Suella Braverman. Photo: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street/CC
Suella Braverman. Photo: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street/CC

Fight against Tory divide and rule

Mila Hughes, Coventry Socialist Party

On a recent trip to the US, addressing the right-wing thinktank the American Enterprise Institute, Tory home secretary Suella Braverman argued for a ‘full reform’ to the current UN refugee convention.

She belittled the real dangers that people face by saying that “simply being gay, or a woman, and fearful of discrimination in your country of origin” should not enough to be granted asylum. Braverman has previously said it was her “dream” to see a flight full of asylum seekers taking off to Rwanda.

This is yet another instance of leading Tories turning to divisive rhetoric to try to appeal to a small section of Conservative Party members and supporters. Braverman and her peers argue that these changes will “fit the modern age” – when they’re clearly pushing us backwards! The splits and fractures in the Tory party were on display again with senior Tory politicians and donors criticising Braverman for ‘dog whistle’ politics.

Tobias Ellwood, another Tory MP, responded: “I distance myself from some of those comments that I’ve just heard now, which are clearly designed for a particular audience and it doesn’t do the prime minister any good, indeed as we lead into our own conference”

In the year 2022, 108.4 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced from their homes, of which 35.3 million became refugees in another country. This is due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and climate disasters happening across the world. The migrant crisis is a consequence of profit-driven capitalism, a system lurching from crisis to crisis.

Even when some asylum seekers are given ‘safe routes’ and able to stay in Britain, they face the same poverty, housing and job crises that the whole working class faces. Labour does not offer policies to solve these crisis – a £15-an-hour minimum wage, council house building, and real pay rises for public sector workers, for example. And Keir Starmer’s Labour is not willing to take a stand against racist immigration policies either, saying it has ‘no choice’ but to carry on forcing migrants onto unsafe barges if they were in power.

As socialists, we must stand in opposition to all racist immigration laws and campaign for a genuine right to asylum. This has to be linked to fighting for a system that meets the needs of the majority and not just the rich – a socialist society that can provide decent jobs and homes for all who need it. And to start to build a world free of war, persecution and environmental destruction that forces people from their homes.