Greens Stand Up To Racism – 18.03.2017

Just like you I’ve been looking in horror as country after country lurches to the right. To the despicable right of racism, bigotry and prejudice.

Thank heavens for the Dutch elections! 16 Green seats!

There are soft racists, and hard racists. It’s the soft ones I worry about. The quiet ones, the ones who murmur racists comment under their breath in the street, the small acts of derision, spitting at foreigners, the throw away racist comments on social media, the secret white supremacists – oh yes there are plenty of them.

You would have thought that the institutions of media and state that we have, would feel a moral duty to raise awareness of the harm history speaks of when racism takes its cruel grip on the populace.

How wrong can you be? Divide and conquer is their game. They will not take the lead on matters of apartheid, arms sales and racism. They take the lead only on hypocrisy.

Britain is the fourth most unequal developed country on earth. Pay has fallen faster here than in 24 other EU countries. We work the third longest hours  for the second lowest wages. We have Europe’s third highest housing costs, the highest train fares and the second worst levels of fuel poverty. Can we blame that on the Poles?

It’s Britain which has the least happy children in the developed world, the highest infant mortality rate in Western Europe and some of the worst child poverty in the industrialised world. It’s British elderly people who are the fourth poorest pensioners in the EU. Can we sensibly blame all that on a woman in a headscarf?

It’s Britain which has the eighth biggest gender pay gap in Europe, with child care costs  higher than almost every European country. It’s Britain which has a wealth gap twice as wide as any other EU country. Who shall we blame that on? Perhaps the Syrian children who can’t even get here?

What we should blame is our own uniquely undemocratic system – but we don’t. Everything has to be the fault of the foreigner. Get rid of them and it will all magically be alright. Wrong.

We have become a sick country, investing a net figure of nothing in our future economy whilst flogging off the last of our assets.

Wales can produce more than twice the energy it needs, embedding quality jobs for decades. But where’s the investment? The 24% of the NHS nurses and doctors here are immigrants. How are we protecting them? In this sorry world we all need to stand together for better services, better infrastructure, a better future free from dishonest politics and bigotry.

Across the world, rich and powerful forces are rigging elections and advancing the politics of racism and division. They must be stopped now, because when it’s too late, it’s too late to stop.

37% of the electorate supported Brexit – yet we plough on with ‘alternative facts’ in a rigged system. Theresa May wears her jack-boots under her trousers. Don’t wait until she wears them over the top.

But do you know what makes me really mad? The 13 million people who do not vote. It was you who sent us to war in Iraq and Libya. It was you who gave us a Tory government which does nothing but entrench inequality and hardship. It is you who have let this country be run by the likes of May, Johnson and Gove, and you who helped to send thousands of refugees back to war zones in Afghanistan and Syria.

Just 21% of the electorate sent us to war on a pack of lies in 2003 and 174,000 Iraqi’s paid the price – yet we plough on with immigrant-bashing as if it was there fault. 

Friends, if you don’t vote, you can’t swivel out of blame for the increasing xenophobia, the creeping racism and the appalling inequality of this country

We may have a crappy electoral system, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

No-one is going to take a stand against racism but us. In the ballot box, on the streets, on the internet – I’m standing tall against racism. Are you with me?

 

 

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