Alan Gibson

Passport to our Past

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'Bloody Foreigners', Robert Winder, Little Brown £20

This is a rich book about an extraordinarily rich subject - immigration. Robert Winder brings to life three basic points - that Britain is a land of immigrants, that every wave of immigration has been met with a combination of varying degrees of racism and generosity, and that immigrants have made colossal contributions to the country's culture and language and created institutions which are now part of its social fabric.

War and Witchunts

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

I have a quibble with Chris Harman's otherwise excellent article, 'Left Pole of Attraction' (March SR).

He concludes by saying that we need to build the 'biggest possible anti-war movement--and then argue within it for an anti-capitalist agenda that confronts the system as a whole'. Given the hysteria over asylum seekers, it strikes me that we have to begin doing both at the same time.

As Chris acknowledges, and as Julie Waterson's following piece ('Beating the Bigots') shows, the BNP are homing in on the issue in the run-up to the May council elections. Unless we get behind a campaign of exposing the lies and myths they feed on, the Nazis are poised to make significant gains.

Beyond the Border

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of 'From Immigration Controls to Welfare Controls', eds. Steve Cohen, Beth Humphries and Ed Mynott, Routledge £17.99

The plight of asylum seekers and refugees is normally associated with immigration controls, border police, home office procedures, deportation snatch squads and detention centres. Yet behind these vicious measures is another equally brutal system of internal controls that ensures asylum seekers continue to suffer even when they have managed to enter the country. As Ed Mynott says in the opening chapter, 'There is more to the process of tightening controls than closing borders.

When the Rhythm is Right

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of exhibition 'Paul Klee: The Nature of Creation' at the Hayward Gallery, London

It is a joy to step in from a grey London to the warm North African colours and playful lines of Swiss artist Paul Klee. Klee (1879-1940) spent most of his adult life in Germany, where his career culminated in 1921 when he became master of arts at the famous Bauhaus school. From the beginning, the Bauhaus was an institution based on radical views of art and its role in society. Klee left shortly before the Nazis closed it down.

Asylum: Europe's Number One Fortress

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

David Blunkett's white paper on asylum and immigration, 'Secure Borders, Safe Haven', published last month, will lead to further persecution of asylum seekers.

Under the proposals, asylum seekers are to be systematically segregated--they will either be forced to stay in accommodation centres or locked up in detention camps. New arrivals will be sent immediately to 'induction centres', modelled on the controversial Oakington centre near Cambridge, where their claims will be processed. Here already frightened, desperate people will be confronted with an array of immigration officials. They will be obliged to sign a document saying they understand the asylum seeker system.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Alan Gibson