Brexit, Grenfell, Windrush, and the mooring, un-mooring, and re-mooring of home
The article argues that three events presently shaping the consciousness of British people - the 2016 Brexit referendum and its continuing fallout, the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, and the ‘Windrush Scandal’ of 2018 – derive from closely related sources deep in the foundations of British political culture, one (of many) source being contempt by the British ruling class for the working class and migrants (especially Muslims). The three events raise key issues about the nature of home and post-home in an age of high migration including forced migration. The cries “Go Home” uttered on both sides of the Atlantic reveal a deep lack of understanding about what home means. Using the terms mooring, un-mooring, and re-mooring, we ask other questions. Where and what is home? Where and what is home for migrants and refugees? Who has what roles in enabling the housing of those who have been expelled from home (by fire, war, or politico-economic processes)? How much of the hostility in the UK towards migrants and towards Europe derives from feelings of being dispossessed? How much from nostalgia for lost empire? Has hostility driven out hospitality? To what extent has the extreme political right been responsible for the fracturing both of British society and home itself? How might we resist?
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