The issue of migration and immigration has deliberately been with us for a considerable time, the climate around it getting evermore hysterical. There are currently around 37,000 asylum seekers in hotels in Britain and we are led to believe that there’s a so called ‘problem’ of ‘unprecedented migration’ leading to the so called ‘solutions’ to get evermore extreme.
This has even resulted in an attempted terrorist attack by a fascist individual on a migrant processing centre and it is possible that asylum seekers will be targeted further and the possibility of hotels being a focus of protest etc by the far right. The Home Secretary Suella Braverman has used the word ‘invasion’ and flown to Manston in a Chinook helicopter, which has fascistic connotations in itself.
Of course, this is a distraction and diversion by the ruling class as its always been. This originates from the bourgeois media which has shifted further to the right over the years and the ‘issue’ has sidelined austerity from view and provided a useful scapegoat for the predicament of millions of ordinary working class people in Britain prior to the upcoming announcement of further misery related to the impending continuation of cuts, increasing inflation, low wages and crap work conditions, the housing crisis and rising energy bills accompanied by increased authoritarianism, including the attack on the right to protest and go on strike.
The capitalist class controls the agenda with their media, education system etc and has managed to persistently convince a large section of ordinary people that the cause of their problems is those from overseas, rather than the very people who’ve sold them this lie. The ruling class divide, rule and fool – after all the entire society is set up by and for them, conditioning working class people from the cradle to the grave in various ways.
There are those who are racist and xenophobic but many people simply know not what they do, its not that they’re ‘thick and horrible’ (as asserted by the liberal left) but simply that the way they think and behave is cleverly manipulated, much money, time and work being put into that endeavour. They’ve simply not known another way and, in a sense, we can’t expect them to be any other way in this society where the parameters of debate are tightly controlled along with the prevalence of misinformation.
The game is rigged every which way and people will think and feel a certain way based on irrationalities that this society and those who control it propagate and strengthen. To unsuspecting people, it makes sense that what the newspapers and news channels are telling them is true, whether they be more respected sources or more shoddy and unorthodox ones. The false ‘reasons’ are readily provided for the very real nightmare of austerity and class inequality and injustice, the dire situation that working class people find themselves in.
The issue is distorted when in reality there is only really asylum applications, Britain being awful at actually accepting asylum seekers despite what we’re expected to believe, especially compared to other countries, something that is not even acknowledged.
‘Unprecedented migration’ is a myth, especially when we consider that according to the latest figures we are merely 16th on the list of countries with a population born overseas, the country at the top of that list being Luxembourg, and with no alarming ‘problems’ to speak of.
Its also important to remember that immigrants and refugees who leave the country are never mentioned, only those who have entered, a vital piece of information to leave out, as well as a falling birth rate and annual deaths which debunks all the stuff about ‘over-population’.
And the anti-overseas sentiment is not just a Tory or even right-wing phenomena really. The Labour Party, including the left of that party have a dire track record here.
Many are still unaware that the Atlee government favoured Eastern European Nazi collaborators and war criminals post-war to Jewish refugees and those from the British commonwealth and China who contributed to the war effort, and that’s just one anomalous example among many throughout the history of the Labour Party as well as their participation in British colonialism and imperialism, which includes the left of the party.
The Blair and Brown years also saw the harsh scapegoating of and cracking down on immigrants and asylum seekers, including the policies of Jack Straw as Home Secretary and of course there was the Iraq War and the rest of the War of Terror which created refugees and demonised and dehumanized people from the middle east.
In more recent years there’s been the fact of anti-immigration sold as Labour Party merchandise with the ‘Controls on Immigration’ mugs (with Ed Miliband as leader). Jeremy Corbyn also used the issue of EU immigration in his general election campaign when he was leader.
And of late Keir Starmer has strived to compete with the tory vote by stating that he thinks that ‘too many of the NHS staff are from overseas’. This is something that Labour Party members and supporters have even defended and tried to make excuses for. It appears that with Starmer in charge Labour front benchers won’t be allowed support striking nurses or join them on the picket lines, but are allowed to claim that “there’s too many foreigners in the health service.” Another example of the similarity between the government and the ‘opposition’ as the rightwards drift continues.
