If you’ve been living in a bunker, with no access to the internet or media of any kind, you may be unaware of the forthcoming EU referendum in Britain, taking place on Thursday. I must say, I envy those of you without access to the toxic hate rags we disseminate in this country in the guise of “newspapers”.
I envy those of you who don’t have a radio, or access to interviews with the bile-belching liars we’ve come to know as Brexit “politicians”. Oh, to be blissfully ignorant of all this fear, all this pernicious paranoia.
Imagine not finding propaganda on your doorstep, filled to bursting with spurious claims, sensationalised graphics and outright deceit. Watch out! Seventy-six million Turks are on their way to the UK! (Oh no, wait, Turkey is decades away from achieving EU preconditions for joining, so that’s a lie. And would EVERY SINGLE TURK leave their country for this grey, racist shit-hole anyway?)
We could buy a new hospital every week with the £350m we send to the EU! (Oops, sorry, forgot to mention our EU rebate that chops that figure down to £190m, not to mention the investment we receive in return and the boon it gives to our economy – but look, we wrote it on a bus, SO IT MUST BE TRUE.)
But here we are, about to vote in a foolish referendum, apparently called to placate the racist whims of a bigoted minority and their loud-mouthed leader, Nigel Farage. What a boneheaded move by our prime minister, David Cameron, to pass this monumentally important decision on to a population totally unprepared to make it.
“But, democracy!” the idiots cry. Yes, democracy is a marvellous thing. It’s good for voting in representatives who we hold accountable for running the country; not who say, “Duuhhh, I dunno. <emoji shrug> This one’s too tough for me!” If we had left it to parliament to decide, the Remain campaign would have prevailed by now, and we wouldn’t have witnessed the ignominy of Michael Gove repeatedly suggesting “people in this country have had enough of experts”.
They’re experts for a reason, you complete tool. Frankly, Gove, I’ve had enough of the ill-informed populace making decisions for the rest of us. A friend of mine, canvassing on behalf of Sadiq Khan’s mayoral campaign, spoke to many women in London who had chosen to vote for the insidious Zac Goldsmith – “because he’s good looking”. What kind of fucking reason is that?
If we’re going to have a ballot on these things, at the very least voters should be able to express a valid opinion to accompany their decision. The following example votes would be thusly deemed spoiled:
I want Britain to leave the EU because – Why we letting Polski Skleps take up all the shops where bookies and Tescos could be? ITS A DISGRACE
I want Britain to leave the EU because – boris is well funny, lolz, i like his hair
I want Britain to stay in the EU because – Frankfurters!
I want Britain to stay in the EU because – otherwise we’ll have to send all our football players home and the Prem will be shit – GUNNERS 4 LIFE
It might take a lot longer to count, but at least we’ll get a considered response, rather than a brainwashed regurgitation of hate.
And that’s what it has come down to, in the end: do you hate all the humans? Are you a simple-minded misanthrope, devoid of basic empathy or even rudimentary reasoning? Then vote #Brexit! And take back control of your country, yeah?
Guess what, imbecile: leaving the EU won’t “hold back the swarm” of immigrants, marching relentlessly over Europe to our halloed soil. We already have borders that do that, anyway.
Hack for sale
I got into a Twitter spat recently with criminologist Richard Hoskins, who wrote an incendiary article in the Sun that backed Brexit. The ludicrous headline ran “Jihadis, voodoo, murders, sex trafficking… we can stop them all if we quit EU, says crime expert”.
Yeah, that’s right, we can STOP VOODOO by leaving the EU. Have you ever read anything so idiotic in your life? Or anything so brazenly hyperbolic?
The premise of the article was that Europe’s borders are porous, and due to the free movement of people in the union, all these unthinkable monsters would turn up in Norwich throwing their juju dolls about the place and filling our schools with Jihadi bastards.
Quite a claim, if, thankfully, TOTALLY FALSE. Here’s a quote from the article:
Recently I worked on a case of two Nigerian girls put under “spells” before being trafficked to Naples, Italy.
Europe’s open-door policy made it easy.
From there they were brought to Britain to work as prostitutes. One, Bella, was too terrified to speak out, fearing curses would befall her family if she tried to break free.
For a start, what have the “spells” got to do with anything? Does Hoskins not realise that Voodoo is about as real as the Flying Spaghetti monster? – (bless His almighty Bolognese) – Secondly, what the fuck is “Europe’s open-door policy”? There’s no such thing!
And if they were brought to Britain – and we’re giving this anecdotal “evidence” rather too much credence, thank you very much – they were still brought to the UK illegally. It’s called “human trafficking”. It’s illegal. Being out of the EU wouldn’t make it MORE ILLEGAL.
Hoskins must have accidentally forgotten the fact that Britain is not part of the border-free Schengen Area (oops!). We still have border controls to stop illegal immigrants from entering Britain. Indeed, through diplomatic negotiations, that border is in Calais, rather than Dover, so being out of the EU will move it back onshore. Nice one Hoskins!
