Nov 20 2016

FROM FARAGE’S BREXIT TO TRUMP’S “BREXIT PLUS, PLUS, PLUS”, AND ON TO ‘MADAME FREXIT’?


WHAT DOES TRUMP’S VICTORY SIGNIFY?

– ALLAN ARMSTRONG IN CONVERSATION WITH

ALAN BISSETT, BRIAN HIGGINS, PAUL STEWART AND

JOHN TUMMON

(see short biogs at end)

 

 1. ALLAN ARMSTRONG – 9.11.16

“An even greater leap into fantasy land is the belief that Brexit will provide a progressive example to other member states wanting to break away from the EU…. The first and unfortunately well-known non-UK person to celebrate Brexit was none other than the Right populist US Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump. With typical crassness he chose his new golf course at Turnberry in Scotland to declare his solidarity with Brexit… Another presidential hopeful, Marine Le Pen, of the French Far Right National Front, was the first significant European politician to proclaim her solidarity with Brexit.
Continue reading “FROM FARAGE’S BREXIT TO TRUMP’S “BREXIT PLUS, PLUS, PLUS”, AND ON TO ‘MADAME FREXIT’?”

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Nov 14 2009

Migrant workers are at the heart of our fightback

Category: Emancipation & Liberation,Issue 20RCN @ 7:27 pm

Editorial from The Commune, no. 6

The jobs massacre currently taking place under the cover of recession is an attack which particularly endangers casually or precariously employed workers; furthermore, migrants are also being scapegoated for ‘stealing’ hard-to-come-by jobs.

Immigrants, many of whom are forced to leave their countries of birth by repressive regimes directly or indirectly put in place with a helping hand from British foreign policy, are expected to work long hours at low pay on casual contracts: and most of all, not to complain.

However, brave organising efforts have been mounted by many migrant workers to stand up to employers and demand basic rights: for example cleaners at university campuses or banks in the City of London demanding a living wage rather than just the legal minimum and fighting against redundancies. They are an example to the entire labour movement of how to fight back: they show the possibility of building working-class resistance to the recession. Yet as the ‘Justice for Cleaners’ episode shows unions like Unite are indifferent, or even hostile, to migrant workers. This despite the fact that for many migrants, raising your head above the parapet risks determined efforts by employers and the state to question your ‘right’ to live in the UK and therefore to weed-out troublemakers and organisers.

Recent liberal calls for an ‘amnesty’ offering ‘a pathway to citizenship’ for ‘hard-working’ illegal immigrants do not challenge this, since business interests and the state still decide who is ‘suitable’ for entry. The use of border controls to determine who may or may not live in the UK is an affront to any notion of democratic rights of the individual, and is also intimately linked with the racist idea that where you come from should determine whether you are allowed to choose to live here. Such border controls are also highly gendered, with women bearing the brunt of deportations and violence perpetrated by immigration officials.

Those who argue that migrants should not be allowed into the UK ‘for their own protection’, to stop them being exploited by unscrupulous employers, ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands of people work in the UK illegally regardless: in fact their status simply means that they are denied basic employment rights; subjected to practices such as the nonpayment of wages; and are in constant fear that their already precarious work status will be swept from under them. Borders, detention centres and deportations are a savage weapon in the hands of the bosses to control people. Capitalism needs to move the workforce around at its whim in order to mobilise it efficiently, much as the EU Posted Workers’ Directive has allowed bosses to ‘undercut’, breaking union and minimum wage agreements: the best way to fight this exploitation is not to retreat into protectionism, but rather to demand full freedom of movement and equal work conditions for all, regardless of any form of national discrimination.

As communists we are for a world without any borders or states. Opposition to all immigration controls is fundamental to the free society we envisage and the fight to build it starts now. We do not believe it to be some ‘optional extra’ to be neglected as it was by recent left electoral projects from Respect to No2EU. All workers have a common enemy in these racist, sexist, union-busting immigration controls.

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