As far right elements work themselves into a proper lather over heroic lifeboat crews saving the lives of refugees at sea, it’s worth bearing the following in mind…
Capitalism breeds and and flourishes, because of ignorance, and uses racism and other things to divide us so it can rule over us. Anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment is put there and encouraged by the rich and their media, it’s there for a reason – to distract us from recognising our own class interests and to divert us away from class struggle.
A common thing you hear from anti-refugee and anti-immigrant people is this sort of thing, and it’s been going around lately: ‘I sympathised with refugees but then I followed a refugee home recently and I discovered he had a house and a car.’
We shouldn’t have to say this, but this is absolute nonsense, and like all of these utterances it’s based on hearsay and rumour, and there’s no credible, hard evidence to back it up. It’s really no different to conspiracy theories. And if you did genuinely have ‘sympathy’ for refugees in the first place, you wouldn’t have then followed them home. And by the way, if you’re following people about, no matter who it is, then you’re basically a stalker, that’s what you are, there’s no other way of putting it – you’re a stalker, which for your information is actually a criminal offence. And because you’re a stalker, obviously it also means you’re a creepy wrong ‘un.
And what you’ll hear from the same people is that we have a ‘soft touch benefits system’. These people clearly don’t have the first idea about the benefits system we have in this country, because if they did they would know that ‘we’ don’t have a ‘soft touch benefits system’. Are these people so clueless about what’s going on that they are completely unaware of the capitalist austerity and the attacks on working class people – including the unemployed and disabled – that have been going on for the last ten years or more? Have these people really got their heads buried in the sand that much? Unfortunately, It seems they have.
So, they will say, that’s why refugees come here, because we’ve got a ‘soft touch benefits system’. The fact is that there are other different reasons why they come here, for example – they already speak English, or they are from former British empire or commonwealth countries, or they already have family here, or they are trying to escape bad treatment in Europe. Many of the countries surrounding where they are from don’t take them as well. But the reason anti-refugee people will say we’ve got a so-called ‘soft touch benefits system’ is because they absorb what the right wing media like The Sun and the Daily Mail and other outlets want them to believe and think about the unemployed and benefits.
And they are no doubt the sort of people who hate on and begrudge claimants, just like they hate on and begrudge immigrants and refugees. These people seem completely incapable of properly looking at the news that’s been reported for the past ten years of the disgusting treatment of benefit claimants. And just think about this, they’re the sort of people who will just dismiss that as so-called ‘lefty propaganda’ or ‘lefty lies’, which tells you everything you need to know about them. How lucky for them that they can just dismiss that and get on with their life, while claimants are being treated like dirt.
And another thing we often hear from anti-immigrant and anti-refugee people is – ‘they get all the housing’ or – ‘they get all the social housing’. Again, this is absolute nonsense. The reason there’s a problem with housing and social housing has nothing to do with immigration or refugees. Again, are you completely unaware of the policies of the neo-liberal, Thatcherite governments we’ve had for the past 40 odd years? Are you really that clueless? People like Thatcher and Blair, the Tories and then New Labour, encouraged and enabled people to buy their council houses and flats. They’ve also let property developers buy up and then get rid of social housing, including entire council estates, something Labour councils are guilty of too. Housing is a class issue. Working class people have housing problems because there’s a class war going on and the rich make it a worse situation for working class people for their own benefit. They exploit the situation, like the parasites they are, and deprive ordinary people of things like housing, and then cause housing problems, which contributes to an increase in homelessness. And the unfortunate thing is that people who are basically right wingers and centrists vote for these people and continue to do so – whether it’s voting for the likes of Boris Johnson, Laurence Fox, Nigel Farage or someone like that. All of those people will only make things worse for working class people, and that includes a worse situation with housing. And the centrists such as the Labour Party are little better, even the likes of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell and Co, and people like us don’t actually have any belief in parliamentary politics to solve these problems.
And it’s as though these right wing people have never thought to themselves that those in power and the ruling class would screw us over regarding housing, or anything else, it’s ridiculous. And has it never entered these people’s minds, that if we took all the land and property of the rich and ruling class and used it for us, for our benefit, that there would be more room for us and for others and that things would be better for us? These people don’t seem to have ever thought about that. That the way land and property and housing is used is to benefit the rich, at our expense – which is why working class people are, on the whole, crammed into towns and cities while the rich have most of the land to use however they please, to our detriment. On the whole these people don’t really come across as thinkers.
And another thing you’ll hear is something like this: ‘well I don’t mind the ones that work but these refugees, or these immigrants, don’t work and they get all these benefits. I have to work but they don’t. For a start, plenty of immigrants work, and they’ve made a huge contribution, in tax and in work to this country, and the NHS and other sectors would be nothing without them. But if immigrants can’t find work, because y’know, not everyone can find work and is able to work, do these people want them to just go without money and starve to death on the street because they can’t pay their rent and feed themselves? Is that what these people want? Because that seems to be the alternative that they prefer, just like they seem to prefer that for poor people who were born here. These people don’t seem to actually care about other human beings at all. People should be entitled to live and to enjoy life as well, not just to suffer a horrible existence- and that should apply to everyone.
