Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1122/32095
From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2021
Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect
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.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 24 February 2021:
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
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
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
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
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
Nigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle
Facebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!
Film Review: The White Tiger
Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect
Tories target universities in free speech shakedown
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 24 February 2021 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook