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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2021

Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

Priti Patel

Priti Patel   (Click to enlarge)

Eric Segal, Kent Socialist Party

Today I received a letter from the Home Secretary Priti Patel. The letter is a weak and pathetic attempt by the home secretary to deflect criticism away from her government's negligent policy of confining over 400 people seeking asylum to the derelict Napier barracks in Folkestone. This is a policy that is fuelled by the need to cut costs and make the weak and vulnerable pay for the pandemic.

The subsequent and predictable outbreak of Covid-19 in the overcrowded camp infected over one in four of the inmates. This resulted in the forcible incarceration of 400 desperate and vulnerable people locked behind barbed wire fences and gates secured by the police.

The tensions inside the camp following the locking of the gates led to inevitable demonstrations and a significant police presence following a fire in one of the buildings on Friday 29 January.

The letter from Home Secretary Patel is an admission of guilt over the negligent asylum policy of this government. This has led to four suicide attempts by asylum seekers at Napier barracks.

The demonstrations and fire have caused an outburst of anti-asylum seeker and racist comments on social media demanding that the asylum seekers should be sent back across the channel or worse. This resentment is fuelled by suffering in substandard rented accommodation, inadequate council housing, low-paid jobs and failing public services. The letter from the home secretary failed to answer concerns caused by the austerity policies of successive governments.

The government is finally being taken to judicial review in court over their negligent handling of the accommodation of people seeking asylum. However, anti-asylum seeker and racist sentiments must be countered by a mass programme of building council houses, jobs at trade union rates of pay with proper training for young people, and for the provision of public services. With all this we say defend the right to asylum. We demand the resignation of home secretary Priti Patel.

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In The Socialist 24 February 2021:


Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage


What we think

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour


News

Justice for Moyied Bashir

Uber drivers win case - they are workers

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run


Lessons from history

How militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act


Workplace news

Usdaw elections - right makes gains but Broad Left builds

HMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions

Hinkley Point electricians fight 'deskilling'

"I'm here to fight for the future education of children in Hackney"

London bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

GMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

Scunthorpe steelworks scaffolders: Fifth week of action


TUSC

Liverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

Scottish TUSC election campaign launch

Keep the fighting fund rushing in for a TUSC stand in May


Campaigns news

W. Sussex children's centres on the chopping block

Coventry success building subscriptions

Socialist Students conference - postering

Save John Carroll Leisure Centre

Getting the Socialist out in lockdown


LGBT+ history month

Pride flag is about unity in struggle

Tories tout toilet tensions


International news

Nigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle

Facebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!


Readers' opinion

Film Review: The White Tiger

Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

Tories target universities in free speech shakedown

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Asylum:

triangleSouthampton West Socialist Party: Immigration, asylum & Nationality Bill

triangle27 dead in channel migrant tragedy

triangleHunger strike in Calais for refugee rights

triangleAre Biden's immigration policies a break with Trump's?

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triangleWe need a workers' alternative to big business Tories and Labour

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triangleTories on the ropes - Build a workers' alternative

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Council:

triangleEviction resistance on the march in Waltham Forest

triangleHundreds protest to save St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

Accommodation:

triangleFighting evictions in Cornwall

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