Immigration

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.

Immigration: a hostile act

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The government's new bill aims to create a "hostile environment" for illegal migrants. Alan Gibson looks at the measures in the proposed law and how it will target all migrants and serve to stoke up racism.


What is the declared aim of the bill?

To create a "hostile environment for illegal migrants". This will be done by forcing landlords, NHS staff and public servants, and bank staff, to check the immigration status of migrants who are potential tenants, users of NHS services, appliers for a driving licence or a bank account. Other proposed measures include a drastic reduction in rights of appeal and bail, and a denial of the right of appeal prior to deportation.

What will the residential measures mean?

Whipping up hatred

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Alan Gibson looks at the wave of anti-immigrant racism that has been marked by the "Go Home" vans and UK Border Agency raids at London tube stations.

The demand by judge Peter Murphy in August that a Muslim woman transgress her religious beliefs and reveal her face to a packed courtroom is just the latest in a series of Islamophobic outrages - all conditioned by a deepening anti-immigrant onslaught.

UKIP: A breeding ground for racism

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Ukip's success in last month's council elections underlined its move from the margins to a more significant force. Tash Shifrin looks at the roots of its emergence and how we should respond

We have had an ugly month of May, drenched by a double wave of racism. On 3 May the racist Ukip sailed in on a high spring tide, its 25 percent share of the vote in the county council elections making it the new third party in British politics. The party's triumph followed a campaign based on anti-immigrant scaremongering.

No to immigration controls

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Bookmarks are updating and reprinting the pamphlet Immigration: The Myths Spread to Divide Us by Charlie Kimber. Here we reprint an extract:

Many people can see the cruelty and racism of the present immigration system. But they believe there must be some sort of "fair" system of immigration control. We believe that all immigration controls should go. And 100 years ago that would not have seemed unusual. Incredible as it may now seem, Britain had no immigration controls until 1905. People could, and did, move around the world in great numbers. Think of the millions of immigrants who went to the United States in the 19th century.

The Politics of Immigration

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Brian Richardson examines the battle lines being drawn around immigration. We also publish an extract from the updated pamphlet Immigration: The Myths Spread to Divide Us that puts the case for opposition to all immigration controls.

The next general election is still two years away, but the battle lines are already being drawn. In a series of carefully planned announcements, the mainstream parties have all made it crystal clear that immigration will be at the top of the political agenda. The 2015 election looks set to herald the most racist campaign in a long time.

Strike for your rights!

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Jack Farmer spoke to University of London cleaners about how they won the London Living Wage and union recognition by staging an unofficial strike

Cleaners are among the most badly treated and poorly paid workers in London. Many are immigrants from South America and a lack of fluent English often makes it all the more difficult to organise.

This is why the struggle of cleaners, porters and security guards at Senate House - part of the University of London - has been so remarkable. Over a number of years they've built a Unison union branch which includes over 100 outsourced workers, organised noisy public protests and a successful unofficial strike, winning the London Living Wage and union recognition.

UKIP and the crisis of conservatism

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Strong votes for the United Kingdom Indepedence Party (UKIP) in recent by-elections has led to speculation that Britain may have shifted to the right. Jonathan Maunder argues that, although UKIP's vote is concerning, its root cause is a deep seated crisis in the base of the Tory party

The strong votes received by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in three by-elections in late November prompted speculation about the existence of a new right-wing mood in Britain. UKIP won 5.7 percent of the vote in Croydon, 11.8 percent in Middlesbrough and 21.8 percent to come second in Rotherham - the last result being its highest ever election vote. Opinion polling regularly puts UKIP on around 10 percent of the vote.

China's scattered migrants

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China's booming economy has been built on the back of migrant workers. Hsiao-Hung Pai talked to Sally Kincaid and Charlie Hore about her new book and the lives of China's migrant population

Why did you choose the title Scattered Sand for your book?

The idea of Scattered Sand came originally from Sun Yatsen, the founding father of the Guomindang (Nationalist) Party - so it came from the Republican Revolution of 1911. The idea was when he was talking about the Chinese people as being scattered sands - not united as a nation against Western imperialism.

Is the American working class different?

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In this article from 1986, Duncan Hallas takes up the argument that the American working class has been historically immune to socialist ideas.

One of the most important developments over the last year has been the revival of radical movements in the US. The uprising in Wisconsin, the Occupy movement, the Oakland shutdown and now the protests over the killing of Trayvon Martin (see Jonathan Neale in this issue of Socialist Review) all point to a new mood. American workers have long presented an enigma for socialists.
Why has the most powerful working class in the world never been able to create even a mass Labour-type party (the Democratic Party has always been a purely capitalist party).

Hallas explains how the conditions of American capitalism initially acted to prevent the emergence of stable working class organisation and to limit the influence of socialist ideas, but argues this no longer applies.

The central question in discussing the American working class is why there is not, and has not been, a political labour movement of any significance in the United States. This is in spite of the fact that the US is today the major capitalist power in the world and has been, since the turn of the century, one of the two or three major capitalist powers.

There are a number of explanations put forward. The first set of arguments are what you might call the "sociological" arguments. They can all be found in letters which Engels wrote to various people in America in the 1880s.

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