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新盤熱賣之天時,地利,人和
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新盤熱賣之天時,地利,人和
 
湯文亮博士
紀惠集團行政總裁
2014年5月25日

  荃灣環宇海灣在開售前,已經傳出開價比同區二手樓還要平,嚇到那些有心買同區二手樓的人仕立刻縮沙,小業主亦不甘心大幅減價,最後做成荃灣區樓市冰封現象,大家都非常關注環宇開價,本來冰封屬於自然現象,亦即是三國經常提及之天時,但長實等今次賣環宇海灣時令同區樓市冰封屬人為,亦兵行險著,若果銷情不理想,不但對環宇海灣未來銷售有一定程度影響,什至對整個香港樓市有影響,如今,三百多單位有接近二千認購,可以說大局已定,不但環宇可以賣一個滿堂紅,並且可以刺激起沈睡購買力,各地產商亦枕戈待發,新樓盤將會百花齊放,有心置業或者換樓的人仕的一個難得機會,我並不是替地產商賣廣告,以事論事而已。

  環宇的地利又並不是其它樓盤可以做到,主要因為荃灣區已經多年來沒有大型新樓盤,單是荃灣區所積聚購買力在沒有競爭對手的情況下,估計可以輕移易舉買起環宇今年的八百個單位,如果有一半買樓的人釋放他們的一房或者兩房單位,對舒緩上車盤短缺亦有一定作用,今次政府輕微修訂DSD可以說是功德無量,亦印證各項印花稅一定會有一些修訂空間,政府過往的獨斷獨行,不聽取業界聲音,不接受任何意見的做法是值得商確。

  大型樓盤環宇在萬衆期待之下登場,這當然是人和,在三國時諸葛亮對劉備說:將軍可佔人和。就是這句話,害到劉備帶着一班難民東奔西跑,其實,諸葛亮是錯,太平盛世,人和尚可和天時,地利鼎足而立,但是在戰亂時期,人民就是負累。現在香港當然是處於太平盛世,但物業市場就並不是,在各項辣招影響下,樓宇成交量跌至新低點,做物業代理生意的人苦不堪言,越大越多職員的物業代理行就越慘,要繼續生存,唯有削減人手,不過,有新盤開售,物業代理是否夠多人又是非常重要,人和,很多時是成與敗的關鍵所在。

  而今次環宇海灣能夠成功,就是為那些受辣招影響的置業人仕,尤其是那些換樓的人度身訂做,首期不高,又有三年低息二按過渡期,令那些利用新DSD的換樓人仕有較長換樓期,而那些初次置業者亦可以利用低息二按置業,有這些優點,環宇賣一個滿堂紅又有什麼出奇,我相信其他地產商亦會爭相效法,各出奇謀推銷他們的新樓盤,有心置業的人將會有很多選擇,各位小業主不應在這風頭火勢之下與各大地產商逐鹿,倒不如疊埋心緒,去吓遊埠好過。

新盤熱賣之天時,地利,人和
1. 睇得通
2014-05-25 09:12

我一直認同的買樓座右銘:

中環在線:
幾時買樓好?影帝KO李嘉誠
「買得起就係時機」

新片《失戀急讓》嘅預告片近日喺網上熱播,主角張家輝扮地產代理賣廣告,入型入格,金句百出,最爆係最尾段佢講嗰句:「幾時係買樓時機?你買得起嘅時候,就係買樓時機。」確實精準過「超人」李嘉誠成日都講嗰句:「買來自住,幾時都可以買」。

代理口頭禪─「盡做」

美聯物業住宅部行政總裁布少明承認,自己當年試過用呢句sell客,佢會話「你有能力就買啦,點知第日會唔會升到買唔起㗎!」不過唔係人人受落,「上車客,易sell,但投資者、換樓客喇喎,佢哋有經驗,有主見,比較難sell啲。」佢好老實咁講,客人唔會因為地產代理一句說話而「著燈」,如果真係咁易做,就個個做到top sales,代理仲有好多功夫要做,包括為客人分析後市。
另一位睇過條片嘅利嘉閣總裁廖偉強都大讚,張家輝呢句好精警,好多人成日問佢幾時可以買樓,佢話「好老實,邊個專家預計到樓市幾時升幾時跌呢?所謂能知三日事,富貴千萬年。」
阿廖又話,張家輝成日講「盡做」兩字,真係好到題,「客人無論有乜要求,我哋都唔會say no,亦唔講一定得,因為有承諾,到時唔得咁點算,所以盡做呢兩個字,幾好用。」
對於張家輝話「市場上最鍾意急起上來,乜得肯制嘅業主」,阿廖就話冇咁誇張,不過急起上來嘅業主,臨尾可能真係有令人意想不到嘅減價,試過有業主臨場即減5%。
照咁講,以後大家想問人幾時買樓好,睇睇自己個銀行戶口咪得囉。

李華華

2. 睇得通
2014-05-25 09:18

什至對整個香港樓市有影響,如今,三百多單位有接近二千認購,可以說大局已定,.........

