Sunak’s deportations: desperate attempt to stay in power 

Fight for jobs, homes and services for all

After two years of back and forth between the House of Commons and House of Lords, the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill has passed into law. 

The Tories are facing electoral annihilation and have no improvements to working-class living standards on offer. So instead, we have this Bill expressing their desperation and divisiveness. 

Just days before local election polling day, Tory prime minister Rishi Sunak made his announcement that the process of picking up asylum seekers around the country for deportation to Rwanda would start immediately. Asylum seekers presenting at immigration centres may be placed in detention centres in preparation for deportation. 

Once again, people fleeing desperate situations, prepared to put their lives at risk in dangerous boats at the hands of people smugglers to do so, are being used as political footballs. The Tories are the ones to blame for the state of the country – allowing their fat cat friends to leech their profits out of everything – not asylum seekers.

Starmer much different?

Keir Starmer says he will reverse the Rwanda scheme. But his policies on immigration are not that far different from the Tories. In fact, he attacks Sunak for spending “hundreds of millions of pounds for nothing in return” and for not deporting enough people. 

While many might have hoped the Lords’ interventions would improve things, the reality is that none of us can rely on big business politicians of any stripe. 

The NHS and other services are in crisis, there is an enormous housing crisis and people are still queueing at food banks. Starmer pledges the same ‘tough choices’ on spending as the Tories. 

We cannot wait for any of the capitalist politicians to ensure there are enough jobs and homes and services for all who need them. In the same way, we cannot wait for them to provide genuinely safe passage for people fleeing wars, environmental and economic crisis, or persecution. Nothing they propose will really prevent desperate people falling victim to people smugglers. 

The Tories and Labour cannot be trusted with our lives and livelihood. Activists will be organising actions to try to stop flights taking off and trade unions should discuss what role they can play in helping to build effective mass action that can push the government back. 

But importantly, we don’t want a party that is just not as bad as the Tories, we want a party that represents the interests of all working-class people. One that will fight for domestic and foreign policies to improve the lives of all, including investing in jobs, homes and services for all.