Unfortunately, our disagreement didn’t reach that particular nugget of stupidity. Instead, the author lost the argument when he blocked me over his misuse of a Europol statement. Hoskins apparently favours the Farage method of quoting others incorrectly. He wrote:
Jihadists have exploited Europe’s naivety. According to a new Europol report, we have 5,000 jihadists on Britain’s doorstep.
I would put the figure closer to 50,000. Europe is sitting on a powder keg.
Actually, Europol’s director, Rob Wainwright, categorically denies this. In fact, the figure is the number of EU citizens (including at least 700 from these beloved British Isles) who have been radicalised by “Islamic” hate preachers and left Europe to fight in Iraq or Syria. Europol estimates that “less than one third have [returned] and of those the largest proportion are unlikely to pose a terrorist threat”.
So, rather than scaling the figure down, first by removing the Brits from the total, then taking out two thirds to account for those who were either killed in action or were yet to return, and you’d still have to account for those European Islamist radicals who then launch an attack in Britain, rather than in their continental “home”. But, unlike the “expert criminologist” he purports to be, he inflated the figure instead – tenfold – like a true propaganda hack.
In reply, Hoskins linked to an article in the Independent saying that Islamic State were systematically using the refugee crisis to infiltrate the continent.
However, if he’d read the article he linked to, he’d find it said the EXACT OPPOSITE:
But [Rob Wainwright] confirmed that there was no concrete evidence of the group “systematically” using the refugee crisis to infiltrate the continent.
Apparently I was just “Murdoch bashing”, a frankly amazing notion, as though poor defenceless Rupert fucking Murdoch has all these lefties running around making his life a misery because they don’t like his sensible business choices.
Anyway, he resorted to ad hominem attacks, calling me an “EU luvvie”, blocked me and that was that. But the damage is done, isn’t it? I don’t have the followers needed to call him out on his lies with any effective reach. How do you explain to all the readers of the Sun that what they’re reading is false, skewed and hopelessly misconstrued?
Alas, that is the state of British politics these days, and more specifically, the media’s coverage of these issues. How can we live in a country where lie after lie can be printed and distributed widely and without recompense?
Patience among pricks
Here’s some fascinating reading, if you’ve got EIGHT YEARS to go through it all – the European Commission has been keeping track of all the false stories and anti-EU rhetoric blurted from the tabloids over the last two decades. The ever-present evil of EU red tape threatens all manner of British businesses, from walnuts to whiskey, from farming to funerals. Take a look at what they have to put up with from our “fair and balanced” media, and their calm and reasoned debunking of every single claim.
Lest we forget, most EU regulation is for our benefit. It stops products being sold in our trading bloc – produced from within or without – that might be detrimental to our health, or to the environment. And guess what, you Brexit idiots: if we left the EU, we’d still have to clamber through all that red tape to sell our products in Europe anyway.
Meanwhile, the bile our press is allowed to print is astonishing, especially when it comes to immigration. For some reason, in modern Britain, we can print how a group of migrants jumped out of a truck shouting “We’re from the EU” only for the paper to apologise for the error the next day, quietly, on page 2. This is an unbelievable state of affairs. In my view, corrections should be printed with as much prominence as their misleading originals.
(These picks were taken by Jack Schickler)
We have newspapers with such a blatant agenda that you can make an entire collage of front-page bigotry, as we’ve seen on Twitter in recent weeks. This has one sole purpose: to make people fearful of the EU, of foreigners and of anyone with brown skin or a different religion or a larger-than-average moustache/nose/hat.
Sun, Mail and Express agonising over question “How was Jo Cox’s murderer radicalised?”
IF ONLY WE HAD SOME CLUE. pic.twitter.com/rqs1pJwUVR
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) June 20, 2016
And yes, I place full responsibility of Labour MP Jo Cox’s murder on the heads of those newspaper editors who’ve been pedalling this filth for years. Her death is your fault.
I feel sick to my stomach. I’m angry. And I’m fearful of how many people our press can reach with their drivel. I hope for everyone’s sake we’ll see an end to all this when we vote to Remain on Thursday. If one good thing might come of this detestable mess, it’ll be that the right-wing media will have finally lost their campaign of fear and divisiveness. They will have been told, categorically, that we’re not leaving the EU – so maybe, just maybe, there won’t be a point in continuing this odious narrative any more.
Whether that happens or not, it comes too late for Jo Cox. Regretfully, I knew nothing of her in life; she sounds like a good person, honestly trying to make a difference in society. Her murder is a horrifying reminder of the fascism we still foster in our midst.
And Farage’s claim that Remain campaigners are politicising her death is disgusting and blinkered – the man who killed her was influenced by the rhetoric he himself spouts. Farage is as responsible as the media.
Frankly, I feel ashamed to be British at the moment. But I am proud of being European. I hope that pride isn’t snatched from me on Thursday.
And if it is, I’m building a bunker, because I can’t watch this country tear itself apart any longer.