The British Labour Party released an ad Thursday ahead of next month's general election ridiculing Conservative claims that immigrants—not austerity policies and corporate greed—are to blame for failing schools, long wait times for medical care, and a frayed social safety net.
The ad suggests that many working Britons find the Conservative Party's scapegoating of immigrants just as implausible and frustrating as do Labour politicians who are hoping to win control of government on December 12 after nearly a decade of budget cuts and anti-immigration rhetoric from pro-Brexit politicians.
The video shows community members confronting an elected official and demanding to know why their children's schools are understaffed, the government isn't funding public housing, and wait times at the National Health Service (NHS) are growing longer.
"Look, I know you're all angry. But there is one simple explanation. It's all his fault," the politician says, pointing to an immigrant, Ali, in the back row—drawing incredulous responses from Ali's neighbors.
When politicians resort to blaming immigrants, you know they've run out of ideas. pic.twitter.com/Fc2hVYU7uN
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) November 14, 2019
After assuring the dubious crowd that the government has no money to pour into hospitals, schools, and other public services "because we have to spend it all on Ali," the politician hands a bundle of cash to "the CEO of a major tech company that needed a tax break.
"But if you need money, couldn't you just stop giving it to him?" a man asks. "He clearly doesn't need it."
"I trust Ali more than him," a woman says.
The politician finally admits that he can't offer a reasonable explanation for the corporate tax breaks while 600,000 children have fallen into poverty and the number of households relying on food banks has nearly doubled—and resorts to openly scapegoating Ali.
"My hands are tied," he says. "I have to give wealthy corporations massive tax cuts because...of Ali."
"When politicians resort to blaming immigrants, you know they've run out of excuses," reads the text on screen.
Labour politicians and other Tory critics highlighted and praised the video on social media.
This just about sums up the Tories and the hard-right - whenever something is wrong, let’s blame immigration. It’s not immigrants who have imposed austerity and decimated our public services: pic.twitter.com/nkKI037Rgq
— Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (@TanDhesi) November 14, 2019
Immigrants haven’t been cutting public services.
Conservatives have. pic.twitter.com/PoCjjw1GLk
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) November 14, 2019
My mother came over with the Windrush generation. She came to this country in the 1950s as a pupil nurse.
Immigrants contribute so much to this country and we should thank them, not blame them.pic.twitter.com/m196NdMiuI
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) November 14, 2019
Genuinely had no idea Ali was responsible for all these problems. pic.twitter.com/40RmAmgZfU
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) November 14, 2019
"This just about sums up the Tories and the hard-right—whenever something is wrong, let's blame immigration," tweeted Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi. "It's not immigrants who have imposed austerity and decimated our public services."