[Marxism] Mr. Louis Godena's racist, white supremacist provocation,
calvinbroadbent at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 1 04:14:43 MDT 2005
Kudos to Joaquín Bustelo for uncovering Louis Godena's racist and
reactionary politics. As a matter of fact, there is a history of
accomodation to state racism on the British Left, obviously in the
trade-union movement and in both the 'Stalinist' and Trotskyist left.
Here is a good article on capitalism and immigration from the latest edition
of the British newspaper *Fight Racism Fight Imperialism*.
FRFI 185 June/July 2005
The reality of capitalisms immigration policy
The British Labour government is in the process of fine-tuning a class-based
immigration policy to suit the needs of the market. Home Secretary Charles
Clarkes announcement in February of a four-tier work permit scheme was just
the latest refinement in this plan. This modern, capitalist-friendly
immigration system underpins all todays spin about keeping out unfounded
asylum seekers but letting in skilled economic migrants and is no less
racist than the policies that preceded it. FRFI opposes all immigration
controls. NICKI JAMESON reports.
In September 2000, then Immigration Minister Barbara Roche announced a
fundamental change to Labours immigration policy. Roche gave a speech
entitled UK migration in a global economy to a conference organised by the
Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) and sponsored by the British
Bankers Association. She opened by congratulating the City of London on
having the most diverse and international workforce in London.
Prior to then Labours sole policy on immigration had been based, like that
of the previous Tory government, on restricting and reducing it, and in
particular on attacking economic migrants, accusing those making asylum
claims of secretly coming here to find work and improve their living
However, the shortsightedness of this approach had begun to be pointed out
to the government by its own supporters, and pro-Labour journalists had been
preparing the ground for Roches speech for several months. On 19 June 2000,
the day after 58 Chinese people died a horrific death whilst being smuggled
into Britain in a tomato lorry, The Guardians Alan Travis used the focus on
the dangers faced by would-be economic migrants to call for an immigration
policy based on...economic needs rather than foreign policy objectives or
asylum sympathies. He dismissed as of marginal importance the argument
against depriving poor countries of skilled workers so they can service the
rich nations, citing the global value of remittances sent to poor nations by
workers in rich ones as $65 billion a year.
As we reported in FRFI at the time, the government now changed its stance in
order to encourage the openly economic migration of a cheap, skilled,
middle class workforce. Workers who will earn enough to pay taxes and buy
houses, who will not require council accommodation or state benefits; who
can be paid relatively high wages but are cheap nonetheless, because this
country has not had to invest in their education or training. (Fight
Racism! Fight Imperialism! 157 October/November 2000)
The Highly Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP) came into operation in January
2002. Men and women with the requisite level of qualification and existing
salary are recruited abroad to seek work in Britain. They are given visas
for one year initially, which they can renew if they find jobs. The
programme has spawned an entire industry of recruitment consultants and
lawyers, who promise to smooth out the bureaucracy for applicants. However
there is no actual guarantee of finding work, and even at the highly
skilled level, black and Asian migrants face racism. FRFI spoke to two men
from India who came here on the HSMP and remain unemployed (see box).
The IPPR, which hosted the conference at which Barbara Roche spoke, bills
itself as Britains leading progressive think tank. Its direction is,
however, firmly in tune with the drive of New Labourism. Current director
Nick Peace was formerly a Special Adviser to David Blunkett on migration,
asylum and citizenship. It is therefore not surprising that the IPPR should
now produce research that vindicates this aspect of current government
policy by demonstrating that the widely held notion that immigrants are a
drain on the public purse is untrue. The study Paying their way: The fiscal
contribution of immigrants in the UK, published by the IPPR in April 2005,
concludes that in fact the reverse is the case, and immigrants contribute
more to the state per person than people born in this country.
The study is based on data from the Labour Force Survey and the Office of
National Statistics and shows that total revenue from immigrants grew 22 %
in real terms from £33.8 billion in 1999-00 to £41.2 billion in 2003-04.This
compares to a 6% increase for people born in the UK.
Of the almost 20,000 nurses who joined the medical register in 2003-04, more
than 15,000 were from overseas. One third of the 212,000 doctors on the
register qualified abroad. Home Office figures show the annual number of
work permits issued to healthcare staff from outside the European Union has
risen 27-fold since 1993, to more than 40,000. The highest number of these
workers come from the Philippines, followed by India and South Africa.
A campaign against this draining of skilled staff from oppressed nations to
service rich ones forced the government in 2001 to impose a ban on
recruitment from the hardest-hit countries. However, deals have since been
struck with the Philippines, India and some other countries which claim to
have a surfeit of trained staff and are anxious to secure the remittances
which such workers can send home from Britain and other wealthy nations.
In 2003, 5,560 work permits were issued to teachers from Commonwealth
countries to work in the UK. Young teachers from Australia and New Zealand
in particular teach in Britain to fund their travels in Europe. The largest
single source of overseas teachers is South Africa, while Africa lacks five
million teachers if universal primary education is to be achieved by 2015.
Again there have been complaints and in autumn 2004 the British government
was forced to agree to clamp down on the poaching of overseas teachers.
Ironically, while the government twists and turns to allow in the skilled
workers it requires, and at the same time introduces yet more new measures
to make it difficult to claim asylum in Britain, it is compelled to ignore
the skills and qualifications of those highly skilled migrants who have
entered the country as asylum seekers. According to the Council for
Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA), there are at least 1,000 asylum seeker
doctors in Britain who are not allowed to work as their claims are still
being processed. CARA estimates that the skills and experience of up to
5,000 foreign academics seeking refuge in this country could be worth more
than £100m to the economy. Britain is short of 3,000 dentists, while an
estimated 700 asylum seekers have qualifications in dentistry.
Clarkes aim was to gather all our current schemes for work and student
migrants into one simple points-based system (Hansard 7 February 2005). As
with the highly skilled migrants, the tourists, students and migrant
workers remain subject to endless controls, policing and changes in policy.
The new system is designed so that permission to enter the country seeking
work can be granted or withdrawn from whole sections of people with no
warning or reason given. Just two months after the current version of the
working holidaymaker visa scheme was introduced, the Home Office began to
restrict it. Of course, no Australian, New Zealander or white South African
has been affected, but there was a sudden and total block put on any further
applications, from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Namibia and Botswana. This followed
the announcement of a similarly sudden block on the issuing of visas to
visitors aged 18 to 30 from Nigeria.
Meanwhile the lowest paid workers from overseas continue to exist in the
worst conditions, entering the country legally if they are from the newly
incorporated EU nations of eastern Europe, or illegally if they are from
China or other poor nations, and doing the worst jobs for the lowest pay.
There is nothing progressive about the current policy simply because it
involves the encouraging of some immigration, while the one it replaced
openly discouraged all forms. This is not an offer of betterment to the
workers of other nations, but the flexible market economy drawing on the
reserve army of labour of poorer countries to service the rich ones. In the
1950s the British economy needed an influx of low-paid workers and found
them in its former colonies in the Caribbean and south Asia. As soon as
enough were here, Enoch Powell shouted about rivers of blood that would
flow from a race war if immigration was not halted and all political parties
unquestioningly united to ensure the door would begin to be closed. Today
Britain needs certain types of skilled workers and is ensuring it obtains
them at the lowest cost. If these gaps are filled, the policy will change
again to fit the latest dictates of the market and Labour will dance to the
tune of the City of London once again.
Highly Skilled Migrants seek work
The elation, the promise and the expectations last only until we arrive at
Heathrow. The Home Office provides absolutely no support, understanding or
help no telephone calls are answered; e-mails and letters are not replied
to, and visits in person are not entertained.
We are told repeatedly before coming here that the UK of today is an equal
opportunities country; they are investors in people, in fact we are even
handed out an equal opportunities monitoring form, where we tick our origin.
But its all a trick its pseudo-racism, isnt it? Everyone is sickeningly
polite, but the jobs never come our way. This is usually put down to lack
of UK experience. Yet I have met so many New Zealanders, Australians, South
Africans, people of white origin, who dont have a shred of UK or London
experience, are a lot less qualified, armed with CVs which have far weaker
experience, not even relevant experience for the jobs that they are doing
here, but they are the ones who have got the jobs. There is always some
hurdle if its not London experience, or lack of UK network, its that
the job is in Wimbledon and you stay in Wood Green, or you are overqualified
and too senior for the role.
Half the recruiters do not know about this programme. So they do not
recognise it. They ask us who has sponsored your visa? They do not realise
that no one needs to sponsor an HSMP visa. The staff in the REED office at
Wood Green told me that they have never seen a HSMP visa; even though REED
is currently in partnership with the government to increase employment for
migrants. Even the governments own Job Centre initially refused to let me
register because they did not know about HSMP.
So, how are we living here without jobs? We have brought our savings here
and are spending them in this country. We cannot find any jobs forget
managerial ones, not even basic ones. And when the money finishes, we have
to go back with shattered dreams and empty pockets. Maybe that is how we are
making a difference by spending our money here, so it adds to the net GDP
of the UK. Could it be that it is the real reason why only senior managers
and people with funds are targeted for this programme?
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