Immigration

Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land

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Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land sidesteps reductionistic or didactic discourse, instead offering viewers concrete and politically engaged routes into a complex history. The British Library brings us a commendably detailed account of the history of what has become known as the Windrush Generation. It is an account which acknowledges this history as one defined by oppression, racism and resistance.

Trump upholds a dreadful tradition

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Donald Trump is by no means the first US president to racially attack migrants. Phil Marfleet reflects on a complex history which has continually split the establishment between those politicians backing business’s need for cheap labour and those who want to exploit the issue in order to whip up racism.

Events at the US-Mexico border mark another low for Donald Trump. They also remind us of the long record of exploitation and persecution of migrants to the US from Central America. For over 100 years employers north of the border have relied on migrants from the south, drawing in workers indispensable to American capitalism. At the same time US governments have periodically targeted the migrants as aliens, “invaders” and enemies of the wider society, launching campaigns of exclusion like that enacted by Trump and cheered on by the racist Right.

Fighting racism today

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The rise of Donald Trump is symbolic of a growing confidence on the populist right. With elections approaching in Europe and Theresa May heading into the Brexit negotiations with the aim of restricting migration, Michael Bradley lays out a plan for the kind of anti-racist movement we need.

The election of Donald Trump has sent shockwaves across the world. For many, Trump’s victory is part of a seamless growth in support for the populist right. His demagogic rants about “building a wall” and protecting US workers by “putting America first” have been reflected by similar figures in country after country.

The Labour Party's record on border controls

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Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to bow to the demand for tougher immigration controls is a rebuttal, not just of the calls made by right wing Labour MPs such as Rachel Reeves, Chuka Umunna, Stephen Kinnock and shadow Brexit minister Sir Keir Starmer. It is also a rebuttal of Labour’s dreadful past.

Battering down the fortress

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Author Matthew Carr speaks to Socialist Review about the political significance of the current refugee crisis on the borders of Europe.

There has been a lot of talk by the media saying this is the biggest reefugee crisis since the Second World War. What do you make of it?

On one level it’s true. It’s the largest numbers of refugees since just after the war. It is a major refugee crisis, although really it’s been brewing for some time and it’s a rather belated recognition of how serious it is.

UK: a dangerous shift to the right

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The shock results for Ukip are dragging mainstream politics further to the right, including the Labour Party. Mark L Thomas argues that this can only give a further boost to the racists.

Ukip's victory in the European elections last month marks a dramatic and dangerous development in British politics. Not since Herbert Asquith led the old Liberal Party to its final victory in 1910 has any party other than Labour or the Tories won a national election.

Standing up to Ukip's racism

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Ukip look set to make major gains in this month's European and local elections. Socialist Review looks at what lies behind Ukip's rise and how their racist populism can be challenged.

The United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) is dangerous. It is deepening racism, targeting immigrants and directing people's real fears about lack of jobs, poor housing, low wages and an unaccountable political elite away from the real culprits and towards scapegoats.

Letter from Australia

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Protests have erupted across Australia at the new Tory government's anti-refugee policies.

On the Sunday before Easter several thousand people took to the streets in cities across Australia to protest against the Tory government's anti-refugee policies. It was the latest of a series of mass protests focused mainly, but not exclusively, on the Abbott government's harsh refugee policies. One feature of the rallies was the prominence in Sydney of 13 different trade unions participating in a "Unions for Refugees" contingent while the secretary of Unions New South Wales was a key speaker on the platform.

Do Migrants lower wages?

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The notion that immigration is putting workers' wages under pressure is widely accepted even among some on the left. Yet this argument is both dangerous and wrong.

In January a much-quoted official study found "nominal wage growth below the rate of price inflation has resulted in real wages falling for the longest sustained period since at least 1964". The figure would have been even more shocking if comparable statistics were available for earlier periods. Many economists agree that British workers are facing the longest fall in their living standards since the 1870s.

New spin on same old story

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Ken Olende demolishes the new arguments put forward by liberal commentators about the "dangers" of immigration, and the intellectual cover they give to right wing ideas over race.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson's programme, The Truth About Immigration, was the latest step in a concerted attempt to redefine the "liberal" agenda on immigration.

Two recent books, Britain's Dream by David Goodhart and Exodus by Paul Collier, try to stake the same ground with more intellectual clout. Both are dreadful and shallow.

Goodhart is director of the Demos think-tank and former editor of Prospect magazine. Collier is an Oxford professor and former advisor to the World Bank. All three deploy similar arguments in favour of controlled immigration.

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