Not content with savaging refugees in Britain, home secretary Suella Braverman is appealing to world leaders to join her offensive.
In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington on Tuesday she urged an international push to tear up the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention.
Braverman wants to say that in the modern era, offering protection from oppression means hundreds of millions of people will “swamp” the richer countries.
She says that “being gay or a woman” must not be seen as a reason to gain asylum—even if being a woman or gay means you are under threat.
She aligns herself with a global front against those fleeing war, poverty, oppression and climate chaos—or simply seeking a better life.
It’s a poisonous set of politics championed by Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron in France, by Giorgia Meloni and her acolytes in Italy, by the right wing leaders of Hungary and Poland and many, many more.
Braverman’s lecture about international conventions isn’t an academic exercise.
It means encouragement and justification for fascists and the far right who want to blame refugees for the problems in society.
It boosts the mobs who seek to drive refugees from the grim camps, barges and temporary accommodation where the government puts them.
It underpins an agenda of never-ending hardening of borders, and the deportations and the demonisation of desperate people. It’s not new under capitalism.
Almost 75 years ago, at the height of the Second World War, the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky described how the major powers were turning away Jewish refugees.
Global leaders then said that “just being Jewish” was not enough for refugees to gain entry from Nazi Germany.
Trotsky wrote, “The world of decaying capitalism is overcrowded.
“The question of admitting a hundred extra refugees becomes a major problem for such a world power as the United States.
“In an era of aviation, telegraph, telephone, radio, and television, travel from country to country is paralysed by passports and visas. “Amid the vast expanses of land and the marvels of technology, the bourgeoisie has managed to convert our planet into a foul prison.”
Against the global assault on refugees, socialists have to counterpose unremitting war on the ruling class, the corporations and the rich.
It was good to see 80,000 people demonstrate across France last weekend against racism, police violence and the attack on civil rights.
Everyone protesting at the Tory conference on Sunday, and all those confronting the far right are part of a crucial opposition to Braverman and her ilk.
Union leaders have been silent