Sunday 2 September 2018

How is Theresa May still in power after deporting UK citizens to their deaths?

In 2014 Theresa May introduced new "hostile environment" anti-immigrant legislation in order to win plaudits from the Daily Mail and the other hard-right propaganda rags. During the debate she explained her policy of scrapping the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' in order to replace it with a "deport first, hear appeals later" strategy.

As a result of these policies dozens of UK citizens were deported from the UK, and at least three of the victims of Theresa May's racist anti-immigrant policy have died overseas.

Just try to imagine what it must have felt like for these poor people to be lying on their deathbeds on the other side of the world to immediate family members, knowing that the injustice they suffered will never be reversed, that they'll never see the country that they called home again.

So given that Theresa May is personally responsible for a policy that resulted in UK citizens being deported to their deaths, how on earth is she still in her job?

The answer is twofold, with both the Westminster political establishment and the mainstream media to blame.

The first thing to note is that aside from a few newspaper articles on the Windrush deaths, there was hardly any mainstream media coverage at all (a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the relentless barrage of anti-Corbyn smears).

Of the newspaper articles about these tragic deaths, some of the articles didn't even bother to mention that Theresa May was the Home Secretary who introduced these horrific rules!

Just try to imagine what the mainstream media reaction would have been had Jeremy Corbyn been personally responsible for a policy that caused at least three UK citizens to be deported to their deaths. Do you honestly think they'd be using pictures of the boat rather than pictures of his face as the main image? Do you honestly think they'd omit to mention his name at all in the entire article?

So Theresa May's Windrush deaths have been covered up underneath an avalanche of anti-Corbyn smears, and what mainstream media coverege has been produced has deliberately downplayed and minimalised Theresa May's culpability.

The reason of course is that the majority of mainstream media hacks are busy fighting a last ditch defence of the hard-right neoliberal orthodoxy that's served them so well (hefty salary, nice house, expensive car, generous pension pot, social status, establishment contacts ...) at the expense of millions of the rest of us (austerity dogma, wage repression, in-work poverty, local service cuts, NHS crisis, social care meltdown, rising violent crime ...).

These people see Jeremy Corbyn's democratic socialist policies as a threat to their privileged positions in society, so they're fighting tooth and nail to preserve the way things are, which means criticism of Theresa May over the fact she deported British citizens to their deaths would be absolutely counter-productive to this primary agenda.

Then there's the fact that the mainstream media and the massive majority of the Westminster establishment class actually went along with Theresa May's vile anti-immigrant legislation in 2014.

Despite hearing her explain her policy of scrapping the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' and widespread behind the scenes concerns that her policy was 'reminiscent of Nazism', not a single Tory MP voted against it. Almost all of the Liberal-Democrat MPs voted in favour of it, and all of the so-called Labour 'centrists' abstained out of fear that they would be labelled 'soft on immigration' if they voted against it.

Just 18 MPs opposed it at the time. The one Green MP, all three of the Plaid Cymru MPs, five of the six SNP representatives at the time, a few Lib-Dem rebels (all gone from parliament now) and a handful of genuinely left-wing Labour rebels.

This Westminster establishment complicity with Theresa May's xenophobic anti-immigrant legislation has created the situation where few politicians can actually stand up and condemn it, without risking the awkward question of why they wilfully enabled it at the time.

The same goes for mainstream media hacks. Hardly any of them spoke out against Theresa May at the time. Hardly any of them challenged their colleagues for publishing xenophobic hate-mongering articles at the time. And hardly any of them spoke out against the Labour so-called 'centrists' sitting on their hands rather than opposing Theresa May's blatantly xenophobic extremism because they were so afraid of being labelled 'soft on immigration' by the right-wing propaganda rags.

So in order to attack Theresa May for introducing the xenophobic legislation that resulted in these appalling deaths, Westminster politicians and mainstream media hacks would have to come to terms with the fact they were utterly complicit in allowing it to happen, and acknowledge the fact that once again Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and a rag tag bunch of other parliamentary dissenters were the only people on the side of basic human decency back in 2014.

In order to hold Theresa May to account and demand her resignation over this unbelievably shocking scandal, Westminster politicans and mainstream media hacks would first have to admit that almost all of them were on the wrong side of the debate back in 2014, and that Jeremy Corbyn was on the right side of it, which is something that's never going to happen in the current political climate.

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