Socialist Worker

Tories try to bury report that busts racist myth

Politicians are scrambling to claim migrants take away jobs or drive down wages, reports Ken Olende

Issue No. 2394

handing out leaflets for the stand up to racism demonstration

Leafletting for the Stand Up to Racism and Fascism demonstration (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Nigel Farage, leader of the viciously anti-migrant Ukip party, now claims it is the natural home for disgruntled Labour voters. 

He claims to be a common man forced into politics because politicians would not discuss immigration or the European Union (EU).

Farage is quick to say a new survey shows Ukip’s support is growing among ex-Labour voters.

 He is less keen to mention that the same survey says, “59 percent are aged over 65, with just 9 percent of Ukip’s support coming from the under-35s”.

The Tories, feeling under pressure from Ukip and their own right wing, have always seen attacking the rights of immigrants as a vote winner.

A newly-released Home Office report on immigration undercuts a lot of the anti-migrant rhetoric that minister Theresa May has relied on. 

May had said, “For every additional 100 immigrants…23 British workers would not be employed”.

But a new report, Impacts of Migration on UK Native Employment, does not support the idea of immigrants undermining other people’s employment. 

The Tories tried to stop the report they ordered from being seen.

 It should have been issued last year. It only came out last week after journalists began asking questions about it.

It argues that in the long term there is “No negative impact on wages or employment of native workers.”

The closest it comes to supporting the establishment is where it argues, “There is evidence of some labour market displacement, particularly by non-EU migrants in recent years when the economy was in recession.”

And even if there is such an effect, the report says, it “is likely to dissipate over time”. No wonder the Tories were so keen that the report should not be seen. None of this stopped the tabloids running editorials against migrants. 

They think that if they keep up the relentless attack people will accept their arguments. 

The Daily Express newspaper had the nerve to start its rant with, “Deceitful propaganda is the weapon of the fanatical pro immigration brigade.”


Oppose politics of  hate’ with 22 March protests

Diane Abbott MP is urging people to attend demonstrations to Stand Up to Racism and Fascism on Saturday 22 March. 

She said, “The politics of immigration in Britain has become increasingly ugly as parties like Ukip and the BNP attempt to stoke up fear and hatred.

“This year’s UN International Anti-Racism day will provide the opportunity for all those who oppose the politics of hate and division to stand up against the ‘Farageation’ of our country.”

Activists are pushing to get as many as possible to the three demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff.

A mobilising meeting was held in Birmingham on Thursday of last week. Among those speaking were Maz and Fazia Saleem, whose 82 year old father Mohammed Saleem was murdered last year by racists after leaving mosque. 

In London teams of activists made sure commuters at stations across the capital knew about the march in a leafletting day on Friday of last week.

In Edinburgh a day of action was held and the main high streets leafleted. Activists also covered a demonstration commemorating the International Brigades in Spain in the 1930s. 

They also leafletted a protest about attacks on abortion rights in Spain and the Hibernian versus Motherwell football match.


Mixed areas less prejudiced

People who live in mixed areas become less prejudiced, according to a new report.

This applied even to prejudiced people who did not mix with people from other ethnic groups, but saw others mixing regularly.

The new report, led by the University of Oxford, combines data from seven previous studies over ten years in England, Europe, the US and South Africa.

Two of the studies were conducted over several years to see how attitudes changed over time.

“We have shown that positive contact between people belonging to different ethnic groups leads to more tolerant societies overall,” said Professor Miles Hewstone, who led the study at the University of Oxford.


Action Points

What you can do to help make the protests a success

  • Book a coach to a protest from your area
  • Arrange to leaflet your local shopping centre, mosque, church, workplaces or college
  • Talk to migrant groups or union branches about coming
  • All the main unions are backing the event so talk to your union rep about what they are organising to help

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