The economy - and above all the NHS - can only operate thanks to immigration!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
23 May 2023

We are told that the British economy is, after all, not in recession. The government boasts that this is thanks to its financial management skills. So what about paying public sector workers the pay rises they need?

    Junior doctors have just announced another strike for 72 hours from Wednesday 14 June to Saturday 17 June. The government refuses to talk to their union unless it abandons its strike mandate. This, when the only "leverage" workers have, is precisely the withdrawal of their labour... Quite rightly, the doctors are withdrawing theirs, again.

    The government also refuses to admit that there is a disastrous staffing crisis in the NHS. And that this, in itself, constitutes an emergency. What else is a staff shortage of almost 130,000 - one in four nurses missing and doctors leaving the country to work elsewhere?

    It's not even chiefly about pay; the NHS hasn't funded enough posts for medical specialists for decades. Doctors leave because they can only find these positions overseas. Nor has it trained enough nurses.

    In fact, it has always depended on "overseas" workers. However, the direction of flow used to be inward, not outward. The fact that this flow is reversing, says it all about the policies of the past decade.

    And it's not just the NHS which relies on immigrants - the British capitalist economy was built on the plunder of the wealth and the exploitation of the peoples of the former colonies. It has never, ever, functioned without them!

    That is why the immigration policies being promoted by Suella Braverman (and tacitly supported by Labour) are not only racist, but a fantasy which even she cannot possibly believe.

    The truth of the matter is that a British workforce somewhere out there, which can do all the work, just doesn't exist. Promoting these fantasies, serves the purpose of "divide and rule" and nothing else. Which is why yes, the doctors should fight back - but not on their own! Their fight has to be the fight of the whole of the diverse - from all corners of the globe - united, working class!