Socialist Worker

Windrush, Brexit and the elections—a triple crisis for Theresa May

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2602

Rudd is gone—let’s get the other racists now

Rudd is gone—let’s get the other racists now (Pic: Department of Energy and Climate Change)


One Tory racist down, many more to go—including Theresa May.

Home secretary Amber Rudd’s resignation on Sunday night was a victory for anti-racists. She could not ride out the outrage over the attacks on the Windrush Generation and the wider assault on migrants.

Rudd is the fifth cabinet minister to resign from the frontbench over the last six months.

Her claims not to know about deportation targets fell apart after a letter was published with her writing of “ambitious but deliverable” goals for an increase in the enforced deportation of immigrants.

Rudd was implementing the policy of the previous home secretary—Theresa May—and the racist policy of the entire Tory government.

The Tories thought that playing the race card would win them support. Instead it has revealed that millions of people can be won to solidarity with migrants.

Rudd’s departure is only one aspect of a triple crisis for May.

The Tories looked set to do badly in the English local elections, although because Labour already holds a large number of the seats being contested, it is hard to be certain in advance.

Were the Tories to lose one of more of its key councils in London then the revolt against May would grow.

Postpone

And the pressure of Brexit is unavoidable. May’s method has been to postpone decisions and make concessions to the European Union gradually in the hope that the more vocal pro-Brexit MPs don’t call for her head.

But the issue of the government’s attitude to a customs union with the European Union after Brexit next March is looming.

Big business wants as few barriers to trade as possible. But any comprehensive agreement with the EU will mean the British government won’t be able to negotiate its own trade deals with countries outside the EU.

That’s a key issue of “national freedom” for the Tory Brexiteers.

The Tories were defeated on this issue in the House of Lords last week, and then in the Commons where MPs approved a non-binding motion without a vote.

The Daily Mail on Monday tore into the House of Lords and then said that “the greatest betrayal of all will come from Eurofanatical Tory backbenchers in the Commons” if they don’t vote to press on regardless.

Brexit secretary David Davis was reported to be on the point of resigning at the weekend because of a rift over the customs union.

May’s regime is on the rocks. It’s crucial that this moment is not missed and that anti-racists push for all migrants to be welcome.

This is the time to go on the offensive—and drive the Tories out.


Labour right mourns exit

As pressure mounted on Amber Rudd last week, a handful of Labour MPs rushed to her defence.

Just hours after Rudd resigned Lisa Nandy—an MP from the party’s “soft left”—said, “Too many people gleefully celebrating the Home Secretary’s resignation are doing us no favours.”

She strangely accused them of “inhumanity” and creating a “destructive, sour political culture”.

MPs who have led the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn over false claims of antisemitism also defended racist Rudd before her resignation.

Jess Phillips said, “I actually feel for Amber Rudd.” And John Woodcock said Labour had “common ground” with Rudd, adding, “We should be careful what we wish for.”

It was worrying that shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told Good Morning Britain on Monday that the problem was not deportation targets but that the Tories were too general.

She added there should instead be more specific targets for removing illegal immigrants.


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