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From: The Socialist issue 1008, 5 September 2018: Tories out! Blairites out!

Search site for keywords: Racism - Windrush - Blairite - Tories - Migrant workers

Tory and Blairite racist policy is behind Windrush fatality

Unions must lead fight against racism

South London #BlackLivesMatter march going past London Bridge, 6.8.14, photo James Ivens

South London #BlackLivesMatter march going past London Bridge, 6.8.14, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Hugo Pierre, Socialist Party black and Asian group

The inquest into the death of Dexter Bristol, a victim of the Windrush generation scandal, has revealed another sorry face of the 'hostile environment' that faces migrant workers.

Dexter died in March this year following a ten-month battle with the Home Office to prove he was not an 'illegal immigrant'.

His employer sacked him and the state refused him benefits, all because he didn't have a passport. He had lived in Britain for 50 years after coming here when he was eight.

The coroner refused to take into account medical evidence submitted by his family showing that the stress of the racist policies pursued by the Home Office contributed significantly to his death.

The hearing continued after the family walked out because of the coroner's actions, and reached a verdict of death by natural causes. This family is rightly angry after this further injustice.

There is no doubt that enormous stress is caused by the Home Office's treatment of the Windrush generation.

The meaningless apologies ministers have issued, including new home secretary Sajid Javid, have not stopped the government pushing racist policies.

The Tories' hypocrisy is incredible - attacking Jeremy Corbyn with false claims of antisemitism while presiding over real and fatal acts of racism.

And the "hostile environment" slogan came from the Blairites who are leading these attacks, and implemented similar racist policies when they were in government.

What is clear is neither the Tories nor Blairites can be trusted to act in defence of any workers or their families, in particular workers born outside Britain.

Trade union action exposed this scandal. Michael Braithwaite, a member of public service union Unison in Camden, north London, brought it to light in the first place. The fallout has already removed one home secretary.

The trade unions must now act to coordinate support for the Windrush generation and all migrant workers.

They must also lead campaigning to end the 'hostile environment', and oust the Tory government and Blairite saboteurs responsible for it, to fight for a government prepared to side with the working class.

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