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Wednesday 13 July 2011

Whose ‘Boat People’?

The BBC, it must be said, often has a rather peculiar manner of phrasing things. By way of example, take yesterday’s online BBC coverage of the ongoing influx of predominantly North African Muslim migrants into the EU via the Italian island of Lampedusa. How would you describe them? Economic migrants perhaps? Settlers? Colonists? Well, all of these terms, which I would contend contain at least a strong if not overwhelming element of facticity, are evidently beyond the pale of ‘polite’ BBC discourse, because although truthful, they smack far too much of what ‘Auntie’ might term ‘intolerance’ for its liking.

Such an accurate characterisation of this process would be certain to elicit something far shriller from the Guardian and other media outlets of its ilk: shouts of ‘racism’, with plenty of stigmatising baseless imputations being made with respect to the character and moral worth of anyone who dared name and detail this process of colonisation. For such a person, the Guardian possesses an arsenal of derogatory epithets, including ‘far-right’, ‘fascist’ and, should the breach of ‘moral’ decorum be deemed to be exceptionally excessive, ‘Englishman’. Granted, I was being facetious with respect to that last word, but I am certain that anyone who so chooses to consciously acknowledge the fact of their ethnic Englishness and not be ashamed of it would not be seen as a ‘right-thinking’ (dreadful phrase is it not?) individual. Anyway, I digress from my original subject to which it is now time to return.

Which geographical/cultural adjective or adjectival phrase might you use as a headline for an article dealing with boatloads of migrants issuing from North Africa and landing on the shores of Lampedusa? North African? African? Arab? Maghrebian? Muslim? If one were to employ the genitive, would they be North Africa’s, Africa’s or the Maghreb’s boat people? Well, the BBC was of the opinion that none of these characterisations would do, and instead judiciously selected a genitive phrase which spelt out where it clearly believes these people belong. Its full headline was ‘Italy is rocky shore for Europe’s boat people’. Note its elision of Europe and the EU as is its wont, for its output would seem to be guided by a desire to deliberately equate being anti-EU with being anti-European. These are of course two separate matters altogether. I, for example, am strongly pro-European and anti-EU. The BBC on the other hand, is strongly pro-EU whilst being viscerally anti-European (witness its constant demonisation of Poles and neighbouring Slavic and Baltic peoples when reporting on immigration).

So, the BBC has decided that the African colonists belong to the continent of Europe. I would beg to differ, but I shall perhaps refrain from employing a term that a certain Muammar Gaddafi has used to describe his people whom he exhorts to migrate to Europe: “locusts”. It must be said however, that I would laugh heartily were the BBC to use such a term in a non-ironic fashion in describing this mass migration.


  1. 'Europe's boat people' drives home the message that they are Europe's responsibility, of course. The moral case for European and British ethno -nationalism needs to be made, for it is by using a bogus pseudo- moralism that the globalists have been so successful in cowing Europe's people into entering into a fait accompli of our own demise ( not that the likes of the BEEB and the 'opinion leaders' would ever suggest that this is what it is, of course!) Had this headline been anything other than a BBC news headline one might have assumed that it was a story about the small number of native Europeans who choose to live in boats on inland waterways!

  2. Good post Durotrigan, and a good response from Anon. The media's culpability for this countries attitude to asylum seekers, and immigration in general, cannot be understated. Its not unchangable though, if enough people unite behind a movement to change the way things are reported we may yet end up with a fairer press. Good to see you back and blogging again.

  3. Absolutely Anonymous, there is a great deal of pseudo-moralism attached to this issue and a number of others. Strangely, this canting morality that favours outsiders over our own people seems to have been a longstanding characteristic of at least a stratum of English society, as attested to by Dickens’s satire of this attitude in the character of Mrs Jellyby and her ‘telescopic philanthropy’ in his novel Bleak House. Likewise, in The Pickwick Papers, he pokes fun at the inhabitants of the fictitious town of Muggleton, who were said to mingle ‘a zealous advocacy of Christian principles with a devoted attachment to commercial rights; in demonstration whereof, the mayor, corporation, and other inhabitants, have presented at divers times, no fewer than one thousand four hundred and twenty petitions, against the continuation of negro slavery abroad, and an equal number against any interference with the factory system at home’.

    It seems rather familiar, doesn’t it?

  4. Thanks Cygnus. Anon’s response was spot on. If people become critical readers, viewers and listeners, the PC veneer employed by the BBC and other mainstream media outlets can be peeled away readily enough to reveal something rather closer to the truth. After today, there’ll be a lull in blogging until late in the month owing to the other activities that I’ve mentioned.


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