Last week Priti Patel was named in Boris Johnson’s new government with the role of Home Secretary. Writing in the Mail Online, Ms Patel revealed that her priority in the countdown to Brexit is a ‘radical rewrite’ of our immigration policy — an ‘issue’ which has been revealed as a main concern for the majority of voters. The Home Secretary communicated that it is her aim to reduce immigration into Britain — specifically immigration of unskilled workers.
Hence, Britain is heading towards an immigration policy which only seeks to allow highly educated professionals to relocate to Britain: ‘we decide who comes here based on what they have to offer‘. It is somewhat contradictory that such an approach to immigration has been laid out in the same article in which Priti Patel labels Great Britain a ‘meritocracy’. This is so blindingly obviously not the case when the Home Office’s aim is to only allow immigration from those who are, on the whole, from an already privileged position — privileged enough to have received the education that has allowed them to practice medicine, engineering, etc.
Opening borders to only those who are considered to be highly-skilled workers is an example of the dangers of expanding capitalism. Under this approach, people are being given a value based on their level of education and it is this value which says whether certain doors are to be opened or closed to them. Quite the opposite of what a meritocracy is meant to stand for. In our present world where everything is becoming monetised, people do not seem to be exempt from this development. The Conservatives aim to essentially monetise our worth in accordance with what we can inject into the economy.
Patel’s vision of a ‘dynamic, global Britain’ is seemingly one which privileges wealthy intellectuals and rejects workers in lower paid jobs. The Conservatives’ desire to preserve the class system is so deeply rooted that it is extending to their immigration policy. Our ‘brighter future’ is an expansion of the middle and upper classes, a brightness only accessible to people deemed worthy enough to get close to it.
Following each government statement with the assurance that we are ‘Great’ Britain should not cloud us, the public, from what is really being said. The Conservatives promise ‘Great’ Britain, a global power with a prosperous future and the ability to stand as a leader on the world stage. What lies behind this promise is an isolated, unsympathetic and exclusive country.