublished The Times Letter - number 13

Sir,
 
I’m perplexed by David Cameron’s push for an emergency brake on benefits for EU migrants. Surely his intention is to make this permanent so why pursue a temporary measure? The brake would affect EU migrants, including British citizens returning to the UK – and it’s doubtful inevitable headlines of Brits harmed will be well received. I suspect this proposal will be viewed as another gimmick dressed up as policy.
 
THOM BROOKS
PROFESSOR OF LAW AND GOVERNMENT
DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Friday, February 05, 2016

JOB: Chair or Reader in Criminal Law at Durham University. Come work with us!

Full advert is HERE!

Durham Law School seeks to appoint a Chair/Reader in Criminal Law. We welcome applications from exceptional scholars with research and teaching interests in the broad field of Criminal Law.

Expertise in criminal evidence or gender/feminist perspectives would be advantageous.

Durham Law School is one of the very best UK law schools with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked 3rd in REF2014 in terms of grade point average, the Law School is a vibrant and inclusive academic community of imaginative scholars working at the frontiers of legal knowledge. The appointee would be invited to play a leading role in the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (www.dur.ac.uk/cclcj), which seeks to support research collaboration and engagement within and beyond the university. The School’s strong research culture is supported by a generous research leave scheme and individual staff research allowance. This is supplemented by a university-wide policy providing for additional leave following maternity, adoption and parental leave (www.dur.ac.uk/hr/policies/leave/researchleave).

Durham Law School is committed to research-led and small group teaching. The Law School achieved a 90% overall satisfaction rating in the 2015 National Student Survey and is consistently rated one of top 5 UK law schools in various league tables. The School is housed in fully-accessible, state of the art purpose-built accommodation with superb views of the UNESCO world heritage site comprising Durham Castle and Cathedral.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1 September 2016. Applicants should clearly state in their application for which post or posts they wish to be considered. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to provide samples of their publications prior to interview.

We embrace excellence in all its forms and invite all qualified candidates to apply. We particularly welcome applications from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in the university.

Close Date :
13-Mar-2016

Durham Law School PhD Studentships


 Durham Law School PGR Studentships
 
Introduction
Durham Law School invites applications for studentships for postgraduate research students, tenable from 1 October 2016.  The successful applicants will register for a full-time PhD (three years) in the Law School.  The funding is for one year in the first instance and renewable for up to three years. Funding is subject to satisfactory completion of the Law School's processes for the monitoring of postgraduate research students.
 
The successful candidates will undertake research on an approved topic under the supervision of members of the Law School's academic staff (for the research interests of academic staff, see http://www.dur.ac.uk/law/staff/). PhD students are expected to submit their theses within three years of supervised study plus one year of continuation. 
 
Durham Law School
Durham Law School is among the Global Top 100 law schools and is one of the best in the UK. Durham ranked 3rd in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, based on our research environment; the originality, significance and rigour of our research publications; and the impact of our research beyond academia. Our academic programmes are highly regarded and staff and students constitute a dynamic and focused intellectual community. See further https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/postgraduate/pgdegrees/
on why Durham Law School is a great place to do your PhD.  
 
In addition to a broad range of individual research, staff in the School are engaged in a number of research groups that act as a focus for activity. The full details can be found on our website: http://www.dur.ac.uk/law/research/.
 
PhD Studentships
 
The PhD scholarships will provide funding for a fee waiver at the home/EU rate, together with a stipend of £10,000 p.a.  Students who are required to pay tuition fees at international level will obtain only a fee waiver without any additional stipend. 
 
Candidates for a PhD Scholarship must be willing and able to offer up to 40 hours’ teaching within one or more the following core areas of the undergraduate law degree: Legal Skills, Legal System of England and Wales, Contract, Tort, EU Constitutional Law, UK Constitutional Law, Individual and the State, Criminal Law, Trusts, and Land Law. They must also attend the University’s training courses for postgraduate students teaching in the University in early October 2016, and may be required to attend further relevant training.
 
Successful applicants will have obtained a first class or upper second class honours degree. It would ordinarily be expected that applicants would also have a recognised taught Master’s degree (average grade of at least 65%, or equivalent) or a Master's degree by research. Exceptional applicants without a master's degree are expected to provide alternative evidence of ability to successfully undertake high quality written research.
 
We embrace excellence in all its forms and invite all qualified candidates to apply. We particularly welcome applications from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in the university. Candidates will be selected on the basis of their fit with our supervisory strengths and research environment as well as their academic strengths and the quality of their Research Proposal.
 
