Boris Johnson is ramping up attacks on migrants in an effort to cement support from the racist Tories who are choosing the next prime minister.
While campaigning on Thursday Johnson pledged to deliver an “Australian-style points-based immigration system” if he becomes prime minister.
Johnson said he wanted to be “tougher on those who abuse our hospitality”. He said he would include factors such as a firm job offer before arrival, the ability to speak English and blocking the ability to claim benefits immediately.
He said, “What we would be able to do with a points-based system is decide exactly how many people were needed for each sector and that would be subject to parliamentary control.”
In this he was echoing people such as US president Donald Trump. In 2017 Trump praised the “merit-based immigration system” utilised by “nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others”.
The Australian system means entirely subordinating migrants’ and refugees rights to the needs of big business.
In recent years the government has “taken refugee scapegoating to new levels, changed laws to re-strict their rights and left thousands to languish in poverty in the community,” wrote Ian Rintoul from the Australian socialist group Solidarity.
Since a policy of putting refugees in offshore detention was implemented in 2012, some 4,000 refugees have been sent to processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
There are still over 900 there, with growing fears about their mental health.
More generally “skills” tests are applied to find those who are regarded as the most immediately “employable” applicants.
Migrants have to pass health tests which are used to bar any who are thought to be a “drain on the health system”.
However “high net worth individuals” can walk in.
The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper wrote last year, “The number of millionaires streaming into Australia has surged to 7,260 in the past year, as Australia becomes the destination of choice for thousands of the world’s wealthiest.”
Underlining his racism, Johnson has recruited the key architect of Zac Goldsmith’s Islamophobic London mayoral campaign against Labour’s Sadiq Khan in 2016.
Mark Fullbrook, the man behind the Tories’ failed bid in the capital, will be the campaign chief executive for Johnson.
Johnson has previously referred to black people as “piccaninnies” and talked about “watermelon smiles”.
Whether he or Hunt becomes leader, we can expect more racist attacks as the Tories try to distract from their multiple crises.