Editorial: A hostile environment for May

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Pic: Guy Smallman

The scandal over Windrush — the deportation of some of the generation of migrants encouraged to come here in the days of the post-war boom — exposed the Tories’ racist agenda.

For years this government has been blaming people from elsewhere for the effects of their policies on people here.

The anger has been so vociferous and focused on prime minister Theresa May and home secretary Amber Rudd, that they have been forced onto the back foot.

The scandal has come at the same time as the increase the number of deaths of young people from knife crime (see page 10). It has also coincided with the 25th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s murder and 50 years since Enoch Powell’s racist “rivers of blood” speech.

But that means it has created a perfect storm and provided a stark reminder of the different waves of racism that people have suffered over the decades in Britain.

Whether it is Syrian refugees fleeing British bombs or EU citizens who settled here in recent years, we should demand all are welcome here.

We have to create a hostile environment for racists. That means US president Donald Trump if he comes here, as rumoured, in the summer and taking on the FLA and DFLA.

It only takes a quick glance across the Channel to Europe to see the potential dangers if we do not organise and fight back.

Whether it’s the racist government elected in Hungary last month or the street marching Nazis, it is a warning of what happens when officially sanctioned racism links up with the bootboys of fascism.

After Powell’s speech in 1968 it took a massive fight to make racism unacceptable. We need to do it again now.

Dates for your diary:
» Saturday 5 May, March for Windrush, Downing Street, 12pm
» Saturday 12 May, TUC March, TUC Congress, London, 11am
» Saturday 19 May, Marx @ 200, Birkbeck Institute, London, 1pm