Blogs by Don Flynn
The #1DayWithUs initiative that emerged from journalist Matt Carr’s Facebook post in response to the rhetoric at the Conservative Party conference in October is the most hopeful sign yet that resistance to the planned actions to strip millions of migrants of their rights is building up.
From the vague idea that some sort of protest should be mounted, it is now taking the form of a definite plan to call for actions to support migrants right across the UK.
The referendum vote in favour of Brexit has encouraged the sense that the UK is at ‘year zero’ when it comes to many areas of social and economic policy. Everything that has gone before can be regarded as de facto scrapped and the future is there to be seized by those with the boldest imaginations and brightest visions of just what may be possible.
As you read this CRS police squads, acting on French government orders, will once again be destroying the make-shift homes and personal property of the 9000 people who are trying to survive in the Calais refugee camp.
They have returned to this task sporadically over the years. In April 2009 a determined effort to close the camp led to the arrest of 109, with bulldozers destroying the tents of around 800 refugees.
If we take the not uncontroversial step of assuming that the way people voted in the referendum serves as a reasonable proxy for judging their view on immigration, then at least one intriguing question arises.
Why does the city of Sunderland in England feel so differently about these matters than Glasgow?
In June’s referendum voters in English cities voted for Brexit by 61% to 39%. Glasgow voted 67% in favour of remaining, with 33% wanting out.
Why the difference?
According to a North East Strategic Migration Partnership profile, with ‘people born abroad’ making up only 3% of the city’s population at the time of the last census, Sunderland has one of the lowest rates of inward migration of any major urban area in the UK.
The immigration policies which Theresa May and her home secretary, Amber Rudd, revealed at the Conservative party conference last week seem to have got short shrift from just about everyone.