Selective Demonisation 375

I am delighted by the apparent sea-change in media opinion on the treatment of refugees, but concerned that in modern society compassion only seems able to operate in a wave of emotional hysteria rather than as a fundamental, underlying everyday principle. There is also a danger that those arriving in the Mediterranean and Balkans are viewed, quite wrongly, as in some way different from those in the awful camps at Calais, who have been demonised all summer, reaching its peak when a child being killed by a train led to vicious media headlines about delays to British passengers.

Cameron and May’s apparent willingness to budge at least minimally in admitting more from Syria must be matched by a willingness to admit those from the Calais camps who are genuine refugees. I still have a home in Ramsgate from which you can actually see France. I for one am willing to make accommodation available at no charge to help out in the crisis.

These are troubling times. In London the National Youth Centre has cancelled a play, Homegrown, which explored Islamic radicalism, because it had an “extremist agenda”. By this they mean that it did what it was meant to, it explored the reasons that attract young people to terrorism including a revulsion at western foreign policy and the alienation from society of urban youth in a society that values materialism above all but increasingly restricts access to prosperity and choice. These are precisely the issues that modern playwrights ought to be considering, if they are worth anything.

However it goes against the government’s insistence that radicalisation is nothing whatsoever to do with our invasions and bombings of Muslim countries or the huge and burgeoning wealth gap in our society. We are supposed to view terrorism as a spontaneous outbreak of pure evil, for no reason. So the play was cancelled, after consultations between the National Youth Theatre and the Metropolitan Police. When you have the police deciding on the content of plays, you really are on the road to being a fascist state: we already have the police involved in what can be said in universities under the government’s definitively illiberal Prevent strategy.

Just as there is still no official admission that our invasions and bombings greatly boosted terrorist organisations, so there is still no official admission that the wave of terror and destruction we helped unleash on the Middle East, either by direct invasions or bombings or by proxy, by funding and through the Gulf States, is the root cause of much of the refugee crisis. It is good we are moving a tiny way towards helping. We should do very much more. And acknowledgement of our own culpability in the crisis should be an essential part of a new attitude.

375 thoughts on “Selective Demonisation

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  • Peter Beswick

    Nice idea Craig but what happens when the government says sorry and everyone in Ramsgate gives up their homes to the refugees? However infinitly remote those possibilities are, how does it solve the problem? The problem being why these circumstances have come about.

    Mixing blame with charity will not root out the corruption in society that the public have allowed to take hold.

  • Giyane

    proxy definition

    A person authorized to act on behalf of another.

    Al Qaida in Syria is not a group we sponsor to do their own thing, it is a group we tell what to do on our behalf, albeit that we are ourselves acting as proxies for Israel, who tell our politicians what to do on their behalf.

  • Mary

    Cameron is proposing only to take refugees from UNHCR camps on the Syrian border. They will be ‘selected’ I heard it said whatever that entails.

    Migrant crisis: Britain set to accept more refugees
    33 minutes ago

    At least he has stopped using that hideous phrase ‘a swarm of migrants’ but probably still holds the same views.

    He is no leader, just a spiv.


    Where is Theresa May? Not a peep since this.

    ‘A former Tory minister has caught Theresa May using dodgy statistics to justify her migration crackdown.

    The Home Secretary pleaded yesterday to change the meaning of ‘free movement’ so only EU residents who’ve already lined up a job can come to Britain.

    But the numbers she used to back up her argument have been shot down by a former colleague.

    David Willetts, who was the universities minister until 2014, took on her claim that 96,000 more students arrive in Britain than leave each year.

    He said the ‘unreliable’ figure is ‘widely disputed and doubted’ because it was based on a survey of just a few hundred students.’

  • Mary

    PS Craig. You are not allowed to use the word ‘fascist’ in relation to this ‘country’. The trolls on here will not have it.

  • guano

    New Labour’s latest popularity scam. Following the Dudley EDL/Muslim Councillor scandal in which the representative of New Labour claimed that the false-flag operation was well within the bounds of normal political activity, the local New Labour councillors in Hodge Hill are asking us to all contact superman, i.e. our war criminal M.P. Liam Byrne.

    Apparently Saltley Business Park can contravene its planning requirements and close the main entrance to lorries and traffic, forcing them to come in the back way down the back streets which already get blocked by mosque attendees on special occasions.

