Monthly Archives: January 2019

May might want to be Bonaparte – but she hasn’t got an army

Reports of May contemplating a general election at the end of February are difficult to believe. But it is difficult to see any other way forward for her, so what if it is true?

And if it is true, what is going on in her head?

In both the Withdrawal Agreement and the No Confidence debate May seemed to base her challenges to Corbyn on the expectation that he would stutter because of the division both in the PLP, the Party as well as in the Shadow Cabinet.

He didn’t. He immediately called a no confidence motion and his quick response to her invitation to talks probably surprised her. These were refreshing moments of clarity from Corbyn.

But despite them, May probably still believes that lack of clarity on what Labour will actually do on Brexit renders Corbyn weak. Continue reading

The demonisation of migrants by the British government – how it began in post War Britain

Alternative title: There has never been and there is no such thing as fair immigration controls – Part 2 – The Commonwealth and Immigration Act of 1962.

The Alien Act was the first legislation passed in the UK Parliament with the aim of restricting immigration. It was passed in 1905 and primarily targeted those Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Poland. This first attack on migrant rights in the UK is very well covered in this article by Daniel Randall on the Labour Campaign for Free Movement website.

The next big change in UK migration law was the Commonwealth Immigrant Bill of 1961 which passed into law in 1962. As the name implies the Bill was aimed at restricting immigration from the British Commonwealth which had comprised a significant element of the immigration into the UK in the 1950s. As similar Acts afterwards, it wasn’t couched as being permanent legislation: its long title claimed that it was “an Act to make temporary provision for controlling the immigration into the United Kingdom” (my emphasis). Continue reading