Little Red Blogger

This blog looks at radical politics(with a libertarian socialist slant), music and culture. Marx to Mises, Girls Aloud to Steve Reich...

Location: Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Monday, February 07, 2005

UK Immigration hysteria, or how politicians play on prejudice and exploit the weak for political gain

The current political flap on immigration is to me profoundly dispiriting and shows in many ways the craven flint hearted opportunism of the current political class.

No opportunity is spurned to exploit, use and abuse asylum seekers and immigrants for their own and their party's gain. From a politician's perspective the logic is impeccable, asylum seeker's or potential immigrants can't vote, therefore they can be ignored and scapegoated at no cost to themselves politically. Mix this in with some 'War on Terror' grandstanding and you have a poisonous cocktail of intolerance and bigotry leavened with cheap nationalistic sentiment and flag waving.

The Labour party and the Conservatives both have different motivations for using immigration as a political tool. The Tories see it as a way of shoring up their UKIP hard right base and a means of attacking the Labour party to scrounge some votes and to paraphrase the famous expression about Big Blue, no political consultant ever got sacked for plugging a repressive asylum policy... The Labour party seeks to leap frog the conservatives and thus neutralise the potential threat. Whatever the motivations it leads to increased discomfort for asylum seekers and immigrants by demonising them and framing their presence in the country as a problem to be 'solved' rather than as individual human beings with individual problems...