MICHAEL Fallon, Tory defence secretary, did an Enoch Powell (he made his anti-immigrant ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in 1968) when he claimed on Sunday that British towns are being ‘swamped’ by immigrants and their residents are ‘under siege’. After the ensuing outcry he was urged to admit that his language should be slightly moderated by PM Cameron, and responded that he had been ‘careless’ in his use of words.
However, his ‘apology’ was the signal for Labour MP and ex-Home Secretary Blunkett to enter the fray.
Blunkett declared that specific parts of Britain are being swamped by migrants and that Fallon was right to ‘voice the concerns of ordinary voters’.
He added that instead of ‘peddling illusions’ around the impact of immigration, politicians must find solutions – laying the ground for a send them back campaign.
Blunkett is a repeat offender. The Campaign for Racial Equality (CRE) criticised the remarks he made in 2002 when he was Home Secretary, urging that the children of asylum seekers should be taught in accommodation centres rather than being allowed to ‘overwhelm’ local schools.
In fact Blair’s Downing Street did not do a Cameron and urge Blunkett to moderate his remarks – it said that Blunkett had the prime minister’s ‘100% support’.
Critics pointed out, in vain, that Blunkett was echoing Margaret Thatcher’s comments about Britain being ‘swamped by an alien culture’.
Meanwhile PM Cameron is said by aides to be preparing a manifesto pledge to introduce quotas for low-skilled migrants from the EU, and is resolved to break with the EU’s ‘free movement of workers’ policy.
Britain has also declared that it will not support any future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants and refugees drowning in the Mediterranean as they try and reach Europe. It is being claimed that these operations simply encourage more people to attempt the dangerous sea crossing before making their way to the UK.
There has also been an official British refusal to support a sustained European search and rescue operation to prevent further mass migrant drownings, cynically explaining that it would contribute to more people dying needlessly on Europe’s doorstep.
The British refusal comes as the official Italian sea and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, is due to end this week after contributing over the past 12 months to the rescue of an estimated 150,000 people since the Lampedusa tragedies in which 500 migrants died in October 2013.
The Italian operation will now end without a similar European search and rescue operation to replace it. Instead of the Italian operation, a limited joint EU ‘border protection’ operation, codenamed Triton and managed by Frontex, the European border agency, is to be launched on 1 November. Crucially, it will not include search and rescue operations across the Mediterranean.
British policy was quietly enunciated in a recent House of Lords written answer by the new Foreign Office minister, Lady Anelay. ‘We do not support planned search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean,’ she said, because there was ‘an unintended “pull factor”, encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths’.
The truth, as the above examples show, is that racism is never far from the surface amongst the ruling class of the UK and its servants, who have now lost the world empire that fuelled their notions of superiority.
All that they are left with now is their prejudices and their conviction that to retain their power in the UK they must divide the population along racist lines, if they are to continue ruling over the masses of the working class.
For the working class the maxim of the hour is that of Karl Marx, – ‘Workers of the world unite you have a world to win and nothing to lose but your chains’.
Workers and their trade unions must fight all attempts to split the working class along racist lines, and insist that just as the rich are able to travel the planet from one end to the other in search of profits, the working class has the right to go to any country in search of work. Strictly speaking a worker has no country, since he or she does not usually own even an inch of the country of their birth.