From Windrush to Brexit - a corrupt, racist, anti-working class system

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25 April 2018

An apology and some compensation - this is the only answer that this government has managed to come up with in response to the Windrush scandal.  And even then, only because, on the eve of the local election, the Tory party was beginning to fear that the unfolding scandal would cost them too many votes on election day!
    As if the hypocritical hot air of May's apologies in the Commons, could possibly make up for the lives destroyed by the "hostile environment" policy she introduced when she was Home Secretary under Cameron!
    Thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of workers from the Caribbean - who knows, since the Home Office "doesn't do counts" - have been detained like criminals, deported, or refused right of return despite having worked and paid taxes in Britain for decades!  Many have been sacked from their jobs or evicted from their homes.  Others have been refused vital NHS treatment.  And among those, how many have already paid for May's vicious policy with their lives?
    But never mind, says May, they will all be "compensated".  Of course, for politicians like her, money can buy anything, especially their own unbending loyalty to the rich and powerful!  But they're wrong, not everything can be bought with money!  No amount of compensation will ever make up for the wrecked lives and trampled dignity of those ordinary workers who have been at the receiving end of their racist policy!

Blame the demagogues

And all this for what?  How can we forget the origin of May's "hostile environment"?
    It all started after Cameron's election, in 2010, when Tory MPs began to fear for their careers due to the rise of UKIP.  The whole political agenda was then increasingly focused on pandering to UKIP's xenophobic rhetoric.  Under May in the Home Office, immigration targets became an obsession.
    Then, in 2014, UKIP got its largest ever score.  That year, May's Immigration Bill institutionalised her "hostile environment" against migrant workers.  And over-zealous Home Office officials proceeded to implement it, even if it meant actually breaking the law - as they did for the Windrush generation.  Were they just being incompetent?  Partly, maybe.  But, in the main, they were just doing what they had been instructed to do!
    But let's not forget either - because these issues are intertwined - that the Brexit saga also started at the very same time, for exactly the same reasons.
    Just as May was pointing to all immigrants as being potentially illegal - and an unbearable "burden" on the country - Cameron went on play the same game against EU workers, in the hope that this would pull the rug from under UKIP's feet.
    And so, the focus moved on to the "burden" that EU workers were allegedly imposing on the NHS, schools, housing, benefits, etc.  It was all lies, of course.  Just like the Windrush generation, EU workers were sweating in order to enrich British bosses and pay taxes to the Treasury.  But these were vote-winning lies - and, therefore, legitimate in the demagogues' book!

We are all in the same Windrush boat

The Windrush scandal is the tip of a much bigger iceberg.  Those targeted are not just the Windrush generation, but all migrants:  those from the former British Empire who believed they would be entitled to British citizenship; but also the EU migrants who went to Britain and other EU countries, because they had a legal right to be treated as citizens.
    However, the policy followed by mainstream politicians (with the more or less overt support of a large proportion of Labour MPs) ever since 2010, has not been only xenophobic and racist.  Above all, it has been anti-working class.
    Indeed, aren't all defendants deemed innocent until proven guilty, according to the justice system?  Yes, but not when workers are targeted
    So, under May's policy, migrant workers have been deported on the grounds that since they couldn't prove they were "legal", they were necessarily "illegal".  Likewise for benefit claimants:  the jobless have to prove that they're looking for work, while the disabled and sick have to prove that they can't work.  And all of them are treated as skivers and spongers, as a matter of principle.
    This is the logic of a class system, in which workers are deemed to be guilty until proven innocent!  Nothing can be done to reform such a corrupt system.  It can only be replaced and only the working class has the capacity to do this, as a class, using all our collective strength and energies, regardless of which passport we carry or which language we speak.
    And this is why, against the xenophobic, racist drive of May and her politicians, we have to be 100% behind our migrant sisters and brothers, wherever they come from.