Here is Richard Wood discussing the rise in xenophobic sentiment in the UK:
I get it – when times are tough, people watch their own backs. These workers are scared for their jobs. That doesn’t make their actions any less selfish, hypocritical, or stupid. Retreating into a shell or burying our heads in the sand is not going to get us out of the troubles that we’re in.
However, it’s also possible to see darker, more sinister elements in these protests – ones of racism and xenophobia, and even the potential for civil unrest and political movements based on isolationist and perhaps potentially fascist principles. One comment on an industry website message board stated: “let’s send them stinking foreign leeches back to theyre urine soaked shantys”. Not an example of simple fear for jobs, as I think you might agree.
Without wishing to prove Godwin’s Law, tough economic times have led people down dangerous roads in the past. We should not allow ourselves to be herded into a baying mob by the opportunists who see these times as a window to our hearts. These workers are being exploited, using the stupid words of Gordon Brown, as tools to support the agenda of the right-wing, anti-immigration brigade led by the BNP.
Even the Socialist Worker, a paper and organisation I generally hate with a passion due to its turning of any cultural or political movement into an anti-Government sentiment, has run an article condemning the strikes as sowing the seeds for racism and fascism. In fact – and I never thought I would be writing these words – it made a genuinely perceptive and insightful observation that the statement “British jobs for British workers” is a dangerously divisive slogan. It does not even reflect the real underlying concerns of the workers – that their jobs will be cut because of the reckless actions of the privileged elite that caused this recession.
Here is a Facebook group STOP IMIGRANTS TAKING OUR JOBS. Amusingly, it is a global group. This is the type of material posted there:
JOIN MY GROUP TO SHOW JUST HOW PISSED OFF WE ARE ABOUT US STRUGGLING FOR WORK, AND IMIGRANTS TAKING OUR JOBS. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO IS SICK OF IMIGRANTS?? ILL PROBABLY GET ARRESTED FOR THIS ASWELL AS WERE NOT ALLOWED FREEDOM OF SPEACH ANYMORE!!!!!
Laura Ellen Kingston (Portsmouth) (creator)
these fucking inigrants fuck me off come over here for free send money bk 2 the familys 2 bring more off the cunts over the goverment is a joke this is why this country is so fucked up with the credit crunch i say shoot the twats
CLOSE THE BORDERS! ive seen children of men i know what needs to happen!
WHY DNT WE JUST KILL ALL THE FUKERS AND SEND THEM BACK 2 THERE FAMILYS IN CARRIER BAGS. THE DIRTY SMELLY FUCKERS.
There are 740 members apparently proud to be members of this group.