Tue 22 Nov, 2022

Migrant communities are not to blame for low wages and poor conditions, successive UK governments and exploitative employers are, according to the Scottish Greens.

This follows a speech from the leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, in which he spoke of the need for the UK economy to end its “immigration dependency.”

The Scottish Greens economy spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP, said:

"Starmer may try to frame it as pragmatism, but he is repeating many of the same reactionary themes and tropes as the Tories when it comes to immigration.

"He is talking about human beings as if they are burdens or statistics that we need to be 'weaned off' rather than real people.

"The UK has benefited economically, culturally and socially from immigration. Immigrants from the UK have also sought to make homes for themselves around the world. The idea that migration is a problem is small-minded, insular and xenophobic.

"Migrant communities are not to blame for low wages and poor conditions, successive UK governments and exploitative employers are.

"Yet, in the last few weeks alone we have seen Starmer arguing that there are too many migrants working in the NHS while his Shadow Chancellor has criticised the Tories for not deporting enough people.

"It is part of a cynical dog whistle campaign. He is clearly too scared to deal with the real causes of our economic woes: the reckless, hard-right Brexit that he now pretends to support, or the major structural issues that are holding down wages and increasing inequality.

"It is the same strategy that we have seen from previous Labour governments, who were responsible for so much of the infrastructure and attitudes that the hostile environment was built upon. It was wrong when they brought out their "controls on immigration" mug in 2015, and it is wrong now.

“We should stand resolutely with our migrant communities. We should welcome immigration and support those who seek to make their lives here, to work, study and contribute to our communities in so many ways. Immigration is a profoundly human thing to do, and it enriches us all.”

Get involved

More like this

FMQs: Tory scaremongering cannot stop Gender Recognition Reform

Thu 1 Dec, 2022

People should ignore the “desperate” attempts of Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross to stir tensions against trans people and concentrate on ensuring an historic day for equality by helping deliver Gender Recognition Reform.

Ross, who used all his questions today as Opposition leader to scaremonger and stoke fear about Gender Recognition Reform, should look at himself and question if this is really the kind of cheap, nasty and divisive politics that he wants to be associated with, according to Scottish Greens MSP Maggie Chapman. 

More help needed to meet mental health needs of asylum seekers, says Green MSP

Wed 30 Nov, 2022

Ensuring asylum seekers and refugees have equality of access to mental health services, including specialist provision, is essential to prevent mental health crises in our communities, according to Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman.

She highlighted the need in a Question to the Scottish Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care.

This month saw the publication of the final report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into Asylum Provision in Scotland, by Helena Kennedy KC. 

Gender-based violence wounds us all, men have a key role in ending it

Wed 30 Nov, 2022

The behaviour which has to change is that of violent men, not of the women and girls who endure the consequences, says Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman, speaking ahead of a Scottish Parliament debate on Violence Against Women and Girls.

The debate falls during the United Nations 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

Speaking in the debate, Maggie Chapman MSP said: