FORMER Labour cabinet minister and anti-apartheid campaigner Peter Hain, now Lord Hain, has warned of the threats to local communities which have arisen in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
Speaking at an Evesham Labour Party dinner, Lord Hain said the vote must be respected, but everyone should watch for incidents of racism or xenophobia, challenge them or report them to the appropriate authorities.
Lord Hain spoke about the difficulties facing Britain, our parliament and minority communities following last month’s vote.
He argued there was a clear connection between recent political upheavals, including the extremism manifested by Donald Trump in the US and Marine Le Pen in France, and the emergence of the leftist Syriza party in Greece and Podemos in Spain.
He suggested the rise of these populist movements was due to the failings of neo-liberalism – an economic system which culminated with the banking recession of 2008, and is continuing to fail Western society.
He went on to say that the anti-EU vote came from those who were deeply disenchanted with an economy which was making the rich richer but failing to distribute this increasing wealth to those most in need.
Meanwhile people were encouraged by some politicians and some media to blame migrants, who were in fact contributing to our economy more than they took out.
The audience engaged actively with questions, and showed their enthusiasm by almost all buying signed copies of Lord Hain’s recent book ‘Back to the Future of Socialism’.
The book outlines how a thriving social democratic movement can help tackle environmental degradation and rising wealth inequality by encouraging the right kind of growth; at times of recession Governments must invest.
Speaking after the meeting Michael Worrall, Evesham Labour Party Chair, said:
“Lord Hain offered a clear strategy for bringing about social change and urged the renewal of the wider labour movement to make this change a reality.”