By Mark Buckley
Tiny numbers of people risking the icy waters of a Channel crossing in small boats during the holiday period was apparently enough to send the media and various government Ministers into a state of panic, with the Home Secretary declaring it a ‘national crisis’. In reality, the only crisis is the continuing political meltdown of the Tory party, and the desperate attempt of its leaders to use racism to distract from the mess, aided by the overwhelming bulk of the British media.
This Tory government is the most overtly racist one of the modern era. It has pursued policies such as the ‘Go Home’ vans which formerly got Enoch Powell sacked from a Tory cabinet. But this all-round racist offensive, which includes the ‘hostile environment’, deportation and detention of British citizens who are black or Asian, the terrorising of the Muslim community with the Prevent strategy, and much more.
Now, after some soft-pedalling around the 2017 general election to prevent being outbid by UKIP, the Tory racist offensive has resumed once more. If May believes whipping up xenophobia will bolster her support against the EU, this is dangerous tactic which could easily backfire. At the same time, it is clear that each of the Tory Ministers, from Sajid Javid to Gavin Williamson, is creating a spurious crisis in order to burnish their credentials with the reactionaries who form the dwindling Tory electorate who will choose the next leader, just as Boris Johnson and Amber Rudd have done before them.
Labour has rightly condemned this entire fiction, with Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and others lambasting the government for its blatant dog-whistle politics. Labour policies now amount to a rejection of government-sponsored racism, as sharp a break from the past as its anti-austerity policies. Working with campaigners, local authorities, trade unions and others, Labour can shift the political climate on refugees.
The most important national organisation campaigning against all aspects of racism is Stand Up To Racism (SUTR). To find out more or donate to SUTR visit here.