Socialist Worker

It's divide and rule

Issue No. 1687

Bond scheme for (some) visitors

It's divide and rule

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to oppose the government's plan to impose a deposit, or bond, of up to �10,000 on people from the Indian subcontinent and Africa who visit Britain. The bond scheme is racist. It brands all black people as dishonest illegal immigrants. It will hit the poorest people hardest. How many working class people could raise �10,000 in cash to have a relative visit for a family occasion such as a wedding?

Business visitors will not have to pay. Bonds will not be asked for people visiting from the European Union. The bond scheme is also unlikely to be imposed on visitors from the "white commonwealth", such as Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders. At a recent meeting in the House of Commons west London MP John McDonnell said some people, especially in the Indian community, welcomed the bond scheme.

McDonnell opposes the scheme. But he pointed out that some people's relatives had been turned down from visiting Britain so many times that paying a bond was preferable to not seeing them. But, as McDonnell and many other speakers pointed out, any such desires for a bond scheme come out of desperation at a racist system. The answer is not bonds, but to get rid of racist immigration controls. The government is playing a game of divide and rule. Britain's black communities, like other groups, are divided by class. Some in the Indian community are well off and do not mind stumping up �10,000. But there are also other Indian families who have no hope of raising such a figure.

Some communities, such as Bangladeshis in the East End of London, are generally extremely poor. A bond scheme would mean they would never afford to have any family to visit.

  • For more information and to join the campaign against the bond scheme write to the South Asia Solidarity Group, Instrument House, 205-217 King's Cross Road, WC1 9DB. Phone 020 7713 7907. E-mail: southasia@hotmail.com

Shut Oakington

Demonstrate against Oakington detention centre 

Saturday 11 March Assemble 1pm, Parkers Piece, Cambridge Phone 01223 462 187 for more details


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News
Sat 11 Mar 2000, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1687
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