Over half a million marched in London last month against this government's austerity measures. Many up and down the country are taking action to defend their local services and refuse to accept the blame for a crisis they did not cause. Yet what is Cameron doing in the run up to the local elections, looking for scapegoats to divide working people. Well many reject this blatent use of racism. Immigrants are not to blame.
In the 30's they blamed the Jews, after World War 2 it was West Indians and the Irish, then the Asians and ofcourse the Travellers. We all know where the race card ends up if it is allowed to go unchallenged. Last time Cameron tried this, it was the same day that the EDL marched in Luton. Competing for votes against racist and fascists using the immigration issue is a very dangerous game and the BNP / EDL and other far right groups hope to be the beneficiaries of this.
In France, Le Pen's daughter hopes to gain 25% of the votes for the Front National, which is why Sarkozy is so busy banning the burqa. Yet only a very small percentage of Muslim women in France fully cover themselves. Liberty means the right of all women, including Muslim women, to decide how they dress.It is not for the French state to determine this.
Vince Cable has come out against Cameron on his statement. Perhaps he will also come out of the coalition but can he? We may now be seeing further unravelling of the coalition as the crisis deepens further. What we need is for the TUC, the labour movement and the Labour front bench to also say loudly and that immigrants are not to blame and we will defend them. Yet that also means challenging the notion of immigration controls, which are by definition racist.
In Brighton, the EDL thought they would be able to break up an anti-racist meeting defending multi-culturalism but they could not. The Movement For England is attempting to march in Brighton on the 24th April to defend St. George, (whose day is the day before that). It may be promoted as a family friendly event but its intentions are somewhat different. The EDL and others are also expected to join in. Can someone please point out to these defenders of so-called "anglo-saxon traditions" that St George was Palestinian not English! Defending the Palestinians won't go down well with their friends in the JDL and their waving of the Israeli flag.
UAF Statement condemning Cameron:
Unite Against Fascism has today warned that prime minister David Cameron’s speech on immigration offers dangerous encouragement to racist and fascist parties.
UAF joint secretary Weyman Bennett said:
Cameron claims his latest remarks on immigration will stop ‘extremist parties’ like the BNP from flourishing and help ‘extinguish them once and for all’.http://uaf.org.uk/2011/04/camerons-dangerous-comments-will-only-encourage-racists-and-fascists/
In truth they will have precisely the opposite effect. Both the tone of his language and the content of his arguments feed the myth that Britain is somehow being flooded by immigrants.
Cameron is effectively scapegoating immigrants for his government’s cuts programme. The effect of this rhetoric is more hatred, more hysteria and more strife and division in society.
And the British National Party, the English Defence League and other racist and fascist organisations will thrive in such a climate.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy has already tried this trick in France: attempting to undercut fascist parties by aping their language and conceding their demands. It didn’t work. Now we see Marine Le Pen’s Front National – a fascist party with close links to the BNP – riding high in the polls.
History shows that giving in to racist arguments does not make the racists go away. It endorses them and encourages them to demand more.
Cameron should be ashamed of himself – and we should be proud to live in a multicultural society where people from all backgrounds work and struggle together.