New Statesman Correspondence 1-7 June 2018
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Taking on the populists
John Gray (Cover Story 25th May https://www.newstatesman.com/world/2018/05/how-we-entered-age-strongman) is absolutely right that the ‘alt-liberal’ view that the majority’s support for stricter immigration controls is racist is the main reason there is no effective opposition to the rise of right wing populism in the US and Europe.
There is a migration policy for recipient countries that is democratic, progressive and internationalist. This is one that meets the concerns of the majority with stricter border controls, but which also grasps the urgency of seeing all foreign policy, aid and trade agreements in terms of helping minimise migration globally. Progressive policies could range from increasing living standards for the poorer section of society through fair taxation, limiting arms sales, decarbonising economies and reducing resource use.
Twickenham, Greater London
PROGRESSIVES SHOULD NOT JUST FOCUS ON THE INTERESTS OF MIGRANTS
Another key blind spot of the progressives’ view of migration (that was cut from the letter above) is their invariable focus on the desires of migrants, rather than also considering the interests of the majority in recipient countries or the economic and social effects on the countries they leave. Yet it is the former which is shaping the inadequately challenged rise of populism.