甚至有基會說:............不但環宇可以賣一個滿堂紅,並且可以刺激起沈睡購買力,

3. 用家反而應該把握現時低息入市的機會。
2014-05-25 09:49

樓市風雲:加息難阻用家入市

股市變幻,樓市莫測。樓市又在一致睇淡的情況下,突然回暖,多個屋苑出現搶盤情況,樓市早前出現的短時間閃跌,立即吸引用家入市,似乎已測試出樓市的底部,未來季度的樓市,價量都有機出現回升。
自去年初港府實施的樓市辣招,一直被認為是推倒樓市的最後一根禾草,樓評不斷唱淡樓市,經濟學家又說樓市將崩盤,最後證券大行都加入唱淡行列,去年年初有評論就說年底樓價跌一成。最後政府公佈的數字是樓價零跌幅,一年過後,看淡的評論又繼續看淡,再說今年樓價年底前跌一成。

利益團體樓評不可靠

一般而言,利益團體的樓評最不可靠,主因是有關言論的目的,其實只想業主減價以增加樓市成交量。至於經濟學家的評論,通常又過於理論化,說甚麼負擔比已過高,最終會促使樓價下跌五成,年前就有一位名家表示,現時樓價太高了,已沽出手頭上所有物業。倘真的這樣做,後悔的機會很大。
事實上,樓市辣招已壓低了太進取的叫價,這變相已補貼了雙重印花稅的成本,因此用家已可考慮了。美國聯儲局有機明年加息,所以用家更加要把握這個加息前可以低息入市的機會。現時實際供款利率約2厘,由此作起點計,三、五年內難以加至5厘以上,既然如此,加息何足懼。

何熊輝
樓評人

4. 買得起就係好時機
2014-05-25 11:51

本人在2009年購入二個住宅, 2012年購入三個住宅, 出於對財爺的樓市恐懼症的反對!!!

原來就是「買得起就係好時機」???

5. Great Britain
2014-05-25 14:07


  An EU/EEA citizen who is an employee, self employed person, student or who has sufficient funds to support himself or herself has a right to reside in Sweden. The term right to reside means that an EU/EEA citizen and his or her family members are permitted to stay in Sweden without a residence permit. A person who has a right of residence need however to register with the Migration Board no later than three months after entering the country.

  If you are lokking for job and are register at the national job agency (www.ams.se) you are, as an EU-citizen, allowed to stay up to 6 months to look for work.

  The Public Contact Section
  The Swedish Migration Board

  這場改變的源頭,就在2009年尾歐盟所簽署的里斯本條約,條約列明擁有成員國nationality的人士,會擁有一種全新創造,和本國公民權無關的權利--歐洲公民權;因此即使BNO人士沒有「居英權」,亦可因為條約的簽訂,突然擁有全新的「居歐權」--由於英國屬於歐洲的一部份,BNO持有人因為「居歐權」,而間接得到了「居英權」。

  條約內文公開之後,已經有多位留意歐洲新聞,或研究歐盟法律條文的朋友,對此提出了質疑,因為條約極度細密,甚至為英國保留了「轄免部份地區」的空間;可是在那份Article 299的詳細「轄免地區」之中,卻找不到香港,最初大家都以為,這是寫漏了;可是以法律嚴謹見稱的英國,難道真的會犯上一個這樣愚蠢的錯誤嗎?

  隨著越來越多的真人測試,在歐洲持BNO的待遇與以前完全不同:以往持BNO入境英國要填Landing card,排非EU隊伍;二月一日起入境英國排「非歐盟」隊,會被有關人員趕走,叫你去排EU隊,甚至當面把你已經填寫好的Landing card撕毀,不再在BNO上蓋章等等,這些希奇古怪的現象,早在幾個前已開始在歐洲發生;先是奧地利突然在航空公司的資料頁之中,把BNO的入境居留條件改和BC相同,再在歐洲各地發生大量的免蓋印,要求入境排歐盟隊的事件,種種現象都令人懷疑,這些事件背後只是反映著政策的改變,而不是單純的錯誤。

  英國人為何「大發善心」?要知道政策的改變,其實和當地的政治有直接的關係;英國在戰後有大量殖民地及前殖民地的居民湧入,最初是極歡迎的,因為殖民地軍團在兩次大戰都為英國作出了大量的貢獻;然而六十年代起,經濟環境衰退及失業率,令英政府改變國藉權利,以圖減少人口增長。由於香港談判期間,英國長期由最保守的保守黨勢力領導,莫講說給香港人移民,單是和歐洲增加整合,都被這些「疑歐派」大力的反對;一條英法隧道,談了百多年都因為「疑歐」、「恐歐」的軍事經濟原因,遭到全力的反對而失敗告終;到九十年代終於通車了,可知道這條「隧道」,居然只行鐵路--汽車不准行走,要由火車運送過隧道!這樣的infrastructure,令到英國和歐洲的整合遇到極大的阻力!由瑞典開車經波羅的海去丹麥,再經過幾條橋去德國,全程都直行無阻;反之單是英國去法國才三十七點幾公里的隧道(只計海底部份),車輛居然也只能由火車運送,這樣的保守主義,簡直豈有此理!相約長度的港珠澳大橋,如果用這樣的方式運作,保證蝕大本。
6. 毛懋
2014-05-25 17:59
毛泽东谈话和写文章时喜欢“打比方”,他的许多比喻信手拈来妙趣横生,令人叹为观止。现列举其中极为经典的15个例子,让我们共同领略一下一代伟人的炉火纯青的比喻艺术。 

