Racists, liars - above all, enemies of the working class!

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19 February 2020

Dave the rapper was unquestionably right when he sang an impromptu verse at the Brit awards, which said that "our prime minister's a real racist”.  Just as he was right when he went on to remind everyone that the Grenfell survivors and Windrush generation victims are still waiting for justice.
    Yes, Johnson and his ministers are "racist".  But they're not just ordinary racists.  Above all, they are class racists.  They are in awe in front of the wealthy, at whose feet they are willing to crawl for the privilege to serve them, whoever they may be and wherever they might come from.
    But they only have scorn and hatred for working class people - of any skin colour or nationality.  However they also fear us: they know that without our labour, neither they nor their capitalist masters, would enjoy such comfortable, parasitic lives!
    This is why they are so vicious whenever they use governmental powers to clamp down on a section of workers.  Like Johnson's sidekick, Priti Patel, did earlier this month by trying (and partly failing) to deport to Jamaica so-called "foreign criminals", many of whom were entitled to British citizenship, but were treated as if they were not, for the same reason as the Windrush generation - i.e., because, just like the Grenfell survivors, they were poor!

An attack against the working class

At the end of last week, the same Priti Patel launched another clamp-down against foreign workers of all origins: a draft of her planned immigration bill which is supposed to come into force in January next year.
    Her first target is EU workers: those who seek employment in Britain will lose all the rights they currently have under the EU's free movement of labour.  Only those who have been working here long enough will, theoretically, retain some of these rights.  For how long, no-one can be absolutely sure.  But what we do know is that, as things stand now, their children will lose these rights.
    Patel claims that her aim is to restore a level playing field between all migrant workers, whether from the EU or not.  But she is actually making it more difficult for anyone to come and work in Britain.
    One is tempted to ask whether Priti Patel's family (or the family of Johnson's new billionaire Chancellor, Rishi Sunak) would have been allowed into England when they emigrated from East Africa, in the 1960s?
    But Patel's draft bill would also make it more difficult for migrant workers to retain their right to work in Britain.  Without doing anything to change May's "hostile environment", she's adding more hostility, to make it possible for bosses to try to blackmail migrant workers, using the threat of losing the contract of employment which allowed them to get a work visa and being deported.
    This would turn Britain into a sort of non-EU European version of the Gulf State monarchies!  And that would be a problem for all of us.  Forcing one section of our class into virtual slavery, which is Patel's and Johnson's aim, would be a threat to the entire working class.  This, we should not and will not tolerate.

A warning of their plans

Each one of the justifications offered by the government for these attacks provides us with another reason to fight them.
    Ministers' official comment after the release of these plans amounted to saying that they were merely implementing the demand for Britain to “take back control of its borders" - as expressed in the Brexit referendum.  So, because 37% of the registered electorate voted for Brexit - with a section among them, but how many, no-one knows, voting for a cut in immigration - that would be good enough to reduce the status of migrant workers to a kind of modern slavery?  What sort of democracy is that?  And what nasty trick will they come up with next, in the name of that dodgy referendum?
    The government’s other argument is even more significant.  In response to Unison's warning that the new bill would deprive the care industry of the migrant workers it needs, the government replied that companies will have to wean themselves off cheap migrant labour.  As if the issue was one of "cheap migrant labour" when in fact it is one of privatisation, low-pay, lousy conditions and scrooge bosses!
    But then it's much easier to turn the screw on the poor and vulnerable, than on companies and shareholders.  So, Patel's plan is to force the "8 million people" who are “economically inactive” into filling these jobs.  Never mind that most of them have a reason not to work - which is often poor health, or that they are single parents who can't work for lack of child-care facilities.  But a wealthy ex-lobbyist for the tobacco industry like Patel, has never faced such problems!
    So, yes, whatever our nationality or skin colour, we are all under threat from this government of raving reactionaries.  The time to organise ourselves and unite our ranks to fight back, is now!