General Leaflet: 10 February 2017

With Brexit and election of Donald Trump in the USA there has been a lot of focus on immigration. If you ask a lot of people ‘what is the biggest problem with this country’ they will often say it is ‘immigration’ or ‘people on the dole not willing to work’.

However as we explain below immigrants are of net benefit to this country and the ‘problem’ of the unemployment is very small compared to other financial burdens1.

The tactic of ‘divide and rule’ is being used to get as fighting amongst ourselves to stop us from realising what the real problems are.

Economics

It is important to realise that there are not a fixed number of jobs that ‘other’ people take. When someone gets a job they spend money on goods and services. This creates increased demand for goods and services which means more jobs are created. The people in these jobs spend their money on goods and services which creates more jobs. This results in economic growth – i.e. the country gets a lot richer, tax revenues go up and we should have more money to spend on things such as the NHS.

Between 2001 and 2011, the overall contributions to the UK from immigrants from countries that recently joined the EU amounted to almost £5 billion, other recently arrived European immigrants contributed £15 billion, and recent non-European immigrants contributed £5 billion2.

If the economy is growing why haven’t your wages/pensions/benefits gone up? Why are you still struggling to pay off debts and the gas bill? Why is the NHS struggling.

The problem is that this wealth has mainly gone to those who are already wealthy. For example in 2013 when we were suffering under austerity the richest 100 people in the UK saw their wealth increase by £1,272 per second3.Eight men now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world4.

Unlike poorer people the rich spend a much smaller percentage on goods and services. Instead they invest in hedge funds, the stock market and property which leads to housing, stock bubbles and banking crises.

Divide And Rule

One of the ways that such inequality is maintained is that we are told that the problem is other people who are in the same position that we are – its ‘the blacks’, ‘the immigrants’, ‘the Jews’ . Who tells us this? Billionaire media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch, Lord Rothermere and the Barclay Brothers5 and rich politicians such as Donald Trump or Boris Johnson who described the £250,000 a year he gets from writing for the Daily Telegraph as ‘chicken feed’6.

Who Do You Have More In Common With?

When we are told that we ‘must look after our own’ it is important to ask who is our own? Should we continue to look after the billionaires or should we join together and fight for our share of the cake which we create.


1 Unemployment Benefit: Getting Things Into Perspective, Peter Lux, February 2017 (http://www.plux.co.uk/unemployment-benefit-getting-things-into-perspective/)

2 The Fiscal Effects Of Immigration To The Uk, Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini, The Economic Journal, 2014 (http://www.cream-migration.org/files/FiscalEJ.pdf)

3 Wealth Tracker 2014, The Equality Trust, 2014 (https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/TET%20Wealth%20Report%202014.pdf)

4 An Economy for the 99%, Oxfam, January 2017 (http://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/oxfam/bitstream/10546/620170/1/bp-economy-for-99-percent-160117-en.pdf)

5 Five reasons why there is not a free and independent press in the UK, Som Tribune, December 2016 (https://www.somtribune.com/five-reasons-not-free-independent-press-uk/)

6 Johnson condemned for describing £250,000 deal as ‘chicken feed’, Guardian, 14 July 2014 (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/jul/14/boris-johnson-telegraph-chicken-feed)

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Why The Fuss Over Trump’s ‘Ban’

There has been widespread protests over the USA’s ‘ban’ on people from certain Muslim majority countries. This is why we think that the ‘ban’ is wrong and dangerous.

Trump chose ‘Holocaust Memorial Day’ to make his announcement. It is a day that we remember not only the horrors of the Nazi persecution of Jews, Gypsies and many others but also the fact that many Jewish refugees were turned away by USA and Britain to face the Nazi concentration camps1.

The ban is not based on any specific threat or because of what people have done but purely on their religious beliefs.

Trump has said that he would ‘certainly implement’ a database of Muslims living in the USA2 and his national security advisor has called Islam ‘a cancer’3.

