Sunday, July 17, 2011

Roger Daltrey confuses U2 with socialists

Roger Daltrey has popped up again to share more of his political insights with the Daily Mail. U2, for example?

We get on to the issue of U2, who recently faced a demonstration at Glastonbury after moving their multimillion-pound company out of Ireland, depriving their suffering country of their tax revenue.

‘I find it very interesting that people who spout socialism don’t want to pay for a socialist state. Weird,’ he says. ‘It doesn’t quite add up.’
That would make some sort of sense, if U2 were socialists and Ireland was a socialist state.

Let's try something closer to home - well, to one of Daltrey's homes - shall we?
A lifelong Labour voter, he’s disgusted by the last Government. ‘I was appalled at what Labour did to the working class — mass immigration, where people were allowed to come here and undercut our working class,’ says Roger.

‘It’s fine to say everybody can come into your country, but everybody should work towards a standard of living expected by people who live here. Not come here, live 20 to a room, pay no tax, send money home and undercut every builder in London. They slaughtered the working class in this country. I hate them for it because it is always the little man who is hurt badly. It’s terrible. It frustrates me."
Apart from "paying no tax", which seems to just be an assumption on Daltrey's part, surely if people want to live in cheap digs - not 20 to a room, which is just Daltrey making himself look stupid - that's up to them?

Is he really suggesting that there should be some sort of rule forcing immigrant workers to spend the same portion of their wages as British workers? Is he going to have people who refuse to get a Sky+ HD box deported for being, in some way, "unfair"?
‘We have got to stop pandering to people because we won’t be able to afford to keep this going. At the very least, it should be a pre-requisite that people have to learn English."
Why? Daltrey spends a lot of time in America - has he learned much Spanish?

He's fuming about the very idea of people getting something for nothing:
‘What really made me angry about that period is not that people shouldn’t come here — that’s fine — but you have to make allowances for the strain that is going to put on your social services and they made none.

‘Talk about sticking their head up their a***. The arrogance, the audacity. They don’t realise how hard the average man has to work to get that and to pay those taxes.’
It's not entirely clear who has their heads up their arses. Apart from Daltrey, of course.

So, Daltrey believes that people should only get what they have on merit, not as if by some divine right. Right?
And at the other end of the spectrum, there is his adoration of the Queen, who presented him with a CBE six years ago. ‘She’s amazing,’ he gushes. ‘She talks with her eyes. She has a twinkle in them — wow — she’s so special. I think she’s so wonderful and we, as a country should be so proud of her. It’s a dreadful position to be in; she can never be free. But her dedication to duty has been amazing.’
Oh, get a room, Roger. Probably at the State's expense. Does he Roger not realise how hard people work to pay the taxes that support the Royal lifestyle?


Compton said...

Wow, quite a few flaws in these arguments it seems. For one, why would he need to learn Spanish if he comes to America often? Last time I checked we spoke English here in America. If I moved to Spain, or even just visited often, I'd plan on learning Spanish, the language that is spoken there. I wouldn't be angry that nobody spoke English. It would be difficult, but that is to be expected when relocating, right? Secondly, if he's right that they pay no tax and get many social services without paying that tax, it does seem unfair. Also, I don't have a problem if their whole family wants to immigrate into a country legally, but he does have a point when immigrants come into a country simply to make better wages and send all the money back to their home country so their family back at "home" will be better off are neglecting that money from being pumped into the country they immigrated to. But to be honest I don't blame these immigrants for doing this at all. They're simply trying to make a better life for them and their families. I think they should just go to a country that has more opportunities as a whole family, do so legally, and I would welcome them. Lastly, it seems like Roger is simply stating his respect for the queen. He never says anything about her deserving her royalty because of a birthright. I also disagree that so many taxes should go towards the royal lifestyle, but here it just seems like you're throwing Roger under the bus. How many Britains adore the queen just like him? Do you call them out too?

Francis said...

I had to re-read this and remind myself that it’s in the Daily Mail. They are always going to edit an interview to make it sound as inflammatory about immigration as possible. The fact that Daltrey is an alleged “life-long Labour voter” probably just makes them even more determined to paint him as an ill-informed xenophobe.

Personally I doubt that he is a Labourite – regardless of what the last Labour government did or didn’t do – any Red worth their union subs knows that you don’t give interviews to the Daily Mail about immigration.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

I think you're confusing "things I disagree with" with "flaws in arguments".

A flaw would be if, say, I said "as a former Beatle, Roger...".

So, let me have a look at your counterpoints.

"Last time I checked we spoke English here in America"

How did you "check", exactly? Did you carry out a census of language use across your country? Luckily, the American Census bureau has, and in 2007, 55million Americans spoke a language other than English at home, the vast majority of those speaking Spanish.

I don't really understand what point you're trying to make about going to Spain; you appear to believe Spanish is the only official language spoken in the country which is a bit confusing. Actually, I do know the point you're trying to make, and it's fatally flawed. Yes, it would make sense if you decided to move to Spain to learn Spanish. Yes, it would make sense to encourage this. But why should it be a legal requirement? In fact, how could you even enforce such a law, even if it was desirable?

The point about not paying tax and getting benefits is easily dealt with - the first half is just puerile racist rubbish peddled by right wingers; the second half misses the point that welfare is there to support people who need it, and trying to enforce "entitlement" is divisive and demeans not just foreign-born people seeking assistance, but also domestic nationals. You help people because they need it, not because of where they were born.

I'm not clear if you're really suggesting that people should only be allowed to immigrate if they come as an entire family, or if it's fine to come as one member of a family providing you don't support your family elsewhere, but both are equally facile. Yes, I suppose that money would flow out of a host economy as a result of the latter siutation, but couldn't the same argument be made, much more strongly, that that would happen if you banked with a foreign-based organisation? FYI: Roger Daltrey encouraged people to open charge cards accounts with American Express.

The Queen is only the Queen because of birthright. That is what she does - she is the woman who was born to the last King. Given that is her sole qualification, and all the job description calls for, you cannot separate the woman from the role from the birthright. I'm suggesting that - as with most of his nasty opinions - Daltrey hasn't thought them through.

Just for clarity: yes, I'm a Republican (in the British political sense of the word, not the American) and so, yes, do call out people who have a misplaced respect for the Monarchy. Did you really think that I only objected to Roger's fawning?

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