IN THEIR latest attack on refugees the Tories are preparing to use nets to disable boats and dinghies attempting the dangerous Channel crossing.
This tactic was revealed in a Daily Telegraph interview with the ex-Royal Marine, Dan O’Mahoney, appointed as ‘clandestine Channel threat commander’ by Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel in August.
O’Mahoney’s plan involves throwing nets over the boats in order to clog their propellers, bringing them to a standstill. The navy would then take the occupants on board and return them to France.
The fact that the French authorities are not accepting any returnees was brushed aside by O’Mahoney saying: ‘We definitely are very, very close to being able to operationalise a safe return tactic where we make an intervention safely on a migrant vessel, take migrants on board our vessel and then take them back to France. The problem with that currently is that the French won’t accept them back to France.’
The use of nets is just one of the tactics being developed by the Tories, including the plan to use water cannon to create massive waves that would drive vessels back into French waters.
Disabling vessels with nets or driving them back with water cannon, which would inevitably lead to sinking them and drowning everyone on board, stands along with proposals to lock refugees up on disused oil rigs in the North Sea or shipping them over 5,000 miles away to camps on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic.
Methods of disabling boats, with no idea of what will happen afterwards as the French authorities refuse to accept them, forms the third of O’Mahoney’s four-part plan.
The first two simply consist of a social media campaign to ‘convince’ people fleeing imperialist wars that they would be better off staying where they are than risking death seeking sanctuary in the UK.
The fourth plan is based on Priti Patel’s intention to impose a super ‘hostile environment’ on asylum seekers.
In her speech to the virtual Conservative Party conference last week, Patel denounced the current asylum system as ‘fundamentally broken’ and promised new laws to deny asylum to those using unofficial routes to enter the UK.
In an unprecedented attack on lawyers representing asylum seekers, Patel said she would bring in legislation next year to stop ‘endless legal claims’ from refused asylum seekers accusing their legal representatives of being ‘lefty human rights lawyers and do-gooders’.
While the Tories are devising plans to use the military to drive refugees back, even at the risk of drowning them, those asylum seekers already in Britain are forced into ‘unsanitary and unsuitable’ former barracks converted by the Home Office into refugee camps.
Yesterday, human rights groups revealed the squalid and dangerous conditions in these camps surrounded by barbed wire and high fences that vulnerable and traumatised asylum seekers have been forced into while their claims are processed.
The issue of refugees is not a question for ‘do-gooders’, it is above all a class issue. The Tory government that is waging a war on refugees is the same Tory government that is at war with the working class at home.
At the same time that it is preparing to throw refugees into the sea or keep them locked up in camps, the Tories have been preparing to throw the working class to the wolves.
With their drive to reopen capitalism they have created the conditions where Covid-19 infections and deaths have surged with more patients in hospital now than at the height of the pandemic in March.
Just as it locks up refugees in insanitary conditions so the Tory government is prepared to lock up old and vulnerable people as part of their ‘herd immunity’ strategy to keep a bankrupt capitalist system going and the profits coming in.
The enemy of the working class and refugees is this Tory government and the capitalist system it serves that cares only for profit with human life counting for nothing.
The only way forward is for the working class to put an end to this bankrupt and barbaric capitalist system by bringing down this Tory government and going forward to a workers’ government and a socialist society which will welcome all workers.