    But superman war criminal Byrne has flown down from the gas towers which are in the process of being dismantled to push through his magic solution: open a new entrance on land already compulsory purchased for HS2. It is a blatant breach of planning regulations to close the main entrance. No need for the local MP.

    As if it wasn’t bad enough listening to David Cameron expressing his indignation that some of the 14 million people he has made homeless in Syria might seek asylum in the UK, now we have failed New Labour councillors promoting failed New Labour as our very own bat person in metropolitan Hodge Hill. Is there room for both of us ? I don’t think so.

  • Porkfright

    Excellent, Craig. Fascist covers it well. Mary, 10.22 a.m. Trolls still in bed, or in a departmental meeting, perhaps.

  • fred

    If I might just mention that the investigation into the deaths of two young people left for three days injured and dead in a car at the side of a motorway has ruled that staff shortages were to blame.

    I shouldn’t need to be saying this, it should have been headlines but Nicola Sturgeon’s fourteen spin doctors costing over a million pounds managed to bury the story under the tragic death of a three year old in Turkey. They cleverly get “reduced to tears” by the picture almost in the same sentence as “implore David Cameron to take more refugees” as if the two were connected, as if Britain taking more refugees could have prevented the death of a child before he even reached Europe. It wouldn’t but spending less money on re-branding police helicopters and more on call centres could have saved the life of a young woman in Scotland.

  • craig Post author


    It is an important story. But neither Nicola Sturgeon nor her spin doctors are to blame for the emergence of the toddler story, which dominated the news over the whole world.

    I share your view that the national police force is a very bad idea.

  • fred

    “It is an important story. But neither Nicola Sturgeon nor her spin doctors are to blame for the emergence of the toddler story, which dominated the news over the whole world.”

    But they could well have been responsible for the timing of the announcement. It’s a week since Stephen House resigned so it’s reasonable to assume the information was available then.

  • John Goss

    “Cameron and May’s apparent willingness to budge at least minimally in admitting more from Syria must be matched by a willingness to admit those from the Calais camps who are genuine refugees.”

    The reason they moved so quickly and announced it today was in response to this which is going pandemic within UK parameters:

    I got the impression that Cameron wants his workers to hand-pick those who come here, so it will be the educated, business-people and the rich! Nothing changes. The Tories have always been racist attracting people like Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Enoch Powell and Nigel Farage. They really despise foreigners – not openly of course on the whole.

  • YouKnowMyName

    everything I read about the developments of the UK police force front-line staffing is that it is to be incrementally downsized in the next years (many tens of thousands less). Also for another single recent example, the London Metropolitan Police IT system is likely to be outsourced to a French company with job losses of around 400 in the capital this year. There are more than 40 UK Police forces, Scotland did merge their 8 forces (some have argued for political control reasons – or was it again just Britain going slowly broke?)

    Yet reducing the size and capability of the regular police, today and tomorrow, runs fundamentally contra the exact home office news policy that is being pushed at us by the politicos & media: imminent CYBERWAR & immediate TERRORISM:

    not only an efficient IT aware police force is needed to deal with increasing cybercrime but a visible local plod on the beat is the best response to a threat of terrorism bar none; OK, bar one thing – (apart from not having having consciously naively attempted covert regime change in Libya, Syria, Iraq, etc. leading to civil strife and an impossible millions of refugees who will be migrating for the next decades – remember the 1975-1995 ‘Vietnamese boat people’ crisis of similar magnitude)

    the current ME crisis does seem to fit the definition of direct intelligence agency B L O W B A C K from covert actions, the intelligence community could probably helpfully point us to a handful of policy people who led inevitably down this path? could a resident troll or two ask his/her/its line-manager for permission to give names?

    If we are actually at risk from the two major threats above, why is funding being cut, why is staffing decreasing

  • intp1

    Blowback is what happens when you de-stablize entire regions. Cameron just said:” The solution is to stop the war in Syria” : -/ but yet we continue to support the deliberate de-stabilization of Syria. Parliament voted against sending forces, but democratic decisions are not respected by facists like Michael Fallon, not when the Americans, Saudis and Israelis say so. So we continue sending commandos, providing intelligence and re-flagging our pilots to support, effectively our terrorists fighting the other terrorists, all of which we and our allies created, both directly and indirectly.

    The stated aim (documented US NeoCon policy) is to de-stabilize the region and even if they lamely promote that they couldn’t have predicted such unintended consequences, a half-wit can see by now, the consequences of what we have done in Iraq, Lybia, Afghanistan and Syria. It has created an entirely terrorized region of the world with millions of casualties like the toddler on the sea shore (who by the way, was loaded onto a rubber dinghy, fit for paddling pool, by his parents in order to escape the relative safety of, not yet war torn,Turkey).

