“Our internationalism must also acknowledge the role of British colonial injustices & globalisation.”Apsana Begum MP
This year workers across the planet commemorate May Day in one of the most traumatic periods in recent history.
Unfortunately, there is a real sense of dissatisfaction, even despair, in workplaces across Tory Britain. Our Government have run down our communities and torn away our rights to attempt to create a cynical dog-eat-dog world in which only the rich flourish at the hardship of others.
Employers using disgracefully “fire and rehire” tactics continue to weaken working conditions – including in my constituency last year towards council workers, many of whom were women of ethnic minority background. This is not just an attack on the rights and pay of workers it is an exposure of the deep systemic failures of the law on which worker protections are based.
Whilst it’s true that the pandemic would always have been a challenge to any society, the Tories’ approach has been utterly reckless and callous – and as usual it is workers who have paid the price and already thousands of workers feel pressured to return to their jobs even when they still risk spreading covid-19.
Black, Asian, and minority ethnic workers continue to face a particular risk working in insecure jobs with fewer rights at work. The jobs Black and South Asian people find themselves doing are a major reason that they are at greater risk of illness and death and this remains.
All of this continues to happen despite the Government being warned, advised even begged, to do the right thing. Discrimination and structural racism continue to dictate who gets dumped and who gets resources— and who suffers events worse. The Tories further this by insulting us with their denial of institutional racism.
Internationally, the Global South still continues to overcome the destruction caused by imperialism and disproportionately shoulder the burden of a global climate crisis they did not create. Instead of cutting aid funding as the UK is doing, we should be cancelling the deeply damaging levels of debt for low-income countries. Our internationalism must also acknowledge the role of British colonial injustices and globalisation.
Like so many, I am sick of looking around me and seeing pain and injustice – and that the hard work and creativity of people goes unrewarded. It’s obscene that as the death toll rises, profits are pocketed by a rich few here and around the world.
What is needed is an inclusive, intersectional recovery to rebuild our economy and recover from the pandemic and entrenched inequality.
What is needed is socialism. We need to march together, struggle together, and stand together in order to make this a reality. And it needs to be sooner rather than later.