"You can't do this... he's a government minister"

The immigration minister Phil Woolas was first asked for his passport, then given an 'eco-nationalist award' and finally had a pie thrown in his face by a group from Manchester No Borders. This came in response to his plans of more stringent population controls as announced in the national press. We also denounced his attempts to scapegoat immigrants for the ongoing economic and ecological crises.

Here is a short video of the stunt:

Find below the text for the leaflet that was handed out to the stunned audience at Manchester University where Woolas was speaking.

We are pleased to present the very 1st No Borders ‘eco-nationalist award’ to the recently appointed Minister for Borders and Immigration, Phil Woolas. He thoroughly deserves it.

In the past week alone, Woolas has received the admiration of every right-wing tabloid columnist out there. His most recent remarks that echoed the National Front’s antiquated “British jobs for British workers” slogan and pandered to the fear that “Britain is full up”, have rightly been recognised for bringing the debates on the environment and on immigration together.

Sure enough, he was Minister of State for the Environment just before the recent reshuffle. As soon as taking over office as immigration minister he loudly proclaimed a change of policy: “It’s too easy to get into this country in the past and its going to get harder”.

Pointing to the looming recession and the job market, Woolas asked that employers should hire British job-seekers first, before considering new immigrants. He also suggested that the population in Britain should be capped at 70million.


The BNP was delighted with Woolas’ tough talk, but maintained it’s the only party to deliver the necessary policy changes. The anti-immigration think tanks Migrationwatch and Optimum Population Trust welcomed the remarks, since only a reduction in population numbers could save both the economy and the environment (and where better to start than with the foreigners?). The tabloids had enough material to print headlines such as “Immigrant jobs shocker” on a daily basis. And the Tories were gobsmacked that once again a Labour minister is more right-wing than them.

A few lonely Labour MPs cried out that Woolas was “pandering to the right-wing extremists”.


Woolas, of course, hasn’t just pandered to the extreme right, but the those neo-Malthusians who cry “overpopulation” at every possible opportunity, especially when it comes to fears over climate change. The argument goes that Britain would be unsustainable in terms of ecological well-being, food production, housing and energy needs if it was to allow population figures to rise above a certain limit.

The argument is spurious. It both helps to protect the status quo from criticism and constructs vulnerable social groups as legitimate targets of control. Instead of acknowledging the unprecedented global disasters that come with capitalism, the ‘overpopulation’ argument asks not for a new form of social organisation (that might see land and resources accessed and shared more evenly, contributing to a more sustainable future) but takes the shameful route of scapegoating immigrants and those who are seeking a better life.

for more info on the ‘overpopulation’ argument check our article here

Posted byManchester No Borders at 10:43 AM