The UK government’s announcement of new laws aimed at preventing asylum claims by individuals arriving in the country on small boats is yet another attempt to maintain control over the working class. By portraying migrants as a threat to the country’s economic and social stability, the government is reinforcing a divisive narrative that sustains myths about migrants. It should be evident to all that the root causes of migration stem from an exploitative economic system that perpetuates poverty, deprivation, and insecurity on a global scale.
The proposed bill seeks to deny asylum claims from those who arrive in the UK on small boats and would require their immediate removal to Rwanda or a “safe third country.” Currently, there is no legal route open for people to claim asylum in the UK (unless you are from Afghanistan or Ukraine). That is why the small boat crossing is used by so many, you can’t get to the UK any other way. It’s important to note that the majority of migrants find themselves in countries with lower income levels, and in comparison, the UK accepts a relatively small number of migrants. This policy is not only inhumane (continuing the Tories “hostile environment”) and cruel but also ineffective, as it fails to address the underlying causes of migration. Instead, it reinforces the hegemonic control of the ruling class over the working class by denying migrants the right to seek asylum.
The government’s attempts to circumvent legal blocks on its deportation policy through the use of a “rights brake” demonstrate its complete disregard for human rights and the rule of law. The recent announcement of new migration laws by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has the potential to further fuel far-right extremism by continuing to frame migrants as a threat to society and blaming them for all the country’s issues. This harmful Tory narrative has already created tension and division within local communities where migrants are being housed, exacerbating existing problems related to poverty and insecurity.
Tensions that erupted in Dover (Saturday 4 March) make the impact of this divisive discourse on society clear. Far-right groups took to the streets to protest against this so called small boats crisis, advancing a harmful narrative (from the government and Tory press) that scapegoats migrants for issues arising from an exploitative economic system. These protests have become a recurrent issue in Dover, causing concerns among residents about the disruption and its impact on the town. During the protests, the far-right groups chanted repugnant slogans like “stop the invasion” and “Lefty scum off our streets,” while anti-racist groups countered with chants of “refugees are welcome here, racists are not.” We must salute those who continue week after week to counter this far right menace.
The Tory government’s attempts to maintain its power by exploiting the fears and insecurities of our communities only serve to exacerbate these tensions and sustain the myths about migrants, fuelling far-right extremism. To combat this dangerous narrative and its divisive tactics, it is crucial that we recognise the true nature of these evil policies and work towards building stronger communities, workplaces, while valuing justice, equality, and solidarity for all and rejecting this toxic government’s far-right extremism and its hateful rhetoric.
Trade unions issue joint statement in support of refugees
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