Thursday, 4 July 2013

Pernicious Government Bill to create destitution

Home Office minister Theresa May has launched a government consultation on a Bill to criminalise landlords who house people who don’t have papers entitling them to live in the UK. (link opens in a new window).

This government is well to the right of anything Thatcher ever did.  If they get their policies through, ‘illegals’ and their families (remember, many have been working and paying tax here for many years) will have

  • no right to work (employers are already criminalised for employing them)
  • no right to housing (landlords will be criminalised)
  • no health care ‘free at point of use’, and
  • no legal aid (that’s already gone, this April).

The theory is that this will discourage (new) illegal immigration, though quite how that’s supposed to work I don’t know.  Trouble is, in the present political climate, who’s going to stand up for ‘illegal immigrants’?

But at the end of the day, these are real people with a multitude of different stories to tell.  They’re more likely to be working, they use the health services much less than most, and areas with the largest migrant population also have lower levels of unemployment of native-born residents than areas where they are fewer - so it’s not true that ‘they take our jobs’.  If anything, the evidence is the reverse.

We need mass civil disobedience on this one : make it unworkable.  Remember the Poll Tax -- and that wasn’t nearly as pernicious.  The only difference is that that affected the vast majority, whereas this affects only a small group of vulnerable people who everyone has been taught to hate.  Sound familiar?

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