Application Process
Applicants should:
 
(i)            apply, online, to our PhD programme in the normal manner (seehttps://www.dur.ac.uk/law/postgraduate/apply/); and
(ii)          send a separate email to the Postgraduate Support Secretary (law.pgadmin@durham.ac.uk), indicating a preference as to teaching area(s), as specified above. Those who already hold an offer of a PhD place in Durham Law School, commencing in October 2015, are permitted to attach a revised proposal to this email.
 
The deadline for applications is 15th March 2016 at 12pm GMT.
 
Enquiries should at first instance be sent to law.pgadmin@durham.ac.uk.

 

Prof. @thom_brooks tells Cameron "if you confuse the public, you lose the public" on #EUreferendum - bookings on @globelynx

 


"PM David Cameron wants the EU referendum to be a vote about something more than the UK’s place in Europe, but Cameron’s place in the history books as the Prime Minister that forced changes on Europe.

"But his task was never going to be easy – finding meaningful changes that 27 other EU leaders and the EU Parliament will accept no mean feat. Cameron’s done well to have any meaningful proposal at all.

"If you confuse the public, you lose the public. Cameron’s wanting a referendum on his proposals in favour of the UK in EU is becoming a big boost for Brexit – not the place in history books the Prime Minister imagined."

BOOKINGS HERE

Bio

Thom is an American who became a British citizen and has written extensively on immigration law and policy, especially the UK’s citizenship test. He has advised the Labour party on migration policy – and advised on the 2015 election manifesto in both immigration policy and criminal justice reform. Brooks is an award winning author and lecturer who teaches Criminal Law, Immigration Law, Jurisprudence, Public Policy, Strategic Communications and UK Constitutional Law. He was a part of the successful re-election campaign team for Phil Wilson MP (Labour) in Sedgefield, a seat formerly held by PM Tony Blair, as communications lead and Brooks continues this work now for the Sedgefield Constituency Labour Party. His books include Becoming British: UK Citizenship Examined (Biteback, 2016) and Punishment, 2nd ed (Routledge, 2016). Brooks is the UK’s only Professor of Law and Government.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Quoted in the Daily Telegraph - on why Prime Minister David Cameron's child benefit plan for migrants 'won't apply to EU nationals already in the UK'

READ MORE HERE. The quotes:

"But legal and policy experts, as well as a senior British Government source, have admitted it would be "very difficult" to force those who are already here to take a dramatic cut in the benefits they receive even after the EU renegotiation. [...]

And Thom Brooks, professor of law at Durham University, said the measures "could only be taken against people who haven't arrived yet" [...]

Professor Brooks added: "The language surrounding this is very specific. If the UK wanted to pull the emergency brake it has to show some kind of objective consideration to EU migrants. They are going to need information about what EU migrants are doing and I can tell you, the Government does not have reliable statistics about the pressures of which nationalities are using the NHS and other things.

"You have to make an objective statement of facts and figures to Europe about EU migration pressures and they have to show it is EU migration that is causing the pressure and not non-EU migrants or it won't work, that's a problem for the Government." [...]

Cameron is over-complicating the EU referendum – Labour must argue to stay in despite his reforms

. . . is my latest for LabourList available HERE.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Thom Brooks live interview with BBC News on PM's EU deal




. . . can be SEEN HERE (video). Segment immediately follows live interviews with Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond and UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

Thom Brooks on ABC News



. . . discussing PM David Cameron's proposed EU reforms in a live interview HERE.

Can Labour win on immigration?

. . . is the title of my new column for LabourList ---  READ HERE.

Quoted on Prime Minister's EU reform deal in The Northern Echo

Quoted in today's The Northern Echo:

Professor Thom Brooks, a professor of law and government at Durham University and Labour supporter, said the migration deal would be a hard sell and 10 Downing Street would have a difficult time winning over a sceptical public.
"Cameron has done well to get any deal on the table of EU leaders. But his plans lack the clarity of message of his Eurosceptic opponents.

"While restricting EU migrant benefits is popular, that it can only be temporary, proportional and at the discretion of the EU is a complex proposal that may prove hard to build public enthusiasm for."

Live interview with RT UK news on David Cameron's planned EU reforms

. . . which are all the more fascinating as what we expected was not what we saw. Expectations set a bit too high by the Prime Minister?

UnpubTimesLetter 12

In my series of unpublished letters to The Times #UnpubTimes Letter --


Sir,

Theresa May wants the Prime Minister “to adopt tougher measures” against the abuse of EU migration rules. But is she ready to support identity cards? EU countries with them are more easily deporting Europeans abusing rules because identity cards can help provide evidence of this. I shall wait to see if her rhetoric meets the realities.

PROFESSOR THOM BROOKS
PROFESSOR OF LAW AND GOVERNMENT

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Cameron’s new EU migration deal is a hard sell – statement by immigration expert Prof Thom Brooks

Cameron’s new EU migration deal is a hard sell– statement by immigration expert Prof Thom Brooks

For immediate release – Tuesday, 2 February 2016

-With picture-

*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*

Statement by Professor Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government at Durham University’s Law School and leading immigration law and policy specialist:

“Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his proposed new deal on EU migration will be a hard sell.  

Leaked reports of today’s proposals outlined an ‘emergency brake’ that the UK could use to stop EU migrants from claiming benefits for four years and deter growing migration from Europe. It was expected that this would be the UK’s call and not require EU approval.

10 Downing Street set expectations too high – and the fine print shows they will have a difficult time winning over a sceptical public.

The UK cannot pull an emergency brake on benefits for EU migrants without the consent of other EU member states. Cameron’s proposals will require Britain to provide facts and figures to prove ‘exceptional’ pressure on public services by EU migrants – independent of non-EU migrants.

The European Commission and the European Council must be notified in advance for their approval – only then can any brake be applied and limited ‘to the extent necessary’ capped at a maximum of four years. But it can be for much less.

And any brake will be gradual. Cameron’s proposals allow for a ‘graduated’ limitation where EU migrants can enjoy more benefits over time and full benefits when brake ended or in four years’ time. This is a detailed proposal whose nuances are likely to be seized on as weaknesses.

Cameron has done well to get any deal on the table of EU leaders. But his plan lacks the clarity of message of his Eurosceptic opponents. While restricting EU migrant benefits is popular, that it can only be temporary, proportional and at the discretion of the EU is a complex proposal that may prove hard to build public enthusiasm for.

Cameron’s immigration policy is known for being a trunk full of empty gestures and gimmicks. And the big problem now is that negotiations rarely lead to no change or greater controls. These measures may well be watered down further in the weeks ahead further undermining the proposals as the fundamental change we were promised.”

ENDS

MEDIA INFORMATION

NB – Please note that Professor Brooks is a member of the Labour Party.

Interviews 

Professor Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government, in Durham Law School, Durham University, is available for comment on Tuesday, 2 February and Wednesday, 3 February 2016, thom.brooks@durham.ac.uk

Alternatively please contact Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk

*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*

Durham University’s academic experts are available for interview via down-the-line broadcast quality TV facilities from our Durham City campus, via broadcast provider Globelynx.

To request and check the availability of interviewees please contact the Durham University Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075 or email media.relations@durham.ac.uk.

You can book the Globelynx fixed camera and circuit direct by logging into www.globelynx.com. The IFB number is +44 (0)191 384 2019.

If you have not booked a Globelynx feed before please call +44 (0)20 7963 7060 for assistance.

A broadcast quality ISDN radio line is also available at Durham University and bookings can be arranged via the Media Relations Team on the contact details above. The ISDN number is +44 (0)191 386 2749.

A landline number is available in our Media Suite which houses the television and radio facilities - +44 (0)191 334 6472.

Photographs

A high resolution headshot of Professor Thom Brooks is available on request from Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075; media.relations@durham.ac.uk.

Further reading

Letter by President Donald Tusk to the Members of the European Council on his proposal for a new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/02/02-letter-tusk-proposal-new-settlement-uk/

Professor Thom Brooks, Durham University Law School website https://www.dur.ac.uk/law/staff/?id=11140

About Durham University

-          A world top 100 university with a global reputation and performance in research and education

-          A member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive UK universities

-          Research at Durham shapes local, national and international agendas, and directly informs the teaching of our students

-          Ranked in the world top 25 for the employability of its students by blue-chip companies world-wide (QS World University Rankings 2014/15)

-          In the global top 50 for Arts and Humanities (THE World University Rankings 2013/14)

-          In the 2015 Complete University Guide, Durham was the only UK university to receive a top ten ranking for all of its subjects and 19 of Durham’s 22 subjects were ranked in the top five.

-          Durham was named as The Times and Sunday Times 'Sports University of the Year 2015' in recognition of outstanding performance in both the research and teaching of sport, and student and community participation in sport at all levels. 

