EU — Can I Stay Or Must I Go?
With lyrics such as:
Should I go there will be trouble
Should I stay it will be double...
I’m not surprised Mick Jones from Clash doesn't want his song associated with EU Referendum.
But then I’m really tired of same “In or Out” rhetoric ignoring our lack of voting rights.
If Scotland prevented its English citizens from voting – there would have been a public outcry. The Scottish Referendum would not have been allowed then.
But when EEA* Nationals lost voting rights in EU Referendum – who cared?
Certainly not LEXIT** or Abstain from Vote brigades, busy rebranding themselves as “not racists” only against the institution of EU. If they poured as much energy into fighting for equal voting rights at EU Referendum – then I would have believed them. Instead they enabled a right-wing narrative on how Britons only should vote. Rather than quit ignoring how EEA Nationals & other migrants have been denied a vote which will determine if we can stay or lose rights to benefits, etc.
Scratch the surface & this exposes a view of people as “us” or “them” instead of just “we”. Migrants are not seen as people living in UK, let alone as people settled in UK. Because migrants are seen as some external workforce which Britons can allow, restrict, send away or deny equal rights to.
So instead of colluding with EU Referendum being all about Britons staying or leaving EU, I ask those of you who are British to examine your privilege. This is similar to when white people are asked to examine our privilege, instead of pretending that people of all races are treated equally.
ü The privilege of not being forced out of UK when you can’t support yourself.
ü The right to claim benefits & not losing those right due to nationality.
ü The privilege of having a UK citizenship & not been denied one
ü The privilege of not risk getting deported if you’re an activist opposing the regime***
ü The privilege of not having to pay around £1500 just to apply for a citizenship without getting any (or barely any) money back if you’ve been denied.
ü The privilege of not having to apply for Permanent Residence Cards, pass English tests, redo complex life in UK tests & pledge allegiance with the Queen just to be British.
And as of today:
ü The right to vote on whether EEA migrants should be able to stay, get benefits, etc.
ü The privilege of not having to vote without losing any of your above mentioned rights
This is by no means an exhaustive list. And sure, it is a lot worse for non-EEA migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, paperless immigrants...
I just wanted to show how people who wonder how & if they should vote today, enjoy rights that other citizens in UK don’t have. And how you will continue to enjoy these rights even if you don’t vote. Same cannot be said about EEA & other migrants whose lives will be dictated by your choices.
Secondly, I’d like you to imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have those rights. And how you would like others to vote in an election which will directly affect your life – right to stay & right to benefits.
* EEA – European Economic Area
** LEXIT – left-wing version of leaving the EU (European Union)
*** Operation Nexus – protecting us from terrorism, apparentlyhttp://www.airecentre.org/news.php/226/operation-nexus-the-unlawful-deportation-of-eu-nationals