British curry restaurants say the Tories betrayed them on Brexit


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/03/british-curry-restaurants-say.html


#2

Fuck them

Yes, normally I would have a more elaborate answer, but no, fuck them.


#3

Yes - fuck them mightily from on high. Many times.
But (trigger warning, gross generalisations coming - accept them for what they are, simply to illustrate a point) this is a community that possibly (speculation) tends to be very patriarchal and one wonders just how many female curry chefs there are in these restaurants. One also wonders what all the female members of this community are cooking up in their kitchens at home. To say there is a shortage of curry-cooking skills in this country, requiring that many more (male?) curry chefs from abroad are needed, is perhaps not quite as clear-cut as it may seem. Whether there are sufficient curry chefs, female or male, prepared to work the long hours is a different question. The allegation that only foreigners will do our “dirty” work (includes long hours within definition of “dirty”) is merely a statement that it is not well-paid enough. It further characterises “British” (whatever that means, but let’s say “currently resident-established”) workers as not wanting to get out of bed to do the jobs that ARE available. And as an aside, how much is the UK curry ‘industry’ investing in training currently resident-established labour to be able to do these jobs?


#4

I’m not sure if we are intending for the same people to get fucked…

But if this was enough reason for them to vote to leave the EU, I don’t have much sympathy to spend here.


#5

Hmm - I was fucking the brexiteers in general. All of them, for whatever reason they brexiteered. And I do like a good curry.


#6

It was obvious that this would happen; obvious to anyone who hadn’t had the Etonian breadth of thinking bypass, that is. So now in order to prevent immigration from the EU without collapsing our economy, we will need to do a big trade deal with India which will probably involve freedom of movement.
I am utterly delighted at the prospect of the people who voted to leave the EU because they wanted immigrants expelled, having to live among an increasing Indian population.
(Disclaimer: my family is anglo-Indian and one of my relatives helped fund the legal case the government has just lost. So yes, I try to avoid rude words in posts but, on this occasion, yay, fuck the lot of them!)

[edit - for clarity I mean that it looks as if either we will have to stay in the EU, because otherwise the economy will tank; or we will have to have a much closer union with India to gain access to a market which probably won’t replace the EU. Neither of these will appeal to the people who voted Leave. The Conservatives have lost the trust of the Indian establishment in the UK. The idiots who thought the referendum would settle the war within the Conservative Party now look very stupid.

Do I find it amusing that Land Rover is owned by an Indian company and the Mini is made by BMW? Yes. Do I wonder how much economic pressure the EU can bring to bear given who owns most of our utilities? Yes. Do I enjoy the thought of May, Leadsom, Gove, Johnson, Davis, Fox, Rees-Mogg and Redwood all squirming? Enormously. Today is Schadenfreude day.]


#8

My sympathy with them isn’t that great either. In the curry industry “skilled worker” might very well mean distant Bengali cousin tricked into working under awful condition for what equates to less than minimum pay.

It’s just sad that some people thought voting for Brexit was the a way to address the issues of social dumping.

(I used to live around the corner from where that photo was taken.)


#9

You are likely to find that the issue here is less of gender and more of working conditions. No one with a British Passport is going to work under the condition these curry houses demand. The chefs from Bangladesh and elsewhere often live in over crowded (I have seen rooms where ten men from South East Asia sleep) appalling conditions and work every hour god sends for minimum pay. I live spitting distance from Brick Lane and if 10% of such curry houses abide by even 10% of EU working regulation I would be shocked–

My guess would be that along with a hope for additional quotas for immigration from the subcontinent (which no one familiar with UK politics could realistically expect) a weakening of employment rights might have been an important motivator for Brexit.


#10

Ah Populism, hope and gullibility working hand in hand to fuck everyone over time and time again.


#11

Constituency is shocked when politicians renege on their campaign Promises. In other news Man bites dog.


#12

Depends if we are talking Bangladesh or Hindu/Buddhist/Parsee India. Very different. I don’t know if it’s still there but there used to be a Southern Indian restaurant in Stoke Newington run by a woman. Men tend to do a lot of restaurant cooking because it is physically hard work, and that applies as much to our local Italian restaurant as to the Indian ones.

Have you counted the numbers of Indian women accountants, pharmacists, doctors and lawyers recently?

