Appealing to Racists

Issue section: 
Issue: 
(278)

New Labour‘s descent into the gutter continues apace, with plans to further tighten already draconian anti asylum seeker legislation.

David Blunkett wants to reduce the right of appeal against the Home Office‘s notoriously arbitrary asylum decisions. Even with barriers such as the government‘s ’white list‘ of countries, which it automatically assumes never commit human rights violations, 21 percent of appeal cases are upheld. As Imram Hussein of the Refugee Council has commented, ’If any other government department had a failure rate of one in five that would be a significant cause for concern, and here you are often dealing with matters of life and death.‘

Such concerns matter little to New Labour. It wants to ’kill the issue‘ of asylum by pandering to the racist filth of tabloids that blame asylum seekers for everything from an underfunded health service to missing donkeys. It appears oblivious to the harm it does in legitimising an agenda that the Nazi BNP then feeds off.

Britain is the only EU country to imprison the children of asylum seekers. The Scottish TUC backed big protests recently when the Independent revealed that the four children of the Kurdish Ay family, who had made friends and learnt English at their local school, had been detained at Dungavel detention centre for more than a year. Somalian asylum seeker Fatima Muse has also been fined her £3.50 weekly allowance at Dungavel for taking a Weetabix into her room to feed her young daughters.

Campaigners have set up a bail fund for detainees, and Scottish Socialist MSP Rosie Kane has invited Mercy Ikolo, an asylum seeker from Cameroon with a 15 month old baby, to stay at her flat while the fight to shut these barbaric internment camps continues.