Socialist Worker

Tories plot fresh racist clampdown on migrants

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2624

The Tories have unveiled a new war on migrants in a desperate bid to save their car-crash government.

Theresa May pledged to push through a racist clampdown on European Union (EU) migrants on Monday night.

She said the new immigration rules after a Tory Brexit would “end freedom of movement once and for all”.

Her plans would make it harder for migrants without degrees—branded as “lower-skilled”—to come to Britain.

And home secretary Sajid Javid warned migrants who manage to come, “We expect them to live by our British values.”

Talk of “British values” is part of a Tory attempt to paint migrants and Muslims as “the other” who refuse to integrate.

And what “values” do the Tories represent? Inequality, greed, class rule and racism.

The wage-slashing, NHS-destroying Tories disgracefully tried to dress up the immigration clampdown as an attempt to protect working class people’s living standards.

Javid claimed that unskilled migrants “must have some kind of negative impact on wages growth in Britain”.

Yet the Migration Advisory Committee report that their proposals are based on dispels that racist myth. It made clear that “immigration is not a major determinant of wage growth” and found “little evidence” that EU migration had any “substantial impact” on wages.

It is Tory austerity and bosses who are responsible for low wages and a race to the bottom in working conditions.

And chancellor Philip Hammond said he would stick with austerity in the budget this autumn.

That’s why they want to divide workers by scapegoating migrants.

The real aim of May’s immigration proposals is to push the idea that there are “good migrants” and “bad migrants”.

The official definition of “lower-skilled” means NHS support staff who keep the health service running wouldn’t be able to come.

Three quarters of EU workers in Britain wouldn’t be elligible to come under the new rules, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Talent 

The Tories have the gall to call these workers lower-skilled when their own lack of talent was on full display this week.

The whole conference was marked by deep divisions and more leadership in-fighting over Brexit.

Before it had even begun former foreign secretary Boris Johnson had published his own Brexit plan as an alternative to Theresa May’s “Chequers deal”.

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt then compared Brexit negotiations to fighting the Soviet Union in a bid to win over right wing Brexiteer backbenchers.

These include vile reactionary Jacob Rees-Moggs, who called Libya the “People’s Republic of Jam Jar” in a racist slur.

The Tory leadership hopes to unite the warring wings around slurs against Jeremy Corbyn and a racist clampdown.

Discriminating against one group of migrants opens the door to discriminating against all migrants and stokes racist division among working class people.

This makes it easier for the Tories to attack us—and harder for us to fight back against austerity.

May’s announcement requires a fight to defend all migrants. And it will take more protests and strikes now—not waiting for a Labour government—to end the whole regime of Tory austerity and racism.


Esther McVey’s lies over benefit budget cause outrage 

Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey disgracefully branded talk of Tory benefit cuts as “fake news”.

She claimed the Tories “have never spent more on those with disabilities”.

“If you were to believe everything you heard from Labour or read on social media you’d think we were somehow letting down the most vulnerable in society—especially disabled people,” she added.

Her comments came just after new research showed that benefits for the poorest have shrunk by nearly 25 percent—£47?billion—under the Tories.

The House of Commons research highlighted how much disability benefits have been hit in particular.

Personal Independence Payments and Employment and Support Allowance have been slashed by 10 percent—£5 billion—since 2010.

The Tories have slashed £4.6 billion from tax credits, £3.6 billion from universal credit, £3.4 billion from child benefit and £2.3 billion from housing benefit.

Their war on disabled people and benefit claimants has devastated people’s lives.

It was another attempt to divide working class people between “workers and shirkers”—when the real shirkers are the bankers and bosses.


Deceit over Grenfell Tower

One announcement to come out of the Tory conference was that flammable materials on the outside of buildings—such as those used at Grenfell Tower—are to be banned.

But behind the headline is more foot-dragging.

The policy will only apply to buildings being built now, and those yet to be built. It will not apply to those which have already been built.

That means there is little legal pressure on landlords and building owners to strip off dangerous materials from buildings.

A statement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said, “We’re remediating all social residential buildings with cladding through a £400 million fund”.

That is not enough to strip the cladding off all social blocks in Britain.

And safety is even less certain for people living in private blocks.

Pressure 

The ministry’s statement said it is “putting huge pressure on private owners” to take cladding off buildings.

The statement did not say what form this pressure takes.

Private block owners will fight tooth and nail to avoid the cost of removal unless they are forced to do it.

At a conference earlier this year a boss of insulation producer Kingspan argued against an outright ban, saying the cost would be “considerable”.

The Tories don’t want to upset their mates in the construction industry.


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