    The breaking up of Iraq, the pointless exercise in Afghanistan, the sodomization of Lybia and the smashing up of Syria were not unintended consequences, rather that was the goal and a million or so casualties is nothing to these people, all the better if some brown people can be culled. Cameron will take a few selected refugees and wait for it to blow over but I don’t think it will. We are reaping what we sowed. Remember that when we will need to create huge, permanent refugee camps all over Europe.
    Corbyn is the only current, not bought and sold, politician that has a foreign policy that would have avoided this and therefore, logically he will be destroyed, one way or another.

  • guano


    The government are still presenting Syria as a far-off country.

    Mosul is 4 and a half hours flying time from the UK, 3 and a half to Istanbul + 1.

    They are absolutely insane to be meddling in countries as close as this to Europe, which starts 15 minutes flying time from Istanbul.
    They could not do it without help from their nest of spies in London.

  • DomesticExtremist

    This emotional outburst has more than a whiff of the mythical tank column advancing on Benghazi to it – at least this time we have photographic proof. Today the Graun editorial is using the tragedy to beat the drum for war in Syria.

    Reading the timeline of events that has gotten us to this sorry pass, I can’t help thinking that if the kids hadn’t drowned by themselves, then the neocons would have taken some others and drowned them on purpose in order to provide a pretext for “something to be done”.

  • DomesticExtremist

    John Goss.

    Yes, I’m sure selection will be on their basis of their economic value to the UK.
    It’s the neo-liberal way, shared by all parties when discussing immigration: is to reduce them to commodities and their economic value.

    Neo-liberalism makes pieces of meat of them and of us alike.

  • Chris

    Nice to hear the ‘self employed’ malcolm rifkind stating that this shouldn’t mean opening the doors to ‘anyone’ who wants to move to europe.

    I wonder which lobby company forked up the £5k for that one, or who the ultimate owner / provider of the message was.

    Why are crooks still allowed air time on BBC channels?

  • Mary

    O/T Just over 1,300 signatures needed to reach the 100,000 needed to trigger a debate.

    Benjamin Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes when he arrives in London
    Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold talks in London this September. Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the U.K for the massacre of over 2000 civilians in 2014

    In London
    Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told ‘the non-Jews’ are ‘evil’ in worksheet produced by London school
    The worksheet is in Yiddish. Why not English?

    In Israhell
    Burning of Christian churches in israel justified, Right wing Jewish leader Benzi Gopstein says

    September 3, 2015
    A scandal erupted at a panel discussion held in the Wolfson Yeshiva in Jerusalem, when the chairman of Lehava organization Benzi Gopstein openly declared his support for the torching of churches.

    Imagine if a Muslim said the same.

  • Anon1

    Can’t see how you can blame our involvement in the Middle East on the shooting of dozens of tourists on a beach in Tunisia, or the attempted mass-murder of passengers on a French train, two give two recent examples. Aside from these attacks on Westerners, fanatical Muslims are blowing each other up on a daily basis, and attacking non-Muslims and driving them out of their homelands. I was in Pakistan during a terrorist attack in which a group of foreign tourists were gunned down by Muslim fanatics. None of them came from countries that were involved in Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya.

    I’m afraid this is what the radical left does. It’s always our fault. In 50 years time they will still be excusing terrorist atrocities on the basis that we invaded Iraq 50 years ago.

  • Anon1


    “PS Craig. You are not allowed to use the word ‘fascist’ in relation to this ‘country’. The trolls on here will not have it.”

    Well it quite clearly is not a “fascist” state, just as there is not a “mass-famine” happening in this country (Bevin the other day).

    You people play it for all you can because by gross exaggeration and making the very worst of every situation you think you can effect change.

  • Anon1

    Anyone else noticed that when the BBC interviews a migrant it is usually an attractive young Syrian Christian woman rather than one of the aggressive young Muslim men who make up the vast majority of the migrants?

  • fedup

    ….. aggressive young Muslim men who make up the vast majority of the migrants?

    Stop grinding away at your axe, for the sake of the eretz zionistan! Your incessant racist drivel driven by your zeal to kill them in Gaza, and kill them here and anywhere else that you can help it.

    This is the kind of sick opportunism of the zionist parasites that is apparently accepted and tolerated over and again.

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