The refugees are our class sisters and brothers, the capitalists our enemies!

19 October 2016

How far will the hypocrisy of British governments go?

For years, they have forced thousands of refugees who were seeking entry into Britain to live in inhuman conditions in the Calais "Jungle" camp near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, because of their refusal to grant them asylum.

But it is only this week that Theresa May - who was Home Secretary all along - has "discovered" the drastic situation of the child refugees, stranded in the "Jungle" despite having a legal right to enter Britain, because they have relatives here.

And what did she do? After months of feet-dragging by the Home Office, she allowed 14 of these refugees into the country this Monday - and then another 13 in, on Tuesday! At this rate, it will take another 2 weeks for the remaining 188 children who have the same rights, to be processed. But the French authorities are due to start demolishing the "Jungle" and scattering its inhabitants across France, this coming Monday. Does the government not care what will happen to the remaining children as a result? Of course it doesn't.

As to the hundreds of other unaccompanied refugee children who were meant to be admitted to Britain as a result of an amendment to the last immigration bill, not one has been allowed in - five whole months after this bill became law!

Victims of the politicians' blame game

But focusing on the refugee children is just a way of refusing to see the forest for the trees. What about the adult refugees who have stuck it out in this squalid "Jungle" for so long, staging protests day in and day out at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, risking their lives trying to jump onto a truck, because they desperately hope to make a life for themselves over here?

These refugees represent only a tiny proportion of the huge number who have risked life and limb to get to Europe over the past two years - less than 1%. If Britain was to take its fair share it should have taken 10% of their number already. But the British government has made a point of refusing them a safe haven.

Instead, the same politicians who supported the bombing of Libya on "humanitarian" grounds, causing bloody chaos in the process, have chosen to cause a humanitarian crisis just 30 miles off the British coast!

There was only one reason for this. Successive British governments have preferred to misdirect the discontent of the electorate away from themselves. They have blamed the damage caused by their austerity policies on the "burden" that migrants were allegedly imposing on housing and public services - even if this was obvious nonsense.

Austerity cuts, which were designed to divert public funds into the pockets of the rich, were (and are) the only cause of the worsening housing crisis and the virtual collapse of public services. But never mind. Someone had to take the blame in order to cover up the parasitism of the wealthy - and in the government's rhetoric, migrants are the easy target.

Our side is that of the refugees

To all intents and purposes, the refugees are treated as enemies by the government, while a whole section of the media even implies that they are potential terrorists. But, in fact, this disgusting attitude merely reflects the interests that politicians are defending in office - those of the capitalist class and big multinationals.

One thing that all the refugees have in common is that they have been at the receiving end of the imperialist world order, which guarantees the profits of these big multinationals - British and otherwise. They are fleeing war zones created directly or indirectly by the rich countries; dictatorial rule by western puppet regimes; destitution caused by the plunder of their countries by multinationals. They would understandably, therefore, have accounts to settle with the system of worldwide oppression enforced by the governments of the rich countries.

Besides, despite the claim often made by the media that the refugees must be "well-off" since they could afford to pay for their passage across the Mediterranean, they have lost everything. Otherwise they would just buy a British permanent residence visa - since all it takes is either a well-paid job or a few million pounds in the bank - and would certainly not have to go through the horrendous experience of living in the "Jungle"!

So, yes, the refugees are on our side of the class divide. They share with us the same interest in freeing the world of this profit system which only causes wars and poverty, while feeding the parasitism of a tiny minority. As such, they are part of our working class - and they deserve our solidarity. And this is why we should welcome them, children and adults, because they can only reinforce our side in the class war against the capitalist parasites.