Socialist Worker

A threat to migrants is a threat to us all

Issue No. 2466

When the Tories say they want to charge people not born in Britain for NHS care we know this can be the first step towards bringing in charging everyone. 

If they can push though limits on migrants’ access to the welfare state then it sets a precedent for the future. 

Now the Tories’ latest attacks prove these predictions are the reality.

David Cameron wants to ban European Union (EU) citizens from receiving in-work benefits for four years. 

The Tories want to whip up fear and hatred of migrants and asylum seekers so they can divert the blame for shrinking services.

It is part of Cameron’s agenda to prove how tough he is on immigration. 

He also wants to persuade Tories to vote to stay in the EU in the coming referendum. 

To do this he wants to show that he has won the right to attack EU workers’ rights.

Such a policy is rightly deemed discriminatory by the EU. 

But the Tories have proposed a new idea in an attempt to prove they are not just going to discriminate against EU citizens.

Now they are proposing that everyone has to show four years’ residency in Britain to be entitled to in-work benefits such as tax credits.

For people born in Britain this will not start until someone is 18 years old. 

So tens of thousands of working young people between 18 and 22 could be denied benefits simply so that Cameron can drive through his anti-migrant policy.  

Attack

That’s why we need to oppose every attack, every cut in services and every racist rant against migrants.

Politicians say they need more identity checks and fences to repress refugees fleeing wars the West created.

We know these will soon be used against anyone who resists.

Every attack on migrants is an attack on us all.

If the Tories can divide us and push back the rights of one section of the working class, they will be better able to attack everyone. 

The NHS should be for everyone who needs healthcare. The welfare state should be there for everyone who needs support. 

No one should be homeless or hungry in Britain today.

Tories whine, “We can’t afford to provide for everyone”.

But that’s a lie.

Britain is one of the richest countries in the world. 

If we taxed the rich, stopped wasting billions on war and weapons then no one, wherever they were born, would have to go without.

That’s why there can be no division between the struggles against austerity and against racism.

Working class unity is not just a principled position—it’s the source of our strength.


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Article information

What We Think
Tue 11 Aug 2015, 18:00 BST
Issue No. 2466
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