Poetry – Welcome Strangers

Welcome Strangers

From overseas they came

To care for our elderly,

Pick our vegetables,

Stack our shelves,

Deliver our goods

And nurse our sick.

Villified, demonized,

Bullied, denigrated

And driven out.

Low paid, unwanted,

Abused, despised,

Be in no doubt.

In this game

We have no shame.

Without too much lament

We demanded

That hostile environment!

Opher – 16.4.2020

The populist Brexiteers demonised Muslims and Eastern Europeans, exaggerating problems and magnifying concerns.

It seems that Britain was being swamped with Muslims – all intent on introducing Sharia law and taking over the country.

They were all gang-raping young white girls.

The Eastern Europeans were bringing in their gangsters. The streets were full of foreign voices.

Populist politicians used this to turn to their advantage. Rapists, drug dealers, criminals and people taking our jobs.

That was the story.

Except now we know those immigrants were really Key Workers that we all depend on – vegetable and fruit pickers, nurses, doctors, carers, shelf stackers, drivers and cleaners.

In order to get elected the politicians stirred up fear and hatred. In order to get Brexit through they stirred up hysteria against immigrants. And the Media, to sell copy, magnified it and whipped it up into a storm!

They were demonised and driven away!!

Now we have Covid 19 and we find that these people were the very ones we needed!!

Is there an ideological three-pronged attack on Democracy in Britain?

Chartists Orgreave slave3

After a brief lull we find the new government bringing into being three major attacks on democracy:

  • There is proposed legislation on union opt-in funding that would severely reduce the Labour Party funding and effectively castrate the opposition.
  • There is proposed legislation on union strike action that would effectively rule out striking altogether (if parliament was elected on the same basis few MPs would ever be elected and the Tories certainly wouldn’t have a government).
  • There is a move to break up the BBC which, for all its faults, has been a bastion of unbiased reporting.

Are we looking at an era where, through ideological legislation, we are looking at a one party State?

Are we looking at legislation that will make the unions impotent so that businesses can drive up profits at the expense of workers conditions and pay?

Are we looking at the control of the news by big business corporations who can spin it to suit themselves?

A democracy can only survive when there is unbiased information and a fair voting system, where workers have the right to withdraw labour and demand fair treatment.

Are we looking at the end of any pretence at democracy?