END OF MEDIA RELEASE

#UnpubTimesLetter 11


Sir,

I’m perplexed by David Cameron’s push for an emergency brake on benefits for EU migrants. Surely his intention is to make this permanent so why pursue a temporary measure? The brake would affect EU migrants, including British citizens returning to the UK – and it’s doubtful inevitable headlines of Brits harmed will be well received. I suspect this proposal will be viewed as another gimmick dressed up as policy.

 

THOM BROOKS

PROFESSOR OF LAW AND GOVERNMENT

DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Iowa Caucuses - my thoughts before the first vote is cast

The polls suggest Donald Trump will win for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats. If this doesn’t happen, it would throw yet another surprise into this near unbelievable campaign: many pundits still cannot believe Trump continues to lead his party at this stage (and not Jeb Bush) and that Clinton’s lead is eroding at a crucial time.
 
The things to look out for are these. For the Republicans: if Trump wins as expected, how well has he turned out the vote? There is no question that Trump – the Lord Sugar of America’s The Apprentice – has strong name recognition, but there are questions about how well his team can get votes. The narrower his victory, the more vulnerable he will look. A second issue for Republicans is who comes second and third. Cruz and Rubio are seen as next most popular alternatives – whoever comes third will be under heavy pressure to drop out to support the other to stop Trump claiming the party’s nomination.

For the Democrats: there are bound to be rattled nerves on Clinton’s team. Eight years ago she was the favourite to win the nomination. But she just couldn’t shake off her opponent – Barack Obama – who continued to eat into her lead and ultimately win. The rest is history. And history may repeat itself. Clinton’s once commanding lead is now just 3 points over Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton needs a convincing win perhaps even more than Trump as this race for the nomination is likely to be tight – and proving damaging for Clinton the longer it plays out.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Defending John McDonnell's comments about borders in the International Business Times

. . . HERE. My comments:

"Thom Brooks, a University of Durham academic and Labour Party member, was more sympathetic towards McDonnell. The law professor said the shadow chancellor was right to highlight that people are "more mobile than ever before". But stressed it was important to ensure that Britain's border controls are "fit for purpose".

"I am confident that McDonnell and the Labour front bench are committed to that – and that the public has grown tired of ineffective Tory gimmicks dressed up as an immigration 'policy'," Brooks added."

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lord Green of Deddington tries to eat his cake...

From the Hansard and the Immigration Bill debate in the House of Lords on 20 January 2016 (column 849):


Lord Kennedy of Southwark: The noble Lord referred to the position in most of the European Union where people have to wait for nine months before they can work. Is he saying that he would support a time period of nine months?

Lord Green of Deddington: No. I am saying that we should keep it at 12 months in order that we are not more attractive than other countries on that point.
  
Lord Kennedy of Southwark: Amendment 134A in the names of the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, and the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, says that asylum seekers should get permission to work after 12 months as a right. Would the noble Lord support that amendment?
  
Lord Green of Deddington: The short answer is no.


So there you have it. He agrees 'we should keep it at 12 months', but won't support the amendment when he is reminded it will keep it at 12 months.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Donald Trump boycotts Fox News TV debate - my interview with TRT World


UnpubTimesLetters #10


Sir,

I am confused by David Cameron’s latest migration gimmick. He slashed funding support for English learning in 2011 and 2015 by about £45m, but now offers £20m. There is less money since 2010 to help those with language difficulties and fewer people will have access to it. English tests at 2.5 years is still not as early as under Labour. Doing too little and often too late best summarises his government’s migration policies at home or abroad. This is but the latest example.

THOM BROOKS
 
19 January 2016

UnpubTimesLetters #9


Sir,

As a migrant and naturalised UK citizen, I found much good sense in David Aaronovitch’s call for migrants to ‘live by our values’ (Jan 14). It’s time we had a national conversation about what are our elusive ‘British values’ – and more importantly how they should be confirmed, such as through much needed reform of the UK citizenship test or visa guidelines. Such change is long overdue and urgently needed.  

PROFESSOR THOM BROOKS


14 January 2016

UnpubTimesLetters #8


Sir, Theresa May laments mass immigration for weakening social cohesion. She overlooks the fact we’ve seen record net migration on her watch after five years as Home Secretary. In 2010 one of her first decisions was to scrap the Migration Impacts Fund to help relieve pressure on public services. This is a decision she should now reverse.

In the ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, Enoch Powell said students ‘are not, and have been, immigrants’. When a Home Secretary shifts to the right of Powell, something has gone very wrong. It was not unnoticed that David Cameron missed the speech, but arrived for Boris Johnson. A change from one to the other beckons?

THOM BROOKS

6 October 2015

Friday, January 29, 2016

How the Government set us on the road that led to the red doors of Middlesbrough

. . . is my new piece out today in The Journal READ HERE.

