Greetings, thought I’d share some of my initial ramblings that may, or may not, make it into the finished version of ‘After The Cameras Leave’. Any and all observations welcome.
‘Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt’
Public perceptions of refugees have never been worse. After gypsies and travellers refugees are today the least popular group in our society and more than half of Britons think that Britain should not take any more asylum seekers [and don’t get them started on Muslim asylum seekers]. What is particularly interesting, and more so in light of the way much of the UK press deals with the subject [more below], is that in a recent poll which asked what percentage of the world’s refugees are in the UK respondents estimated 23%. The actual figure is less than 2%, and less so if one includes Internally Displaced Persons which number in the millions [many courtesy of our warmongering Governments penchant for pre-emptive strikes in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and, presumably not long from now, Iran].
The press and particularly the way in which it uses specific language and terms are at least partially to blame. Some papers liberally sprinkle their articles with words designed to induce rancour among its readership. For example, ‘hordes’, ‘swamped’, ‘overrun’ imply a 21st century plague of Biblical proportions and for all those God-fearing Britons the simple mention of the words ‘Islam’ or ‘Muslim’ induces near apoplexy along with a sudden vocabulary boost principally based on the use, often incorrectly, of the word ‘indigenous’. Unfortunately this vocabulary boost doesn’t come with a free history lesson
The reporting of and subsequent reaction to the recent incident in which four Somali Muslims, all women, were given suspended sentences despite the savage beating they gave to a young white woman in Leicester are an interesting case in point. That the vicious crime was worthy of a custodial sentence is not in question. However, the fact that none was given cannot be blamed upon the defendants, irrespective of their nationality, religion or even their crime [unless of course they did that thoroughly un-British thing of taking responsibility for their actions by pleading guilty to the charges]. The blame lies squarely with the judge presiding over the case. Of course this indisputable fact escaped the journalist covering the story who, presumably deliberately, managed to whip the subsequent commentators up into a ‘holier than thou’ frenzy with much repetition of the words ‘Islam’ and ‘Moslem’ [sic] [used pejoratively], our old friend ‘indigenous’ and my personal favourite in this instance, ‘Christian’. So many of the comments included references to ‘our religion’ and ‘our church’ that I began to doubt the truth of what I’d previously been led to believe, that church attendance levels had fallen through the floor and the UK, at least from an ‘Anglo-Saxon’ point of view, had become to all intents and purposes an agnostic country. Silly me eh!
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Why do we hate refugees so much in a country that has prided itself on welcoming in migrants from, first, the Empire and latterly the Commonwealth? And of course, lest we forget, grudgingly accepting those fleeing violence in countries Britain hadn’t previously colonised. In a return to my old ‘Power-point’ days I shall summarise through the use of ‘bullet-points’:
- The Press [obviously]
- Misguided, or perhaps, sinister Government policy
- A generally flexible application of ‘our’ Christian values when it comes to foreigners [see racism]
- It’s The Economy Stupid
Rant over for the time being! Thanks for reading.