Secondly, if you’re a refugee that’s only just got here, you can’t work because you’re not allowed to and you don’t even have a national insurance number. And the fact is, that the refugees who do get an allowance only get about 35 quid a week. I mean how is anyone supposed to exist on that?! And the reality is that refugees are also put in awful inhumane places like Napier barracks and Yarl’s Wood, where they are treated like dirt and left to rot as well.
Here’s another thing you’ll hear from anti-immigrant/anti-refugee people: ‘And before you say anything, I’m not racist. I’ve got no problem working and living with people from different parts of the world, of different cultures, religions and colours, and some of them are my friends.’
This is very unconvincing and it’s very tired, and basically, it’s just the new version of ‘some of my friends are black’. And it doesn’t mean that the person saying it is not a racist. Because all sorts of people can be racist, no matter where they’re from, for a start. Anyone can be racist or prejudiced at someone else. But really, this is very unconvincing, like all of these arguments, and in reality it means nothing. And the only reason the person feels the need to say this is likely because what they are saying is racist. It’s so obvious and stupid.
And we’ll just finish by saying a few things. Firstly, the only reason anti-immigrant/anti-refugee people object to refugees and immigrants coming here appears to be because they lack humanity and decency and are likely a racist. It’s clearly racism that underpins all of these so-called arguments that these people are coming out with. There is no good reason to object to refugees and immigrants coming here. Refugees are fleeing war, famine and persecution. They have a right to come here, including under international law. Frankly, anti-immigrant/anti-refugee people display a psychopathic lack of empathy and compassion in what they are coming out with, posting online and all the rest of it. They are also doing the ruling class a massive favour by pointing the finger at refugees. While they fall for the scapegoating, the rich get away with screwing us all over and hoarding all the wealth and resources. But with at least some of these people it’s as if they’re too thick to see it, or too comfortable and selfishly individualist and thick-skinned. It’s as if they’ve probably never really had an original thought in their entire life and have never questioned anything. It’s likely that they are the sort of person who are not brave enough to go against the grain and they just believe and go along with all the things they are expected to. They are the problem, not immigrants or refugees, and there’s too many of these cowardly, ignorant people out there. Capitalism produces too many uneducated, conditioned, unfeeling robots like this. Another reason why it’s such an awful, destructive system and desperately needs to go. The fact is also that migration has always been a part of human life on this planet, it has always happened and it will continue to happen, especially as the population decreases due to a decreasing birth rate.
Secondly, if some of you reading this, who are really concerned about refugees coming here and immigration, think we’re being unfair about you, and you are actually a thinking person and you are really a compassionate person then please, at least think about what people like us are saying and give it proper consideration. Really think about it and listen and research this and try and take it onboard and open your mind, instead of just going along with all the crap you’re expected to believe, and the way you’re supposed to behave. Because those things that you’re expected to believe and the way you’re supposed to behave won’t really get you anywhere, it won’t really benefit you, it will just benefit the ruling class, which is why it is there in the first place. And you can look at the rest of this website and read our publications and listen to our podcasts to explore and think about an alternative to how things are for us.
And the final thing we would like to say is that these anti-refugee/anti-immigrant people tend, on the whole, to object to the ordinary immigrants and refugees. If these people complained about the millionaire and billionaire immigrants that our ruling class let’s into this country, allowing them to do as they please and do deals with (including buying up property and businesses and infrastructure in this country and exploiting working class people, both those that were born here or ordinary immigrants) then maybe we wouldn’t mind so much. That would be great. We object to what the millionaires and billionaires, the rich immigrants are doing – because it’s against our class interests. It’s the rich immigrants that are parasites just like the rich people that are born or naturalised here. And there’s no borders for these rich, ruling class immigrants, not like there is for ordinary immigrants and refugees. And it’s the rich that have the unity and solidarity with each other, which is why we need to have solidarity and unity with immigrants and refugees that are ordinary people like us who just want to make the best of our lives.
But these right wingers don’t do that, it’s as if they’ve not even thought about it. They’ve got no class consciousness or class solidarity – they just seem to hate others, they hate those that they perceive to be so different to them. When in fact they’ve probably got more in common with a working class immigrant or a refugee than someone from the British ruling class like Jacob Rees Mogg. Let’s face it, we’ve got more in common with a working class immigrant or a refugee from anywhere than we have with home-grown millionaires and ruling elites. We’re more likely to have had similar and relatable experiences and interests, that’s just a fact, one that anti-immigrant/anti-refugee people never acknowledge.
At the end of the day it would seem that class struggle anarchists have more of a human and pro-humanity, outlook that benefits the international working class and ordinary people from around the world and unites people and is genuinely progressive and thought out – and this anti-immigration lot have an anti-human, mean spirited, begrudging and hate-based, ignorance-based outlook that divides people and causes conflict, hatred and division and lets the international ruling class off the hook. That very much appears to be the difference between us.