I was proud to attend to the demonstration at the Folkestone Channel Tunnel Terminal to show solidarity with migrants today. The turnout was disappointing, but having said that the demo was organised at short notice and the organisers did a great job. It was great to see Green Party colleagues at the demo standing up what for what is morally right – defending the migrants against the media and political onslaught. Don’t forget that the overwhelming majority of migrants have been forced to flee their countries because of the consequences of the foreign policy of the UK, Europe and the USA. We should therefore do the honourable thing and take our fair share of the men, women and children fleeing for their lives, instead of building more fences and deploying more security.We have a moral and humanitarian responsibility to help.
Although I am glad that I went my only disappointment was that for the first time in a long time, the right wing counter demonstration was larger than the progressive gathering. I suspect that the nasty, bigoted anti-immigrant outcry being fuelled by the media and the Tories may have put a few people off attending.Talking of anti-immigrant rhetoric I was surprised to find myself agreeing with the acting Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman when she criticised Prime Minster, David Cameron, for describing immigrants travelling through Europe to the UK as “swarms” . Apparently she said that immigrants were people – not insects – and that to describe them in such a way is inflammatory. She was right. But hang on wasn’t it Harriet Harman who less than 12 weeks ago was quite happy to support the sale of Control Immigration mugs for £5.00 to raise money for Labour’s ill-fated general election campaign. And talking about elections I’ve noticed, with the exception of Jeremy Corbyn, all of the Labour Leadership hopefuls are keeping quite about immigration. I suspect they fear that uttering anything remotely compassionate about the plight of these desperate and abused people might undermine their self-serving ambition. This is especially true of Yvette Cooper who in her role as Shadow Foreign Secretary remained silent for an embarrassingly long time about the thousands of refugees who were drowning in the Mediterranean following the withdrawal of EU funding to the Italian Navy for its humanitarian rescue patrols. In fact out of
all the Labour Leadership hopefuls, only Jeremy Corbyn was honourable enough to sign a Parliamentary Early Day Motion condemning the cuts to EU funding for the Italian rescue mission. This pitiful hypocrisy makes me feel sick and even though I hope Corbyn wins the Labour leadership, I can’t ever imagine Labour becoming a party of social progress as long as it allows unprincipled, careerist hypocrites to join its ranks.