Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/936/24609
From The Socialist newspaper, 15 February 2017
Save child refugees, fight the cuts
Child refugees at the 'Jungle' camp in Calais before its brutal demolition, photo by Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Tessa Warrington, Leicester Socialist Party
There was widespread disgust after a written statement from the Home Office announced it was to end a vital rehoming scheme for refugee children.
The 'Dubs Amendment' to the Immigration Act 2016 committed Tory prime minister Theresa May to rehome a portion of the 90,000 unaccompanied refugee children from across 'Fortress Europe' with local authorities in the UK.
It was initially assumed that this number would be somewhere in the thousands. But the recent statement capped it at just 350, with 200 children having already been received. Buckingham Palace alone could house that many!
That such a decision can be made in the world's sixth largest economy is an absolute scandal. Not only because of the vast wealth accumulated by those at the top, but because of the complicit role of the wealthy in creating the refugee crisis.
The destruction and extreme poverty caused by the Bush and Blair-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the subsequent western imperialist wars to bring about regime change in Libya and Syria, helped create a mass humanitarian refugee crisis. They also created the political conditions for terrorist groups like Isis to take advantage of those radicalised by the horrors of war.
However, it is the population in the region, not western capitalism, that primarily suffers at the hands of Isis. Now those in power want to wash their hands of the consequences.
Ending the refugee programme is an incredibly unpopular move. It is clear that refugee children left alone in the camps are vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking.
May faces opposition from charities, religious groups and even many from within her Tory ranks. Local authorities have come forward to say they can take in more children. However, support for child refugees must be linked to the fight against austerity.
Central government spending cuts, passed on to the public without a fightback by councils, have created huge pressures on local services such as housing and education. Without a fight to stop the cuts and fully fund services, it is easy for right-wing politicians to scapegoat refugees.
Austerity is a political choice to make the working class pay for a crisis created by the rich, a choice that must be reversed. We need to invest in jobs and homes for all - those already here as well as those desperately fleeing war.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 15 February 2017:
What we think
Council cuts can be fought - and they must be
Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels
Socialist Party news and analysis
March to save #OurNHS
Resist Trump and his rotten policies: why I'm walking out on 'Day X'
Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence
Thousands march to defend Glenfield heart centre
Save child refugees, fight the cuts
Prison deaths scandal
International socialist news and analysis
Spain: clear win for left at Podemos conference!
CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria - towards unification
Izquierda Revolucionaria central committee meeting
French presidential election
France: police attack triggers protests
Workplace news and analysis
United fightback needed as entire grade of rail worker is at stake
"Disgraceful" treatment of sacked EHRC workers
Vibrant Picturehouse pickets in continued living wage strike
Ultimatum as Deliveroo drivers down tools in Brighton
Solidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine's Day strike
PCS union pledges to fight Jobcentre job losses
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Anti-trade union laws used against 'Trees Action' protesters
Support floods in for the Cardiff no-cuts three
The Socialist: 20 years old and more important than ever
Toxic fracking could start in England in 2017
May Day greetings in the Socialist
New Socialist Party press
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
No, Trumpism is nothing like Leninism
Foreign aid's not the problem - it's capitalist thieves
Vivid visual account of the Paris Commune
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 15 February 2017 |
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