Fundamental right to migrate

Steven Brooks joined Michael Lavalette in forming a Respect group on Preston council when he left the Labour Party earlier this year. He voted in favour of the two motions calling for the abolition of immigration controls. Anne Mc Shane spoke to him after the debate

Why did you vote for these motions?

This is an issue that I have always felt very strongly about. Capital can travel freely, while people are not allowed to move. That just does not make sense to me. I cannot see the problem with people moving to different countries. They should have the right to come to Britain, just like I should have the right to move to other countries. It should be a basic right.

Gary McFarlane of the SWP said that it was utopian to make a call for the abolition of immigration controls before we reach socialism. What do you think about that?

That is so obviously not true. A couple of hundred years ago there were no border controls. The United States was built on mass migration. It is the most powerful capitalist nation in the world, born on the basis of immigration. That should tell us something.

He and others also stated that such a policy would cut us off from people and they would not understand the argument.

Well, we need to be prepared to educate people about our policies. We need to deal with all of the myths about overpopulation. It is simply not true that there is a problem with overcrowding. Before the introduction of the NHS many argued that it was impossible to have a free national health service. That was proved wrong. It’s the same with this issue.

One of the biggest lies is that there aren’t enough resources in this country to support a bigger population. The truth is the only thing we can’t support is capitalist greed.