The news has reported that Denmark has passed a law against any further immigration. In fact, it is now illegal to marry a person from outside the European Community. During the 1930s and 40s, Denmark was one of the really good countries, who absolutely refused Nazism. How times have changed.

Of course this doesn't effect me directly, but it seems to be part of what is happening across Europe. A couple of years ago Austria elected a coalition government with far right extremist nationalist policies. The rest of the European governments booed (literally). Since then, France put forward and very nearly elected as president a far right extremist nationalist called Le Pen, Holland has elected with a huge (minority) percentage of the votes an anti-immigration nationalist party and now Denmark. When I say immigration here, it includes anti-asylum, anti-humanist policies.

Australia has had a far right wing anti-immigration government for 3 terms. But at least the people are revolting against John Howard. Relatives who can be hardly described as political activists have been to huge rallies about the disgusting treatment of asylum seekers in Australia. The tide seems to have turned towards humanism - or the belief that humans must be treated with a measure of dignity and respect.

But here, and here is where it affects me, we have a Home Office Minister, the guy in charge of immigration and asylum laws who ostensibly comes from the left, using racist and inhumane language to describe refugees and comes up with suggested laws that any fascist would be proud of. I guess he is trying to anticipate what has happened in the rest of Europe attempting to court the right wing so not to lose power in the next election. But what price. I have heard him interviewed and he does hold racist, prejudiced, stereotyping beliefs and Tony Blair has put him in the only position in the government where holding these views matters.

How does it affect me? We used to have ANL (Anti-Nazi League) graffiti around here. Now we have BNP (British National Party). There are people in our building who think its ok to treat other people badly just because they don't look like them. They do it with witnesses, because they think it's ok. Afterall, the government has set a tone of zero tolerance towards difference - ethnic and religious.

But what can you do? I should write a letter to Tony Blair and David Blunkett stating my views but I haven't yet. I guess I wonder what difference it would make.

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