一:1921年12月,毛泽东和弟弟毛泽民第二次到安源煤矿。在专为工人子弟办的一所日校里,毛泽东在黑板上写上一个“工”字,解释说,上边的一横线是“天”,下边一条是“地”,中间的竖线代表工人阶级自己,工人是站在地上,顶天立地,整个世界都是工人们的。在这期间,毛泽东还在给湖南长沙人力车夫上的夜校课堂上,运用了“打比方”。他在黑板上先写一个“工”,再在旁边写一个“人”,这两字的合义就是“工人”。然后再写一个“天”。他微笑着告诉车夫如何把“人”字放在“工”的下边构成“天”字。他进一步解释说,如果工人团结起来力量可以顶天。 

二、1926年5月至9月,毛泽东担任第六届广州农民运动讲习所所长期间,在为学员讲授他写的《中国社会各阶级的分析》文章中,他把阶级压迫形象地比作一座多层的宝塔。他边讲边在黑板上画了一座宝塔,然后指着宝塔说:你们看,最下层是塔基,有工人、农民,还有小资产阶级,人数最多,受压迫和剥削最深,生活最苦;压在他们上面的一层,是地主阶级、买办阶级,人数不多;再上一层是贪官污吏、土豪劣绅,人数更少;更高一层是军阀;塔顶是帝国主义。他接着说:剥削阶级虽然很凶,但人数很少。只要大家齐心,团结紧,劳苦大众起来斗争,压在工农身上的几重大山就可推翻。百姓齐,泰山移,何愁塔之不倒乎! 

三、井冈山时期,毛泽东非常重视根据地建设。他形象地比喻说:“革命要有根据地,好像人要有屁股。人假若没有屁股,便不能坐下来。要是老走着、老站着,定然不会持久。腿走酸了、站软了,就会倒下去。革命有了根据地,才能够有地方休整,恢复气力,补充力量,再继续战斗,扩大发展,走向最后胜利。”毛泽东的一番话,澄清了部分同志的错误思想,提高了大家对建立革命根据地的认识。 

四、1930年1月,毛泽东写了《星星之火,可以燎原》一文,结尾在展望快要到来的革命高潮时是这样写的:“它是站在海岸遥望海中已经看得见桅杆尖头的一只航船,它是立于高山之巅远看东方已见光芒四射喷薄欲出的一轮朝日,它是躁动于母腹中的快要成熟了的一个婴儿。”这样的语言尽管极富诗情画意,却一点不朦胧,因为那些意象全来自百姓的生活,人民大众一听就懂。 

五、毛泽东1930年的著作《反对本本主义》在谈到“调查就是解决问题”这个论点时,运用了一个十分生动形象的比喻:调查就像“十月怀胎”,解决问题就像“一朝分娩”。 

六、西安事变和平解决后,许多同志一时不理解。毛泽东在为抗大学员讲课中,用建立民族统一战线的重要意义教育大家,讲了一个“毛驴上山”的比喻。他说:陕北毛驴很多,让毛驴上山有三个办法,一拉、二推、三打。蒋介石是不愿意抗战的,我们就采取对付毛驴的办法,拉他、推他,再不干就打他。西安事变就是这样。我们党领导全国人民抗战是矛盾的主要方面,起决定作用的是我们,国共合作是大势所趋。但是,驴子会踢人的,我们又要提防它,这就又要联合又要斗争。刘继兴认为,毛泽东的讲课发人深思,一方面使干部、学员对矛盾的主要方面有了深刻的理解;另一方面又结合国内政治斗争形势,解决了大家的思想问题,大大激发了抗战的热情。 

七、毛主席在延安文艺座谈会讲到必须继承中外一切优秀文化的时候,曾妙喻说:“屁股坐在中国的现在,一手伸向古代,一手伸向外国。” 

八、1944年10月25日,毛泽东在延安中央党校大礼堂,向参加第一期党校培训班的营以上干部作重要讲话。他说:同志们这次出去,要能够团结广大党外群众。一个共产党员,要像柳树一样,插到哪里就在那里活起来。但是柳树也有弱点,就是随风倒,软得很,所以还要学松树。松树的劲大得很,到冬天也不落叶子。松树有原则性,柳树有灵活性。斯大林说过,共产党员是特殊材料制成的。什么是特殊材料呢?就是松树和柳树结合起来,像柳树那样可亲,人人喜欢;像松树那样坚定,稳当可靠。这样人民群众就会成群结队地围绕在我们身边。毛泽东的讲话内容丰富,生动具体,不时被一阵阵热烈的掌声所打断。 

