It’s brought out the Wise People and the utter morons. It’s mind-crushingly obvious and kinda MASSIVE with subtle richnesses. As I write, it’s a massacre, with both the BBC and this, the filthiest and lowest government of my lifetime, fabulously skewered by everyone from Lineker and Wright to the external articulate voices of the centre and the left.
For the plainly compromised Beeb, with its laughably compromised Chairman and Tory-littered hierarchy, this is A Moment. For some years, many of us have been simply unable to trust in (or even watch) the headline news and current affairs output because of the embarrassing luxury of pro-right-wing talking heads or ‘storylines’. One example – and surely history will judge it this way? – has been the responsibility of BBC (amongst many others, of course) for facilitating Brexit and the similarly race/xenophobia-based projects of recent years, by hosting Farage and equivalents disproportionately often. It simply cannot be that he appeared appallingly endlessly by anything other than deep-lying design.
News output remains complicit now, by falling in behind the repugnant #smallboats soundbite. Hosting the ‘illegal’ (but not!) migration of desperate, endangered people as though it was ‘an invasion’ is a travesty of the facts as well as suspiciously helpful to the Tories. (The BBC are using that phrase – that phrase! – routinely, as though there’s no other way to describe it. Almost as though Sunak’s PR team are feeding it in there).
Let’s be clear; this gang of heartless, shameless bastards pushing the immigration agenda are doing it a) because they are evil and b) because they know that in terms of electability, hatred is all they’ve got. For the key public broadcasters to fall in so pathetically behind a patently racist campaign is extraordinary and abominable, making this something of a historic low-point, both in terms of amoral politics and journalistic integrity. Shame on all those involved.
We need to make it explicit that naturally there are people of integrity at the BBC: there will probably be more lefties than fascistic goons, simply because most beings with any level of intelligence must gravitate towards what we might clumsily call liberal ideas. But I’m not going to list yet again the chief influencers at editorial or full-on management level who have either funded the Tories or worked in the cesspit that is the right-wing media. It’s just fact that too many Beeb Bigwigs are not independent or neutral: (this needs sorting). It’s just obvious that the gaffer needs to go, for being in and/or lining Johnson’s pockets. It’s just obvious that because the game is up for the Conservatives, the leadership is going the nasty, red-meaty route.
Gary Lineker is brightish, goodish man. (The Mail, Sun and Express will shortly being trying to contradict that notion by digging out filth upon the fella but that notwithstanding, he has form for being a tolerant, generous human). If you can be bothered to look at *what he actually said* in the tweet that started this furore, you will see that he rather carefully constructed his observation: it’s neither crude nor especially inflammatory. Lineker uses the words ‘not dissimilar’ as opposed to saying that the language of the Tories was actually taken from the Nazi playbook. For me this suggests a degree of thought and care markedly absent from many of the responses. But that’s semantics: let’s get back to the facts.
It’s a fact that this government is deliberately raising cheap, visceral fears and enmities in order to distract from other failings and to focus the public/political agenda on stuff that might be a winner for them. No matter how low, or twisted, or immoral, or untrue. No matter that the ‘crisis’ itself is largely invented. Or that we take massively less refugees than other, comparable European nations. No matter that it’s wrong and inhuman to portray scared, vulnerable people in inflatables or small craft as nailed-on criminals and cruel burdens on the state – as scroungers, or worse.
This is what Lineker is drawing attention to and forgive the repetition but again I’m going to say it’s obvious. It’s undeniable. It’s true. He is saying that our government’s response to these events (or relative non-events?) speak of prejudice and intolerance in a way that makes us think, inevitably, of 1930s fascism. For this is the demonisation of innocents.
It may be dangerous or inappropriate in any context to talk of ‘decent people’, in 2023, but surely all decent people – even Tories – know that the small boats travesty stinks. We must be better than that? As I write, more and more of Lineker’s colleagues are backing his stand. So there is hope, friends.