Socialist Worker

The rich scapegoat migrants to divide us

Issue No. 2343

Politicians in all the main parties are out to divide us. They tell us it isn’t their fault that the NHS is under pressure or that there aren’t enough jobs or affordable homes.

They want us to blame immigrants instead. This is an age old tactic used to weaken us, and we must fight it.

Politicians are hypocrites.

When they need people to come to Britain to do jobs and generate profit, they encourage people to move here.

Migrant workers wrench themselves from their families and travel hundreds or thousands of miles to try and find a better life.

They have every right to do so.

Yet, despite needing immigrant labour, the ruling class whip up scare stories about foreign workers taking jobs or coming here to live on welfare.

Now, as recession bites, they try to deflect anger away from themselves by intensifying the racist onslaught.

They say people must stay in their own countries. But bosses can move themselves and their money all over the world.

Why shouldn’t ordinary people be allowed to move around too?

Already the media is full of scare stories about the arrival of migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria next year when restrictions are lifted.

The anti-immigration party Ukip came second in the Eastleigh by-election last week.

It claims that migrants will be given council houses so fewer people born here will be able to find homes.

Housing

But the real problem is that there isn’t enough council housing.

A new report reveals that a third of council houses sold off under Margaret Thatcher’s government are now owned by private landlords making fat profits. One of them, Charles Gow, is the son of Ian Gow. Ian Gow was Tory housing minster in charge of Thatcher’s policy.

The IRA blew him up in 1990.

The Tories are also considering forcing migrants to pay for NHS care. If they cannot pay they could be denied non-emergency care until they have lived here for a year.

Some rightwingers suggest immigrants should have to show a special ID card to get any care.

This would see everyone who isn’t white being questioned about whether they have a right to NHS treatment.

It could also be the thin edge of the wedge for bringing in charges across the NHS.

The Tories can’t stand the fact that everyone in Britain is entitled to free health care. But they know the NHS is incredibly popular.

So they hope to chip away at the principle of free health care by whipping up bigotry against immigrants.

It’s a crisis in the system that leads to cuts and lack of services. Workers, wherever they are from, are not to blame.

We need to fight together against the bigots and the bosses.


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Article information

What We Think
Tue 5 Mar 2013, 15:46 GMT
Issue No. 2343
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