九、毛泽东1945年8月13日在《抗日战争胜利后的时局和我们的方针》中说:人民靠我们去组织,中国的反动分子,靠我们组织起人民去把他打倒。凡是反动的东西,你不打,他就不倒。这也和扫地一样,扫帚不到,灰尘照例不会自己跑掉。人民靠我们去组织。中国的反动分子,靠我们组织起人民去反他打倒。凡是反动的东西,你不打,他就不倒。这也和扫地一样,扫帚不到,灰尘照例不会自己跑掉。 

十、重庆谈判时期,毛泽东曾在秘书王炳南的陪同下,登门拜访陈立夫。寒暄后,毛泽东又忆起第一次国共合作的往事,说那是国共两党的“一段蜜月期。”陈立夫说,那段时期正在美国读书。毛泽东接着批评国民党的剿共政策,说:“所谓‘石头过刀,茅草过火’,厉害得很啦!”陈立夫则表示,这都是过去的事,无须再提。毛泽东继续说:“我们上山打游击,是国民党剿共逼出来的,是逼上梁山。就像孙悟空大闹天宫,玉皇大帝封他为弼马温,孙悟空不服气,自己鉴定是齐天大圣。可是,你们却连弼马温也不给我们做,我们只好扛枪上山了。”陈立夫表示,国民党在过去有许多要检讨的地方,这次国共和谈,愿意“尽心效力。” 

十一、还是在重庆谈判时期,毛泽东应《大公报》邀请,和周恩来等来报社作客。席间,大公报社负责人重提所谓共产党“不要另起炉灶。”毛泽东回答说:“如果蒋委员长是大锅饭让大家吃,共产党决不另起炉灶。如果他不给大家吃大锅饭,饿了两天还可以,饿到第三天,非另起炉灶不行。” 

十二、在《论联合政府》的政治报告中,毛泽东针对即将取得抗日的全面胜利,而党内还存在各种非无产阶级思想和不良作风,用了打扫房子和洗脸两个日常生活例子作比喻,他说:“房子是应该经常打扫的,不打扫就会积满了灰尘;脸是应该经常洗的,不洗也就会灰尘满面。我们同志的思想,我们党的工作,也会沾染灰尘的,也应该打扫和洗涤。”他用“房子”和“脸”来比喻我们同志的思想,我们党的工作,用“灰尘”来比喻各种非无产阶级思想和不良作风,用“打扫和洗涤”来比喻开展批评和自我批评,这样说理既透彻深刻,又浅显生动。 

十三、1951年3月,毛泽东主席在中南海勤政殿与文朋相聚。当他看到新闻署署长胡乔木与出版署署长胡愈之在谈笑时,便雅兴顿生,遂作一联。联曰:“新闻胡,出版胡,‘二胡’拉拉唱唱。”请众人续对。在座的专家、学者们无不为毛主席的趣味比喻和精巧构思所折服,纷纷苦思冥想,却无人能对,一时传为佳话。 

十四、毛泽东1955年9月在中共七届六中全会扩大会议上作总结发言,其中说到:“什么叫左倾?什么叫右倾?好像妇女生娃娃,七个月就压出来,就是左了。过了九个月不准出来,就是右了。” 

十五、1964年6月6日在第三个五年计划的指示“基础工业”在中国国家发展中的地位时,毛泽东用“身体”作妙喻:“两个拳头,一个屁股。农业是一个拳头,国防是一个拳头。要使拳头有劲,屁股就要坐稳。屁股就是基础工业。” 
7. 蜕变中嘅懶人
2014-05-25 18:22

環宇賣一個滿堂紅又有什麼出奇,我相信其他地產商亦會爭相效法,各出奇謀推銷他們的新樓盤,有心置業的人將會有很多選擇,各位小業主不應在這風頭火勢之下與各大地產商逐鹿,倒不如疊埋心緒,去吓遊埠好過。

湯博士今日為文以天時、地利、人和剖析鯇魚海灣,預期呢個盤必賣個滿堂紅,但係睇到最尾段近似結論嘅忠告,懶人隱隱覺得博士言猶未盡,唔知點解唔講埋。

8. 最富裕的當權派
2014-05-25 18:25

毛澤東和鄧小平都想不到???

三個代表的江澤民成為最富裕的當權派???

現在還有什麼好說呢???

9. 刺激起沉睡購買力
2014-05-25 18:37

什至對整個香港樓市有影響,如今,三百多單位有接近二千認購,可以說大局已定,不但環宇可以賣一個滿堂紅,並且可以刺激起沈睡購買力,........