Another missing part of the puzzle when it comes to immigration and asylum is of course the fact that our ruling class has meddled in affairs overseas with wars, bombing raids, corporate colonialism and relations with certain countries abroad, often propping up repressive regimes and dictators. Then there’s the contribution of western capitalism to worsening the climate crisis which in turn creates refugees.
This country is also favoured by immigrants and asylum seekers because it is seen as a place that is freer than where they’re from, something promoted by this country and in contrast to the dire tyranny experienced by asylum seekers etc. Asylum seekers etc also come here because they feel a common bond with this country, already speak English or have family here already and many of the reasons they come here are normal, legitimate reasons which have been the cause of migration since the dawn of humanity. In fact, all populations migrated from somewhere else at some point.
The idea of a supposed ‘immorality’ is also employed here when it comes to immigrants and asylum seekers and its simply misplaced. We’re supposed to automatically think of asylum seekers as ‘dodgy people’ when this is not the case. But myths abound with this issue and emotions played on. Most people who fear asylum seekers don’t know any and have never been close to an asylum seeker, instead the societal conditioning from the bourgeoise is in play. It’s no coincidence that where there is most anti-migrant sentiment there are a low quantity of migrants and immigrants etc.
It’s also a common misconception that asylum seekers are here to ‘sponge off’ this country whereas the truth is that there are plenty able to do professional jobs and desire to contribute to society but are prevented and stifled from doing so when they get here and who will not be allowed to stay, many obstacles and problems being shoved in front of them before they are rejected. But the idea that we ‘give people a fair chance’ has always been false and that also applies to those poor people born here.
It’s also taken for granted in general in capitalist society that people simply use up resources whereas people actually are a resource that make a great contribution to society, both as individuals and as communities and this applies to both people born here and immigrants and asylum seekers. Viewing people as simply units that use up resources has disastrous historical results that we desperately need to move on from, as with much of this, which is reactionary and holds us back by design for the interests of the ruling class. The ‘useless eaters’ mentality is anti-human and mean-spirited.
It is also taken for granted that there is a so-called ‘carrying capacity’ for people entering a country and that if ‘too many’ people are allowed in there ‘will be destabilisation’. But again, this is an assumed negative view that dismisses the fact that large numbers have been accepted by some countries in certain circumstances (Afghan refugees being taken in by Iran, the same thing happening with Ukrainians and Poland and Syrians to Germany). If the will is there it can go well and if its not then the alternative will be much worse and will have a severe human cost. The so called ‘destabilisation’ is never specified either and is kept deliberately mysterious.
At the end of the day all these misconceptions are being pushed by the ruling class and their media and other institutions and this is because it’s the ruling class that are the parasites who are to blame for our woes. It is they who have the control over our society, who have so much of the space (land and property) and ownership rights. It is they who the whole system is set up for and it is run in their interests, by them. They dictate how the show is run and things like the use of land, which ensures that working class people (whether migrant or not) are crammed into towns and cities like we are. It is they who are hoarding all the wealth and resources and maintaining class and wealth inequality, it is they with the sickening amount of class privilege at our expense and at the expense of the environment and the climate.
All you need to do is compare your own situation and your own life to that of someone like Jacob Rees-Mogg, King Charles or Rishi Sunak and you are getting to the root of why the scaremongering and scapegoating of immigrants and asylum seekers is promoted and enacted. Both the people born here and overseas are being used, exploited, conned, robbed and put at a disadvantage by the rich people in the ruling class who are running off with the power and resources while the planet burns up and the situation gets increasingly dire for us.
And at the end of the day the bourgeoisie is international and we must acknowledge and remember that the proletariat, dispossessed and oppressed are also international and we have a shared humanity as part of an international class of people with shared interests. We have more in common than we do with the international ruling class, we share more in our situation and life experiences with each other than with them and it is only in their interests that we are divided and ruled and unnaturally split up and pitted against each other by borders into nation states. At the very least what we need is a return to a spirit of cooperation, hospitality and mutual endeavour and moving away from the inhuman barbarity that we are now left with and being goaded and engineered into by the ruling class.
And it is at the ruling class where our blame and anger should be aimed at, not at each other, whether born in this part of the world or elsewhere. We need to unite as a class against our class enemy, and the truth is that the interests of our class enemy is what the nation is set up for which is why we should be thinking in an international way – the last thing the ruling class want us to do, hence the divide and rule distraction of migration/immigration.