YESTERDAY the Tory government started to make good its pledge to mobilise the full might of its state armed forces against a handful of desperate men, women and children attempting to cross the Channel in rubber dinghies.
The RAF confirmed that its Atlas surveillance aircraft was utilised to support a Border Force patrol boat that had intercepted an inflatable dinghy carrying 20 Syrian refugees off the coast of Dover yesterday morning.
This follows a weekend when the Tories ramped up the racist rhetoric about ‘invasion’ by vast numbers of asylum seekers fleeing the devastation of their countries by imperialist wars.
An official request was made to the Royal Navy to send ships, while Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday appointed a former Royal Marine as ‘clandestine Channel threat commander’.
It comes after the Immigration Minister Chris Philp wrote in the Telegraph that any migrant caught crossing the Channel is to be fingerprinted and face ‘real consequences’ by being arrested for breaking the law and immediately sent back to France.
The Ministry of Defence on Saturday confirmed that it received the Tory request and is considering deploying naval ships in the Straits of Dover to intercept and turn back dinghies.
Another source in the MoD was much less than enthusiastic however, telling the press: ‘It’s beyond absurd to think that we should be deploying multi-million-pound ships and elite soldiers to deal with desperate people barely staying afloat on rubber dinghies in the Channel’ adding: ‘It could potentially put people’s lives at even greater risk.’
Lawyers have also warned that pushing these tiny vessels back at sea is illegal under international law. International law of course is irrelevant to the ruling class and they don’t care about drowning refugees.
It was their illegal wars and invasions of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya along with their support for the murderous war in Yemen that has driven hundreds of thousands of people to risk drowning.
Now they face the full might of the military in order to prevent a tiny handful from reaching Britain.
Not all refugees are to get this treatment however. Earlier this year, Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted three million Hong Kong nationals, who are opposed to the Chinese revolution, the right to settle in the UK and apply for British citizenship.
The Tories are prepared to welcome with open arms millions of right-wingers determined to see a return of colonial rule in the Chinese province.
But the 4,000 desperate men, women and children who have crossed the Channel in small boats this year are an invasion force that must be repelled, even at the risk of drowning them by sinking their dinghies.
This same ruling class is preparing to drive the working class into poverty with mass unemployment and wage cutting. It will not hesitate to use the military against workers and their unions, in the same way that it is prepared to use force against the most vulnerable people whose only crime is wanting a life free from war and poverty.
The enemy of the working class is not refugees but the Tory government and the capitalist class that it serves, and the state machine that it uses to crush its enemies, at home – remember Thatcher’s 1984-85 war against the miners – and abroad, including in the Straits of Dover.
Capitalism in its degenerate imperialist stage is the enemy of workers and the poor throughout the world. The working class will welcome all refugees and oppose all attempts to promote racist and national divisions, and make clear the fight today is against the common enemy – capitalism.
The only future for the working class is to join with the peoples of the world in the struggle to end wars and poverty through the overthrow of imperialism by socialist revolution.
The working class of the world must be united to carry out this historically necessary task through the building of revolutionary sections of the Fourth International in every country to take the working class to power.
In Britain this means building the WRP to lead the fight to bring down this Tory government and go forward to a workers government that will send the capitalist class packing, and welcome every worker from any country to join in building a socialist society.
This is the only way forward for workers and the people of the world.