Sunday, 21 July 2024

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Liberal Worker Debate (2) – How Should Trade Unionists View Open Borders & Mass Immigration?

WELCOME TO the second debate hosted by Liberal Worker – the voice of National Liberal Trade Unionists.  As with our first debate held towards the middle of September ––-national-liberal-trade-unionists-liberal-worker-debate-1-–-how-should-workers-view-stop-search – this one also looks at an article originally produced by the Independent Working Class Association – IWCA.

Liberal Worker wouldn’t agree with everything the IWCA says.  For instance, it’s reasonably well-known that we’re not particularly ‘into’ restrictive class definitions.  However it’s refreshing to see an organisation of the ‘Left’ so in tune with the thinking of ordinary working folks.  This is particularly so with this untitled article (which was produced at the beginning of this month) which looks at the emotive issue of immigration.

This article exposes the disconnect between much of the modern ‘Left’ (including the Labour Party and some unions) who support open borders and many workers who bitterly oppose mass immigration.  It also proposes a ‘logical circuit breaker’ that – in part – ‘stands where the class stands on immigration.’  With the above in mind, we invite all Trade Unionists to read the article (below) and post any comments up once it appears on the National Liberal Trade Unionist Facebook page


“The question is whether we want to be a middle-class party. The middle class has no problem with [immigration]. They don’t really come across it, but the working class live with it. The left hasn’t wanted to look at this problem for decades, so working class people have moved to the extreme right.”

These were the words of Emmanuel Macron, President of France, two weeks ago.

President Emmanuel Macron (left) has shafted ordinary French working folks with his support for capitalism and immigration. Will Jeremy Corbyn (right) do the same here? Liberal Worker - the voice of National Liberal Trade Unionists - is opposed to mass immigration as we feel that it’s an exploitative event caused by capitalism. However, despite the NLTUs opposition to mass immigration we’ve nothing against individual immigrants simply because they wear a completely different style of clothing or pray to another God. In Britain, mass immigration began in earnest in the years following WWII. Here, Afro-Caribbean, Asian and Eastern European folks have been used to plug holes in the British workforce. With Globalisation now in full swing, capitalism has responded and has imported huge numbers of people from the other side of the world to prop up its flagging economies. Whilst the capitalists may be happy with this, ordinary working folks are not. Massive population shifts have made existing economic & social problems much worse. Many areas suffer from great poverty – from the brutal Austerity policies of PIP and Universal Credit (which are destroying the welfare safety net) through to sink council estates that attract anti-social behaviour.

The same question currently faces Labour, and last week’s conference passed a motion in favour of freedom of movement which included giving the vote to all migrants, rejecting any immigration system based on quotas, caps, or targets, and giving all migrants free access to the NHS. Labour’s direction of travel indicates they fully intend to become a middle class first party centred on open borders, identity politics, Islamophilia, and post-capitalism. In this sense, far from being a break with the Blairite project, Corbynism and whatever follows will complete it. In doing so, it will shift into high gear the cycle identified not just by Macron, but by Anti Fascist Action 25 years ago.

Macron is an instinctive neo-liberal, so an open immigration policy is what comes naturally to him. “The arrival of refugees is an economic opportunity, and too bad if it isn’t popular” he declared in 2015. The presence of Marine Le Pen and the concomitant demise of the French Socialist Party, along with forty six consecutive weekends of violent confrontation with the gilet jaunes, have undoubtedly served to concentrate the mind. It likewise cannot have escaped Macron’s notice that one of the few places bucking the trend is Denmark, where the Social Democrats have taken an unequivocal – and unsubtle – stand against hyperimmigration.

If it is the case that ‘not wanting to address the problem for decades’ has resulted in ‘working class people moving to the extreme right’ (or more accurately, the right adjusting to occupy the space deserted by the left), then how is the serious anti-fascist obliged to respond? It cannot be overstated that allowing human labour to be treated as just another commodity to be bought and sold in the marketplace, which the open borders position amounts to under extant conditions, is the polar opposite of what the socialist project was meant to envisage.

None of this will be new to followers of this page. So the question is, what happens next? What happens when Labour becomes a fully-fledged middle class party, as the composition of their membership dictates they eventually must?

The dynamic described by Macron is evident across Europe. What hasn’t been attempted is the only logical circuit breaker: a working class first political formation that stands where the class stands on immigration, while out-flanking the liberal left in terms of orientation and out-radicalising the populist right on questions of economics. It is increasingly clear that Labour are unwilling and unable to perform this task, and so a fate similar to their counterparts in France and Germany is what ultimately awaits them.

• CHECK OUT the National Liberal Trade Unionists Words Of Wisdom series here:

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Words Of Wisdom – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-words-of-wisdom-–-eleanor-roosevelt-1884-–-1962

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Words Of Wisdom – Bob Crow (1961 – 2014)–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-words-of-wisdom-–-bob-crow-1961-–-2014

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Words Of Wisdom – Hilaire Belloc–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-words-of-wisdom-–-hilaire-belloc

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Words Of Wisdom – Palmiro Togliatti–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-words-of-wisdom-palmiro-togliatti

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Words Of Wisdom – John Kenneth Galbraith–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-words-of-wisdom-–-john-kenneth-galbraith

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