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Syrian refugees at Budapest railway station

Syrian refugees at Budapest railway station. Photo: Mstyslav Chernov

While the War on Terror has destroyed the Middle East, it has also been the source of racism across Europe

 
The word 'cynical' does not do justice to the deal which David Cameron is cooking up with Donald Tusk and the other EU leaders.
 
He wants to deprive migrant workers in Britain of their rights and further stigmatise them and their families. This will just encourage xenophobes and racists to stir up hatred and conflict.
 
And he is doing this in order to win a referendum that he regrets promising in the first place. 
 
He only ever proposed it as a sop to his own party’s xenophobic right and to win over Ukip voters in an election he thought he might lose.
 
He never imagined that he would actually have to hold it. Now he has to again woo the people that he previously derided as “loonies and closet racists”.
 
The only way to get them to swallow the deal, which does not amount to much in terms of actual reform, is to appeal to racism and xenophobia.
 
But whilst Cameron puts up institutional barriers to other EU countries’ citizens rather more literal, physical ones are going up between, and around, European states. These are aimed at the refugees and migrants making their way to northern Europe in flight from war and poverty. 
 
Why should Europe not take in refugees displaced by the so-called ‘War on Terror’? Europe is the richest continent on earth and the refugees are just a drop in the ocean of its 500 million people. 
 
But the idea of the free movement of labour in Europe was always predicated on putting up barriers against those from outside. Fortress Europe was always going to be a white Europe, for all their wittering about diversity.
 
Many countries in Europe, with their shrinking and aging populations, need migrants and their labour. But those that do get in will be treated as second class citizens, especially if they are Muslim.
 
And those risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean will be still be allowed to die in huge numbers as, we are told, saving them might ‘encourage’ others to follow.
 
The Middle East is being destroyed by our rulers’ disastrous ‘War on Terror’ and Europe is stuck in an endless economic crisis caused by their failed response to the Great Recession. They want to divert anger away from themselves, and towards the foreigner, the migrant, the refugee and the Muslim.
 
But we stand in solidarity with them. We say that refugees and migrants are welcome here. It is our rulers’ scapegoating and their racist Fortress Europe which we reject.
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