PMQs: David Cameron must apologise for his 'bunch of migrants' comment - it's not US vs THEM

. . . written for the International Business Times READ HERE.

Some background: I was sitting in the public gallery of the House of Commons when the IB Times asked for a piece. I had been on Twitter arguing that PM David Cameron should not have used the phrase "a bunch of migrants" and they got in touch with me quickly.

However, bags are not permitted in the public gallery and so I could not use my laptop unless I left. So I wrote the piece...on my iPhone. A first experience. Probably won't be the last.

UnpubTimesLetter #7


Sir,

Daniel Finkelstein has helpful comments on 'what we really think about migrants'. However, one of them is confusing migrants together with refugees. There is a difference between the obligation of affluent countries like the UK to refugees versus economic migrants. I speak from personal experience as someone who came to work and broadly welcomed. A continuing problem with immigration policy today is too few know about it or know someone who has done it recently. There are two sides to any successful integration strategy, but we'll always come up short if continuing to listen to only one side. I hope the Prime Minister takes note.


THOM BROOKS

23 September 2015

UnpubTimesletter #6


Sir,

Melanie Phillips is wrong to claim Britain should close its doors to refugees fleeing civil war and persecution. She thinks it matters that many might be Muslim and confuses positive net migration with refugees when they are a small part of it. She writes from the safe enclave of her study without knowledge or experience of being a migrant or refugee. If she's worried about sending signals, she could start by rethinking her ill informed and judged remarks.

 

THOM BROOKS


10 September 2015

Interview with Thom Brooks about Obama touts legacy in last State of the Union - TRT World


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

And in the Northern Echo on asylum seekers and red doors in Middlesbrough...

Details here.

Quoted in the Guardian - G4S bosses admit number of asylum seeker homes with red doors 'too high'

A shocking story - READ MORE

UnpubTimesLetters #5


Sir,

Theresa May's comments should be met with alarm. The Calais crisis continues for over a year, but she only manages to visit it last week. She claims she's worried about 'the largest movement of people since the Second World War' so plans to 'break the link' for students coming to learn and contribute as graduates. This will do nothing to deter desperate refugees seeking asylum. She applauds the £50m gained through the new health surcharge, but forgets it was meant to earn £200m per year so another target missed. May is out of touch and possibly out of her depth.

Professor Thom Brooks

31 August 2015

#UnpubTimesLetters

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Thom Brooks interviewed by Andrew Marr

. . . in tomorrow morning's programme 'Start the Week' on BBC Radio 4 on topic "Migration and Citizenship", including discussion of my new book Becoming British.

From the BBC:

On Start the Week Andrew Marr explores the question of citizenship. While immigration issues dominate political debate, little attention is paid to the big increase in the number of people becoming British. The academic Thom Brooks and the Eurosceptic MEP Daniel Hannan look at the relationship between the two and the challenges for modern UK citizenship. Ben Rawlence spent four years reporting the stories of those who are stateless, living in the largest refugee camp in the world, while Frances Stonor Saunders explores the increasing complexity of today's border regimes and the obsession with the verified self.
Producer: Katy Hickman.


Link HERE.

UnpubTimes Letter #4


Sir,

The government’s policy on the Calais migrant crisis can be summed up as ‘too little, too late’ in reaction to a problem that has continued for some time. Instead of blaming France and lorry drivers, perhaps it is time the government took greater responsibility for securing Britain’s borders. Sniffer dogs and a higher fence offer no more than a temporary sticking plaster. Fundamental reforms at the EU level are required urgently.

Professor Thom Brooks

6 August 2015

Thursday, January 21, 2016

PETITION: End the use of forms to reporting ex-partners to the Home Office for deportation

DIRECT LINK

Heading

End the use of forms to reporting ex-partners to the Home Office for deportation

Background

The current forms are unfit for purpose and unworkable:
1. They do not ask for contact details making it impossible to check claims or locate person reported.
2. They do not say where they should be sent.
3. They risk being used by abusers to threaten spouses putting vulnerable people at risk.

Additional information

Home Office forms can be downloaded here-
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inform-ukvi-of-a-relationship-breakdown-statement-and-consent-form
The Independent raises concerns here-
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/home-office-helping-abusive-partners-by-producing-forms-making-it-easier-to-threaten-spouses-with-a6802966.html
Further info by Professor Thom Brooks (Durham University)-
http://the-brooks-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/press-release-failed-relationships-with.html

DIRECT LINK - PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE