[Marxism] Brexit and imperial privilege

Philip Ferguson philipferguson8 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 26 23:36:45 MDT 2016

"Generic 'brown folks' living in Britain"?

I lived in Britain in 1980-86 and again on and off around 1993/94.  I
thought it was unbelievably racist.

I never went back until 2011 and 2013.  And what I found was something
very, very different.  London, and I would say, Britain is probably one of
the least racist places in Europe in terms of "generic brown folks".  There
certainly is racism against Muslims, but it doesn't translate into racism
against black British people per se.

When I lived there in the 1980s I would notice white Brits would often
flinch if someone black sat down next to them on the underground trains or
on buses.  In 2011 and 2013 I noticed how relaxed white Brits were about
'black' and 'brown' people sitting next to them.  I mentioned this to an
English  friend of mine who worked in Europe a lot over several decades and
he said in the 80s he always felt London was the most racist big city in
Europe but now (2011 and 2013) thought it the least racist big city in

There is an attempt by the liberal-left to portray the Brexit vote as a
vote by backward white workers against immigrants and people other than
white.  In my view, this indicates the class prejudices of the liberal-left
rather than the reality.

Britain outside the EU will, in my view, be no more or less racist than the
EU is in terms of migrants.  As for the "generic 'brown' folks living in
Britain" - they are very much part of Britain these days, as the election
of a practising Muslim as mayor of London - the son of migrants from south
Asia, and whose father was a bus driver - indicates.

Whether the racist movement in Britain - and there certainly is one,
although it has no ruling class backing - is really able to make gains from
the Leave vote depends in no small part on the response of the serious left
(ie the anti-capitalist left).  If they champion open borders and do so
*within the working class* then the situation could be favourable for the

I think there is a very good article in 'Red Flag', the publication of the
largest Australian far left organisation on the subject, here:


On Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 4:16 PM, MM <marxmail00 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Jun 26, 2016, at 11:35 PM, Philip Ferguson via Marxism <
> marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
> https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/revolutionary-politics-class-imperialism-and-the-uk-brexit-referendum/
> A superb piece, except for its glaring oversight of any consideration for
> the very real, concrete consequences of a “leave” vote for current
> immigrants, refugees and generic “brown folks” living in Britain —
> consequences that are being documented in real time on social media (under
> the hashtag #PostRefRacism), and many of which have been summarised by
> HuffPost here: http://huff.to/28VSnb5

More information about the Marxism mailing list