Socialist Worker

Hain, Morris and the porn broker

Issue No. 1800

BLAME THE victims-that's New Labour's response to the rise of the far right and Nazis across Europe. On issue after issue, New Labour ministers are adopting reactionary ideas and turning the screws on the poor and the vulnerable. Education secretary Estelle Morris was crowing with delight when lone parent Patricia Amos was jailed for 60 days.

The government has branded her a criminal because two of her teenage daughters played truant. One of the girls explained, 'When my nan died I didn't want to leave my mother alone.' New Labour's rigid, punishing exam system has made school life stressful and alienating for thousands of school students.

Now parents are meant to bully and threaten young adults into attending, or face prison. This can only increase the tension inside families struggling to cope. New Labour is picking on young people as the chief cause of crime. But it refuses to tackle the real causes of crime, like poverty and unemployment.

Fuelling racism

NEW LABOUR'S Europe minister, Peter Hain, used language that any racist would be proud of last weekend. He claimed Muslims in Britain cause racism by not mixing with the rest of society. What would he have said to 63 year old black woman Marjorie Mitchell when she was hospitalised by racists in Dagenham, east London? She was racially abused and savagely beaten. Her attackers refused to take the money she offered them.

Would Hain have blamed her for bringing the attack on herself by not integrating? New Labour is not challenging this racism-its policies are feeding it. Home secretary David Blunkett announced this week where he wants to dump asylum seekers. One site has buried carcasses of thousands of foot and mouth diseased animals.

The sites are remote and isolated areas near tiny villages with no shops or other facilities. Hundreds of refugees will be interned in ghetto camps. The children won't be allowed to mix at local schools. This situation is bound to stir up racism and hostility.

Labour's new friend

WHILE ATTACKING the needy, New Labour increasingly relies on friends like Richard Desmond. Desmond has made a fortune from publishing porn magazines. He has donated £100,000 of his profits to New Labour. His newspapers have played a leading role in fuelling racism over asylum seekers.

Desmond personally wrote seven consecutive front page headlines last summer, appealing to the most bigoted ideas over refugees. Last weekend's Sunday Express had the headline 'Asylum: Village Invaded'. This week Labour ministers should have been denouncing the rail companies responsible for the Potters Bar crash.

Instead New Labour would rather step up its victimisation of the poorest and most vulnerable in society.


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