甚至對整個香港樓市有影響,如今,三百多單位有接近二千認購,可以說大局已定,不但環宇可以賣一個滿堂紅,並且可以刺激起沉睡購買力,

10. 法子
2014-05-25 18:41
11. TOAD
2014-05-25 18:49

朱镕基候选市长演讲,说啥话被江泽民指正?

《朱镕基上海讲话实录》已公开发行。《讲话》收入了朱镕基在上海工作、主政期间的重要讲话、谈话、信件等。透过对《讲话》内容的介绍,让我们从中看到经济改革关键时期,上海在改革方面的顶层设计与措施,同时,也看到朱镕基的主政风格与胆略。

朱镕基敢讲真话、实话,直面问题的务实作风,尤其受到民众的称赞。朱镕基务实作风,对于各级官员而言,也是一面镜子,对照这面镜子,可识大体知不足,从而激发干好工作的热情。

在我看来,朱镕基敢于敞开心扉,对于自己的缺点毫不掩饰,坦坦荡荡做人,同样难能可贵。这方面,我们可以从朱镕基候选上海市长演讲中窥见一斑。比如他如实“交代”自己的经历,说自己是一个孤儿,没有见过父亲,也没有自己的兄弟姐妹,“所以我讲什么话都没有顾忌,只要是认为有利于党的事情我就要讲,即使错误地处理了我,我也不计较。党的十一届三中全会前夕恢复了我的政治生命,同时也可以说是焕发了我的政治青春,我始终相信我会得到我们党的正确对待。我就是有这么一个特点,或者说我是力求这么做的。”从中看出朱镕基对事业的忠贞和直率细腻的情感。

对于“自我评价”,朱镕基更是坦言作为上海市长我不是最佳人选,有很多缺点。谈到自己的缺点,朱镕基说,他不是从农村基层上来的,对人民的疾苦了解的不多,这是我最大的弱点。

事实上,朱镕基在上海工作与主政期间就经常深入基层,了解民众生活状况,他提出抓好“菜篮子”保障群众生活,并亲自抓这项为民工程,看得出朱镕基执政为民的胸襟。

朱镕基从民生入手,干实事,这样的务实作风,在当下也很有现实意义。对各级官员参与党的群众路线教育和实践活动也有借鉴意义。

谈到自己的缺点,朱镕基更是直言,我性情很急躁,缺乏领导者的涵养,干工作急于求成,对下面干部要求过急、批评过严。这一点我应该向江泽民同志好好学习。朱镕基这样谈自己的缺点,却被在场的江泽民同志当场插话指正。江泽民同志说,我们都差不多,这样做“没有坏心”,我们都要严格些。江泽民的插话说完,在场的与会者报以热烈的掌声。这掌声同样也是对朱镕基工作的肯定。

江泽民同志对朱镕基缺点的“指正”,也很值得回味。我们说,一个干部做到讲真话、讲实话,敢于开展批评与自我批评,同样要有无私的胸襟。当今一种不好的现象就是,官员被批评往往认为,这是某个人和自己过不去,没安好心,正是由于这种心理作怪,官员相互吹捧、阿姨奉承的官场怪相也就出现了。而消除这种官场怪相,关键是干部对待批评与自我批评要具有“没有坏心”的心态,而这种“没有坏心”的心态,是建立在立党为公,执政为民的基础之上。没有这种基础,也就谈不上“没有坏心”。在这方面,各级官员不妨回味一下朱镕基候选上海市长演讲,谈缺点被江泽民“指正”的情景,从中受到启迪。


12. Shame
2014-05-25 19:15
Racial Prejudice in French and British Immigration Policy 


FRANCE AND BRITAIN TODAY ARE SHADOWS OF THE GREAT COLONIAL EMPIRES they once dominated, yet the consequences of their imperial acquisitions continue to linger as both countries seek to moderate the immigration of persons from countries once part of vast imperial collections.  In general, there is little public concern when an immigrant hails from Canada or Australia or another ‘white’ dominion.  It’s a different reaction, however, when it’s a low-skilled black immigrant from Algeria or the Caribbean.  This ‘reaction’ by both the general public and policy-makers results in immigration legislation that unduly discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, and national origin. 

It is recognized that countries cannot have full open-door immigration policies as the effects on national well-being would be staggering.  There is, however, a great deal of latitude for countries to shape policies that provide equal-opportunity for migrants without regard for race, ethnicity, or national origin, or, on the contrary, to enact legislation that discriminates on the basis of these attributes.  In the case of Britain and France during the past 40 years, immigration policies have drifted from the latter to the former, without fully characterizing either of these two extremes. 

During the latter half of the twentieth century, strong anti-black and anti-minority sentiment has been veiled in the form of anti-immigration stances by leading political parties in both France and Britain.  These positions were regulated in both countries by public sentiment, party power, and the economic well-being of the country.  In the case of France, however, the emergence of the prominent French nationalist party National Front (FN) pulled the leading right-of-centre parties further to the right, resulting in the adoption of discriminatory immigration policy by the conservative French government in 1993; a similar nationalist movement in Britain did not have the same impact.  Still, in both instances immigration policy is much more discriminatory at the close of the millennium than it was just forty years earlier. 

