The system they defend will only create more refugees; and no ballot box will change it!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
2 May 2024

On the eve of the local elections, the news media led with a story about an apparent "Tory success": the deportation to Rwanda of a refused asylum seeker. However, he did not arrive in Britain in a small boat. And he, himself, requested to go to Kigali...

    So, not really the positive note which the Tories would have liked to have struck, as they go to the polls tomorrow.

    The second news leader was the story of the 7-year-old Iraqi girl who was crushed to death in an overcrowded dinghy - one of five refugees who died on the morning of 23 April. This was just after the ping-pong "game" between the House of Commons and House of Lords ended, with the passing into law of the "Safety of Rwanda (Immigration and Asylum) Bill".

    The little Iraqi girl's death was immediately used by the government to justify its new law. "See", said ministers, "we have to deter these people from taking to small, unsafe boats". They implied that the deterrent effect of their law will "save lives" because "illegal migrants" would not want to be sent straight to Rwanda on arrival and thus would not climb into inflatable rubber dinghies.

    Of course these cynical ministers know that their new Act will not deter asylum seekers. The story of the little girl's Iraqi family says it all: her father fled - from Basra in Iraq 14 years ago after threats to his life from a militia; his asylum applications were - rejected 4 times and he tried 4 times to cross the "Channel in the 2 months spent in a camp near Calais.

They know their schemes won't work

The Tory politicians who promote their "deterrence" are perfectly aware of this reality and the dead-end they and their fellow politicians have created for refugees, asylum seekers and desperate economic migrants fleeing poverty and famine.

    Of course they blame each other and they blame the human trafficking organisations. But who created the conditions for these "people-smugglers" to ply such a lucrative trade in the first place?

    So the deception continues. They clutch at straws, hoping that at least some of their electorate might fall for their falsehoods and absurdities, because they have nothing else to offer. It's a reflection of the total bankruptcy of "bourgeois" i.e., capitalist class politics and its politicians today.

    In the meantime they carry on defending their "system which divides the planet's population into "haves" and "have nots", with increasingly reactionary arguments, defending the indefensible, like Netanyahu's increasingly ruthless war against the Palestinian people conducted under the pretext of "self defence" against Hamas.

Is there a solution?

Given it's local election time, everyone is being invited to use his or her vote. Prospective councillors have been knocking on doors, hoping against hope that the rest of us might actually put a piece of paper with a cross on it, into a ballot box.

    Because that's the real problem facing the politicians and their system. By now a large number of people - probably the majority of the population in fact - cannot see the point of casting a vote for any of the parties.

    Pollsters say that young people in particular, tell them that "nothing changes" - which may sound odd, since they haven't lived through too many elections yet. But they are right, and wise already to the uselessness of a "democracy" whose-only-functionis - to prop up inequality - wealth for some and deprivation for others. And what is more, which fuels war in Ukraine and the Middle East by building on xenophobic, chauvinist rhetoric, leaving one to wonder who constitutes the real "axis of evil states" in this world! So for instance, having labelled "Iran" a key player in this "dangerous axis", the Home Office still won't grant Iranian refugees (the largest proportion of asylum seekers crossing the Channel today) the legal status they need!

    The Labour Party, which hopes to win the election, has never offered a political alternative to the Tories; in government it's always adopted the same policies - at best using slightly different wording. But today, long before the general elsction, it has already reassured the bosses that its "New Deal for Working People" won't bother them too much... And of course all it offers for refugees is the same hostile policy... just minus the Rwanda scheme.

    So is there a solution to the more and more serious problems raised by this ever-degenerating political system which rests on decaying capitalism? For sure, there is. But it would involve the working class {here and everywhere else) establishing its own independent political party and using its unique position as the only wealth-creator to take control of the economy, open the borders, etc., etc...

    A difficult task, yes, but it's urgent. We canno allow ourselves to be "fooled again". There is tot much at stake.