Its Not About Terrorists

No terrorist attacks have been carried out in the USA by immigrants from the seven countries listed: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. However, 15 of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks were Saudi Arabian, 2 were from UAE, one Egyptian and one Lebanese. None of these countries are on Trumps list so even if such a ban would work it is targeting the wrong people.

In the USA only 0.00062% of refugees have been terrorists4. The figure for illegal immigrants is even lower: 0.000038%. An overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks in the USA5 and in Europe6 are not carried out by ‘Islamic Extremists’.

Blaming The Victims

Most victims of terrorist attacks by groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda are Muslim7. It is not just sectarian Sunni killing Shia but Sunni killing Sunni and Shia killing Shia.

The terrorist attacks in Paris and Berlin were terrible, however such attacks occur in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan on a daily basis. For example 382 people were killed in a terrorist attack in Iraq in July 20168. There was nobody standing ‘side by side’ with the victims and the attack hardly got a mention in western media.

When the people of these war torn countries flee they are now being treated criminals rather than the victims.

Supporting Terrorism

It has been suspected for a long time that much of the funding for ISIS and other extremists groups has come from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar9. However, little if no action has been taken. When Boris Johnson dared to mention this obvious fact he was severely criticised for attacking ‘our ally’10.

You only need to look to see where the extremists have gained a foothold to see where the problems lies. In Afghanistan the USA and UK supported people such as Osama Bin Laden when he was fighting the Russians, Iraq which was torn apart by the Iraq war, the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and now Syria where a large amount of weapons are falling into the hands of ISIS11.

Defeating Terrorism

Terrorism cannot be defeated by driving a wedge further between us. Trump’s attack on Muslims only furthers the aims of groups such as ISIS who want to divide Muslims and Christians. To stop another 9/11 and the countless terrorist attacks in Muslim countries we need to work together not let them drive us apart.

The way to defeat terrorism is to unite against ‘divide and rule’ whether it comes from Trump or ISIS.


1 The U.S. Government Turned Away Thousands of Jewish Refugees, Fearing That They Were Nazi Spies, Smithsonian (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/us-government-turned-away-thousands-jewish-refugees-fearing-they-were-nazi-spies-180957324/)

2 Trump would ‘certainly implement’ national database for U.S. Muslims, CNN, 20 November 2015 (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/19/politics/donald-trump-barack-obama-threat-to-country/index.html)

3 Donald Trump National Security Adviser Mike Flynn Has Called Islam ‘a Cancer’, ABC News, 18 November 2016 (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-national-security-adviser-mike-flynn-called/story?id=43575658)

4 Terrorism and Immigration: A Risk Analysis, Cato Institute, September 13, 2016 (https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa798_2.pdf)

5 Terrorism 2002/2005, FBI (https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005)

6 Less Than 2 Percent Of Terrorist Attacks In The E.U. Are Religiously Motivated, ThinkProgress, Jan 8, 2015 (https://thinkprogress.org/less-than-2-percent-of-terrorist-attacks-in-the-e-u-are-religiously-motivated-cec7d8ebedf6#.ejwttlr6p)

7 Most Victims of Terrorist Attacks Are Muslim, Voice Of America, September 04, 2016 (http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/most-victims-of-terrorist-attacks-are-muslim/3490152.html)

8 #NotJustANumber: 2016’s worst terror attack, and the victims you never heard of, CNN, January 2017 (http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2017/01/world/baghdad-terror-attack-2016-victims/)

9 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country, Independent 12 July 2014 (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/iraq-crisis-how-saudi-arabia-helped-isis-take-over-the-north-of-the-country-9602312.html)

10 Johnson says Saudi Arabia is a ‘puppeteer’ in Middle East proxy wars, The Guardian, 8 December 2016 (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/07/boris-johnson-accuses-saudi-arabia-of-twisting-and-abusing-islam)

11 Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria, New York Times, OCT. 14, 2012 (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/middleeast/jihadists-receiving-most-arms-sent-to-syrian-rebels.html)