IN THE EARLY POST-WAR ERA, most of the immigration to Britain was from other European countries, including many Irish and Polish, according to John Solomos, author of Race & Racism in Britain (Solomos 53-54).  Yet a significant change in British immigration policy would come in 1948 with the institution of the British Nationality Act, distinguishing between citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies and citizens of independent Commonwealth states, yet conferring citizens of both with the right to enter, work, and settle in Britain without restriction.  It did not much alter the practical status of citizens of independent Commonwealth states, who had been considered full citizens of Great Britain with ‘free movement’ and ‘the protection of the crown’ since passage of the 1914 Imperial Act, but it would represent one of the first chips off an Imperial Act that would gradually be whittled down to shavings by racist immigration policymaking in London. 

In post-war France, writes Alec G. Hargreaves in his book Immigration, ‘Race’ and Ethnicity in Contemporary France, the national government welcomed--even recruited!-- immigrants to help rebuild the country following years of war and depression (Hargreaves 10).  Like Britain, the majority of immigrants to France were European, hailing from Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal, with limited numbers of Armenian, Russian, and Jewish migrants (9-10).  Quickly, however, the economies of other European states began to improve, and the share of European immigrants to France declined while the portion of Maghreb (Algerian, Moroccan, and Tunisian) immigrants--visible racial minorities--began to climb (12). 

It should be noted that the French perspective of minorities is decidedly differently than the Anglo-American perspective.  According to Hargreaves, the French social relations vocabulary is relatively limited, with the word ‘immigration’ pertaining to a number social concepts related to race and ethnicity (1-2) and the word ‘immigrant’ itself generally describing a low-skilled migrant from the Third-World (18).  The author also states that the French do not recognise individual ethnic groups, but speak of ‘integration’--an implicit ‘presupposition’ that newcomers to French society are to become integrated into the culture (1-2). 

The denial of ethnic minorities by French society is mirrored (if not encouraged) by the French government.  According to Hargreaves, immigration statistics are kept only of first-generation immigrants.  States the author, ‘In the official mind of the state, the formal integration of immigrants and their descendants goes hand-in-hand with their obliteration as a distinct component of French society’ (4). 

Residents of French overseas departments and territories (known by the French acronym DOM-TOM), including Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, and Réunion, were considered French nationals, and held a status in France similar to that held until 1983 by citizens of British colonies.  As French nationals, DOM-TOM migrants to France were never tracked as immigrants. 

According to Hargreaves, the central myths of French identity were forged by a France united until 1789 by a central monarchy, and as a unified nation-state following the Revolution (5).  As nationality became a tool to unite the people of France, divisive cultural differences were shunned. 

Britain, on the other hand, has had a large history of mobilisation around issues of race and ethnicity, with the difference between the British culture and others ethnically distinct as a key aggravating factor.  Therefore, Britain adopted was a ‘liberal’ attitude towards European immigrants following World War II, but perceived a variety of ‘problems’ associated with the arrival of ‘coloured’ workers, regardless of their status as British Commonwealth citizens (Solomos 56).  Race riots at Notting Hill and Nottingham in the late 1950s supported arguments by opponents of black and minority immigration to institute even stricter immigration laws, as ‘too many blacks’ was seen as a growing British predicament (60-61). 

In response to the growing black ‘problem’, Parliament passed the Commonwealth Immigration Act in 1962.  Absolute free movement of Commonwealth passport holders ceased as a work permit was required for entry to Britain ***unless*** the individual was born in Britain or held a British passport.  Solomos quotes one government official, who stated years later that ‘the bill’s real purpose was to restrict the influx of coloured immigrants.  We were reluctant to say as much openly.  So the restrictions were applied to coloured and white citizens in all Commonwealth countries--though everybody recognised that immigrants from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand formed no part of the problem’ (61).  According to Solomos, there was limited opposition to the Act at the time by the media and the opposition Labour Party (61). 

Significantly, Labour would not repeal or amend the Act after defeating the Conservative Party for control of Parliament in 1964.  According to Solomos, Labour nearly converged with the Conservative viewpoint, with Prime Minister Harold Wilson calling for stricter immigration controls and greater ‘integration’ of immigrants (64).  In 1968, the Labour government passed a second Commonwealth Immigration Act, which aimed at reducing the number of East African Asian (Kenyan and Ugandan) immigrants by requiring British and colonial holders of British passports to prove patriality. 

Following the two Commonwealth Immigration Acts, the opponents of immigration were still not appeased.  In 1968, prominent Conservative Enoch Powell called for repatriation of immigrants, as reduced immigration levels, he felt, were not sufficient (67). 