It is actually exporting British-trained chefs back to India because so many middle class Indians have come to like the Anglo-Indian fusion you get in this country.


#13

Yes, my understanding of this (it’s something that they have been complaining about for years) is that they want to import cheap labour (mostly from Bangladesh) because nobody born in Britain wants to do this hard, badly paid job.


#14

Yes. Agreed. I did touch on working conditions but only in the guise of working hours (and simplistically suggesting more pay would fix it) and there is so much more to it, as you point out, when it comes to working conditions more widely. Let’s assume that these patriarchal, employment regulation-breaking, employee-abusing curry-house owners would flinch from inflicting such abuses on British-resident female curry-chefs, were any to be forthcoming, even given the owners’ likely cultural misogyny in general. Yes, parts of that may have needed a sarcasm tag. It’s their cultural misogyny at root that ‘enables’ them to inflict such employment abuses on male employees only.


#15

For Arron Banks (UKIP donor) a significant factor is probably his involvement in insurance companies - leaving the EU - decline in government revenues - inability to fund NHS - vast increase in health insurance schemes.
For accountants and hedge funds the attraction is probably to get out from tightening EU banking laws which would eventually shut down the numerous disgraceful tax havens permitted by the British government - BVI, Isle of Man, Channel Islands etc.
Getting rid of the minimum wage is probably seen as less important than getting rid of pesky EU legislation that makes it hard to run dodgy companies.


#16

What makes you think this is different from the generality of the cheap end of the food market? You have to pay quite a lot in a restaurant, or go to one that you know is a family affair, to be sure the staff aren’t getting a raw deal. There’s a reason why our local cafés cost about 50% more than the fast food outlets, and it isn’t that they are raking it in.


#17

Me, for the now-suddenly surprised lobbists that, after betraying common decency to back a proposal that was going to screw a lot of lives but were told they would get a sweet deal out of it, now feel betrayed it was a lie. Oh yes, it was a great idea when it was, say, screw the Polish or the Spaniards or the Portuguese workers in the UK, I want more money for myself, but now suddenly is betrayal? They can go to hell with the rest of the Brexit clowns.


#18

“Hey hey they said they would work for The People this time! They’re not like the rest. Plus they’re racist just like me because that’s a good metric for sincerity.”


#19

It’s the impression I get from walking down Brick Lane. Admittedly staff at Prete a Manger are not treated particularly well–but they appear to speak English and at least seem to have the option to walk away.

When looking for flats in East London, I had the dubious pleasure of viewing a few flats on the Boundary Estate where some of the unfortunates who work on Brick Lane are “housed” and I can’t imagine anyone from a first world country putting up with such conditions. So it’s anecdotal, but there are different degrees of raw deal in the hospitality sector and curry houses are at the lower end, me thinks.


#20

[quote=“Enkita, post:12, topic:88656”]Have you counted the numbers of Indian women accountants, pharmacists, doctors and lawyers recently?
[/quote]
Fair point, but not one I’d have denied, nor was anything to the contrary implied. The existence of Indian female workers in other professions is a “so what” here. I did not mean to imply, nor should you infer, that my statement was about Indian women being confined to kitchens. It was about the hidden existence of more curry-cooking skills in UK than these curry-house owners seem to be even thinking about whether it could help solve part of their problem.

As an aside, and acknowledging hypocrisy on all sides here (curry-house owners, UK politiicans, etc) what if ‘curry-chefs’ was replaced with ‘nurses’. For years the UK has imported nurses because we do not train enough here. Accompanied by worries that we are depriving other countries of their skills and exploiting their training investments. Now the simpering Jeremy Hunt wants to train more here at last. Imagine the tabloid stories about how “proud” we are to be sending our training investment on exporting British-trained nurses to foreign countries where middle-class types prefer our British trained nursing procedures to the indigenous ones, when we have a shortage here. No, I cannot imagine it either. But I’ll try not to wring my hands about how we are stripping the sub-continent of its finest curry-chefs and dooming millions to lose the opportunities for restaurant meals.


#21

I very much doubt there is any gap in super skilled, finest curry chefs.

I’m very sure there is a gap in wage slaves that we can put to work for almost nothing because they will make whatever sacrifice to send what for them back home is actual money, even if they have to share a room with 20 others and work insane shifts.