By John O'Mahony
The latest restrictions which the Government proposes to inflict on immigrants are a downright disgrace! Rejected asylum seekers who can't leave are to be forced to work for no wages! What refugees in Britain face already is depicted in recent newspaper headlines.
"Racist arson attack in Dungannon", "Ukrainian man attacked", "Hull asylum seeker persecutors found guilty", "Liverpool man jailed for racist behaviour". Those are the headlines, culled by the Independent Race and Refugee Network, for just one day, 7 June 2004. Multiply that by 365 and it is plain to see, physical and verbal attacks on refugees are increasing. Why? Because of the racist policies of the Government.
Home Secretary David Blunkett says he is tough on immigration and nasty to asylum-seeking refugees because if he isn't, the voters will turn to the racists-fascists of the BNP or to the living fossils of old-style Little Englandism in the UK Independence Party. In fact, what Blunkett and the Labour Government have done and do is spread racist xenophobia wider and deeper in British society than it would otherwise be.
"Competing" with the BNP on their own poisoned ground, the New Labour government does their work for them. They accept all the basic ideas, if not the racist white supremacist "theory" of the BNP.
Immigration is bad - and especially bad if the immigrants are poor, dark of skin and culturally not "British".
Pandering to their myths and prejudices and harrying and harassing immigrants, echoing the witch hunt of the racist tabloids, Blunkett contributes to the growth in BNP influence. Many workers in run-down areas will listen to Blunkett, observe what the Government does, and conclude that the BNP has the courage to draw the logical conclusions from the attitudes they share with Blunkett, Blair and the New Labour Government.
In reality, educated adults who have not cost "British society" anything to produce are a "bonus" for their new country. Those who need training here can be quickly trained.
In reality immigrants from "not British" cultures deepen and enrich the culture of the living and adapting British society to which they come - Britain is a vastly better place as a result of the immigrants who have come here in the past.
As well as such considerations, it is a fact that people are being refused entry whose lives are in danger if they are forced to "go home".
If the labour movement cannot defend refugees and immigrants, then it is cutting its own throat. Nobody in Britain should be forced to work without wages! The trade unions should not stand for it. They should demand that immigrants get the proper trade union rate for the job.