Yet another piece of legislation that restricted immigration to Britain was passed by a Conservative government in 1971.  The Immigration Act required patriality for free admission to Britain, and a work permit subject to annual review in the instance that one did not have patrial ties to Britain (69).  States Solomos, ‘The 1971 Act eventually took away the right of the black Commonwealth immigrants to settle, and thus represented an important step in the institutionalisation of racist immigration controls’ (70).  Indeed, the bedrock guarantee of British citizenship once promised to the citizens of all Commonwealth states had by 1971 eroded into a mere pebble of its former self. 

During the early 1970s, the French enacted minority-restricting immigration policies themselves with the institution of an official ‘Zero-Immigration’ policy in 1974.  According to Hargreaves, it was formally a ‘suspension’ of immigration, but remains in place today (Hargreaves 17).  In practice, the policy eliminated all open-immigration that had formerly been permitted by French law.  A number of holes in the ‘Zero-Immigration’ policy allowed immigration to France to continue, however, as European Community members still had free movement, asylum seekers were still protected, high-skilled workers were exempt, and other workers were permitted as economic need arose.  The bottom line, however, was that France had removed the welcome mat from its front door. 

Paradoxically, the visibility of immigrants in France would increase following the ‘Zero-Immigration’ declaration as families would join previous immigrants (18).  Third-world immigrants, Hargreaves states, would come to be seen as threats to French tradition as it was--and still is--perceived that they integrated into society with greater difficulty (26). 

British immigration policy would again tighten after Margaret Thatcher led the Conservative Party to victory in the 1979 election.  According to Solomos, Thatcher had stated while campaigning in 1979 that blacks posed a threat to British social and cultural values (Solomos 71), and her government passed the restrictive British Nationality Act in 1981.  Among the provisions of the policy, British citizenship was further sub-divided, with the right of abode in Britain guaranteed only to citizens of the United Kingdom and not to citizens of dependent or overseas colonies, according to the British Information Service Internet site  (‘Background’ Sec. 3).  Stated an official government report for an OECD conference, ‘Firm immigration control is . . . essential in order to provide the conditions necessary for developing and maintaining good community relations’ (Solomos 71).  Writes Solomos, ‘The strategy pursued since 1979 has continued to legitimate the supposed link between firm controls and community relations’ (72). 

During the 1980s, immigrants were increasingly seen as a threat to French national identity.  As a result, the National Front party (known by the French acronym FN) was created to advance the far-right cause of French nationalism.  FN would succeed in winning a small percentage of seats in the French National Assembly, but its most significant impact was in pulling the mainstream centre-right parties in France further to the right. 

Significantly, Britain faced a National Front movement of its own in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The National Front failed, however, to have a serious impact on immigration policy in Britain.  According to Solomos, the party declined as a result of the ‘marginalisation of the racist message that the National Front was propounding’, ‘the incorporation of the National Front’s ideas into mainstream political institutions’, and internal party disintegration (190).  Or, the party may simply have faltered as a result of Britain’s first-past-the-post system of Parliamentary representation, resulting in National Front failure to ever win seat in Parliament. 

In France, with a system of proportional representation in the National Assembly, the party had a different effect.  National Front gained popularity as France faced increasing unemployment during the 1980s, and immigrants were often perceived by the public as competitors with citizens for jobs.  French public opinion surveys cited by Hargreaves show declining public acceptance of immigrants in France during economic downturns (Hargreaves 155-157).  Most rejected were Africans, especially Algerians, whose dark complexion and Islamic beliefs, it was thought, made for difficult assimilation (161-163). 

As a result of broad public support for tighter immigration policies, and to stem the tide of supporters to the National Front, French mainstream centre-right parties Rassemblement Pour la Republique (RPR) and Union por la Democratie Française (UDF) sought to further restrict immigrant access to France.  In 1986, Legislators debated numerous amendments to the French Nationality Code (CNF) before deciding to end the automatic granting of French nationality to persons born on French soil to foreign parents.  According to Hargreaves, public reaction against the relatively weak conservative coalition government led to retreating support for the 1986 measure, which ultimately did not pass (171).  In 1993, however, a reinvigorated centre-right coalition successfully amended the CNF to allow a child born on French soil to be considered a French national only if at least one parent had resided in France for at least five years before the child’s birth (174).  It was claimed that the bill sought to prevent expectant mothers from birthing on French soil to gain French citizenship for their babies and themselves, but the change was widely seen as a method of limiting the number of African and Islamic immigrants that supposedly ‘assimilated’ with such difficulty into French society. 
  
THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM APPROACHES, AND BOTH BRITAIN AND FRANCE are poised to exit the century with racially-discriminatory immigration policies that annually prohibit entry and opportunity to thousands of potential immigrants.  The countries continue to grow towards each other and other members of the European Union, but move ever closer to unified external borders that are liable to lock the doors to thousands more.  Ideally, the EU clique would reach out to peoples living elsewhere in the world, and invite them to move to Europe and share in the economic success of the Union.  Realistically, however, a more likely scenario envisions the construction of a ‘Fortress Europe’ that aims to keep foreigners out. According to leading race relations expert Ambalavaner Sivanandan, Eurocentric racism ‘emerging from the interstices of the old ethnocentric racism’ is expressed in the form of the European Union (Miles 36). 

