Socialist Worker

New Tory government will be even more hostile to black people

The new Tory home secretary Priti Patel is set to escalate the Tories’ attacks with harsher border policies and attacks on migrants

Issue No. 2665

New home secretary Priti Patel wants to clamp down on migrants

New home secretary Priti Patel wants to clamp down on migrants (Pic: Bond/Flickr)


The new Tory government will make life harder for black and Asian people, and migrants. One of Boris Johnson’s first announcements was a plan to hire 20,000 more cops and give them “greater powers to use stop and search”.

Black people were nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people in England and Wales in 2017/18, according to government figures.

Under “Section 60” checks, which give police even more freedom, that figure rises to a staggering 40 times more likely.

More cops with more powers means more racist harassment of black people.

Johnson also made disgraced former international development secretary Priti Patel home secretary. Ridiculously, some hailed this as evidence of a progressive, diverse cabinet.

Patel is a corrupt supporter of the racist Israeli state. In 2017 she was forced to resign after it emerged she had held 14 unauthorised meetings with Israeli politicians, officials and organisations.

On her return she pushed for Britain to give money to the Israeli army. Patel has consistently voted for harsher asylum and immigration rules.

As late as 2011, she backed the death penalty. It is not progressive that she is back in the cabinet.

On becoming home secretary, Patel immediately announced plans for a crackdown on immigration.

She said an Australian-style points-based immigration system “will allow us to welcome talented individuals”.

This system is geared towards meeting the needs of business at the expense of migrants.

Hospitality

Patel disgracefully wrote in the Mail on Sunday newspaper of wanting only the “brightest and best” to come to Britain. She attacked people who “abuse our hospitality” or are “claiming benefits”.

“We must seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offered by the end of free movement,” she wrote. “We will be able to give preference to brilliant scientists, academics and highly skilled workers that we want to see more of.”

But even if you are classed as having enough “skills” to come to Britain, it might not be enough.

Patel said skilled workers “will only be able to come here if they have a job offer from an employer registered with the Home Office, and if they can speak English”.

And in an echo of racist US president Donald Trump, she promised a “strong border to tackle illegal immigration” and keep out “terrorists” and “criminals”.

All of this means more misery for desperate people fleeing war and poverty.

It feeds the myth that migrants are a problem to be “managed”.

And it gives confidence to the racists that want to attack migrants and refugees on the street.

Patel hosted an international security meeting involving Britain, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on Monday.

It discussed how to bolster border security and deal with foreign terrorism.

Johnson’s new government is talking up “threats” to justify harsher border controls and more racist immigration rules. We have to resist it.


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