Monday, June 17, 2019

Refugee Week - World Socialism - World Solidarity

The UK signed the 1951 Convention on Refugees, which states that anyone has the right to apply for asylum in Britain and remain until a final decision on their application has been made.

An asylum seeker is someone who is fleeing persecution in their homeland, has arrived in another country, made themselves known to the authorities and exercised the legal right to apply for asylum. A refugee is someone whose asylum application is successful and is allowed to stay in the host country. A refused asylum seeker is someone who has had their application turned down and is awaiting return to their home country. It may be unsafe to return and therefore be some time before they can.

The UK is not the soft-touch for asylum seekers that politicians try to make out. Asylum seekers are not here just to take advantage of the benefit system. That is a myth put about by politicians. The UK immigration system is extremely tough. The reason the UK is a popular destination is due to many family/friend connections (from the days of Empire and Commonwealth) and also the world-wide adoption of the use of English as a second language.

People living in other countries which are not the land of their birth are now accustomed to insults like "parasite" or " scrounger" and xenophobia is on the rise. "Patriots" are quick to say that “foreigners" have come to take over "their" country, "their" resources, "their" jobs, "their" culture, and so on. In order to ward off unrest and discontent, various tactics are employed by governments. One of them is to create divisions among the suffering and deprived by blaming it on foreigners and whipping up nationalistic feelings. This diverts attention from misrule and mismanagement. In response to campaigns of misinformation and outright lies, people are taken in by the government's ploy. Now, since a hungry person is an angry person and since anger is emotional and over-powers reason, the least provocation can result in misdirected violence vented against vulnerable fellow citizens or be turned loose on the refugees and migrants. 

This is the real cause of xenophobia - the rich pitting the poor against the poor. Our ruling class open a Pandora's Box of nationalist rhetoric and allows space to open up for groups and individuals influenced by fascist and racist ideology. 

The Socialist Party does not speak of “we” and “us" in relation to which land we just happened to have been born. The Socialist Party condemns nationalist ideas. We find such attitudes pernicious and repugnant. They are stumbling-blocks to working-class understanding of socialism. Nationalists need a scapegoat to explain the loss of what they called “national identity”. For the working class, national identity has always meant over-crowded crumbling housing schemes, insecurity, poverty and unemployment. National identity is a cunning political device by means of which the working class, who own no part of the country, are duped to identify with their exploiters, the capitalists, who own virtually everything. 

Socialism will embrace all mankind because the Earth will be owned in common. The Socialist Party stands side-by-side with our friends, work colleagues and neighbours. We will not allow a wave of xenophobic nationalism and racism to threaten our lives and well-being.

No comments: