12 August 2020
Ian Dunt, the editor of politics.co.uk, makes clear the problems with the approach of the British political and media establishment to the arrival of people who have travelled across the Channel in small, unseaworthy vessels.
"The way to manage this situation is to regularise it, to provide refugee resettlement programmes, safe passages, so that people can make a claim and have it heard fairly. Instead we have done the opposite. We have closed down safe routes and then wondered why migrants take dangerous ones.
This modest stream of people has been turned, with predictable cynicism, into a political emergency. It began, of course, with Nigel Farage, the beating heart of British nationalism, the transmission agent by which its politics travel into the mainstream. He spent most of spring and summer undertaking a one-man campaign to portray desperate refugees as an invasion force.
From there, the rhetoric was taken up by the government. Priti Patel adopted a series of ever-more pathetic and embarrassing postures. "I know that when the British people say they want to take back control of our borders – this is exactly what they mean," she tweeted.
The next wave comes with the media. Breathless journalists set out on boats to film the refugees, adding to that sense of an emergency, of something-must-be-done, gullibly doing the job of nationalist politicians for them. They choose what to cover. They do not cover those who lose all job prospects because of a minor drug conviction. They do not cover the state of the prison system, overstuffed and under-resourced. They do cover the collapsing court system. And that is just the area of criminal justice - you could do the same for every policy area. Instead, this is where they point the camera.
It is a fiction. There is no refugee crisis. This is an artificial emergency. Those who propound it shame their reputations and their moral standing. The way to fight back is not to argue on their terms. It is to reject the frame of the debate altogether and stand up for better values - practicality, realism, political sobriety and compassion." [emphasis added]
Source: The refugee crisis is fake. The culture war isn't. (politics.co.uk, link)
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