Tweet in response to the Tory government’s stop the boats propaganda: “immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s”.
The BBC back down, eventually. I’m a traditionalist, an old football-watching generation. We read the newspaper from the back pages to the front. The most important thing is my team, Celtic’s results. A Scottish team, built by Brother Walfrid on the backs of the Irish Scottish who flocked to these shores at a rate of over 20 000 refugees a week, escaping from the Irish potato famine (1845-1852). We came here to work and make a new life. Our football team was and is a part of our life and culture.
Australian, Rupert Murdoch built his media empire around men and women like us, while promulgating right-wing rhetoric, such as Brexit and a disbelief in global warming. His media empire was instrumental in getting the moron’s moron Trump elected in 2016. Without Murdoch’s support and Fox News, there would have been no ‘Great Replacement’ and other neo-Nazi conspiracy theories gaining such traction and a worldwide audience. Former chief Trumpet strategist, Steve Bannon, had a term for propaganda called “flood the zone with shit”.
Gary Lineker’s tweet comparing the government’s policy on immigration to Nazi policy ‘flooded the zone with shit’, but it was the wrong kind of shit for media-friendly billionaires. We’re following the backlash. Rishi Sunak’s meeting with the French President Macron and the British Prime Minister’s agreement to pay the French billions of pounds sterling in an attempt to stop small boats crossing the Channel hardly got a look in.
I no longer need to be drunk to fall asleep watching Match of the Day. I’ve no great interest in English teams. I usually turn the sound down while the until now affable Gary Lineker runs through the matches with pundits such as Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, who also played in the number 9 shirt for England. Saturday night’s matches were a truncated 20 minutes rather than the usual hour. That suits me. But the larger message of solidarity from striking pundits is something I support. But hey, I’m Scottish and come from the Red Clydeside. No fake news here.
1) Personal attacks and moving the goalposts.
Setting up the straw man—knocking him down. Highly paid lawyers routinely use it in rape cases. Victims must justify themselves. The burden of proof falls on those raped and abused. Philosopher, Bertrand Russell when asked why he classified himself atheist rather than agnostic, replied, ‘Nobody can prove that there is not between the Earth and Mars a china teapot in an elliptical orbit’.
Classic teapot spotting. The criminalisation of all refugees creates a Catch 22 in which there are no legal or specified conditions in which they can become legal immigrants without already being British and having citizenship. The burden of proof falls on them to convince the authorities what that they are not, rather than what they are, while also blocking access to legal representation.
Stigma heightens risk. Well-documented cases of gang members turning up outside children’s homes and taking them away is made easy by knowing the taken will not and cannot trust authorities to help them. They will not report, rape, violence, theft or indenture also called modern slavery, because they are just refugees. Not real people.
Example of teapot spotting. Lineker is a millionaire and champagne socialist. Moving the goalposts from Britain’s policy towards refugees to his lifestyle.
Example of non-elliptical orbit. BBC chairman and director general, Richard Sharp failing to disclose his £800 000 loan to the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Sharp’s donations of millions to the Conservative Party put him up there with former Russian oligarchs. Jobs for the boys.
2) Begging the question.
Lord Sugar’s, The Apprentice on BBC. His image of Jeremy Corbyn made to look like a poor man’s Hitler wasn’t begging the question as much as offering the answer to a question no one had asked. Crude propaganda of the Farage, Fox and GB News variety.
3) Arguments from a greater authority.
It’s in the Bible. I went to Eton and /or Oxbridge. Trump said it. A toxic belief is rich people are better with money because they’re moneyed. Tautologies create feedback-loops in which those in authority cite those in authority. Trump’s claim he unclassified classified documents found in his possession by thinking about them, was right up there with his directive to inject disinfectant to treat Covid. Being rich gives you superpowers.
4) Bandwagon paradox, we are the people.
If everyone is on the same bandwagon as the BBC, why is Lineker jumping off, and mouthing off? He doesn’t know where his bread’s buttered (being one of the people assumes a certain clichéd tone). Because he’s not one of the people. He’s not properly English like Sunak, or Home Secretaries Braverman or Patel. All of whom come from ‘shitty countries’ if we subscribe to the Trump doctrine. The moron’s moron’s father emigrated from Germany. And, unfortunately, his mum was born in a small Scottish island. Certainly, a younger Trump showed his racial precocity and refused to obey United States Federal law and rent apartments to blacks. According to Jim Crow laws adapted by the Nazi Party to discriminate against Jews, and other groups, who weren’t properly German, Lineker is English, but the wrong kind of English because he’s gone off script and therefore Communist. All would be interned in a concentration camp with Jews, Gypsies, Gays, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists and others deemed life unworthy of life, based on a eugenic world view. Much like refugees washing up on our beaches and refused asylum.
5) Emotion Trumps facts.
Look how many boats are arriving on our beaches. Lineker is propagating fake news that Britain is near the bottom of the European and World league when asked to help refugees. According to the United Nations, in the summer months of 2022, around 103 million people were forcibly displaced. Nearly 70% remained in countries around war zones or countries they have been displaced from. Around 13 million Ukrainians entered Europe following the invasion of Russia in 2021. Britain offered asylum to 15 700 people in the summer of 2022 (or less than Glasgow offered in a typical week in the nineteenth century). Most asylum seekers meet the criteria to be offered asylum. The Nigel Farage Tory trick is to push them back and into oceans and seas if need be. Thus the £500 million bribe payed to Macron and the French police to detain asylum seekers, following hundreds of million paid in other bribes in previous years. Add to this, the morally reprehensible actions for a so-called Christian nation. The legally questionable practicalities of ignoring the 1949 Geneva Convention set up in the aftermath of the Holocaust. And a system of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda, which grabs headlines, but costs more than processing refugees here. That great patriotic war cry of the right-wing, it’s uneconomic to the extreme (special pleading).
6) Guilt by association and special circumstances.
Remember serial liar Boris Johnson’s pledge written-large on a bus? When we leave the EU the £350 million weekly saving would be spent on the NHS. According to BBC reports taken from the Office of Budget Responsibility leaving the EU, reduces the UK exports and imports by about 15% in the longer term and reduces productivity by around 4%. Britain imported more than it exported pre-Brexit. We see that in food rises. The selling off of companies such as BP in the mid-eighties has led to bumper profits and the highest energy prices in Europe. Lose-lose for Britain’s poorest. We also know the NHS is being sold off piecemeal. How many whistle-blowers from inside the NHS and BBC were sacked for making such an allegation? Google it, you’ll find a long list that stretches back to 13 years of Tory misrule. Britain is a small island with no particular market leverage other than the money market and tax avoidance. You need economic leverage to create the conditions for special circumstances. Think America. Think China. Britain and Boris? What Great Britain has become great at is blaming these economic disasters on migrants. On refugees. Those least able to respond. Gary Lineker has called the right-wing cabal out. The proponents of free-speech call for it to be curtailed. Right on form. Free speech isn’t for all Gary, only for the selected few. I thought a pundit would know that. The BBC suspends him—right on cue. Who runs the BBC? We’re back to conspiracy theories. Back to flooding the zone with shit. Which side are you on?