With massive minority populations, attention now turns towards ‘second generation’ settlers in Britain and France.  Unfortunately, policies that support the growing minority populations have followed the same nationalist vein as immigration policies in these countries.  States Solomos, ‘Central government departments . . . have not shown a clear commitment to or allocated adequate resources to racial equality programmes [in Britain]’ (Solomos 81).  France, of course, continues to view immigration and race relations through blinders, failing to adopt any policies that promote anything other than ‘integration’. 

There is slight hope that the individual sovereignties of Britain and France may liberalise immigration policies whilst they still have this ability.  But with the continued stability of conservatives in France, it is unlikely that a move to end the official France ‘Zero Immigration’ policy will occur any time soon.  In Britain, the new Labour government may change immigration policy, but a return to the Imperial Act, when British immigration policy reached its liberal zenith, is not foreseeable. 

It is lamentable that the immigration policies of France and Britain have become so restrictive during the past 40 years, but one can only hope that the next 40, whether as individual states or in unison as EU members, bring a gradual decline in the racially prejudicial nature of French and British immigration policy. 
  
Works Cited 

‘Background to British National Law.’  Britain in the USA.  British Information Services.  19 July 1998.  
Hargreaves, Alec G.  Immigration, ‘Race’ and Ethnicity in Contemporary France.  London:  Routledge, 1995. 
Miles, Robert.  ‘The Articulation of Racism & Nationalism.’  Racism & Migration in Western Europe.  Ed. John Solomos and John Wrench.  Oxford:  Berg, 1993. 
Solomos, John.  Race & Racism in Britain.  New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 1993. 
13. 山高雲低
2014-05-25 19:41
佩服博士眼光,在经济学家獨排衆議。事實勝於雄辯。
14. 山高雲低
2014-05-25 19:41
佩服博士眼光,在经济学家獨排衆議。事實勝於雄辯。
15. C Tsao
2014-05-25 21:58

Voting With Our Condoms

 / Post on  / Filed under 專欄結集, HK Magazine, Politically Incorrect / tagged 

Hong Kong has seen an astonishingly sharp 40 percent drop in the birth rate over the past 30 years, according to government statistics. Put off by rising property prices and chaotic “education reforms,” young would-be parents who are not rich or highly educated enough to apply for emigration to Canada, Australia or the EU have finally decided to vote with their condoms.

This is despite a call by former chief executive Sir Donald Tsang a few years ago for young Hongkongers to reproduce more passionately under his rule, suggesting three children per family. With CY Leung’s plans to tighten the border control knot against an immigration influx by clamping down on pregnant mainland women’s visas, this could mean a shortage of labor—and worse—an aging population.

Back in 1981, Hong Kong was a better place to breed and raise a child. The former colony was reaping great economic benefits from Lord MacLehose, who is believed to have been the greatest colonialist in the Far East. The public housing scheme was put in place. The ICAC was working to root out corruption. Young talents and college graduates were rushing back from overseas to join the manufacturing, banking and entertainment industries. Chow Yun-fat, Maggie Cheung and John Woo budded, succeeded and became culturally exportable proud faces of Hong Kong, which was being looked after remotely by a proud Margaret Thatcher and a reviving Britain. It was a time when Cinderella had little idea about the party’s 1997 deadline. No wonder the “Family Planning Association” bombastically ran heavy community advertising campaigns to remind local parents to cap the number of children at two. The campaign had little effect at a time when the name Durex sounded almost as fresh and curious to young Hongkongers as it did to Ethiopians.

The mood now is just the reverse for obvious reasons, which will cause CY Leung and Beijing a little headache. Singapore has been a role model for Hong Kong and China for the past decade, with Lee Kuan Yew attracting many fans such as Tung Chee-hwa and Hu Jintao, who have talked about copying the model of success of the proud city-state founded by Captain Raffles.

But above all, it is widely recognized that eugenics is the core of Singapore’s founding father’s thoughts. Borrowing administrative experiences from Singapore means that the SAR government should subsidize each young talented man, say, a graduate from the University of Hong Kong, for his willingness to make a DGS alumna pregnant, with the help of an attractive package of incentives. This could mean a little flat on Caine Road plus free education vouchers from kindergarten to Harrow. Or perhaps more government-sponsored coverage of the forthcoming baby from Daniel Wu and Lisa S would do the trick.

These measures would encourage local Hongkongers to get rid of their condoms as promptly as, God forbid, Beijing gets rid of CY Leung.

- See more at: http://chiptsao.com/voting-with-our-condoms/#sthash.sZIShRyf.dpuf
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