Socialist Worker

LETTERS - This Tory regime is racist to the very core of its politics

Issue No. 2601

Journalist and writer Gary Younge speaking to a protest in solidarity with the Windrush Generation last Friday

Journalist and writer Gary Younge speaking to a protest in solidarity with the Windrush Generation last Friday (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Theresa May deliberately created a racist “hostile environment” in order to discourage migrants and refugees coming to, or staying in, Britain.

The scandal of the treatment of the “Windrush generation” was one powerful sign of that. Some may have been deported, others forced into destitution.

But there are disgracefully many other examples of Tory racism.

Barly Koyangbwa is a refugee. He fled to Britain from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to seek refuge in 2013.

His family was targeted and members of his family were killed by the ruling regime of Joseph Kabila.

Now living in Manchester Barly has applied for asylum.

He continues to speak out against what is happening in a conflict from which millions have fled.

Opposed to the rule of Kabila, some Congolese refugees formed a resistance group, and Barly is a leading member and spokesperson.

The home office has rejected Barly’s claim for asylum.

This is despite them accepting that he is “at real risk of persecution” if he is returned to the Congo.

You can help Barly by signing the petition at

Mark Krantz, Manchester

What happened to the “Windrush generation” was not an oversight or a mistake.

It was a deliberate policy developed over years in an effort to drive down migration and proclaim “success” for a vicious police of scapegoating.

Theresa May did not respond to the rise of Ukip, still less to the mood revealed by the Brexit vote.

She pioneered the policies that Ukip then tried to more openly promote.

Everyone needs to understand that May is ideologically committed to the use of racism for political ends.

Eleanor Hollings, Carlisle

Planning applications exclude people’s voice

Changes to planning law brought about by the Localism Act in 2011 were supposed to give local communities the opportunity to shape development in their area.

Increasing democracy and giving members of the public greater influence over the big decisions that affect their lives were claimed to be the hallmark of the new legislation.

What a failure. What a lie. Decisions about a rumoured supermarket development in my street in York saw the decision to recommend approval made before the planning application had even been submitted.

Local councillors who would sit on the planning committee refused to discuss our concerns, and refused to talk to us about it.

This is not unusual. This is how the planning system works.

Please help by signing our petition at

Andrew Dickinson, York

Black people face extra housing crisis

Tenants have now condemned Haringey council’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on racism and housing.

New data shows that black and minority ethnic residents will be disadvantaged by Haringey’s reliance on market-based schemes that require big deposits and advance payments.

We already knew that 48 percent of households in Haringey have no savings or are in debt (excluding mortgages).

The newly-released data shows that 69 percent of black households, and 74 percent of Asian households in Haringey have no savings or are in debt.

These people cannot rent or buy the new homes being built here.

Haringey Council didn’t ask, and didn’t tell about these devastating figures.

The local election candidates for both main parties in Haringey (Labour and Lib Dem) have ditched the Haringey Development Vehicle plan.

But they continue with grandiose demolition and redevelopment plans which will exclude poorer people and those with no savings.

Paul Burnham, North London

Join our protest for West Papua

The people of West Papua (160 miles north of Australia) have suffered decades of oppression under Indonesian rule.

In 1962 Indonesia invaded West Papua and Western government, led by the United States, chose to appease the oppressors who they saw as useful in the region.

Since then there have been hundreds of thousands of death as a result of the occupation.

On 15 May the Free West Papua campaign will hold a demonstration in London. Please join us on the day and follow @FreeWestPapua on Twitter.

Renato Philip, South London

Tories are hypocrites

A council candidate in Hackney, east London, has been suspended from the Tories for vile Islamophobic posts on social media.

Alexander van Terheyden, running in Hoxton West also recently attended a rally headed by the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.

The same Conservative Party that lambasts Labour for antisemitism is itself a nest of racists.

I have no doubt that the Tories harbour far more racists than Labour ever will.

Ellie Holmes, East London

Thanks from TUSC prisoner

I write on behalf of Chris Fernandez. He is a former Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition election agent, currently serving 15 months imprisonment.

He wants to express his thanks for all the letters of support he has received from Socialist Worker readers after your article on 28 February.

Chris did try and write in himself but was not allowed to send letters to a PO Box address.

You can write to Chris at Chris Fernandez (21-12-1957), A5447ED, E-wing, HMP Nottingham, 112 Perry Road, Sherwood, Nottingham, NG5 3AG. The envelope should include your name and address on the back.

Martin Sleath, Nottingham

Asperger was a Nazi doctor

As someone with Asperger syndrome I was horrified to read that the doctor after who it is named was an active participant in the Nazi regime,

Surely we need a new name.

Helen Wilson, East London

Not even the fig leaf of vote

Can we take it as official that Britain is no longer a democracy, now that Theresa May has gone out on a limb without consulting parliament and ordered unapproved military action in Syria?

It was a complete departure from long-established procedures.

And the Scottish government should emphatically condemn this debasement of the democratic process.

William Burns, Edinburgh

Money wasted on youth cuts

We learned last week that the government spent £5 million preparing the policy to remove housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds.

This was, thankfully, scrapped after a year of operation.

Another great triumph of the Tories’ economic stewardship.

Mary Barnes, Cheltenham

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Tue 24 Apr 2018, 10:24 BST
Issue No. 2601
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